London Cycling Campaign News

  • Retail Network Roundup: Rat Race Cycles
    on 7th December 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Whether you’re a newcomer, commuter or a seasoned roadie, one thing every cyclist needs is a good LBS, or local bike shop. LCCs Retail Network brings together the best bike shops across London to give our members exclusive access to get great discounts on repairs, parts, accessories and more! With over 120 shops to choose from, we're kicking off our Retail Network Roundup series as a way to help you find your favourite LBS and get to know some of the faces behind the workstands.  Local residents of Nunhead are sure to be familiar with the folks at Rat Race Cycles, a dedicated bike workshop that specialises in servicing, repairs and wheel building. We chatted with owner Peter Owen to learn more about the shop, how he feels London cycling culture has changed over the years and their upcoming birthday plans (psst, it’s this Friday, and there’s going to be a party!).  How did Rat Race Cycles get started? I learned my craft in the workshops of a few London bike shops and I set up on my own as a mobile mechanic in 2008. I gained a lot of customers in and around SE15, and in 2012 I took the chance to open a shop here. You switched gears to strictly workshop territory back in January 2016. How are you guys finding the new(ish) business model?  It's turned out to be a sound choice. People mainly buy off-the-peg bikes from either big shops or the Internet and we've always been workshop-centred, so it made sense to stop stocking bikes and make more space for the workshop. We still do plenty of bespoke builds, including working for expert framebuilders. What's your best customer story or strangest repair question you’ve gotten in the shop?  I'm pretty proud of the number of Transcontinental Race riders we've built wheels and prepared bikes for; conversely I'm often amazed by the creative ways customers find to damage, break or "modify" their bikes. For the real horror stories, you'll have to come in and chat to us! How did you initially get your start in bikes/cycling? I grew up riding my bike to school, then started taking it over the fields to the wood on a hill near home. It was only a couple of years later I discovered that people called that "mountain biking" and that there was a growing scene in the mid-90s. I moved to London for university and as well as getting around by bike I started racing at Beastway. Peter and the Race Race Cycles team What's your favourite thing about cycling in London? It's the best way to travel! Not only is it practically the fastest, most efficient and cheapest way to get around London, it's the most independent and you see so much more of the city.  What tips would you give to anyone thinking about getting into cycling in London? If you're nervous, find your local LCC Group and you'll find help, guidance and friendly faces. If you want to race or train, join a cycling club. And if you want to see how weird and wonderful it can be, head down to Critical Mass. And, of course, make sure you find a good LBS!  How do you feel cycling in London has changed over the last decade? It's changed hugely. The number of people cycling on the streets has increased so much, and it's great to see the infrastructure changing (gradually) to support them;  segregated cycle lanes have made life much safer for those who use them. That said, I'm still shocked sometimes by the level of aggression that some drivers think is acceptable to display to cyclists.  You wrote a piece last year on equality in cycling, where you emphasized the need for bike shops to actively take responsibility in creating and sustaining an equal environment from the workshop to the sales floor. How does Rat Race Cycles work to create an equal space for their customers, and do you feel like there has been any shift towards that goal in the London cycling community since writing that post? My wife wrote that article in response to the "Strongher" campaign and, to be honest, before that I'd never really thought about it in those terms - we've honestly always just treated people the same regardless of gender, race or anything else. And regardless of how much they know (or don't know) about their bikes, we want to be accessible to them. Among our customers we've got school kids, professors, elite racers, grannies, couriers, leisure pootlers and daily grinders and we try hard to welcome them all without patronising or venerating anyone. However, in the wider industry I'm not sure much has changed since that post (and I don't think the Strongher campaign has caught on in the UK). It is still an issue the industry needs to address, as it puts people off cycling, but I think the London cycling community is getting more balanced as it grows and it's great to see events like London Bike Kitchen's WAG (women and gender neutral) workshop nights making a positive difference. Do you run any workshops or events that cyclists should know about? Our space is a bit too small to run workshops in, but it's our 5th birthday on Friday 8th December and everyone's invited to our free Rollapaluza party at The Ivy House, SE15 3BE!  Everyone loves their LBS, but why do people in Nunhead love Rat Race Cycles? What makes your shop different, special or better than the competition? As I mentioned above, we welcome anyone and (almost) any bike, but we've worked hard to become (and remain) experts in the state-of-the-art bike tech so we have customers who trust us with their most cherished race bikes as well as those who rely on us to keep their commuter workhorses running smoothly.   Visit Rat Race Cycles Find your Local Bike Shop &nbs […]

  • What you can do to make construction traffic safer in your borough
    on 7th December 2017 at 12:02 PM

    What you can do to make construction traffic safer in your borough Almost anywhere you look in London the cranes are proliferating. More than 450 tower blocks are in construction or in the pipeline, and the Mayor is aiming for a massive building programme to get more affordable homes built. More building sites means more lorry movements and more potential danger for pedestrians and cyclists. We want to minimise that danger and a construction safety standard called CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) which already has more than 500 industry 'champions' including two London local authoritiess, can help.  As part of a joint project with TfL, LCC has written to the leader of every council that is not signed-up to the CLOCS body asking them to join. That’s a total of thirty one councils, because Camden and the City of London are already CLOCS ‘champions’ and they insist on CLOCS standards (see below) being followed by developers on all major construction sites in their jurisdiction. In short, following CLOCS standards means that sites have to have marshals to guide vehicles, all lorries arriving on site have to meet specific safety requirements, and all drivers have to have their licenses checked and have completed the Safer Urban Driving course. Hundreds of forward-looking lorry operators have already voluntarily signed up to CLOCs and the adoption of CLOCS requirements by councils will increase the level of uptake across the construction sector We have asked local LCC groups to re-inforce our message to council leaders by writing to the relevant cabinet member, and some have already done so. We also need the help of individual LCC members and supporters to raise the issue with local councillors, by email, by mail or in person. You are welcome to make the points below: ·         State that you are concerned about road danger from HGVs ·         Welcome the improved safety standards that are followed by CLOCS ‘champions’ ·         Tell your councillor that LCC has already written to the council leader about CLOCS ·         Ask that your council to become a CLOCS ‘champion’ like Camden and City of London   &nbs […]

  • Consultation on HGV permits and direct vision lorries
    on 30th November 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is committed to ‘Vision Zero’: an elimination of all fatal and serious road collisions by 2041. Part of meeting that commitment is a programme to exclude the most dangerous vehicles, those with the worst ‘blind spots’, by 2020. The latest consultation on lorry safety is intended to take another step towards achieving that goal. HGVs are involved in approximately 50% of cyclist fatalities and 20% of pedestrian fatalities in London. Transport for London says most respondents to its earlier consultation on lorry safety supported improved ‘direct vision’ (vision through the windscreen rather than via mirrors) for HGVs.  The Mayor’s latest consultation on the topic proposes a permit system for lorries (over 12 tons) entering London, starting in 2020, that would exclude vehicles rated at less than one star for direct vision [on a one to five star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) scale] unless they include an additional  range of ‘safe systems’ measures as “mitigation” for not making it onto even the first rung of the scale. Safe system measures would include: camera vision systems to cover blind spots, alert systems warning the driver of the proximity of pedestrians or cyclists, audible warnings outside the vehicle and approved training schemes for drivers.  In 2024 the threshold for exclusion will be raised to three stars, with the range of mitigation measures revised in the light of technology changes that may occur between now and then.  LCC welcomes the Mayor’s commitment to the elimination of all fatalities and serious injuries and we support the view that he stated after election:  ‘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.” Reducing road danger must continue to be a priority for the Mayor. The consultation document states that 50 – 60% of HGVs on the road do not currently meet the one star level of the TfL direct vison standard. This must change and operators must be incentivised to upgrade their vehicles by local authority contracts that specify the use of only the safest lorries, as well as by the kind of regulation proposed in this new consultation. Allowing vehicles with restricted vision to be used on London roads, provided they have specific mitigation measures, can only be a short–term policy while all operators switch to fundamentally safer models.  In both the refuse and the airport industries lorries with wide panoramic vision and next to no ‘blind spots’ are the norm – the same safety standards need to apply in urban streets. Companies like Dennis-Eagle and Mercedes have already developed five-star graded HGV cabs, previously limited to refuse collection and airside use, for various construction and delivery uses.  It is welcome that the proposed permit system in the Mayoral consultation will identify the current direct vision rating of every HGV. The Mayor must stick to his commitment ensure that “the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020.”  &nbs […]

  • First seven Liveable Neighbourhoods announced
    on 30th November 2017 at 1:22 PM

    The Mayor of London, his Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman and TfL have announced the first seven boroughs to receive funding for their Liveable Neighbourhood schemes. This is, as our Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham said in the press release " the first step to delivering the promise the Mayor made to our Sign for Cycling campaign, to enable every London borough to have the chance of such a scheme." The boroughs, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Lewisham and Waltham Forest are each set to receive an initial £1.25 million to develop their schemes. Further funding will be contingent on both how that pans out and on the schemes hitting other milestones. The first wave of schemes range from Waltham Forest (an existing mini-Holland borough) asking for £2.3 million to Hackney asking for a total of £10 million. Boroughs that have not received funding for schemes this year will receive further support and guidance to improve their bids to help them access funding in coming years - with a funding round avaliable every year. As well as the usual central London suspects of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, other boroughs that did not bid this year are Barking, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Enfield, Hammersmith & Fulham, Merton, Newham and Sutton. Some boroughs may have been caught out by the very tight deadline for this years applications, but hopefully our local borough groups can persuade all of those that didn't bid this year to bid next year, and those that did to up their game and get a share of the £114 million total pot with an improved bid. The schemes are aimed to "involve changes to town centres and their surrounding residential areas to directly improve conditions for walking and cycling, while reducing traffic dominance and supporting businesses by making local town centres more attractive." Schemes feature modal filters to cut rat-running, protected cycle tracks, junction redesigns and a new "cycle street". Schemes moving forward now are: West Ealing, Ealing Proposals include comprehensive improvements along the Broadway and to parallel quieter routes, reduced rat-running in the adjoining residential areas, parking controls, and new walking and cycling routes, including links to the new Elizabeth line station Greenwich Town Centre, Greenwich The scheme aims to transform Greenwich Town Centre by removing the dangerous and intimidating gyratory and providing a much more generous pedestrian environment, in particular on the approach to the World Heritage Site. It will also provide a safe cycling route through the town centre Hackney Central, Hackney Key routes in the town centre will be transformed by a reduction in traffic, the introduction of two-way protected cycle lanes on Mare Street, a ban on general traffic at the south end of Amhurst Road, and making three dangerous junctions safer, including Pembury Circus Crouch End, Haringey Under the proposals, pedestrian and cycling conditions in Crouch End town centre will be improved to help encourage more active travel in the area, tackling congestion and improving air quality and residents' well-being. The proposals, which residents will be consulted on, look to create a new square incorporating the clock tower, currently surrounded by traffic on all sides. Segregated cycle routes will feed the town centre, pedestrian crossings will be improved and traffic will be reduced on residential streets with new modal filters Romford Town Centre, Havering The project will enable more walking and cycling in Romford town centre by making the busy Ring Road easier to cross on foot and by bike. Existing subways will be replaced by pedestrian and cycle crossings at street level along with new bus lanes and public spaces Deptford Parks, Lewisham Streets in North Deptford will see reduced traffic through new restrictions. Walking and cycling will be transformed by a new north-south traffic-free route along the former Grand Surrey Canal, new Copenhagen crossings, cycle parking, and street lighting. New cycle routes through the park will link to the proposed new Bakerloo line station (New Cross Gate) Coppermill Village, Waltham Forest The funding will support the regeneration of St James Street and Blackhorse Road and will create access routes to the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands. Coppermill Lane will be turned into a 'cycle street', safer junctions and crossings will be added and the area will be improved with new wayfinding and planting More detail on the announcement at TfL's press office here. And expect more on Liveable Neighbourhoods from us soon! […]

  • Local Group News: December 2017
    on 27th November 2017 at 12:49 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. Barnet Cycling Campaign Newsletter  Brent and Harrow Cyclists Newsletter Camden Cyclists Newsletter Ealing Cyclists Newsletter Enfield Cycling Campaign Newsletter Hackney Cycling Campaign Newsletter Haringey Cycling Campaign Newsletter Havering Cycling Campaign Newsletter  Hounslow Cycling Campaign Newsletter Cycle Islington Newsletter Kingston Cycling Campaign Newsletter Lambeth Cyclists Newsletter Lewisham Cyclists 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 […]

  • LCC and ofo partner to get more Londoners cycling
    on 27th November 2017 at 9:57 AM

      London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is pleased to announce an exciting partnership with bike sharing company ofo which strives to get more people across the capital cycling. LCC’s expert cycling advocates will advise ofo to help best meet the needs of London’s cyclists, councils and wider community. ofo co-founder Zhang Yanqi recently announced his ambition to boost the number of journeys made in London from current levels of 2% to more than 30%, in order to make cycling even more popular than it is in Amsterdam. To do this he plans to roll-out up to 150,000 bikes across the capital, and will rely on LCC’s expert guidance. The company has already launched with 1,000 bikes in Hackney, Islington and the City of London, as well as Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich outside of the capital. The LCC Cycling Projects team will work strategically with ofo to help plan at a local level as to where and how cyclists want to access a bike sharing scheme. LCC will engage with its members and supporters at a local level to help build a successful bike share model. Over coming months LCC’s Cycling Projects team will also work with ofo to organise a number of events to target new and returning cyclists. These events will combine LCC’s expertise in cycling advocacy in London and ofo’s large fleet of state-of-the-art dockless hire bikes. For example, LCC and ofo are exploring the opportunity to place 200 bikes in West London Colleges as part of the charity’s Student Champion project. Both organisations will also work together to offer LCC membership to ofo’s registered users, including benefits such as liability insurance.  A number of tailored offerings will be made available over coming months. Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of LCC, said: “It’s hugely exciting for the London Cycling Campaign to be partnering with an innovative and responsible company like ofo. The potential market for cycle hire in London is huge, and we look forward to working with ofo to enable many more Londoners to enjoy the convenience and enjoyment of getting around by bike.” Joseph Seal-Driver, Operations Director for ofo UK, said: “This partnership will provide ofo with valuable expertise, while benefiting London and LCC by bringing a valuable and much needed service to the city. Together we will be able to transform the way that Londoners travel, getting more people cycling to slash pollution, ease congestion and boost health. “We’re determined to be a responsible, ethical and sustainable operator. We employ staff directly and pay them the London Living Wage, hire local bike shops to maintain our fleet and only enter boroughs once we have permission from the local authority.&rdquo […]

  • Tackling road danger and creating a better public space : Bank junction
    on 24th November 2017 at 11:46 AM

    As part of its partnership work with TfL and the Construction Logistics and Community Safety community LCC is looking at some of the innovative approaches to reducing road danger and improving safety implemented by CLOCS members. Bank junction has a poor safety record: in the space of 5 years there were more than 100 collisions resulting in 118 casualties, several serious or fatal.  For the City of London, the imperative to make changes came after the tragic death of young City worker Ying Tao in a collision with a lorry at the corner of Bank and Princes St in 2015.   City of London, like several other CLOCS champions, is also a highway authority and it has the power not only to require safety measures inside and outside building sites, but also to make changes to highway design. In the case of Bank junction the City had already identified the need to take action. The daily mix of 18,000 pedestrian movements in the morning peak hour, along with 1,600 cyclists, 220 buses and 1,400 other motor vehicles, created a hazardous junction as well as a  very poor public space in what is the very heart of London’s financial district. The decision to exclude motor vehicles, aside from buses, from 7 am to 7pm was taken in consultation with Transport for London, which is the highway authority for the red routes in London and also has some jurisdiction over the capital’s strategic road network, including Bank junction. City anticipates  that the new traffic scheme, currently installed on a trial basis, will help reduce collisions as well as making Bank more liveable. After five months of operation of the new scheme there is no question that the junction has become a calmer place, with a greater opportunity for pedestrians to enjoy some of the finest architecture in the City. Beyond making the infrastructure changes to reduce road danger at Bank City has also progressed it’s more conventional CLOCS commitments by incentivising developer best practice through the City Mark award programme which selects winners on the basis of improvements in FORS (Freight Operators Recognition Scheme) grading; progress towards safer vehicles with greater direct vision; improved driver and staff training; collision reduction and customer satisfaction. The City has also partnered with LCC and truck maker Dennis Eagle in simultaneously promoting cyclists’ awareness of road danger from lorries, and fleet operator awareness of new, safer lorry design features. The new Dennis Eagle Elite tipper lorry, graded 5 star for direct vision under TfL’s new vision grading system, was used for a safety demonstration outside St Paul’s Cathedral. Read more about the Bank on Safety scheme here.    &nbs […]

  • LCC is taking part in #givingtuesday
    on 23rd November 2017 at 11:14 AM

    London Cycling Campaign will be taking part in this year’s #givingtuesday campaign. The campaign, which began in America, is an antidote to the mass consumerism of Black Friday and aims to get people thinking of others in the run up to Christmas, be it through donating to charity, volunteering or simply helping a  friend, neighbour or family member. Since its inception in 2014,  #givingtuesday has become one of the biggest events in the global charity calendar, breaking successive Guinness World Records for the most amount of money donated online to charity in 24 hours. In 2016, £48 million was donated online via PayPal with the UK accounting for the second largest amount of donations. An estimated 4.5 million people in Britain also did something to support a good cause on the day. As a charity, we rely on the funds raised from member subscriptions and donations from indviduals like you who share our vision of making London the best cycling city. If you want to help create safe Space for Cycling, and take part of this year's #givingtuesday by supporting LCC, please make a donation today. […]

  • LCCs Retail Network Roundup: Condor Cycles
    on 21st November 2017 at 7:17 PM

      Whether you’re a newcomer, commuter or a seasoned roadie, one thing every cyclist needs is a good LBS, or local bike shop. LCCs Retail Network brings together the best bike shops across London to give our members exclusive access to get great discounts on repairs, parts, accessories and more. With over 120 shops to choose from, our Retail Network Roundup series was started as a way to help you find your favourite LBS and get to know some of the faces behind the workstands.  If you cycle in London, chances are you've heard of Condor Cycles. They're a household name to many in the UK, thanks to Monty Young who opened the shop back in 1948. The shop specialises in road cycling, touring, bike packing, and custom bicycles and builds. It also stocks a wide variety of kit and accessories for all of your cycling needs. We caught up with Claire Beaumont, Condor Cycles Marketing Manager to talk shop (and cycling).  How long has the shop been operating for, and how did you get into bikes/cycling?    Condor has been a family run business since 1948, nearly 70 years!   I got into cycling through my dad. He took my sister and me on a touring trip to Holland when I was 12. It rained and was really windy (luckily there are no hills) and I have loved cycling ever since.   What's your favourite thing about cycling in London?    That you can get anywhere in almost no time at all. The city is slowly opening up to being a really easy place to cycle compared with 5 or 10 years ago.   Tell us about your best customer story or strangest repair question you’ve gotten in the shop.    Condor is around the corner from Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital. We get a lot of requests to fix wheelchair punctures so now we keep a supply of suitable tubes in stock.   We also had a competitor come in during the 2012 Para-Olympics and ask for our help to set up his bike again. He was an amazing chap who had lost his leg and arm but balanced his bike easily and held a very rapid pace.    What tips would you give to anyone thinking about getting into cycling in London?    There is no need to rush, jumping the lights or cutting round buses it only really saves a few seconds. The risk isn’t worth it. Try to be comfortable looking over your shoulder or taking your hands off the bars to indicate. It will help other road users understand where you want to be and help you see other road users before you make your move. People aren’t mind-readers.   How do you feel cycling in London has changed over the last 15 years?    15 years ago I was one of a few people I’d see cycling to work. There was no space for cyclists and although there are still junctions like the Imax at Waterloo that still need work, there is a focus and a push to improve the roads. Saying that I do feel the buses have got much more aggressive in recent years.    Do you run any workshops or events that cyclists should know about?    Yes we run maintenance tips, handlebar wrapping workshops etc. Customers should follow our Facebook page to find out when the next events are on.   Everyone loves their LBS, but why do people in London love Condor?    Condor has always tried to stock a vast array of products and customers can spec their bike to their choosing so they don’t need to compromise. We also offer a bike fit with every purchase, because cycling shouldn’t be painful or a chore - it’s fun.   What makes your shop different, special or better than the competition?    Condor is the next step on for people who would like specialist knowledge and advice to take their cycling further.      Visit Condor Cycles   Find Your Local Bike Shop    &nbs […]

  • Response to the Mayor's Draft London Environment Strategy
    on 17th November 2017 at 3:44 PM

    The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has published his London Environment Strategy (LES). The London Cycling Campaign welcomes and supports the vision the LES sets out, namely that of a city with zero carbon emissions, clean air, more green spaces, greater biodiversity, resilience to climate change and sustainable management of water. We agree that increasing the long term wellbeing and prosperity of all Londoners requires London to live within its environmental means; and that action to do so can - and should - be used to reduce inequality and poverty and improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged. We also agree that there should be no trade-off between the LES and the Mayor’s economic development agenda: there is great potential for new economic activity through the pursuit of greener economy. However the long term targets in the LES will require the Mayor to set out a clear operational pathways towards their achievement, with interim staging points. Most especially, given that large scale shift away from motor vehicle use towards cycling and public transport will be integral to reducing pollution and carbon emissions, LCC would like to see a Cycling Delivery Plan established to achieve the cycling targets to which the Mayor has agreed. See LCC’s response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy consultation. As well as creating safer and more inviting road conditions for cycling we call on the Mayor to use the powers at his disposal to reduce car dependency: the MTS refers to an expansion of new models of cycle hire as well as car clubs/sharing/pooling, and LCC would like to see such expansion of affordable and convenient alternatives to car use and ownership reflected in the LES also. In the same vein we strongly support the references in both the LES and MTS to the value of cargo bikes in displacing motor vehicles for last mile deliveries (including e-bikes); we would support the Mayor in going further by incentivising their widespread uptake by businesses. Finally, we believe that there is a compelling case for the widespread – if not London-wide – deployment of smart, dynamic road pricing and traffic management. LCC’s full response to the LES may be found here. […]