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UK cities pitch transport emission solutions that could reach London

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 15:42

UK cities pitch transport emission solutions that could reach London 

With an Ultra-Low Emission Zone(ULEZ) in central London, a growing network of Cycleways and several ‘mini-Holland’ boroughs the capital has attracted international attention for its progress on transport strategy.

But other UK cities are developing thier own solutions to the challenges of climate change, poor air quality and liveability.

Birmingham is the latest  to announce radical transport plans. Taking inspiration from the Belgian city of Ghent Birmingham now plans to reduce traffic travelling through the city centre by  dividing the city into zones, accessed only via a ring road, which will limit through traffic thereby cutting congestion, emissions and improving air quality. In an examination of both Birmingham‘s plans and Ghent’s implementation since 2017 Bikebiz editor Carlton Reid notes that a key element of the Birmingham’s proposals, which is yet to be tried in London, is a workplace parking levy of £500. Currently every driver in London allocated a free parking space at work effectively gets a tax-free benefit worth £2000 or more.

Bristol is due to introduce a ban on all (not just the most polluting)  diesel cars  in the city centre in 2021. London’s ULEZ restricts the most polluting diesel-engined vehicles but less polluting  Euro 6 generation  diesel vehicles are currently permitted into the ULEZ without a fine.  In Bristol a wider clean air zone will apply across a larger part of the city.

Nottingham was the first council in the UK to implement a workplace car parking levy (of £387) which has helped reduce congestion and raises some £9m per year that is used to improve public transport which, in turn, has some of the highest usage rates in the country. All of which contributes to falling CO2 emissions.

York's council has supported palns to exclude all 'non-essential' vehicles from the historic city centre within the next three years. The city faces heavy congestion during the summer months when many tourist visit.

Edinburgh aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and the city's 10 year plan includes closing key streets to motor traffic, expanding the tram network and creating an integrated payment system for all public transport including cycle hire. 

Oxford's zero emission zone is due later this year. Petrol and diesel vehicles will have to pay a charge to enter the city centre unless they are exempt (which will apply to businesses until 2024) and residents will get a 90% discount till 2030.  

Brighton, which has declared a climate emergency,  has comissioned a report on making the city centre car free by 2023. 

London will likely follow some of the innovations being explored elsewhere as it seeks to meet a target of reducing car trips by 3 million per day despite a growing population.  The London borough of Hounslow is already consulting on a workplace parking levy and the City of London is committed to introducing a Zero Emission Zone (excluding both petrol,and diesel cars) by 2025. London Councils, which represents all London local authorities, is considering plans for a workpalce levy

London’s air quality levels are among the worst in the UK,  so to meet international commitments the capital  has to move more rapidly than other cities to reduce emissions. And added to that is the Mayor’s recent commitment to make the city carbon neutral by 2030 – to achieve that target the Mayor must address road transport which accounts for 19% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Boosting cycle use, walking and public transport are obvious steps but drastically reducing private car trips and decarbonising and consolidating freight journeys will also be required.  

Categories: London

Tweet at your MP

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 14:15

Without action on cycling, we know that fear of hostile and dangerous road conditions will continue to dissuade millions across the UK from cycling. The active engagement of MPs will be critical and so this week, LCC wrote to all newly elected and re-elected London MPs impressing on them the importance of promoting cycling as an everyday mode of transport and a key element in tackling the climate crisis. We reminded them that although London has become one of the leading cities for cycling in the UK, cycling rates still lag far behind many other European cities. 

In the run-up to the 2020 London Mayoral election, and beyond to the local council elections in 2022, LCC will be asking Mayoral and council candidates to commit to decarbonising London’s roads transport system by 2030, by boosting cycling, walking and public transport, and reducing motor traffic, to help tackle the climate crisis. MPs were asked to support the campaign.

We reminded them that although London has become one of the leading cities for cycling in the UK, cycling rates still lag far behind many other European cities. So we asked those who have not done so to join and support the All Parliamentary Cycling Group, a cross-party group of MPs from both Houses who work to get “more people cycling in the UK, more often.”

MPs were also asked to support cycle and other active travel schemes in their constituency and we offered to put them in touch with their local LCC group and our campaigns team so that they can understand why these schemes have been proposed and the benefits they will bring. To help inspire them, we invited them to be in touch with Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign who regularly organise tours of the area, as well as Kingston and Enfield, also part of the mini-Holland programme.

We encourage local groups to tweet their MPs, reiterating the offer to engage with them.

Categories: London

Member nominations invited for the LCC Policy Forum

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:50

The LCC Policy Forum​ is selecting a fresh set of members and welcomes new faces. The purpose of the Policy Forum is to carry out research and develop policy for the organisation. There are four meetings per year which are open to all members to attend, and between-meeting correspondence via email and Slack (a social media).

We currently are working on developing river crossing charging and micromobility policy. Being an elected member for a two-year term gives you voting rights at meetings. Full details are here: https://lcc.org.uk/uploads/13536

 

 No in-depth knowledge of policy is needed, just enthusiasm for cycling policy and commitment to meeting attendance. You can nominate yourself, and final selection will be made by LCC membership using online voting. Please send 100 words to info@lcc.org.uk <mailto:info@lcc.org.uk <mailto:info@lcc.org.uk> > with Policy Forum in the subject line. The closing date for nominations is January 31st.

Categories: London

South London Cycleway klaxon: more tracks, new crossings, fewer lethal roundabouts

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 15:48

TfL want to hear what you think about their plans for the extension of Cycleway 4, with the consultation on the route announced yesterday. The proposed 2.5km section from Charlton to Woolwich will link up to the section of Cycleway 4 in construction through the Greenwich town centre Liveable Neighbourhood, eventually giving South-East London a major cycle route that stretches from Tower Bridge (and eventually London Bridge) all the way to Woolwich.

The current phase tackles a lethal stretch of the A206 Woolwich Road with continuous cycle tracks and six new pedestrian crossings including to/from schools and the Woolwich Ferry. The road was site of 215 collisions in 2017 & 2018 alone, including 3 fatalities. And in 2017 in nearly 20% of those the victims were cycling.

Anger at Angerstein

The consultation also includes initial concept sketches of the plan for the infamously lethal and dangerous “Angerstein” roundabout, as above, which is just to the west of where this first phase of consultation ends. Our local group, Greenwich Cyclists and LCC as well as others have long campaigned for the Angerstein to be tamed. The concept looks exciting, and it’s refreshing to see TfL’s video clearly demonstrating the issues with Angerstein embedded on the consultation page (and below).

How to respond

TfL says Greenwich Council will consult on its plans for Greenwich town centre in spring, to compliment these proposals and connect to Cycleway 4 that is already in construction from the edge of Greenwich, through Southwark along Lower Road and up to Tower Bridge.

The current consultation runs until 16 February. And we will be providing a list of key points for anyone who wants to respond quickly to the consultation soon. Meanwhile, we have a Cyclescape thread up and running where you can ensure your thoughts on the consultation are fed in to our response. Or you can go straight to the consultation here – and we urge you to primarily be supportive of the scheme!

Quotes from the release

TfL also issued a press release on the new scheme. The following quotes are from it:

Simon Munk, Infrastructure Campaigner at London Cycling Campaign, said:

It is wonderful to see plans moving forward to tackle the infamous and lethal Angerstein Roundabout, something we have long campaigned for. These plans promise to deliver a major route for South London, eventually linking Tower Bridge to Woolwich, taming hostile and dangerous roads. This should not only help save lives, but also enable far more people to walk and cycle, cutting air pollution and climate emissions.”

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:

I'm delighted that we're pushing ahead with these bold plans - part of a new high-quality cycle route from Tower Bridge all the way to the heart of Woolwich. With additional pedestrian crossings and a new bus lane, the route will be made better and safer for everyone. The area around Angerstein roundabout has seen two fatalities in recent years, and we will continue to work closely with Greenwich Council to deliver these vital improvements as soon as possible.”

Cllr Denise Scott McDonald, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said:

We welcome the plans to build a cycleway that would run between Greenwich and Woolwich. This is a great opportunity that will make it easier and safer for people to travel on foot, by cycle or public transport. These proposals will also support the Council's commitment to reducing air pollution and vehicle congestion.”

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of Greenwich council, said:

This is great news for Greenwich as the proposed cycleway will make cycling and walking a much safer and convenient way for residents to travel in the area.”

Categories: London

Take action: support cycle tracks in Camden & Hackney today

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 17:08

Two schemes, two minutes apiece. Please respond today so we can make sure these good schemes happen and don’t get derailed by cabbies, local residents worried about parking etc…

1. Lea Bridge to Dalston

Click here to see the scheme and here to go straight to the consultation response form.

This scheme is set to take Waltham Forest’s amazing, award-winning mini-Holland Lea Bridge Road scheme from the edge of the borough and extend it up and over the hated Lea Bridge Roundabout, with cycle tracks all the way round.

The scheme then goes through a new modal filter and off to Downs Park and then to Dalston. It’s not a perfect scheme, but it’s well worth supporting. And while you’re at it, consider asking (in your own words) for more traffic reduction around the Chatsworth and Powerscroft Road areas, and to take some motor traffic lanes on the roundabout so the scheme doesn’t just deliver safe cycling, but also walking improvements too!

Click here to see the scheme and here to go straight to the consultation response form.

Please respond today, consultation closes 16 December.

2. Gray’s Inn Road

Click here to see the scheme and here to go straight to the consultation response form.

Camden, meanwhile, are proposing to tame just over a kilometre of Gray’s Inn Road from near King’s Cross (and the Tavistock Place scheme) to High Holborn for both those walking and cycling.

The scheme features continuous footways, bus stop bypasses and cycle tracks, up to 2m wide in each direction. The main remaining issue is that there are risks from turning motor vehicles riding out of Calthorpe Street, Guildford Street and across the mouth of Sidmouth Street. Also the track could and should be a bit wider where possible. However, again, these are smaller details and overall the scheme is well worth supporting – particularly as it’s likely that taxi drivers will be dead set against it.

Click here to see the scheme and here to go straight to the consultation response form.

Please respond today, consultation closes 20 December.

Categories: London

Take action: help cut through traffic in Tower Hamlets & Hackney today

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 15:35

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are a key part of delivering safer, better, healthier streets in London by removing through (or “ratrun”) motor traffic from an entire residential area. They cut overall motor traffic and create large neighbourhoods where air pollution, carbon emissions, noise and congestion are dramatically lowered. These are great for walking and cycling, but also community cohesion – streets becoming inviting again, spaces where people can chat to neighbours and kids playing out again

In their own way, however, these schemes can be as controversial as main road cycle tracks. Right now, the Walford Road area scheme in Hackney and Bethnal Green scheme in Tower Hamlets both need your support.

Click here to find out how to respond to the Bethnal Green scheme and here to respond directly to Hackney’s scheme that also fixes some more of Cycle Superhighway CS1.

Please support both schemes today. And here’s why you should and why those opposed against them are wrong…

Cutting communities?

In Bethnal Green, the issue seems to be that residents are worried most about “community severance” – that elderly parents won’t be able to drive easily across the area to see their families, with a 400 metre drive becoming a 2 miles one.

While there are exceptions, it’s true that the vast majority of 400m drives simply don’t need to happen. And indeed, cutting out the rat running traffic and making it much safer and more comfortable to walk and cycle around the area, we start to see whole communities, including young kids, the disabled, the elderly, can choose to leave their cars at home. This has the added benefit of making those journeys that absolute need to be made by car, easier, as there are fewer vehicles on the road only making the essential trips.

The other usual myths about these schemes being widely talked about? They’re all rubbish. These schemes have been shown to increase walking and cycling rates; to cut retail vacancy rates; to cut car use; to cut air pollution; and not to cause significant issues for deliveries, emergency services etc.

We need to make sure we support these schemes and main road schemes too if we want to deliver a London where far more people can and do cycle and walk.

Clean air or low traffic?

In Hackney, “clean air” parent campaigners are fighting against LTN proposals. Hackney has been filtering residential roads, getting rid of the ratruns, slowly, but steadily, for decades. But in the last few years these schemes have seen more and more unease and opposition. The opposition says these schemes displace traffic from residential ratruns onto main roads, increasing pollution, where there are schools, where kids live and walk and study. We think they are (mostly) wrong.

Most importantly, the kind of impacts on main roads that LTNs bring are temporary. Hackney has been doing LTNs for decades, Waltham Forest has done several in the last few years. Yet pollution has gone down on main roads in Waltham Forest since implementation, despite small rises in traffic immediately after the schemes went in. Bus journey times and delays for both boroughs are also basically identical to other, similar boroughs without any cycle schemes or LTNs. Traffic just spreads out across London where it can, in other words. And after a year, the main roads around schemes are basically identical to other main roads across London.

Despite this, London’s progress on removing motor traffic, getting people out of cars and onto bikes and foot, is very fragmentary. We know what happens when you say to a council that a scheme has to be perfect; that you can only make residential areas quieter if you do the main road simultaneously or before it. We know, because it has happened in Hackney already – it led to the London Fields scheme collapsing. And it has happened elsewhere too: schemes get delayed, they don’t happen or they get weaker. Nothing comes along quicker for the main roads either.

The harsh truth is the best way to remove motor traffic, to get more people walking and cycling is to do schemes, fast, and then fix them as you go. Do schemes, monitor them, mitigate them, fix schemes, add to them, do more, to better, do faster.

Traffic displacement and bigger schemes

The Walford Road and Bethnal Green schemes are also just smaller versions of bigger schemes that remove motor traffic. The expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to the north and south circular in 2012, will almost certainly displace motor traffic outside the area. Millions of Londoners will have less traffic and better air, but some will suffer on main roads outside the zone. Does that mean we shouldn’t do the expansion?

Similarly, Hammersmith Bridge closing has seen some roads very negatively impacted, but overall motor traffic levels are way down. Should we be campaigning for it to reopen as rapidly as possible for motor traffic? Or monitoring how the traffic has reacted, and then mitigating and fixing the more isolated issues?

The Royal Parks closing or reducing ratruns through its parks could finally return large swathes of iconic London greenspace to the people, with huge gains for London. Should we fight against this because schemes will inevitably push some traffic back onto borough roads? Or just help those boroughs reduce motor traffic on their main roads too? It may be an uncomfortable answer, but it is a simple and realistic one: we cannot afford to wait for a perfect scheme that doesn’t displace any traffic for the sake of all London’s children.

Perhaps most tellingly, many of the anti-Walford Road area parents have continued to oppose Hackney’s scheme despite Hackney having managed to bring forward plans for Stoke Newington Church Street – the nearest and most impacted main road. On top of other schemes Hackney has already shown it has a roadmap to more than mitigate any issues the Walford Road scheme delivers. The end result? These “clean air” campaigners are now effectively campaigning against any changes to main roads or side streets. That surely can’t be the way forward?

So please, support Walford Road and Bethnal Green today.

For guides on what "Low Traffic Neighbourhoods" are and why they are a great thing for walking, cycling and community, read London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets' guide to them here.

Categories: London

EU rules out lorries with poor direct vision

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 17:53

nIt’s official – lorries with minimal blind spots are going to become the industry standard.  The European Union regulation (General Safety Regulation) to make this (and other safety measures like speed controllers in cars) has been formally approved by the European Council of Ministers.

 

As of mid-2023 all new model HGVs (fully new designs) will have to meet the new rules and by 2027 all new heavy lorries will have to meet them. 

The very welcome measure to improve vehicle design took several years of hard work by the European Parliament, Transport for London and consistent lobbying by London Cycling Campaign, and our partners in the Action on Lorry Danger group,  as well as fellow activists in Brussels including Transport & Environment and the European Cycling Federation.

We want to thank all LCC members and supporters who have backed our numerous petitions for safer lorries and those who have responded to TfL consultations on better “direct vision” (vision through the windscreen rather than via mirrors) for HGVs. TfL’s commitment to a direct vision  standard led not only the recently launched Lorry Safety Permit scheme, that commences in London next year,  but also drove the often protracted and laborious process of improving EU design regulations for HGVs. 

London’s former Mayor, Boris Johnson, put the case for better direct vision to EU regulators, as did current Mayor Sadiq Khan, and his Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, who both argued for an earlier start date to reduce road danger.  

Both TfL, and LCC, persisted with the call for a change in EU regulations, despite initial setbacks and delays, to finally achieve a result that will reduce road danger for pedestrians, cyclists and indeed all road users.

The same road safety regulations that introduce the direct vision standard will also require cars to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation devices , effectively speed controllers, though drivers will be able to override them. Vehicles will also have emergency braking systems and heavy vehicles will need to have “advanced systems that are capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists located in close proximity to the front or nearside of the vehicle and of providing a warning or avoiding collision with such vulnerable road users.”

The direct vision requirement will now be defined by the UNECE – the Geneva based authority that decides on standards. According to the EU “ Vehicles of categories M2, M3, N2 and N3 (types of trucks) shall be designed and constructed to enhance the direct visibility of vulnerable road users from the driver seat, by reducing to the greatest possible extent the blind spots in front of and to the side of the driver, while taking into account the specificities of different categories of vehicles.”

 

Categories: London

Electric HGVs, direct vision, sensors, cameras - Innovation at Freight in the City 2019

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 14:30
   Freight in  the City 2019

Electric power for HGVs, direct vision for lorry cabs, sophisticated camera and sensor systems and e-powered cargo bikes: the future of freight transport was on full display at the 2019 Freight in the City show in London.

Innovation in vehicle design, safety systems, logistics and consolidation dominated Freight in the City as never before. With politicians making commitments to decarbonisation of road transport and zero serious and fatal collisions the freight industry’s innovators are showing what is possible.

 

Scania, one of the market leaders, displayed both diesel and hybrid (electric and ICE driven) for versions of its new L series HGV’s designed for urban use with low cabs, wide windscreens.

 

Voltia took that thinking a step further with their futuristic prototype that is fully electric and promises a 150 km range for the 18 tonne version. Trial models are promised for 2020 in Paris and London.

Mercedes was showing off its 7.5 tonne eCanter fully electric lorry that is already in service with Hovis , DP, Wincanton and Yodel. The company  told LCC that it has a ranger of 120 kms and a fast charge to 80% takes just an hour. The company is trailing 18 and 26 tonne electric vehicles in Germany and an all- electric version of the popular, 5 star direct vision, Econic is due in 2021. Mercedes also aims to make all its European truck plants carbon neutral by 2022.

A presentation from Tevva, an eTruck maker and innovator spelled out the commercial gains from going electric: the savings on fuel exceed the higher leasing cost of the electric truck

Dennis-Eagle displayed one to their fiver star direct vison construction lorries and were collaborating with Magtec who were repowering 26 tonne Dennis-Eagle diesel refuse lorries with electric motors powered by household waste in Sheffield

LCC was out and about plugging its new lorry safety information website offering tips for both drivers and cyclists and we spotted representatives of both of our supporters Mobileye (sensor’s sold via the Spillards stand) and McGee (chatting on the Volvo stand).

 

Volvo had two innovative UK first on display – an electric version (100 kms range) of its urban, high direct vision,  FE lorry and a prototype, called  Vera, of its autonomous electric lorry cab that is being trialled in Sweden – and which, on its own , looks more like a sports car.  

And, in a radical departure from previous years, Freight in the City featured a whole stand devoted to cargo-bikes  - a disruptor that was cited, along with consolidation centres and more sophisticated road pricing, by the City of London in their forward looking presentation on freight solutions at the event.

Categories: London

Londoners support making Royal Parks for people, not cars

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 14:26

The Royal Parks has released the results of its initial engagement survey on the principles of its draft Movement Strategy, and Londoners have overwhelmingly supported these and the Parks’ intention to begin to reclaim parks from cars, for people, walking and cycling.

The Royal Parks are eight iconic and large green spaces scattered across London, including Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Richmond Park. Nearly all of them feature large roads through them that mean the parks are widely used as cut-throughs for motor traffic. And while many of the parks have gates that are shut at night, or restrictions on commercial traffic, the traffic in the parks is resulting in high levels of road danger to both those walking and cycling, and high levels of pollution.

Schemes in the past to reduce the through traffic, such as Cycle Superhighway CS11 have been stymied. And even enforcement of existing commercial vehicle bans and against clear road dangers have been routinely opposed. And indeed, until recently, The Royal Parks has been fairly resistant itself to enabling cycling in and through its parks, and in reducing motor traffic. But that now seems set to change, for the better.

Survey results

The survey was filled out by nearly 7,000 respondents. Overall: 85% agreed “changes or developments within… parks should seek to protect, conserve and enhance” the parks; 73% agreed that the Parks should “prioritise walking” over other modes; 79% agreed walking, cycling and using public transport to reach the parks should be prioritised over other modes; and the biggie: 78% agreed park roads should “not be used as commuter routes for motor vehicles”.

Broken down by the modes of those answering, there was far lower support for promoting reaching the park by sustainable modes, and for removing motor traffic through routes among those who said they were drivers: 41 and 44% respectively.

Next steps

The Royal Parks officer in charge of the strategy, Mat Bonomi, subsequently confirmed on twitter that results were also “broadly the same across all the parks.” And that next The Royal Parks will “develop a whole of estate strategy and then step that down to the individual park level”. The overall strategy is due to be made public, consulted on and signed off by The Royal Parks in the new year. We should then expect to start to see schemes coming forward on a park by park basis to start to enact the finished strategy.

With such large and iconic spaces, we can’t wait to see The Royal Parks begin to tackle the through motor traffic and returning parks to the people for walking, cycling, strolling, breathing, pootling and enjoying, for sport, leisure and indeed to commute through in safety – that’s why LCC is part of the Parks for People coalition alongside organisations including London Living Streets, CPRE London and Regent’s Park Cyclists, and has been campaigning around this issue for some time.

Nearby roads?

As and when the Parks do start removing the cut-through motor traffic, it will be vital that the boroughs around the parks work to ensure displaced traffic doesn’t worsen residents’ lives and air quality on roads outside the parks. Councils should be deploying both “low traffic neighbourhoods” to stop nearby residential roads turning into nightmare ratruns, and main road solutions such as cycle tracks, pavement widening and/or bus lanes to ensure they also don’t get far worse. This may involve some short-term disruption, but it’s a vital and massive opportunity in London to systemically cut out a lot of unnecessary car journeys and switch them to more sustainable modes – cutting air pollution, carbon emission and congestion. After all, if the roads are a lot quieter and calmer, many more people will choose to cycle. 

Categories: London

Londoners support K&C cycle scheme, reveals TfL

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 17:35

Over 5,000 people responded to the public consultation on improvements to four areas spanning west London from Wood Lane to Notting Hill in May, TfL has announced. A large majority of respondents said the scheme would enable more people to walk and/or cycle in the area, the consultation report released today reveals. Over 70 per cent thought proposals would enable more people to walk, 58 per cent more people to cycle. Most respondents also felt the schemes would reduce motor traffic journeys in the area.

Full results for the consultation, appendix documents detailing responses by borough and stakeholders, and the original materials are available here.

A "vast majority" opposed?

Infamously, despite having prior sight of the scheme, Kensington & Chelsea’s Councillors attacked the consultation for the sections in their borough – before the consultation even closed – and disowned the scheme developed with their officers. In opposing the scheme, the council said it “supports cleaner and more active modes of transport in our borough and across London” but… “the vast majority of our residents, whom we are determined to serve and to represent, do not support these proposals”. It turns out, however, this simply isn’t true.

Many residents associations, businesses and celebrities openly waged a propaganda war against the Kensington & Chelsea parts of the scheme, particularly around the Holland Park Avenue section, including some truly hyperbolic and apocalyptic views on what the scheme would do. Despite that, nearly half of Kensington & Chelsea respondents to the consultation felt the scheme would lead to more people cycling, and only 6% said it would lead to fewer people cycling.

Similarly, over one fifth (22%) of residents felt it would lead to more walking and nearly a quarter of residents also said it would lead to fewer personal motor journeys. It’s difficult to see this as “the vast majority” of local opposition that had been portrayed by councillors and the council – indeed, it would suggest that quite a large proportion of local residents (nearly half of all respondents said they were residents “living close to the proposed scheme”) think the scheme will deliver better, safer cycling and walking and lead to fewer car journeys.

Since the consultation ended, residents who are in favour of the scheme are increasingly grouping together in our newly revitalised Kensington & Chelsea Cycling Campaign and the sibling Better Streets for Kensington & Chelsea group. There are clearly many residents in the area who are sick of hostile streets to cycle on, or not being able to cycle at all – and indeed of the road danger on streets like Holland Park Avenue everyone faces. And the new groups include parents keen for their children to be able to walk and cycle to schools.

During the consultation there was widespread condemnation of Kensington & Chelsea’s stance on cycling and the proposals, and indeed of the myths and misinformation being put forward by most of the opposition. And the very real road dangers to both pedestrians and cyclists on Holland Park Avenue were ignored by those against. Will Norman, the Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said at the time that K&C’s opposition was a “cynical political stunt… People will die and suffer serious injuries as a direct result of this.” We hope that K&C Councillors now reflect on the very real need for the scheme and work with the Commissioner and TfL.

Next steps

TfL is moving forward with the Hammersmith & Fulham section of the scheme as the borough supported it. In K&C, TfL has developed a series of potential improvements that could satisfy many of the concerns raised, most notably protecting 20 out of 25 trees along the route that were originally proposed to be removed. In the meantime, Kensington & Chelsea also declared a climate emergency in October, committing the council itself to be carbon neutral by 2030, and setting an “ambition” for the entire borough to be by 2040. It’s hard to see how the council can simultaneously declare a climate emergency, achieve these targets and oppose schemes aiming to reduce motor car use, boost walking and cycling. Those schemes will be vital to cut carbon, fast – regardless of what some residents feel about their cars.

Since the consultation closed, TfL has held initial discussions with the borough regarding these improvements and will now widen discussions to include “local residents' groups, businesses and other organisations” before it sets out a path forward hopefully.

We hope the council listen to the broad sweep of opinions rising from the consultation, not just those residents and associations that shouted most loudly against (and as their responses summarised in the report show with volume, but not always knowledge, evidence, or expertise). We hope the council recognises those concerns most voiced have been answered. And we hope the council acts to enable cycling in its borough by moving forward this scheme, with amendments.

Quotes from the press release

Clare Rogers, Community Outreach Worker for central London at London Cycling Campaign, said:

The route along Wood Lane to Notting Hill has long been a hot spot for fatalities and serious injury to pedestrians and cyclists. These new proposals are a much needed safety improvement for everyone already using the route, and will make it easier and safer for many more people to walk and cycle and to leave their cars at home - cutting air pollution, congestion and carbon emissions.

The results of this consultation demonstrate that Londoners agree the proposals will improve conditions for walking and cycling. With amendments now proposed to the plans, to take into account concerns raised, we look forward to Kensington & Chelsea's councillors, businesses and residents working with TfL to deliver these vital cycle safety improvements."

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:

There has been a fatality and a number of serious injuries on this stretch of road over recent years, so these proposals are about keeping Londoners safe and saving lives. I'm really pleased that the consultation has shown such strong support for the plans, with a clear majority of people understanding the difference they will make enabling more walking and cycling, and making the area safer for everyone.

TfL is continuing to work with Kensington and Chelsea on the details of the plans to ensure they are the very best they can be, and they will continue to ensure the views of all residents are taken on board."

Gareth Powell, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said:

Our proposals between Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate would make a real difference to everybody in the area, making streets much safer, more pleasant and more welcoming place to be. We'll continue speaking to local people about our proposed changes and I look forward to agreeing a scheme which works for everyone."

Categories: London

New free resource for lorry drivers and bike riders to improve safety on London roads

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 13:51

 

Mobileye  driver warning system in action

New free resource for lorry drivers and bike riders to improve safety on London roads

A new website about lorry danger is helping both drivers and cyclists avoid collisions. The unique site features a carefully selected range of useful videos; tips on reducing road danger; and the latest on safer lorry design and tailored training for drivers and riders.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is launching the Lorry Safety website (https://lorrysafety.lcc.org.uk/) as part of its commitment to reduce road danger with support from Mobileye, an Intel company, a global leader in collision avoidance technology for cars, lorries and buses and autonomous vehicle technology; and McGee, a specialist contractor who considers its first priority to be safety.

Riders and lorry drivers will find videos on the site in which the challenges of interacting in dense road environments are discussed. Detailed guidance on a cyclist’s best strategy close to a lorry are addressed, and drivers are assisted in understanding why, for example, a rider might ride in the centre of a traffic lane when approaching a side street.

LCC wants the number of fatal and serious collisions involving lorries to be zero. Lorries are involved in approximately 50% of cyclist deaths and 20% of pedestrian deaths despite accounting for only 4% of the miles driven in London.  

The new website looks at a range of technologies that are increasingly being installed and purchased by responsible heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operators: 

  • lorries with far improved direct vision and fewer blind spots;
  • close proximity alert systems that let drivers know when a pedestrian or cyclist is very near;
  • systems that ensure drivers carry out a range of safety checks before departure

The site also goes beyond the usual advice for cyclists to “take care around lorries” by providing specific information about where most collisions take place and which lorry manoeuvres, such as moving out right to turn left, can lure a rider into a dangerous zone.  

LCC will be continuing to update this unique site with links and information about the latest in road danger reduction.

Dr Ashok Sinha, LCC CEO,  said:

“LCC is fully committed to reducing road danger on our roads and the new lorry safety site helps drivers, lorry operators, bike riders and pedestrians understand the dangers of large vehicles and  the strategies and technologies that can be used to reduce those dangers” 

Gil Ayalon, Director of EMEA at Mobileye, said:

"Mobileye is committed to harnessing the best computer vision and artificial intelligence technology to keep drivers and vulnerable road users alike as safe as possible on the roads. This has been our mission from day one, and we are pleased to be partnering with LCC on this important campaign."

John McGee, Director McGee, said:

“As a fleet operator, we are pleased to support the London Cycling Campaign’s new website as part of our ongoing commitment to reducing road danger. “To support the latest in road danger reduction, the website is filled with useful videos, detailed guidance and specific information targeted for riders and drivers.  We are delighted to be a part of this important project and will continue to support LCC in the website’s ongoing development.”

McGee worksite in central London

Categories: London