London Cycling Campaign News

  • Sadiq’s New Year resolutions
    on 2nd January 2019 at 1:22 PM

    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 pressure from industry to delay real road safety gains. […]

  • No zero star lorries on TfL contracts from October 2019
    on 21st December 2018 at 4:38 PM

    No zero star lorries on TfL contracts from October 2019 (photo courtesy Dennis-Eagle)  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 and reflect his commitment to LCC in 2016 to take the most dangerous lorries off our roads.  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 . […]

  • TfL’s rubbish Edgware Road scheme is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians
    on 21st December 2018 at 1:05 PM

    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.&nbs […]

  • Cycling wrapping paper
    on 20th December 2018 at 4:00 PM

    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. […]

  • 2018 Successes
    on 17th December 2018 at 4:42 PM

    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. […]

  • Sadiq launches Cycling Action Plan
    on 17th December 2018 at 2:33 PM

    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. […]

  • Great news! Cycle Superhighway 4 takes a big step closer
    on 13th December 2018 at 5:11 PM

    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. […]

  • Mayor says Westminster’s Oxford Street plans will leave street “one of the most dangerous in London”
    on 13th December 2018 at 4:56 PM

    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. […]

  • Local Group News: December 2018
    on 26th November 2018 at 1:01 PM

    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.  Camden Cyclists Newsletter Ealing Cyclists Newsletter Enfield Cycling Campaign Newsletter Hackney Cycling Campaign Newsletter Haringey Cycling Campaign Newsletter Havering Cyclists Newsletter Cycle Islington Newsletter Kingston Cycling Campaign Newsletter Merton Cycling Campaign Newsletter Newham Cyclists Newsletter Richmond Cycling Campaign Newsletter Southwark Cyclists' Newsletter Get Sutton Cycling Newsletter Tower Hamlets Wheelers' Newsletter Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign Newsletter Westminster Cycling Campaign Newsletter 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 &nbs […]

  • Police target your close-passing hot spots
    on 22nd November 2018 at 1:30 PM

    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. […]