London Cyclist

Subscribe to London Cyclist feed
Latest news from the LCC
Updated: 2 hours 56 min ago

Safer lorries on the horizon as London and Brussels back better direct vision in all new HGVs and seek to eliminate built-in ‘blind spots’

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 16:37

Safer lorries on the horizon as London and Brussels back better direct vision  in all new HGVs and seek to eliminate built-in ‘blind spots’ 

Lorry safety is set to improve as London, the European Commission and European Parliament push forward on making trucks with far fewer ‘blind spots’ the norm on European roads.

London Cycling Campaign has lobbied consistently to reduce road danger by eliminating vehicles with very poor direct vision and the EU proposals will tackle this at source by requiring manufacturers design all HGVs to meet standards for far better driver vision.

Speaking to Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European cities gathered at City Hall the Mayor said:

“I’m delighted that the European Commission is following our lead and proposing to incorporate direct vision into its revised road safety regulations. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to reduce road danger – and would be a major step forward in making all HGVs safer across the UK and Europe, saving hundreds of lives every year.

Roza von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP and lead ‘rapporteur’ for the General Safety Regulations revision,  told the meeting at City Hall that she was proposing earlier implementation of the regulations on direct vision to help save lives.

Transport for London has already announced a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and, from October 2020, will be restricting vehicles that don’t meet minimum ‘star ratings’ from entering the capital unless they have additional safety features. In TfL’s own contracts, one star lorries will be the minimum as of October 2019. Amsterdam Council, which had a representative at the City Hall meeting says that it too is switching to vehicles with good direct vision to reduce road danger.

Ria Hilhorst, Amsterdam’s cycling policy advisor, said: “London’s HGV Safety Permits scheme is a great opportunity to stress the importance of direct vision for truck safety. The Direct Vision Standard would reduce casualties in cyclists and pedestrians and similar standards will hopefully be included in the EU’s revised General Safety Regulation.”

 The Direct Vision Standard categorises HGVs depending on the level of a driver's direct vision from a cab. Restrictions in an HGV driver’s field of vision, or ‘blind spots’ have been identified as a significant contributory factor in collisions.

 TfL research shows that between 2015 and 2017 HGVs were isproportionately involved in fatal collisions in London, including 63 per cent of those involving cyclists and 25 per cent of those involving pedestrians. This is despite HGVs making up only four per cent of the overall miles driven in the capital.

 A European Parliament committee will first vote on the proposed GSR changes on 21st February, ahead of the final European Parliament vote later this year. This will be the first GSR reform since 2009, making it a once-in-a-decade opportunity to get direct vision included.

 A public consultation on TfL’s HGV Permit Scheme is currently underway and closes on Monday 18th February 2019.

 

Categories: London

Cycle Superhighway CS11 ruled out (for now) by Westminster action

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 17:37

Sad news: the High Court has ruled that Westminster Council's judicial review of TfL's action on Cycle Superhighway CS11 cannot be appealed. The likely result is that work to tame the horrific Swiss Cottage gyratory will now be set back years.

The case, as best as we can tell so far, hinged on the point that TfL consulted on a route that included closing gates around Regent's Park, cycle tracks on Portland Place and cycle lanes on Avenue Road as well as tackling the Swiss Cottage junctions, then tried to deliver just one bit of it when push came to shove. This allowed Westminster to mount its challenge - on the grounds that the business case and traffic modelling hadn't been done for Swiss Cottage on its own. Of course, it was delays to other sections of the scheme - including delays dealing with Westminster Council itself - that led to TfL trying to move forward on just Swiss Cottage.

Swiss Cottage needs help

A quick look at the terrifying collision map for Swiss Cottage junction shows in the last five years, around 60 collisions have resulted in injuries around the junction. That’s 12 people a year seen by emergency services. And one a year on average for a serious injury, one every five is killed. That’s far too many. Of those, the bulk are happening to three groups: pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikers. For each, this complex and often high-speed junction, is resulting in hospital stays, life-altering injuries, families distraught or torn apart.

Measures to prevent this toll have been blocked following Westminster Council’s legal win against Cycle Superhighway CS11 after the High Court ruled TfL could not appeal against a Judicial Review. It is likely TfL and the Mayor and his team will now advance a scheme to tackle the junction - as a standalone Safer Junctions scheme perhaps. But that is likely to require new modelling and a new public consultation - one that is likely to be attacked by the very same forces that attacked Cycle Superhighway CS11. Until the scheme is past all that, likely years from now, more people are likely to be injured, and killed possibly, at the gyratory.

Of course, there’s more to it than just the human toll from collisions. Such a nasty junction represents a barrier so that fewer people walk, cycle or shop here than could, and would, if things were different. That’s the point of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, of TfL taming our worst junctions, adding public space and cycle tracks. 

Because the outcome of the 'do nothing' alternative, which may satisfy CS11 opponents, is not just collisions, but the congestion, pollution, climate change and inactivity we see daily already – and, in a growing city, set to get even worse. As a result of those who opposed the scheme, Swiss Cottage won’t get fixed any time soon – and every year of delay will mean more cost in terms of collisions, ill health and lost business.

Why did anyone want to stop Swiss Cottage?

The council and campaigners against CS11 say they wanted more data about the risk of traffic being displaced by the scheme away from main roads and onto residential streets. However, this is a common refrain across London, and specifically from Westminster. It is unlikely that more modelling, more data would have satisfied Westminster, and there are obvious measures the borough itself could take to mitigate any displacement if it was so concerned - such as filtering streets or areas into "low traffic neighbourhoods".

On top of that, Camden, where Swiss Cottage actually sits, supported the scheme and did not appear to voice such concerns. Indeed, our Infrastructure Campaigner sat in a summer of meetings with TfL officers, and representatives of key groups against CS11 and officers from Westminster Council where it was made clear the Swiss Cottage section had been amended and was not likely to displace anywhere near as much traffic as first feared.

However, some people and some councils will use any and every reason going to avoid changing roads, particularly when those changes are away from motor vehicles and towards more walking, and particularly towards more cycling. Westminster Council also opposed and is blocking the Lambeth Bridge scheme - stopping progress on the northern roundabout in their borough, that has been named the most dangerous roundabout in the UK, again because of fears of traffic displacement (and the removal of a palm tree).

Weaning Westminster off the car

It is understandable that Westminster's residents fear even more traffic on their already polluted and clogged streets. But the answer is not to accept traffic levels as they are now, but to reduce them by mitigating current schemes and building more schemes. As well as schemes like CS11,

Westminster residents must work with organisations like us to close off ratruns, push for "School Streets" that limit motor traffic near schools, lobby their borough to reduce car parking and restrict car access increasingly. Fighting for a status quo where pollution kills near 10,000 Londoners early a year, inactivity far more (while crippling the NHS), where we have less than 12 years to take drastic action on climate change and where people continue to be seriously injured every year so people, many from outside London all together, can save a few minutes on their drive to the west end should not be an acceptable answer for anyone. Particularly not for Westminster Council, its Councillors and its residents.

Categories: London

1-min action: Tell Westminster today to not cut cycle route

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 14:59

Westminster Council are renowned for their antipathy towards cycling and walking – they’ve recently opposed pedestrianisation of Oxford Street despite major and mounting safety concerns, they’ve legally challenged Cycle Superhighway CS11 despite the section in question being outside their borough, and they’ve produced plans for cycling on The Strand that make virtually no sense (more on this soon). But they’re not just about the big schemes – even down to tiny back-streets they now seem intent on destroying the few vaguely OK cycling routes through their borough they’ve created over the years.

Crossrail works have closed Great Chapel Street for the last few years – severing a useful north-south route from Soho to Fitzrovia, from Carlisle Street, across Oxford Street to Newman Street. Now the works are finishing, Great Chapel Street is set to reopen. But as a one-way street. And without any cycling contra-flow.

You'd be forgiven for thinking Westminster council actively wants to discourage cycling. It would cost very little to reinstate this rare (for Westminster) but much used cycle route, and would have minimal impact on motor traffic flows. The consultation closes 8 February. Please write to the council today calling on them to improve and not remove facilities for cycling.

Email tmo.westminster@wsp.com with subject: 7439/PJ or mentioning this (it’s the traffic management order number) in the email. And ask to keep Great Chapel Street two-way for cycling.

All of the detail is in this PDF. But it is fairly complex. The key points to make is cycling in Westminster should be a lot better than it is, that the council should be seeking to improve cycle routes not cut them apart, and that to do so here means keeping Great Chapel Street open in both directions for cycling.

Categories: London

Big news! Engagement begins on four new major cycle routes

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 15:14

 

TfL has begun public engagement of the first four of its new high-priority “future routes”. With the Mayor announcing he is scrapping “Cycle Superhighway” and “Quietway” brandings, we don’t know yet what these will be called, but all four run along routes in north-east London identified as having the highest potential to deliver more journeys by cycling.

These four routes feature substantial amounts of main road protected cycle tracks and will help the Mayor push forward on his commitment during our "Sign for Cycling" campaign to triple the mileage of protected space for cycling in London by the end of his current term (in May 2020). These routes will also be subject to the tough new quality criteria laid out in the Cycling Action Plan.

Prior to formal public consultation, TfL is engaging residents and everyone on where exactly these routes should go and asking for local expertise in delivering them to the best standard possible.

The TfL website is here and they’re asking: “Are there opportunities or challenges with deliveries to local businesses, schools and other facilities?... Do you have any issues with rat running in your local area? Is there anything you would like to see us do to your local streets to help this?... How do you see these routes helping your local high streets and town centres? How could they support local regeneration?” and other questions too.

We are using Cyclescape to collate the views of those who cycle in London, or want to, to inform our response to these four routes – you can feed into them via the links below, but please send any thoughts you have (even it is just “hurry up and get building these already”) to TfL as your first priority.

The routes are:

Camden - Tottenham Hale

At approximately 12km, this route would connect the town centres of Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters and the Nag's Head, making it easier for people to make local journeys and use local services. The route would use both main roads and quieter back streets,” said TfL.

This route would essentially link cycle tracks and routes in Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland that feed through most of Walthamstow, and past the new Wetlands centre, to Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Finsbury Park, the top of Caledonian Road and on to Camden’s Royal College Street tracks. It would link to several other schemes around Manor House that Hackney have planned and must upgrade the sections of Cycle Superhighway CS1 it uses if it’s to be a success. And there does, on the map, appear to be a missing bit between the Wetlands and Tottenham Hale – which is odd.

Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here.

Dalston – Lea Bridge

This 3km route would fill the gap between Lea Bridge and the existing cycle route between the City and Tottenham at Dalston. From Lea Bridge the proposed route heads towards Lea Bridge Road to Lea Bridge roundabout, after which it joins quieter back streets including Downs Park Road and Sandringham Road to connect through to Dalston," said TfL.

This fills in a missing link between the end of Waltham Forest mini-Holland cycle tracks on Lea Bridge Road and CS1 in Dalston, and would mean, alongside Quietway 2, there were much-improved onward connections for new cyclists leaving Lea Bridge Road.

Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here.

Hackney – Isle of Dogs

This 7.5km route would stretch from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs via Westferry, Mile End and Victoria Park. It would connect with the cycle routes between Stratford and Aldgate and Barking to Tower Hill, as well as the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf crossing. There are currently two options in Hackney we want your views on," said TfL.

This links Quietway 2 and central Hackney, across Victoria Park and across Mile End Road and CS2 to Canary Wharf – it then runs through the Isle of Dogs and reaches the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, with links also to the proposed Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe walking and cycling bridge. What the solution for the narrow Grove Road will be interesting, as will how the design detail works out with the infamously anti-cycling Canary Wharf Group as a stakeholder on the Isle of Dogs.

Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here.

Ilford – Barking Riverside

This 7km route will link Ilford to Barking Riverside via Barking town centre using mostly quieter back streets. It would include key connections to the cycle route between Barking and Tower Gateway, Ilford Elizabeth line station and Barking Riverside Development - this includes more than 10,000 new homes and a new London Overground station," said TfL.

This links the car-dominated and ageing Ilford town centre gyratory and Crossrail Elizabeth line station with Barking station and town centre and the new mega-development at Barking Riverside, including its Overground station.

Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here.

Categories: London

Win! Cycle Superhighway CS9 leaps forward

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:47

To some of you it might have seemed like a long, quiet patch without anything happening on Cycle Superhighway CS9. But that isn’t the case.

The route is due to stretch 7km from Brentford to Olympia, the first physical protected cycle track of its kind across west London. Behind the scenes, campaigners at LCC and in our local groups have been persistently chipping away, as have officers at City Hall and in TfL, to unblock some of the issues holding up CS9. On Wednesday 30th Jan, after months of hard work, the scheme leapt forward dramatically.

TfL has announced construction on CS9 will start later this year, but before then two specific sections are out for consultation on further improvements, following concerns raised by residents and stakeholders.

The two mini-consultations are here. We’d urge everyone in the area to have a look and give their thoughts on the proposed changes to the scheme. Our initial assessment is they’re both worthwhile improvements to an already good scheme. But there’s a Cyclescape thread up now for folks to give their opinions on in more detail here.

Blitzkrieg turnaround

Outside the Church of Our Lady of Grace & St Edward, whose Father Michael Dunne had said CS9 would “do more damage than the Luftwaffe”, the cycle track has been rerouted outside trees, taking a lane of motor traffic and preserving pavement. As a result, Father Dunne said: “TfL has listened to the church community and… made very significant changes conscientiously and adequately addressing concerns.”

At the Kew Bridge junction, concerns around the cycle track running onto the road at a bus stop, and concerns around the junction with Lionel Road South, have resulted in a more major change – the “with flow” tracks either side of Kew Bridge Road are to be replaced by “bidirectional” tracks on the south side. This avoids Lionel Road South, enables a better link to Capital Interchange Way and fixes other issues with the scheme at the Kew Bridge junction.

Other changes not being consulted on including reducing the amount of pavement taken on Chiswick High Road and answering business concerns there, and beginning to develop a parallel route on the A4 approaching Hammersmith Broadway to mollify some of the issues raised by Hammersmith & Fulham council.

King Street vs A4

Hammersmith & Fulham’s leader, Councillor Stephen Cowan, had been opposed to the route along King Street and wanted it to go on the polluted A4 instead. This led our local group, H&F Cyclists, to rally together with parents, kids, schools and local businesses to express their support for the original alignment, which will enable local people to travel to the schools, shops and other amenities around King Street.

Casey Abaraonye, Coordinator of Hammersmith and Fulham Cyclists said “We have been working with local parents and families, residents, workers and the Council to ensure that a safe and protected cycle route is provided through the heart of Hammersmith along King Street. The improvement will see the start of our network of protected cycling routes”

Action from TfL on helping develop two parallel routes seems to have shifted the council. Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: “We… have… worked very closely with TfL… to agree a safer cycle route along King Street for riders of all abilities. [And] improved cycle facilities alongside the A4.”

Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “There is a high demand for cycling in the area and these plans will make it safer and easier, opening it up to even more budding riders… The improved plans will deliver further improvements for walking and cycling, helping to reduce car use which is crucial to cleaning up London’s toxic air.”

Michael Robinson, Coordinator, Hounslow Cycling Campaign, was also quoted in the press release: “We welcome the new plans for this vital cycle route and are pleased that TfL has listened to local responses. The changes will help link the town centres of Chiswick and Brentford and rebalance their high streets away from motor vehicle traffic in favour of people walking and cycling… We look forward to local people of all ages being able to benefit from healthier streets once this long overdue project is completed.”

Nick Moffitt, Coordinator, Ealing Cycling Campaign said "By making the Kew Bridge junction safer, CS9 makes new journeys possible for Ealing families who previously considered the A315 too intimidating. We congratulate Hounslow and Hammersmith on this excellent progress, and will hold it up as an example for what's possible in Ealing."

Categories: London

Sadiq’s New Year resolutions

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:22

Photo credit: East London Mosque

For many of us, getting in more cycling kilometres this year might be what we’re determined to achieve (and/or a few less trips to the Christmas cheese board).

But what about our Mayor, Sadiq Khan? He has a lot of big commitments to fulfil after promising to meet LCC’s Sign for Cycling campaign’s three-point agenda to triple the length of protected track, build more Mini-Holland and make “Direct Vision” lorries the norm on our streets. With the end of his first term fast approaching in May 2020, that leaves him a lot to achieve in 2019 and he’s running behind schedule currently.

With that in mind, here are LCC’s suggestions for Sadiq’s New Year resolutions:

1.       Build cycle tracks faster

TfL’s latest figures say Khan inherited 51.1km of protected cycle tracks on the Cycle Superhighways and another 1.6km from Quietways and other schemes. Khan’s team says he is on track to deliver a total of another 113.9km of protected cycle tracks by May 2020, thus completing his promise to triple the mileage of protected main road tracks in London in his first term. Great news, but…

The figures look like he’s making significant and rather optimistic assumptions about how many schemes currently at design or consultation stage he will take to successful completion, despite the significant obstacles they face. Given the recent experience of legal challenges, borough opposition and other setbacks, he needs to simultaneously progress all schemes already in the “pipeline” in case any of them face delays.

He also needs to ensure the current bottleneck around modelling of traffic delays is removed. At the moment, TfL uses computer modelling to check traffic delays in detail on every scheme, but don’t seem able to model many schemes at once. Every tweak to a scheme needs a new run-through – as a result, modelling is introducing huge delays to every scheme.

On top of that, Sadiq, his Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, and Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, need to use their influence to ensure they get rapid buy-in from councillors, officers and local stakeholders to avoid the “bikelash” watering-down or sinking schemes.

In 2019, Khan must significantly accelerate construction of cycle tracks, and will need to get Cycle Superhighways CS4 and CS9 and several other new major routes in construction in order to keep his promise.

2.       Build better junctions

Khan’s progress on junctions is more rapid than it is on cycle tracks, but far patchier on quality.

In the last three years, 27 of TfL’s priority list of 73 “Safer Junctions” (the most dangerous junctions in London on TfL roads) have been ticked off – with several in the last few months alone. Khan says he will complete at least another 14 this year, with the remainder in design or consultation by the start of 2020.

However, as our live tracker shows, nearly all of the junctions that Khan considers ‘improved’ (bar post-implementation monitoring), need further work to elevate their safety standards to the level necessary to align with his Vision Zero target of ending deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads by 2041.

For example, the Ludgate Circus junction with Fleet Street and Farringdon Street, which TfL ticked off its list in 2016, has seen a fatal and serious collision in the last year (both with pedestrians); and while Cycle Superhighway 6 has made things far safer through this junction going north or south, travelling east or west remains dangerous for cycling.

Other schemes marked as complete include the infamously hostile and dangerous Lewisham “gateway”, the High Road/West Green Road multi-lane snarl at Seven Sisters, the multi-lane roundabout at Bath Road and The Parkway in Hounslow which has been left largely untouched. These schemes aren’t really much safer for cycling, and they’re certainly not Vision Zero.

Given the average lifespan of road improvements and redesigns, it is unlikely junctions “fixed” now will be revisited significantly in the 22 years between now and Khan’s Vision Zero deadline of 2041. So any updates to junctions have to be Vision Zero-compliant now – unless they plan to come back and finish the job.

In 2019, Khan must ensure that not only are a further 14 junctions tackled, but the redesigns are done to a far higher, “Vision Zero”, standard. And that, of the remaining “Better Junctions” programme of his predecessor, Stratford, Old Street and Highbury are complete and a further 5 are in construction.

3.       Get boroughs on board

In 2018, Westminster Council stuck two fingers up at Khan, very publicly, not once, but twice. First they cancelled the planned pedestrianisation of Oxford Street in the summer without any real warning they were going to. Then, just a few weeks later, they took Khan and TfL to court over plans to start on Cycle Superhighway 11 at the infamous Swiss Cottage gyratory.

The infamously car-centric Westminster won the first legal round on Swiss Cottage, meaning the gyratory remains hostile and dangerous for those walking and cycling there. As a result, Khan’s ability to get boroughs to buy-in to big schemes like this was called into question.

In response, the Mayor is increasingly clear that he’ll only provide funding for schemes designed to achieve his strategy and targets. At the start of this year, we’re expecting announcements of the next Liveable Neighbourhoods, and in February, the announcement of which boroughs will receive Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funding (and which won’t). We’ll also see the new quality criteria from the Cycle Action Plan being applied to schemes early in the new year.

All three of these approaches are clearly designed to ensure only boroughs that put forward good cycle schemes will get them funded. But will Khan back up the words with action? If he wants to have any credibility with the boroughs and any chance of achieving his Transport Strategy, then he has no choice but to stand firm.

In 2019 Khan must use both his hard and soft power to bring boroughs in line behind the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. He must publish a strong quality criteria for all schemes relating to cycling (with a motor traffic volume metric that adheres to international best practice such as LCC policy and the Dutch “CROW” manual). He must also refuse to fund any borough that puts forward Local Implementation Plans or other schemes significantly in variance with the aims of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

4.       Make more neighbourhoods liveable

In the run-up to his election, Khan also pledged to LCC members and supporters, and to London, to make funding available for a “mini-Holland” scheme in every borough. This commitment led to the creation of the “Liveable Neighbourhood” programme, a successor to the three mini-Holland boroughs.

However, whereas each mini-Holland borough received approximately £30 million funding, Liveable Neighbourhood (LN) bids are only to a maximum of £10 million, and most are lower. On top of this, the first seven LNs are now nearly one year in – yet none of the schemes have made it to consultation, and the pace isn’t exactly hurried.

In 2019, Khan must fund only the highest quality, most ambitious new Liveable Neighbourhood bids, and withhold money from boroughs who fail to deliver. He must also apply one of the key lessons of the programme to other areas of funding – set the bar high and borough councils will work to meet it.

5.       Take the most dangerous lorries off London’s roads

Khan has pledged to LCC to get the most dangerous lorries off our streets and make the safest ones “the norm on London’s streets as soon as possible”. A good early step was made with the creation of a new “Direct Vision” safety standard for lorries, which ranks them from 0* - 5* based on what the driver can see from the cab and a pledge to remove all 0* rated lorries from London streets by the end of 2020. However, with more than half of current lorries receiving 0*, the freight industry has pushed to allow 0* lorries with “safe system” mitigation measures to be allowed in for a further period. The consultation on these measures will happen in early 2019. So, from October 2020 the most dangerous lorries will only be allowed in if they are fitted with additional measures to improve safety, such as extra cameras and sensors and side guards. In 2024, only lorries above the 3* rating (or which have revised mitigation measures) will be allowed in London, eventually removing the most dangerous lorries from our streets.

At the same time, Deputy Mayor for Transport Heidi Alexander has told us that by October, all vehicles used for TfL and Greater London Authority (GLA) contracts will need to be 1* rated, and 3* by October 2023, without mitigation measures. However, this approach risks significant pushback from the freight, construction and haulage industries.

In 2019, Khan must remain resolute in progressing TfL and GLA contracts, as we asked him to do during the election campaign, and the general Direct Vision permit system, without bowing to any pressure from industry to deliver real road safety gains.

Categories: London

No zero star lorries on TfL contracts from October 2019

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 16:38

No zero star lorries on TfL contracts from October 2019

Lorry operators working on Transport for London or Greater London Authority contracts will have to use vehicles meeting, or exceeding, the new TfL direct vision standard (a measure of a lorry driver’s direct vision (not via mirrors))  as of October 2019.

Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander, in an exclusive interview in the Winter issue of London Cyclist magazine says:

“TfL and the GLA are leading by example and require a minimum 1-star direct vision standard by October 2019, rising to a 3-star standard by October 2023 . This means that vehicle operators under TfL and GLA ‘in scope’ contracts won’t have the option of adopting ’safe system’ mitigating measures instead of direct vision requirements.”

The measures are part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero strategy for eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2041.

While private sector projects, on an interim basis, may allow lorry operators to run lorries with restricted vision as long as they meet ‘safe system’ requirements (Including camera systems and pedestrian/cyclist alert systems) this will not apply to TfL contracts.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has made a commitment to use only safer lorries:

 ‘I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads. The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.   

The European Union is currently taking steps to make sure all new lorries meet high direct vision standards .

Categories: London

TfL’s rubbish Edgware Road scheme is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians

Fri, 12/21/2018 - 13:05

TfL are consulting on improvements at five dangerous junctions along Edgware Road. Some of the proposals, such as a 20 mph speed limit and new pedestrian crossings, are good. But the plan doesn’t go nearly far enough to improve safety for pedestrians and it’s beyond dreadful for cyclists. 

Over 1,600 cycle journeys are already made along this stretch of Edgware Road every day, with the potential for many more, but safety improvements are urgently needed. 

For example, the junction with George Street is identified in TfL’s Safer Junctions programme as having one of the worst safety records in London. Yet the only improvements in this proposal are a new advanced cycle box. This is nowhere near good enough, especially after nearly 3,000 Londoners signed LCC’s petition calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan to fix London’s most dangerous junctions faster. 

This scheme also fails on the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” approach, fails to remove clear hook risks and other dangers for those cycling (including at their “Safer Junction” at George Street) and won’t enable more people to cycle here, let alone the current people to do so safely.

The consultation closes on December 23. Please take a minute to tell TfL that they must do more to improve cycle and pedestrian safety on Edgware Road’s junctions.

If you want some help responding, we suggest that: 

You click oppose on questions 1-5 and 8

You click support on question 6 (20mph) and question 7 (raised road junctions).

In the comments box, and using your own words, tell TfL:

  • This scheme fails on the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” approach, fails to remove clear hook risks and other dangers for those cycling (including at their “Safer Junction” at George Street) and won’t enable more people to cycle here, let alone the current people to do so safely.
  • Westminster council should close roads in the residential areas around Edgware Road to stop ratrunning – and that would make these junctions far safer for people cycling and walking.
  • Really, there are far too many issues with this scheme, and it should be sent back to the drawing board so that more ambitious plans, in line with the Mayors targets and goals for walking and cycling, can be create. 
Categories: London

Cycling wrapping paper

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 16:00

Cycling Wrapping Paper

If you’ve chosen the perfect gift for a cyclist (LCC membership perhaps??) you surely need the perfect wrapping paper. Thames & Hudson publishers have ingeniously packaged  12 different sheets of hip paper designs as a large book complete with (matching) gift tags. The designs, they say, are inspired by their recently published book of cycle photos called Cyclepedia (which got a thumbs up from London Cyclist magazine). If you look carefully on the two sheets of wrapping that display bike frames you will indeed find bizarre frame shapes that can only have come from the Cyclepedia collection. The rest of the sheets feature wheels, chain sets, chains and spokes, mostly in the fluorescent colours of current trainers. 

The standard size folded sheets won’t, of course, cover a whole bike but for books and small accessories they are ideal. The price, £12.95 for 12 sheets plus tags, works out at just over a pound per perfectly wrapped  gift.

Categories: London

2018 Successes

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 16:42
While there's ongoing frustration at the changes to London's dangerous junctions, Tom Bogdanowicz looks back at some of the year's big campaign wins...

It's been a tumultuous year for cycling improvements in the capital. Despite hold-ups on Cycle Superhighway 9 and 11, your campaigning paid off with some outstanding victories for common sense and healthier, safer London streets. 

Bank Junction

It took the tragic death of Ying Tao (a cyclist killed by a turning lorry at Bank) to push the City of London into action. Following our demonstration, the City took a radical step: restricting motor traffic at the notorious Bank junction to buses and cycles only, from 7am to 7pm daily. 

The initial 18-month trial faced concerted opposition, notably from black cabs which blocked the junction in protest. 

LCC rallied supporters who sent in thousands of consultation responses and LCC staffers made impassioned presentations to City committees. Eventually common sense triumphed, and in September the City's Common Council voted to make the scheme permanent. Removing buses and redesigning the roadspace next would make this landmark location, with its iconic buildings, the liveable neighbourhood it deserves to be. 

Tavistock Place

If you are one of the several thousand who cycle daily along the Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury, you will likely remember the many leaflet handouts by LCC and Camden Cyclists, to try and make this essential cycle scheme permanent. Those riders who didn't have leaflets shoved in their hands (we may have missed a few) might not realise the improved cycle tracks, built in 2016, were only there on a trial basis. The council faced enourmous opposition, with black cabs taking their familiar anit-cycling stance.

Of the 15,000 consultation responses (thank you all!) the great majority supported the cycle tracks. Members of Camden Cyclists made the case at a public enquiry. LCC's Infrastructure Campaigner faced cross-examination and eventually the council cabinet agreed to make the tracks permanent. Reversing the current one-way scheme for motor vehichles, however, is still to be considered - it could have negative impacts. 

‘Direct Vision’ Lorries Standard

LCC argues strongly for lorries with good 'direct vision' for the simple reason that lorry drivers repeatedly blame blindspots for collisions. Responding to a promise made to LCC to make safer lorries the norm, Mayor Khan has published the world's first Direct Vision Standard (0 to 5 star rating) which comes into play in 2020, albeit with an option for operators to install 'mitigating measures' such as cameras and altert systems if any of their current lorries are still '0-star'.

The direct vision standard is also due to become part of EU legistlation as of 2026 unless industry lobbyists succeed in delaying it. Mayor Khan is lobbying for an earlier, 2024, start. 

Hounslow, Boston Manor Road

You only have to look at the headcam video of Boston Manor Road to see the radical difference between the new, two-way, separated cycle track and the still-visible narrow painted lane it replaced. The road carries 17,000 cars and 700 HGVs per day which made cycling there extremely unpleasant. 

Inevitably, as with other transformation impacting car parking, the project’s acceptance required the local LCC group to defend the principle of cyclist safety at council meetings. 

With initial plans submitted in 2014, it’s been a long four-year campaign, but the results are well worth riding. 

North-South Cycle Superhighway Extension

It’s not perfect, but the northern extension to the North-South CSH is at least partly in place, helping riders get further, safely. At time of writing, Crossrail works continued to punch a gap in the scheme, and the quiet route north of Greville Street was incomplete, missing the Judd street section. 

LCC's Camden and Islington groups, along with staffers, worked to ensure major and dangerous junctions were done right - with Snow Hill, Charterhouse and Clerkenwell Road junctions all getting major improvements north-south. Two-way cycle traffic down very narrow streets was also avoided thanks to early interventions. 

Enfield, A105

The Enfield - a composite beast that is fox, eagle, wolf and lion - will surely rejoice that its home borough has at last welcomed the composite creature that is part human, part machine. 

Enfield's local LCC activists have won awards for their impressive efforts in shifting what was once a staunchly motoring borogh. The transformation of the A105 from a road that's best avoided, to a street that can be enjoyed is a taster of more to come in one of the three 'mini-Holland' boroughs. 

The A105 (Green Lanes) now has protected cycle lanes on both sides of the street, using a combination of raised kerbs, 'orca' separators and kerb separation. And the borough is now building its second major scheme. 

Stratford Gyratory

Gone are the days when you dreaded the moment that you had to negotiate the Stratford Gyratory — it was like Hyde Park only longer, faster and more chaotic. The gyratory is going (at time of writing) and there are fresh cycle tracks all around the Stratford Centre shopping mall.

The Newham LCC group has long pushed for a better deal here, and after Newham narrowly missed mini-Holland funding, the borough and TfL pushed forward with the major scheme. It’s a great improvement and is nearly complete. During its consultation and build, the local group was heavily involved and also intervened to make the roadworks safe for cycling. 

Waltham Forest Mini-Holland

Where once local residents carried a coffin to protest the death of their shopping street, there are now tables with happy diners and businesses doing well in a more liveable neighbourhood. And transport experts from London and abroad now cajole the tired, but successful, LCC activists and local officers to give them guided tours of the award-winning cycling schemes in Waltham Forest.

Orford Road (where the coffin was once displayed) is a visual trope for a ‘healthy street,’ while the 4km of protected cycle track along Lee Bridge Road is close to completion. There are also several cycle hubs at stations and further low traffic neighbourhoods to come. Studies have shown that local residents are now more active and air quality is improving.

Blackfriars Roadworks

If you ride along Embankment you’ll know the link between the North-South and East-West Cycle Superhighways (CS6 and CS3) at Blackfriars is being dug up for the Thames Tideway project. What is surprising, given past roadworks, is the 10,000 daily cycle trips here that have barely been interrupted by one of the capital’s biggest construction schemes.

Southwark Cyclists, LCC staffers and TfL worked with Tideway to ensure tracks were kept open, instead of the old way of taking cyclists on a long detour or abandoning them altogether. TfL roadworks supremo, Michael Barratt, worked with LCC members and engineers to minimise disruption. And the lessons learned are, increasingly, being applied elsewhere.

Consultation Outcomes: 20mph, Adapted Bikes & Cycle Parking

A little known, but valuable part of LCC’s work is responding to numerous consultations. It may be dull to those not putting in the work, but that work can pay off inspades — in more ways than one. The original version of the Mayor’s London Plan put cycle parking for adapted bikes (used by people with disabilities) and cargo bikes into the ‘non-obligatory’ text of the document. Following objections from LCC and others, provision for such bikes is included in the (draft) official policy. The Plan (cover inset, pictured left), which is subject to a public enquiry, also includes higher cycle parking standards, which developers may attack. A commitment to 20mph as London’s default speed limit, a long-standing LCC position, came closer in the final version of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS), committing TfL to consider 20mph in every new traffic scheme.

Categories: London

Sadiq launches Cycle Action Plan

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 14:33

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched his long-awaited Action Plan on how he proposes to make London a “byword for cycling”. While the document doesn’t explicitly reference Khan’s commitment to triple the extent of protected cycle tracks on main roads (as he promised to LCC and London during our #signforcycling campaign), his Walking & Cycling Commissioner says Sadiq is on track to achieve this too. The Plan is a clear roadmap that shows how, and describes what else TfL will do to make cycling a natural, safe and enjoyable choice for everyone.

The Action Plan can be downloaded here. http://content.tfl.gov.uk/cycling-action-plan.pdf

Launching the plan this morning, Khan said: “Getting more Londoners cycling is essential for our city’s future health and prosperity… The evidence is clear - where we’ve built new high-quality cycling infrastructure, the routes have been hugely successful in getting more people on their bikes. Despite this, too many Londoners still don’t have the high-quality cycle routes they need in their local neighbourhood. I’m delighted to be announcing some of the major new work that will start on cycle routes across London next year, and in introducing new quality standards for cycle routes, I’m determined to ensure every Londoner feels comfortable and safe getting on a bike, whatever their age, experience or background.”

Dr Ashok Sinha, LCC’s CEO said: "The Mayor promised the London Cycling Campaign and our supporters he would triple high quality, protected space for cycling on London’s main roads by the end of this mayoralty. We welcome this Cycling Action Plan which sets out how this will be achieved and how the Mayor will make London a ‘byword for cycling’. The introduction of quality conditions for funding cycling infrastructure is a particularly important win in the document. LCC has long campaigned for this, to help ensure that only those cycling projects that exhibit international standards of safety and comfort are funded."

Our initial assessment:

The Action Plan is welcome - it represents a roadmap of where London goes next and the new quality criteria (see below) summarised in it should ensure schemes genuinely start to enable more cycling and a wider range of people to cycle more consistently. The long overdue timeline for schemes is particularly welcome.

However, there remain major concerns over the pace of progress thus far. Good schemes haven't moved forward rapidly enough, and where there has been rapid progress – e.g. on the Safer Junctions programme - the quality of infrastructure changes are largely below the safety standards LCC believes necessary.

Until they are fully released, there is also a concern that the new quality criteria, particularly on volume of motor traffic doesn't match our policy, or the Dutch CROW manual (the bible for Dutch cycle safety design) - it may not even match the DfT's own guidance on when to physically protect cyclists. The criteria look set to remove the worst schemes currently coming forward from funding eligibility, but we want to ensure they deliver cycling routes that people of all abilities can truly feel safe and comfortable cycling on. That remains to be seen.

What’s in the Action Plan?

Quality – This is the big news. A new version of the already excellent London Cycling Design Standards is promised, and in it will be new quality criteria for funding cycling schemes. This is a huge win for London Cycling Campaign and something we have long been pushing for. The new criteria are briefly laid out in the Action Plan: volume of traffic where cyclists are expected to mix with motor traffic should be less than “500 motor vehicles per hour (vph) at peak times, and preferably fewer than 200vph” (this nods to LCC policy and should match to DfT guidance); the speed limit should be 20mph where cyclists mix with motor traffic; lane and track widths should be “appropriate”; kerbside activity such as loading, parking should have “minimal impact”; those cycling should have “sufficient space for cycling relative to the” proportion of large vehicles; and collision risk from motor vehicle turning movements should be “minimised” to “give people cycling time and space to pass through [junctions] comfortably”.

This approach is clearly aimed to progressively raise the bar boroughs and TfL need to achieve to get a scheme approved. Much will depend on how rigorously TfL interprets words like “appropriate” and “minimal impact” – we will be watching closely to make sure they aren’t used to justify unacceptable compromises – but our best assessment so far is this approach will certainly remove the worst of the weak cycling schemes we still see far too many of. As the criteria stand, blue paint Cycle Superhighways and busy Quietways would not make it through – a positive step forward.

Targets – The Action Plan commits to doubling cycling numbers from 0.7 million trips per day in 2017 to 1.3 million by 2024 – which keeps the city on track to achieving the Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims in 2041. It also commits to increasing the proportion of Londoners living within 400m of a high-quality cycle route from 8.8 percent in 2017 to 28 percent in 2024, again to keep the Mayor on track with his existing long term target of 70 percent by 2041. The plan also commits to delivering over 450km of high-quality routes within 5 years.

Routes – Most of the news here had already been made public in separate statements, but the Action Plan now brings it all together:

  • The first six of the major routes the Mayor’s team are working on are re-confirmed, with approximate routings for both the Tottenham-Camden and Hackney-Isle of Dogs schemes shown.
  • Existing schemes are also timelined, with Cycle Superhighways CS9 and CS4 due to go into construction next summer, and a potential CS10/extension to the east-west CS3 scheme on Wood Lane and Notting Hill Gate is due for consultation “early” next year.
  • Clerkenwell Road/Old Street on our “London Boulevard” corridor is due for consultation next year.
  • The Mayor also recommits to CS11 despite Westminster council blocking it, and says the Canary Wharf-Rotherhithe bridge will get a planning application in 2019/20.
  • Routes will also be rebranded in 2019 - no more Cycle Superhighways or Quietways, but a unified brand, perhaps something like "cycle route", "cycle network" or "cycleway"?

Junctions – The Mayor says 27 of the 73 “Safer Junctions” programme have been completed (but we know that nearly all of them have been completed only partially and unsatisfactorily), and another 20 will be in construction by 2020, with the remainder at design or construction stage.

Evidence - the Action Plan rounds up a load of TfL’s current research and evidence base on cycling, showcasing how more cycling is good for London, how cycling fits into the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and tracking the current trajectory of cycling in London in terms of mode share, safety, demographics etc. It also identifies the key barriers to cycling for most Londoners (fear of collisions, worries about fitness, lack of knowledge about where to cycle, belief cycling less convenient, not identifying as a cyclist, not having access to a cycle, lack of infrastructure).

Cycle Infrastructure Database (CID) – TfL have been mapping every cycle parking stand, cycle stop box, track and lane, even every cycle route sign and painted logo on the road across London. Their open data CID launches in “spring” and combined with an open data map of all cycle routes, also due in “early” 2019, this should allow digital mappers to create better cycling routing apps than at present.

Partnerships – the Action Plan emphasises TfL’s work with others – the boroughs on delivering schemes, the police on close-pass and cycle theft operations, and with community groups with their cycling grant funding.

Categories: London

Great news! Cycle Superhighway 4 takes a big step closer

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 17:11

The Mayor of London has announced that Cycle Superhighway 4 (CS4) will move into construction next year.

The proposals for CS4 will see protected space for cycling stretching from Tower Bridge to the outskirts of Greenwich. The plans received overwhelming support at public consultation, with 83% of respondents supporting them.

During the consultations, LCC’s response stated that we were very concerned about the missing Lower Road section in Southwark. Encouragingly, the announcement today also addressed this - the Mayor says it will be put to public consultation in the New Year, and is set to move into construction alongside TfL’s sections. This is an important step to make sure that this vital, but currently missing link isn’t left out as the project moves forward.

In our original response, we also highlighted the urgent need for extensions of the proposals in both directions – east from Greenwich town centre to Woolwich, and west from Tower Bridge to reach and potentially cross London Bridge, linking to the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways.

The need to extend the scheme has been further underlined since the consultation. Beyond Greenwich, the first two cycling fatalities of 2018 were both on the route an extension to CS4 is likely to take. Oliver Speke was killed on the A206 Romney Road while Edgaras Cepura was killed less than a week later on the Angerstein junction, known locally as the “crossing of death”.

To the west, there is a current consultation on reducing motor traffic on Tooley Street leading from Tower Bridge to London Bridge. This is an interim safety scheme while we wait for the full plans for the CS4 extension, but it is being actively opposed by black cab drivers. Cabs won’t even be banned on Tooley Street: they will just be restricted to one-way in a short section of road near London Bridge station – which was the situation for years during the London Bridge station upgrade and their access two-way only returned very recently.

The cab drivers’ opposition risks derailing any future CS4 plans for Tooley Street – so we’re asking everyone to respond to the consultation here.

You can read the full consultation report, which includes TfL’s answers to issues raised, here. Since consultation, most of the changes to the scheme have been positive, including providing signalised crossings at the Rotherhithe roundabout, a parallel crossing of Oxestalls Road and more segregation on Deptford Church Street.

Categories: London

Mayor says Westminster’s Oxford Street plans will leave street “one of the most dangerous in London”

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 16:56

City Hall have responded to Westminster Councils new plans for the Oxford Street district, and we are pleased to see that the Mayor’s response echoes our own assessment of the proposals.

The Mayor says that they lack ambition, and by failing to significantly reduce or remove traffic from the area, will leave pedestrians at risk from both road danger and terrorist attack. We say the plans will not drastically reduce air pollution on one of the most polluted streets in London, nor will they reduce road danger, or make things safer and more comfortable for people walking or cycling.

You still have until Sunday to respond to the consultation here.

The Mayor has also firmly set out that these weak and timid proposals for Oxford Street will not receive any of the £80 million that was due to be spent on the area, as “contributing additional TfL funding to an unambitious scheme is not a good use of taxpayers’ money”.

The Mayor rounds off his letter with a call on Westminster Council to re-think their strategy, and turn Oxford Street into a place for people, not traffic – something we’d very much like to see as well.

The consultation on these weak plans closes on Sunday – you can respond here.

Read the Mayor’s full letter here.

Categories: London

Local Group News: December 2018

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 13:01

London Cycling Campaign has a network of over 30 Local Groups across London, one per borough.

Find out what they've been up to in their latest Newsletters.

If you're an LCC member, you'll receive your borough Newsletter in your latest edition of the London Cyclist  Magazine. 

If your borough hasn't produced a newsletter this time, you can always find out what they are up to by checking their website and social media pages. Or sign up to receive email updates direct from your local group.

Want to do more? Find out how to get involved with your local group: getinvolved@lcc.org.uk

 

Categories: London

Police target your close-passing hot spots

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 13:30

In a London-wide enforcement campaign the Metropolitan Police are targeting locations where dangerous close passing has been experienced by London bike riders and marked on LCC’s Stay Wider of the Rider map.

A humorous video below the map illustrates the problem of close passing and you can also sign a petition on close passing that will be sent to Minister Jesse Norman.  

Following an initial close passing enforcement programme based on police reports, the Met is now looking at locations where cyclists have reported close passes. You can add more locations here  – don’t hesitate to mark roads where others have already put in pins – it helps the police to prioritise locations.

We accompanied officers on a close pass operation in South London. A plain clothes officer rides along a route that is heavily used by both people on bike and others in cars. When the officer judges that a motor vehicle passes too closely for comfort there is radio contact with uniformed officers further down the road and a police motorbike rider ensures the vehicle and driver are pulled over.

In the space of 90 minutes, along one short stretch of road, police had to stop 5 vehicles for passing their plain clothes officer in a dangerous manner. Offenders who had not committed additional offences were given a presentation on the dangers of close passing, and sent on their way.  But in several cases there were other offences such as use of a mobile phone while driving and failure to show evidence of holding a driving licence – which incur charges and penalties.

The police also bring a speed camera to close passing operations - at a similar operation in Croydon they noted vehicle speeds of 58 mph in a 30 mph zone.

In the course of recent months the Met police have run more than 15 close passing operations in London and pulled over a significant number of drivers.

LCC would like to see all drivers understand the need to allow a safe distance (1.5 meters or more) when passing people on bikes. Close passing is both dangerous and intimidating but many drivers are simply unaware of what a safe distance should be, which is why we are calling on the government to make that clear to all road users.

Waiting until it is safe to pass a bike rider shows common courtesy as well as reducing the danger of a collision.  Until the day when safe passing is as natural for UK drivers as stopping at a zebra crossing, we need both police enforcement and public messaging.

Which is why we are asking that alongside dropping a pin on our close pass map, that you also sign the petition to Minister Jesse Norman. We are asking him to reinforce the good work of the Met police and other police forces in the UK by providing better guidance on safe passing distances to drivers and to run a public education campaign to spread the word.

Add your name to our petition here.

Categories: London

Government to appoint cycling champion and crack down on parking in bike lanes

Thu, 11/22/2018 - 11:40

Government promises improvements in enforcement against parking in bike lanes 

Reacting to  more than 14,000 responses to its review of the national cycling and walking stategy Transport Minister Jesse Norman is to step up enforcement against parking in bike lanes and will also appoint a new Cycling and Walking Champion.

Councils are advised to spend 15% of infrastructure budgets on cycling and walking schemes. The Department of Transport (DfT) says it will work with cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change action plan.

LCC reponsed to both the original Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the CWIS Review. In our response to the Review we noted the doubling of cycle use in London and said:

It is LCC’s view that the case for promoting cycling – for its congestion-busting, environmental and public health benefits – has been overwhelmingly and repeatedly proven. The methodologies for doing this effectively have been demonstrated many times and are readily available to government. Repeated consultations and advisory bodies have provided government with all the essential knowledge it needs to deliver. Fundamentally, the only thing now needed for the CWIS to be successful is the political determination to act. We look forward to supporting Ministers in showing that determination."

The Government press release lists the following actions emerging from the CWIS review: 

  • a review of guidance in the Highway Code to improve safety for vulnerable road users
  • new investment to support the police to improve enforcement by developing a national back office function to handle footage provided through dash-cam evidence
  • enforcement against parking in mandatory cycle lanes
  • the appointment of a new Cycling and Walking Champion to raise the profile of Active Travel
  • encouragement for local authorities to increase investment in cycling and walking infrastructure to 15 per cent of total transport infrastructure spending
  • work with key cycling and walking organisations to develop a behaviour change campaign alongside the action plan
Categories: London

Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 12:40

Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched

A new Transport for London 'data hub' reveals the scale of benefits for the local economy of schemes that improve conditions for walking and cycling.

Far from harming local businesses,  ‘healthy streets’ schemes help increase the number of visitors and passers-by on foot and on bike; encourage people to stay in the area and shop or stop off at a café; and help reduce the number of vacant shops and offices.

The data hub provides a wealth of statistics including the results of a University  College study which found that  in improved local streets (compared to un-improved ones) :

  • Footfall increased – the number of people standing, waiting and sitting nearly doubled and people walking in the streets increased by 93 per cent
  • People spent more time in the street, with a 216 per cent increase in activity such as going into a shop, stopping at a café or sitting on a bench
  • More retail space was filled by businesses, as there was a 17 per cent decline in retail vacancy·        

Other statitiscs recorded in the hub include:

  • Walking and cycling improvements can increase retail spend by up to 30%
  • Cycle parking delivers five times the retail spend per square metre than the same area of car parking
  • Over a month, people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than people who drive to the high street
  • Businesses using cycle freight save between 39 and 64% on delivery costs
  • 81% of Londoners say they can cycle including 3 in 4 of those over 65 and 76% of disabled people

Forward thinking business leaders welcome both the outocmes of healthy street schemes and the useful data provided in the hub:  Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Marble Arch business improvement district said, “Our members tell us that their staff, customers, guests, students and pupils need safer spaces in which to operate. It not only helps the trading environment locally but it boosts health and wellbeing and fosters a greater sense of community.”

TfL says it will keep updating the data hub as new research becomes available.

 

Categories: London

What to look for in a borough Transport Strategy/LIP

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 14:35

 

Councils will be working hard now to make sure that their “Local Implementation Plans” (or LIPs) are up to scratch. They are the main way boroughs get funding from Transport for London (TfL) outside of specific funding pots (such as “Safer Junctions”, “Liveable Neighbourhoods” or “Cycle Superhighways”). All London boroughs need to submit draft “LIP3” documents to TfL this month (November 2018). Most boroughs are now doing a public consultation and final submissions will be made in February 2019.

As our guide on LIPs says, LIPs must set out how a borough will deliver against Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) objectives, so a fair few boroughs are also consulting on a new Transport Strategy at the same time. The LIP is a short term delivery plan - it should include firm proposals rather than just allocations to general programmes of work, and it must demonstrably deliver on key MTS objectives. If it doesn’t, TfL can refuse it, and if the borough repeatedly refuses to play ball, withhold funding or take over the LIP themselves.

This blog has a handy round-up of most borough LIPs right now, and keep an eye out on any public consultation sites for them: https://lastnotlost.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/lip3drafts/  

Since there’s no standard format for these documents they can be fairly hard to get to grips with. Here’s what we think boroughs should (and shouldn’t) be saying in them: Proper targets

We think good borough targets should directly be in line with the MTS and specific - with clarity to how data is going to be collected, how regularly and should cover outputs such as mode share of cycling and/or percentage of pupil journeys to school cycled, not just less important inputs (number of Bikeability training sessions delivered). Targets should be ranged across three years (timeframe of the LIP), a medium-term target (2025-2030) and long-term targets (the MTS runs until 2041). As an example, Camden’s long-term objective is “every resident and visitor will have somewhere to keep their cycle”. A commitment to deliver 1,000 cycle parking spaces might sound impressive but how many spaces are needed to achieve Camden’s long-term objective? 

Think about how the borough should look in 2041 - there are seven LIPs before then, so about 15% of any target should be delivered by this first LIP. Good stuff for cycling

We would hope to see the following in most LIPs:

  • commitment to protected space for cycling on main roads including explicit support for any TfL Superhighway or strategic future route schemes in the borough
  • a plan for a cycle network based on TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis and a commitment to enough routes to fulfil the MTS commitment that 70% of residents live within 400m of a strategic, high-quality route
  • lots of cycle parking - secure on-street parking near people’s homes, visitor parking near shops and secure parking at stations;
Good stuff for everyone

Reducing motor-traffic and road danger is vital for everyone, and fulfilling the MTS. That should be:

  • a commitment to reducing traffic volumes and re-allocating space from motor vehicles to other modes; “low traffic neighbourhoods”, “modal filter (cells)”, area-based traffic reduction etc. Or, as they’re sometimes known “road closures” as well as “School Streets” (timed road closures around schools at drop-off/pickup times)
  • increased coverage of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs, residents parking) and a reduction in the space allocated to car parking
  • 20mph borough-wide
  • redesigns of junctions in favour of walking, cycling and safety.
Good stuff for walking

Measures to improve walking are usually also good for cycling. Look for:

  • “continuous pavement” or “blended crossing” treatments on side streets
  • improvements to pedestrian crossings, including ensuring all arms of signalised junctions getting pedestrian phases, reduced wait times/increased crossing times etc.
How to spot a poor plan

If a good plan has lots of targets and specific schemes for implementation, then a plan that’s doomed to fail, or that is just playing lip service (pun intended) to the MTS will likely contain much vaguer commitments. It may also feature:

  • pushing Quietways above main road tracks (these have proved slow, difficult to deliver and often poor quality - they’re a sign the borough doesn’t want to tackle main roads or tough schemes)
  • caveats, evasions or even opposition to the MTS key targets - caveated phrases like “will seek to develop plans for”, “subject to resident and stakeholder consultation”, “subject to scheme justification”, “look for opportunities to incorporate cyclist early release stages and advance stop lines”
  • pedestrian crossing improvements limited to “countdown timers”
  • loose commitments without a specific proposal in the LIP - where is the first “low traffic neighbourhood” going to be? Which roads and junctions are going to be improved?
Categories: London

Bicycle Film Festival comes to London this November

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 15:42

Back with exciting line-up of shorts and feature films from around the world along with a host of supporting events and parties, the Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) returns to London 22-25 November. 

As the official charity sponsor of the festival, LCC is looking forward to a busy long weekend chock-full of cycling related fun and we hope to see many LCC members and supporters in attendance to celebrate the bicycle through music, art and, of course, film.

What's On? Thursday 22

LAUNCH PARTY
6PM - Look mum no hands!

Kick off the festivities with a preview of the film programme by the festival director Brendt Barbur, along with music from LMNH's very own Lewin Chalkley, visuals from the BFI and FREE BEER thanks to Vedett at Look mum no hands! from 6pm.

The launch party is free to attend.

Sign up

Friday 23

PROGRAMME 1: THE BIG LANDS

The Big Lands is the story of a 2,000 kilometre adventure on the Trans-Labrador Highway in Canada, which connects handfuls of communities struggling to survive, and stretches the sense of what is possible on a bike.

TICKETS ON SALE SOON

Saturday 24

PANEL DEBATE
12.30PM - Hackney Picturehouse (free event)

Join the discussion at the BFF’s panel discussion to explore how culture can affect policy changes in order to make the city truly cycling friendly. LCC Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham will also be speaking on the panel.

Sign up

SCREENING PROGRAMME

From 4pm - Hackney Picturehouse

From a rich collection of animated films about the bike to short films documenting urban bike communities in cities around the world, join us at Hackney Picturehouse for a full afternoon of screenings.

Book tickets

AFTER PARTY

8PM till late! (free event)

Number 90, 90 Wallis Rd E9 5LN

Sunday 25

GRAVEL RIDE
8AM - London Velo, Deptford (free event)

Explore the country lanes and single track in Kent. Starting at London Velo in Deptford, riders will head south into the hills for a challenging gravel ride that takes in the picturesque countryside of Kent.

The ride is free to enter but the BFF asks that you make a £10 donation to London’s Air Ambulance, an important service that has helped many London cyclists.

Sign up

SCREENING PROGRAMME

From 2pm - West Norwood Picturehouse

Whether returning from the morning’s gravel ride or just about recovered from the after party, join us at the West Norwood Picturehouse for a series of screenings to wrap up the last day of the festival. Screenings include worldwide cycling and sport shorts, Moser’s Dare to Win and Vittoria De Sica’s masterpiece Bicycle Theives.

Book tickets


Categories: London

Westminster’s business as usual approach is failing Oxford Street, and the wider area

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 12:34

London Cycling Campaign is frustrated and disappointed that Westminster Council’s proposals for Oxford Street fail to demonstrate any conviction to truly transform the world famous shopping district for the better.

Commenting on the proposals LCC CEO Dr Ashok Sinha said:

“The council’s timid proposals will not decisively reduce motor traffic in the area as so urgently needed. As a result, Oxford Street will continue to be choked by traffic fumes, blighted by overcrowded pavements, and present unacceptable dangers to cycling. It’s as if the council actually want it to be an embarrassment among global, 21st century destinations.”

We have been working closely on Oxford Street with the charity for everyday walking, Living Streets. On the consultation, Joe Irvin, CEO of Living Streets, said:

"The problems of road safety, overcrowding and pollution in Oxford Street, together with the challenge to its retail offer, require a transformative plan and we are not convinced these proposals are enough to meet the challenges facing Oxford Street. We also remain concerned that traffic domination across the wider area is not being adequately addressed.”

To transform the iconic shopping district into a street that can be used and enjoyed by all, Westminster Council need to stop opposing the original plan to remove traffic from the whole route, provide high quality cycling routes east-west and north-south, and work with TfL to improve bus services for the area, as well as take decisive action to reduce motor traffic volumes across the entire area. Only then can Westminster deliver the Oxford Street residents, businesses and all of London deserves.

-        Read more of our thoughts on Oxford Street here: https://lcc.org.uk/articles/westminsters-oxford-street-district-plan-too-weak

Categories: London

Pages