London Cycling Campaign News

  • Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations
    on 14th September 2018 at 4:52 PM

    Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations In a letter to EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, says the EU should set earlier start dates for regulations that will require manufacturers to build lorries without extensive blind spots. The EU commission agreed earlier this year that future lorries must be required to have good direct vision (not just via six mirrors that have to be constantly monitored in town), but it set distant dates for the regulations to come into force: 2026 for new lorry models and 2029 for all new lorries.   The Mayor wants those dates brought forward by two and three years: 2024 for all new model types and 2026 for all new lorries. While some manufacturers, like Dennis Eagle, Mercedes and Scania, already supply lorries with good direct vision the new designs are still not offered by all manufacturers and prices remain higher than for old-style lorries. Increased production and usage of lorries without blind spots will help achieve the Mayor’s target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2041. Currently lorries are involved in 20% of pedestrian fatalities in London and half of cyclists fatalities. Having direct sight of other road users has been shown to helps drivers avoid collisions.    Increased production of lorries with good direct vision will also help bring their costs down to those of conventional lorries. The Mayor has introduced a Direct Vision Standard (rated from 0 to 5 stars) in London and set a deadline of October 2020 for lorry operators in the capital to meet a one star deadline and 2024 for a three star deadline. However, because of limited availability and slow uptake of  the new lorry types, operators of zero star lorries will, on an interim basis, be able to enter London as long as they meet ‘safe system’ mitigating measures which will include having both camera systems and electronic alert systems in place on their vehicles. LCC has strongly championed the use of lorries with good direct vision and wants them to become the norm in London, as promised by the Mayor. The refuse sector in London has switched almost entirely to five star direct vision lorries and the same is true of airside vehicles. Forward thinking operators such as Tideway, Cemex, Explore Transport and Riney are already using five star lorries for both construction and other freight. […]

  • Big win: Bank junction safety scheme made permanent
    on 13th September 2018 at 3:36 PM

    The City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council has voted to make the Bank on Safety scheme permanent. This trial has proved that with political will councils can gain major safety, pollution-abatement, and quality of life benefits from reducing motor traffic and encouraging walking and cycling. LCC has long campaigned for action at Bank and congratulates the City for this major step forward. The experimental 18 month scheme had banned all through motor traffic from the previously notoriously dangerous and complex seven-armed junction 7 am – 7pm Monday to Friday, bar buses. The scheme has reduced collisions at and around the junction, improved bus journey times and has dramatically improved the junction for all users. It was, introduced in May 2017, followed concerted campaigning over many years from London Cycling Campaign, including a protest following the death of Ying Tao at the junction in 2015. The City have acted to make the scheme permanent despite intensive lobbying against it. “London Cycling Campaign has long campaigned for action to make Bank junction safer, and gave our support to the Bank on Safety trial from the start,” said Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator, LCC. “We are delighted that the City of London Corporation has now made the scheme permanent. This bold scheme has proved its worth, changing a hostile and dangerous junction into a space people can enjoy, while walking and cycling far more safely. We look forward to plans to improve the iconic space further, and to see many more such schemes to liberate the City’s streets for everyone.” In the City’s press release, Planning and Transportation Chairman, Chris Hayward also said: “It is a dream come true to see the Bank junction monitoring area become a safer place for members of the public to enjoy. Compliance to the scheme is currently at 96%. Additional measures will be explored to further improve the scheme’s performance and reach that end goal of 100% compliance at the junction. This would inspire City workers, visitors and residents to truly enjoy the iconic surroundings such as the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. I look forward to applying our learnings from this project and continuing to spearhead positive changes across the Square Mile after the City Corporation unveils its 25-year Transport Strategy next year.” Now that Bank on Safety has been made permanent, the City will likely move forward with its “All Change at Bank” vision for the area. LCC hopes that this will include further radical changes to Bank, potentially including removing the buses and improving conditions further, claiming back road space, improving the crossings and more. While Bank may finally be on track to being a place for people, not traffic, too many other junctions in London remain lethal to those walking or cycling. The changes at Bank have taken all of the campaigning clout and resources of London Cycling Campaign and the positive and progressive attitudes of City officers and politicians. But too often this is not the case elsewhere. Action to fix the worst junctions in London have seen delays, derailment and or no action at all. At best, these junctions are huge barriers to more people walking and cycling, at worst, they can prove lethal. That’s why we are pushing the Mayor to meet his Sign for Cycling commitment and fix the 33 most dangerous junctions much faster. […]

  • LCC Reaction to Judicial Review of CS11
    on 13th September 2018 at 1:00 PM

    LCC is very disappointed that today’s result of the Judicial Review called by Westminster Council of the planned new Cycle Superhighway 11 has kicked this vital segregated cycle route into touch. In calling a halt to the scheme the judge has clearly said that there were procedural problems in the way TfL has taken CS11 forward. That shouldn’t have happened and TfL needs to sort itself out. But this case has also shown that Westminster Council is seeking to lay down endless conditions for supporting CS11 - including as regards what happens in other boroughs - revealing that they actually don’t want to see it happen at all. The real casualty in all of this is the public for whom an essential safe cycling route will be further delayed. TfL needs to improve, but Westminster Council must stop using procedural tactics to veto cycling schemes and instead demonstrate genuine commitment to reducing the congestion that is blighting our city by making it safer and easier for Londoners to cycle. […]

  • Mayor answers questions on dangerous junctions - updated article following junctions petition from 3,000
    on 11th September 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Update 19 Septermber 2018 - Full transcript of Mayor's answers at bottom of this article Update September 13th 2018: Answering questions from London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised to provide a full list of the starting and completion dates for works on the 33 hazardous junctions identified under the previous Mayor. He blamed the complications of working with boroughs for delays in the pace of work. He also told the Assembly that of the 73 junctions identified for action under his Mayorality, works on 24 were complete, 41 at design stage and 8 at feasibility stage. Pidgeon told the Mayor of the petition from 'thousands of cyclists' about dangerous junctions and noted LCC's concern that completed works on some junctions weren't adequate and that 7 junctions had not been addressed at all - she called them 'the missing junctions.' Khan cited examples of Newham gyratory, Old Street, Chigwell, Tooting and Peckham where he said works were being completed this year. He said he would send a list  of junctions and completion dates to Caroline Pidgeon. Original article The London Cycling Campaign has today handed-in a petition from nearly 3,000 Londoners to Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling on him to fix London’s most dangerous junctions faster. (This, and below from LCC's press release.) Khan had pledged during LCC’s Sign for Cycling election campaign to complete the Better Junctions programme by the end of his first term in 2020. But LCC says progress on some of the most dangerous junctions in London has been far too slow for him to keep that promise. Of the 33 Better Junctions in the programme started by the previous Mayor Boris Johnson, less than half have seen improvement. Of the remainder, 11 have seen plans consulted on, but remain in limbo, yet to begin constructed. And there are seven junctions, including the Woolwich Road roundabout where Edgaras Cepura died earlier this year, that have seen no progress at all. Many of these junctions are already proven to be lethal to cyclists and pedestrians; the lack of progress on the programme risks more cyclists and pedestrians being seriously injured and killed while London waits for action. Since election, while progress on the Better Junctions programme has been at a near standstill, Khan has also announced a Safer Junctions programme including over 70 further dangerous junctions. Again, however, far too few of these schemes are moving forward, and those that have been completed (over 20 of the junctions were announced having already had “significant improvement… within the last three years”) are mostly still too unsafe for vulnerable road users. The LCC petition calls on Mayor Sadiq Khan, and his new Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, to bring all junctions in the Safer and Better Junctions programmes up to international quality standards, publishing a timescale for doing so. LCC’s petition has been signed by nearly 3,000 people, and over 500 people also joined an LCC protest on dangerous junctions at Holborn on 20th August following the fatal collision with Dr Peter Fisher there. “We continue to welcome the Mayor’s commitment to making London a byword for cycling. But his specific promise to fix London’s most dangerous junctions is at serious risk of not being fulfilled. Lives are at stake. The 3,000 Londoners who have signed this petition want the Mayor to tell TfL that progress has been unacceptable and to prioritise delivery of this promise. ” said Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive, London Cycling Campaign. The current status of most Better Junctions and Safer Junctions can be found here.   Full transcript of Mayor's answers and Caroline Pidgeon's  questions 2018/2072 - Safer junctions in London for cyclists and pedestrians Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM What progress has been made in improving London's most dangerous junctions for cyclists and pedestrians? Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Thank you for your question. Any death or life-changing injury on London’s roads is a tragedy. Our Vision Zero approach seeks to end these distressing incidents by 2041. As set out in the Vision Zero Action Plan, the Safer Junctions programme targets 73 junctions on the TfL road network where the greatest numbers of people have been killed or injured while walking, cycling or riding motorcycles. While TfL’s road network carries up to 30% of traffic, it makes up only 5% of the city’s roads. There are a number of junctions on borough roads with high collision statistics and it is a key priority for TfL to continue working closely with boroughs to improve these junctions for all road users. Work on 24 junctions is now complete under the TfL Safer Junctions programme, with 41 at design or construction and eight at feasibility stage. This represents a significant acceleration from where things were previously. Construction at the Highbury Corner Safer Junction started on 28 June [2018]. The improvements include removing the roundabout, creating a two-way traffic system and introducing segregated cycle lanes, making the area safer for walking and cycling. Works continue on-site to remove the Baker Street gyratory, including improvements at the Safer Junction of Baker Street and Marylebone Road. Construction has also started on the Safer Junction at Chigwell Road and Southend Road as part of the project to introduce pedestrian crossings on all arms of Charlie Brown’s Roundabout, with completion on target for 2019. TfL is working on an ambitious Safer Junctions delivery programme for 2019/20 and I plan to announce further completion targets later this year. Our innovative Healthy Streets projects in Peckham and Tooting will go out to consultation in the coming months. Construction could start by the end of next year, subject to consultation. These proposals will greatly improve the safety of pedestrians at a number of busy town centres. I have also requested that work to transform Old Street Roundabout takes place as a priority following the recent serious collision between a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and Sarah Doone [London citizen], who was cycling at the time. We will remove the high speed gyratory and introduce new safe cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings. Construction is being brought forward and will start later this year.   As I have said, working closely with the boroughs is also vital and I have contributed significant funding to the boroughs to reduce road danger on local roads. For example, TfL is also working with the London Borough of Newham to remove the Stratford gyratory and introduce segregated cycle lanes. The latest phase of these improvements at Stratford will be opened on 17 September [2018]. These are just a few examples demonstrating the progress made, the ambition and scale of my investment programme, and my determination to eliminate all death and serious injuries from London’s streets by 2041. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: Thank you. London has far too many unsafe junctions for both pedestrians and cyclists. An example is the Holborn gyratory, where Dr [Peter] Fisher was killed just last month. This junction has claimed the lives of four cyclists in the last five years. Now, your predecessor promised to fix 33 of the most dangerous junctions in London during his tenure and he failed. You pledged to complete these in the mayoral campaign. By what date will these junctions be safe under your watch? Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Do you mean the Better Junctions programme that the previous Mayor announced? Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: Yes. Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): I have a timeline for those. There is a list of all of them with the timelines. I can send them if that is easier. Tony Arbour AM (Chairman): Yes, I would rather you did it that way. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: That would be helpful. Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Is that OK, Chairman? It is a long list. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: By roughly when will they all be complete? Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): On the Holborn one you referred to we are working with Camden Council. The answer is that Camden Council is working closely with TfL on measures to reduce danger at key locations, including Holborn. I understand the safety concerns extend to the whole operation of the gyratory and I have made it clear we see it as a key priority for TfL to work with Camden to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. It is in Camden’s hands. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: No date. Perhaps we could get the list of those. That would be helpful. At present my understanding is that only about 13 have been completed of that list, and of these the London Cycling Campaign would only describe one as very safe for cycling. Many of the completed junctions only partially provide safety for cycling. What is most worrying for them is that plans for seven junctions are missing completely. There are no published plans, there are no consultations, there is nothing. When will you come forward with plans for these junctions? Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): There are eight that I referred to in my answer to your question. Of the 73 -- Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: No, I am talking about the 33 now. The Better Junctions, not your Safer Junctions. Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): The 33. All of them have a delivery start date and all of them have a delivery completion date as well. Which are the seven you are referring to? Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: Perhaps you could provide it for all of them. Apparently, there are seven junctions that we do not have any plans out for. Perhaps you could let us know in writing. Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Yes. Chairman, I have a list here of 33. All of them have a delivery start date and a delivery complete date. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: That sounds promising. Looking at your long-term plans, you have real ambition - Vision Zero - around eliminating all fatal and serious collisions by 2041. With respect, I think you will be 71 in 2041 and I expect it will be very hard to hold you to account for these past promises. Do you accept that we need more pace and more rapid progress to tackle these junctions and do you recognise the concerns that thousands of cyclists in London have? They have signed a petition that they have submitted to you. They are frustrated at the progress both under [The Rt. Hon] Boris [Johnson MP], frankly, and also now under you. What commitment can you give them today? Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London): Sure. One of the roles we have as politicians is to explain to people what we are doing, but also explain the reasons for delays. One of the reasons for delays is that we have to work with councils. Only 5% of the roads are TfL roads. The remainder are council roads. We have to work with them in relation to consultation, otherwise we are challenged. You will know that on a regular basis I am taken to court by Westminster [Council], for example. We have to make sure we consult with councils. We have to make sure also that if there are other projects taking place in the same place, we line them up. Old Street is a good example in relation to trying to line up works taking place at the station with feasibility work. The other reality is that we do not want all of London dug up at the same time because that leads to all sorts of traffic chaos. We are trying to plan the stages but we are going as fast as we possibly can. Any ideas to accelerate, Chairman, I am happy to hear. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Mayor &nbs […]

  • Local Group News: September 2018
    on 6th September 2018 at 11:58 AM

    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.  Bexley Cyclists Newsletter Bromley Cyclists Newsletter Camden Cyclists Newsletter Ealing Cyclists Newsletter Haringey Cycling Campaign Newsletter Harrow Cyclists Newsletter Havering Cyclists Newsletter Hounslow Cycling Camapign Newsletter Cycle Islington Newsletter Kingston Cycling Campaign Newsletter Merton Cycling Campaign Newham Cyclists Newsletter Richmond Cycling Campaign Newsletter Southwark Cyclists' 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: &nbs […]

  • Going Dutch! The David Eales Memorial Ride cycles again this year from London to Amsterdam
    on 4th September 2018 at 11:53 AM

    A tour to the Dutch cycling city is a must says Nick Moffitt - and there's still time to join the 2018 ride You'd  probably  never  guess  that  I  could  make  the  350  miles  to  Amsterdam  just  by  looking  at  me.  And  when  people  find  out  that  I've  made  the  journey  twice  on  my  heavy  Dutch  omafiets('grannybike')  I  do  get  a  raised  eyebrow  or  two.So  how  did  an  out-of-shape  dad  manage  to  lead  a  rag-tag  band  of  commuters  and  monthly  social  riders  on  an  award-winning  (the  ride  won  a  2017  London  Cycling  Award)  international  cycling  adventure?Well  I'll  let  you  in  on  my  big  secret...  it's  far  easier  than  it  looks. For  most  people,  the  David  Eales  Memorial  Ride  is  their  first  long-distance  or  non-UK  tour.  We  spend  two  days  riding  through  Belgium  and  two  through  the  Netherlands,  with  an  optional  two-day  'prequel'  ride  from  London  to  Dover  for  the  more  committed. We  cycle  on  smooth  protected  cycleways  beside  canals,  railway  lines  and  roadways.It's  not  uncommon  for  riders  to  cry  out  "I  wish  our  borough  had  something  like  this!",  or  "We  should  get  our  council  out  here  to  see  how  it's  done!" My  involvement  began  when  I  first  spotted  an  ad  for  an  LCC-managed  fundraising  ride  from  London  to  Amsterdam  in  the  pages  of  this  magazine.  A  number  of  us  who  had  registered  took  over  planning  when  LCC  had  to  cancel  the  event  at  the  last  minute. I  reached  out  to  David  Eales,  prominent  member  of  LCC's  Ealing  borough  group,  who  intended  to  travel  on  his  recumbent  tricycle.  David  helped  us  get  our  plan  for  the  trip  together,  but  his  most  important  lesson  was  not  to  overcomplicate  things.  He  taught  me  that  once  you  have  lodgings  and  ferry  tickets  sorted  out,  the  rest  of  it  is  really  just  getting  on  bikes  and  pedalling. Sadly,  David  died  from  Stevens-Johnson  Syndrome  that  summer and  he  never  got  to  join  us  on  the  trip.  We  decided  to  dedicate  the  Amsterdam  ride  to  his  memory.  We  filled  the  empty  spot  on  the  ride  at  David's  wake and  in  September  of  2016  six  of  us  cycled  to  that  beautiful  Dutch  city. ABOVE: our route from London, via the Dover-Dunkerque ferry crossing, and on through Belgium and the Netherlands to Amsterdam. The 2017 Ride Four  veterans  of  the  2016  journey  joined  nine  new  riders  for  last  year's  return  outing.  Among  our  mixed  fleet  were  three  Dutch-style  upright  commuter  bicycles,  two  recumbent  tricycles,  and  one  Brompton  folder.  To  see  us  go  past,  you'd  never  guess  how  much  distance  we'd  end  up  covering. Six  of  us  made  the  extra  two-day  trip  from  London,  starting  at  Parliament  Square  and  enjoying  the  lovely  cycling  facilities  of  Cycle  Superhighways  3  and  6  along  the  Embankment  and  Blackfriars  Bridge.  Quietway  1's  best stretches took us to Greenwich, and once we crossed into the Eastern Hemisphere we followed  the  quiet  back  roads  of  Bexleyheath  toward  National  Cycle  Network  route  1. Lunch  on  the  first  day  was  a  stop  at  the  cafe  in  the  fantastic  Cyclopark  on  National  Cycle  Network  route  177  in  Kent  —  a  stretch  of  the  old  disused  A2  alignment  that's  now  something  of  a  handy  protected  bypass  route  for  some  of  the  squirrelly  bits  of  NCN1. We  stayed  the  night  in  Whitstable,  sleeping  through  Storm  Aileen  and  waking  up  to  clear  skies  and  a  brisk  tailwind.  We  felt  relaxed  as  we  climbed  hills  through  picturesque  forest  via  the  Crab  and  Winkle  Way,  a  converted  railway  track.  We  soon  passed  through  Canterbury  to  glide  eastward  toward  Sandwich  and  the  coast.  A  quick  stop  for  fish  and  chips  in  Deal  left  us  plenty  of  time  to  cruise  up  the  gentler  (though  longer)  eastern  slope  of  the  Dover  cliffs  against  a  steady  headwind. At  a  hotel  bar  near  the  port  of  Dover  we  gathered  all  but  one  of  our  number  and  rolled  in  together  to  board  the  ferry  to  Dunkerque.  A  simple  two-hour  crossing  and  we  were  settled  in  for  the  night  at  an  inexpensive  hostel  near  the  French  ferry  terminal. Before  setting  off  the  following  day  we  gave  the  bikes  and  kit  a  final  check,  and divided into smaller groups of four to five riders to make our way to Belgium.  We saw a general improvement in safe cycling provision with each day we travelled. Level terrain, smooth paving, courteous driving and a tendency to take the details seriously made quite a contrast to what we were used to.     Belgian beers and cobbles My  group  picked  up  our  fourth  rider  at  the  Dunkerque  railway  station  and  we  headed  through  the  forest  to  the  Belgian  border.  No-one  at  the  café  on  the  Belgian  side  batted  an  eye  at  how  early  it  was  for  us  to  have  our  first  celebratory  beers  of  the  day. For  the  most  part  we  navigated  our  way  through  Belgium  by  following  canals  and  railways.  The  airy  cycle  tracks  beside  the  inland  waterways  of  Flanders  are  a  definite  cut  above  the  gloomy  rubble  we  generally  call  towpaths  in  England.  And  with  the  prevailing  wind  at  our backs,  it  was  an  easy  day's  pedalling  to  Bruges. Getting  to  and  from  these  straight  routes  was  made  easier  by  the  excellent  knooppuntennetwork.  The  whole  of  Belgium  and  the  Netherlands  is  dotted  with  numbered  signs  representing  locations  on  a  map.  Each  sign  lists  one,  two  or  three  nearby  nodes  with  an  arrow  indicating  whether  to  turn  left,  right,  or  go  straight. We  wrote  down  sequences  of  numbers  while  planning  the  trip  and  knew  that,  for  example,  '01,  84,  09'  would  take  us  from  the  border  café  to  a  lunch  stop  in  the  town  of  Veurne.  If  we  got  separated  for  some  reason,  we  could  call  each  other  and  quickly  say:  "Let's  all  meet  up  at  knooppunt  08  in  Nieuwpoort,"  and  know  we'd  all  arrive  at  the  exact  same  landmark.    Bruges to Antwerp Bruges  is  the  best-preserved  medieval  town  in  Belgium,  and  it's  a  fantastic  place  for a night out. The cobbles are a bit rough to ride over, so we stored the bikes in our hostel's indoor parking facilities and walked to the central square for dinner. The hostel even had a lovely bar on the ground floor, and some riders decided to just relax and recover from their first long day's ride. It was with a mix of regret and high spirits that we left Bruges the next morning to make our way to Antwerp. The morning ride was another pleasant canal route to the city of Ghent, with a pit-stop for coffee and cakes at a mouth-watering bakery in the little hamlet of Bellem. Ghent has recently begun filtering motor traffic out of most of the city centre, which makes it far more pleasant to cycle through. The market square has you spoiled for lunch options, and the biggest challenge is getting the will to leave on schedule. Alas, my pannier rack had cracked, and we needed to get some parts to help another team with their mild mechanical troubles. As luck would have it Ghent hosts one of the most famous bike shops in Europe: the century-old Plum Gent is not just a simple repair shop, but a piece of cycling history. The staff were too busy to fix our bikes at that moment, but were more than happy to let us use their workshop and tools. We took turns making repairs while the rest explored the adjoining museum of bicycles, some of which date back to the 19th century. We raced the sunset to Antwerp. Some teams arrived with a little daylight left, but most of us arrived after dark. There are no bridges over the Scheldt here, but the tunnels underneath have levels specifically for cycling across — the lifts up and down are spacious, but it's common for people to just take their bikes on the escalators.    Going Dutch at last The next morning we followed the cycle routes alongside the railway lines north. The Dutch border at Essen posed less of an obstacle than some barriers we navigated on Quietway 1 back in London. While it would be trivial simply to ride on through, it's hard to resist stopping to take a photograph in front of the bollard that separates the two countries. On arriving in the Netherlands, the approach to the route changes dramatically. Instead of hugging canals or railway lines, you can take your bike to just about any major road and find a lovely cycle track alongside it. We followed the road atlas straight into Roosendaal for lunch, and straight out again towards Rotterdam. The countryside in south-east Holland is rural, but populated and we rode along raised dikes while schoolchildren passed us on their way home from school. The Haringvliet is a broad estuary that flooded with seawater in the 13th and 15th centuries, and the bridges across it have an entire separate section for cycling and farm vehicles — meaning you can turn your attention to the stunning views without worrying about the high-speed motor traffic on the rest of the structure. Although Rotterdam has plenty of bridges, the best way to enter it is via the Maastunnel. This impressive structure was built by the United States just after World War II to help restore shipping in the city. Again, spacious lifts are available, but some riders simply can't resist the novelty of joining the locals in taking their bicycles on the escalators. On the final day we rode from Rotterdam first to a café famous for its apple pie and then pressed on for the final stretch. Even the least athletic of us found that four straight days of constant cycling had built up our endurance and we made good time through farms and greenhouses, past Schiphol airport and into the Amsterdamse Bos. We emerged briefly onto the streets of Amsterdam before entering the lovely Vondelpark. At long last we pedalled our bikes through the center of the Rijksmuseum and posed for celebratory photos in front of the 'I Amsterdam' sign. It was only at this moment that it sank in just how far we had travelled under our own pedal power. And that we'd finally gone Dutch.   THE 2018 RIDE The David Eales Memorial Ride (named after the late Ealing Cycling Campaign member, pictured left) is an annual event and we're always looking for new riders to share the adventure. Registration is open all summer for this year's ride, which takes place from 15-18 September (with the optional two-day ride from London on 13-14 September). When you sign up, you'll get regular info for beginners and experts alike on how to prepare for the journey. Learn more: Email: […]

  • Hundreds tell the Mayor his inaction #MustEndNow
    on 21st August 2018 at 4:23 PM

      Photo: Daniel Glasser  Last night, around 500 cyclists gathered, rode and blocked Holborn junction to protest the lack of progress on making London “a byword for cycling”. The protest ride, organised by LCC, stopped at the infamous junction of High Holborn, Southampton Row and Kingsway for speeches and to lay flowers in memory of the latest fatality in the area. Dr Peter Fisher, 67, was killed just metres from the junction by a lorry on Wednesday 15 August. He is the eighth cyclist to die on London streets this year, and the fourth to die in the immediate vicinity of this junction, and on the one-way tangle of streets around it, in the last five years. Photo: Daniel Glasser  People gathered on Russell Square from 17:30 on Monday evening, the road gradually filling with cyclists. At 18:00, it set off down Southampton Row, before swinging around the Holborn Gyratory, spreading out to cover all four lanes of traffic.   Photo: Daniel Glasser  The ride paused at the junction of High Holborn, Southampton Row and Kingsway, bringing the area to a standstill as bicycle bells rang out. “The impression of a sea of cyclists keeping a silence loud enough to deafen the traffic noise, near the spot where Peter Fisher lost his life, will remain with me for a long time. I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the London Cycle Campaign for marking the loss of one of UK homeopathy’s great champions, and for demanding action to prevent further futile deaths. It was a privilege to be part of this dignified and heartfelt effort. Thank you.” Suse Moebius, Director, Society of Homeopaths After speeches and a moment of silence while flowers were laid for Dr Fisher, the ride continued around to Bloomsbury Square Gardens. Dr Fisher’s death follows a pattern of recent fatalities and serious collisions at junctions long-known to be too dangerous, and where action has long been promised, but never delivered. As well as Holborn, other collisions including an earlier fatality this year at Woolwich roundabout have highlighted the need for far more urgent action on these notorious spots. The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, not only promised prior to election to make London “a byword for cycling”, he pledged, during LCC’s Sign for Cycling campaign, to triple the mileage of protected cycle tracks on main roads and complete the Better Junctions programme. Since his election, his Transport Strategy has promised a “Vision Zero” for London, with no more collisions that cause fatal or serious injuries by 2041. However, progress on these promises has been far too slow – the few kilometres of track Khan has completed are legacy schemes from Boris Johnson’s mayoralty. And despite putting several junctions through consultation, construction is conspicuously absent – to date, Khan has yet to tame a single junction, while TfL is advancing schemes at places like Camberwell Green, Vauxhall Nine Elms and Croydon Fiveways which clearly fail on safety. In the case of the Holborn junction, Camden have long called for changes to these streets, but a recent scheme nearby offered little safety improvements for cycling. Even progressive boroughs like Camden are failing to move fast enough and get the funding they need. But many other boroughs are getting away with far worse. Westminster Councillors opposed changes to the notorious Lambeth Bridge north roundabout on the basis (partly) of removal of a palm tree, and are attempting to permanently block Cycle Superhighway 11 from construction, including opposing changes to the notorious Swiss Cottage gyratory. The result of their opposition is that these schemes have stalled. The Mayor does not appear able or willing to deal with boroughs that won’t deliver on cycling and walking safety. The result is that from Johnson’s 33 “Better Junctions” list, seven remain without plans (including the Woolwich Road/A1020 roundabout, where there has been a fatality this year), 12 have been consulted on and not constructed, and 11 of the 14 that have been finished still feature significant safety issues. Khan has since added a further 77 to the “Safer Junctions” list for improvement, but is yet to complete construction on a junction on that list that was not part of a legacy project. Prior to a two minutes silence and laying of the flowers, speakers from Camden Cycling Campaign and London Cycling Campaign spoke at the protest: “I speak for everyone at London Cycling Campaign and the wider cycling community to offer our deepest sympathy at this time. Everyone who cycles and everyone who wants to cycle but sees the danger, cannot help but be affected by this tragedy,” said Terry Patterson, Chair of Trustees, London Cycling Campaign. “We are here to mourn, but we are also here to protest. Dr Fisher died on a route which is known to be dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists. This must end now. Too many times we have been asked to speak at similar vigils across London over the years, when warning signs have been obvious and councils alerted to the danger- but no action has been taken. Delays, inaction and lack of political will are leading directly to deaths and serious injuries on the streets of London. This must end now.”   Photo: Chun Chiu “Sadiq has one and a half years to go. Demand for cycling was growing even as he began his tenure. The evidence for providing space for cycling has never been more overwhelming,” said Steven Edwards, Camden Cycling Campaign. “Sadiq said he likes the idea of a car free day. How about the 15th August? Each year. In commemoration of Dr Peter Fisher? Make ‘Cycle To Work Day’, a car-free day!” Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator, London Cycling Campaign said “The delays, the excuses and the obstruction of projects that will make things safer for cyclists and pedestrians must end now. Road deaths must end now. Political inaction must end now.&rdquo […]

  • Protest: Monday, from 5:30pm, Holborn
    on 15th August 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Today we are mourning another cyclist, in another collision with a large vehicle, at another notorious set of junctions, in London. This time it was High Holborn in Camden, where LCC has already protested, in 2013, following the death of Alan Neve. This is the fourth cycling fatality in this small tangle of one-way streets and junctions in five years. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim today. While we don’t know the cause of this collision, we do know that High Holborn joins a growing list of junctions known to be hostile and dangerous, where in 2018, someone cycling has been killed or seriously injured. Alongside Woolwich Roundabout and Old Street, these are also junctions where action to improve them has been delayed or obstructed. This is not good enough. In a city which our Mayor has promised will become a ‘byword for cycling’, the progress on delivering safe space for cycling has been unacceptably slow. We need the Mayor to instruct TfL to make good his promise, including the Mayor’s Sign for Cycling pledges to LCC members and supporters, to roll out much more protected cycle tracks fast, and fix the most dangerous junctions as soon as possible. Join us in protesting at Holborn on Monday, from 5:30PM, to send a strong message to the Mayor, TfL and London’s Councils that they need to pick up the pace. They needs to break this lethal pattern. When: Monday 20 August Arrive from: 5:30pm Ride starts: 6:00pm Start location: Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BE End location: Bloomsbury Square Gardens, London WC1A 2RJ keep up-to-date with them on the Facebook event […]

  • Another day, another junction, another delay, another collision
    on 1st August 2018 at 3:37 PM

    The depressing cycle of inaction on the most dangerous junctions in London continues. Join us in demanding that ends now in our petition: sign here. In the last week, there have been three bits of bad news and one bit of good on the progress on making London’s worst junctions far safer. Bad news: collision at Old Street Last Wednesday (25 July) a young woman cycling was hit by a cement mixer at the notorious Old Street roundabout. The woman has been left fighting for her life, with severe injuries, and we are waiting for further updates on her condition. This is a roundabout that Boris Johnson said would be transformed, making it safer for cycling, with work starting in 2016 and being completed in 2018. Since then, however, nothing has been done. Despite huge public support at the 2015 consultation, work has been pushed back, and the junction is now not due to be finished until the end of 2019. TfL, the Mayor, Islington and Hackney councils must urgently answer why this vital, life-saving work has been delayed for years. It would appear that one reason overdue work would be down to finding an architect to transform the central roundabout area itself. But drawings of shiny seating areas don’t save lives – so why haven’t the road layout changes been done in advance of the public realm improvements? Bad news: Westminster delays Swiss Cottage Another lethal junction – the infamous Swiss Cottage gyratory – was due to be vastly improved under plans for Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11). Work, in fact, was due to start this Monday (30th July). However, Westminster Council won an injunction at the last minute to delay work on the gyratory until after a Judicial Review in September. Westminster Council are joining with local “Stop CS11” campaigners to fight the entire scheme from the gyratory all the way to the west end – because residents are worried about traffic displacing from the route. If Westminster council successfully does win the Judicial Review, then the scheme at Swiss Cottage will likely be delayed for years – risking many more lives in the meantime. There have been three fatalities in the last 15 years to pedestrians, five serious collisions with cyclists, and overall there’s at least ten injuries a year, with one serious. Westminster officers sat in meetings with the “Stop CS11” campaigners, TfL and LCC where we all heard how changes to the plans would address the issues Westminster was concerned about. As far as LCC is aware, Westminster has waited until just after the recent local elections to articulated its opposition to the scheme. On top of that, any finding against TfL would open up the potential for boroughs to veto schemes outside their boundaries – no part of the Swiss Cottage gyratory falls inside Westminster. Meanwhile, inside Westminster’s patch, it remains to be seen how long they will drag their feet on improving Oxford Street, exposing those using it to horrific pollution levels and the dangerous junctions along it. Good news: the Mayor publishes “Vision Zero” action plan The Mayor has published new action plans giving interim targets and more details for his plans to transform London’s transport system by 2041. The “Vision Zero” plans to cut deaths and serious injuries to nothing on London roads by then is clear in its approach and how it aligns with our work, such as the Stay Wider of the Rider campaign. It also is clear on the need for an accelerated junctions programme, committing £54 million over the next five years. But is that enough? And what will it be spent on? Bad news: Walking action plan timeline The Walking Action plan, that arrived alongside the Vision Zero action plan, worryingly includes a construction timeline that implies key junctions such as Lambeth Bridge North and South, consulted on in 2017, and Vauxhall Cross, consulted on in 2016, won’t complete until 2023. Waterloo South, consulted on in 2017, may not be completed until 2022 and other schemes will similarly not finish (or even start) until after the end of the Mayor’s current term. We’re still unclear about why there is potentially a six year delay between consultation and competition in TfL’s plans. Years more delays on dangerous junctions, more people in hospital fighting for their life, more families devastated. This simply isn’t good enough, fast enough. Sign our petition now if you want a Mayor who boldly tackles the worst junctions fast. […]

  • FreeCycle 2018: London's biggest family-friendly free cycling festival.
    on 1st August 2018 at 1:38 PM

    After a scorching few weeks, the heavens opened the evening before FreeCycle, and those up early on Saturday morning might have looked outside their window with a little trepidation, however it did not deter our amazing volunteers from guiding thousands of cyclists from every borough into FreeCycle 2018.  FreeCycle is a fantastic event in which families can enjoy riding through central London, taking over the roads on an 8-mile course with a majestic background of some of London’s most iconic sights, and the typically changeable British weather brightened up again for the rest of the day. The riders from Merton had to avoid a tree that fell overnight! We can’t thank our volunteers and supporters enough as this was an amazing feat which couldn’t have been accomplished without their help. These rides were also an amazing achievement for people unaccustomed to riding great distances. The greatest distances were from borough groups Hillingdon and Havering, whose participants cycled at least a 50 mile round trip, but it’s not only the outer boroughs that saw feats of achievement. One volunteer from Southwark said: ‘Great day out. One 7 year old with us cycled all the way in from Peckham, did a full circuit and rode back: they must have ridden around 19 miles.’ In addition to one ride from every borough (except the City of London), LCC arranged five community rides, including one from Poplar HARCA in Tower Hamlets. After leading participants to the course, ride marshals gathered at the Green Park rest and refreshment tent before setting off to lead participants safely home again.   Green Park on Saturday was packed with bicycle lovers enjoying the atmosphere as people spilled off of the route and into the main Festival Zone. LCC’s stand in the Cycling Village with Continental UK was hugely popular and our reflective yellow ‘Stay Wider of the Rider’ slap-wraps proved a big hit with the kids, as did our petition calling on the Department for Transport to raise awareness of the issue and educate the public, so that close passing becomes socially unacceptable. You can still sign the petition, record close passes on our map, and sign up for a sticker here Most importantly, thousands of people who don't normally cycle experienced the fun and freedom of cycling in London, hopefully inspiring them to get on their bikes again and again. Ride London have already announced the date for FreeCycle next year: Saturday 3rd August. Keep the date free and your eyes peeled to get involved next time! If you've been bitten by the group cycling bug at RideLondon FreeCycle, check out more LCC-organised events here. The best way to support LCC so we can do more community rides and activities is by becoming a member. &nbs […]