London Cycling Campaign News

  • Hackney Council aims to reduce construction site road risk and join CLOCS
    on 16th March 2018 at 2:05 PM

    Hackney Council is aiming to reduce road danger around construction sites by become a Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) champion. Writing in response to a letter from Dr Ashok Sinha, LCC’s CEO, recommending CLOCS membership, the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville said: “We value the CLOCS scheme as a package of measures to implement best practice safety standards in the management of vehicles accessing construction sites, both on the sites themselves and on the journey to and from the sites. Hackney has a strong track record in promoting elements of this CLOCS standard.” “We do recognise, however, that we need to go further by becoming CLOCS-compliant as a Council, and especially in the area of improving monitoring and enforcement of CLOCS standards both on local construction sites and in the Council’s supply chains. To this end, Hackney’s draft Local Plan seeks new developments to achieve CLOCS standards on local construction sites and we are reviewing other measures required to meet this standard.” Hackney’s commitment to join CLOCS is in step with its neighbours, the boroughs of Islington and Tower Hamlets, which have also made a commitment to become CLOCS champions. The City of London another of the neighbouring local authorities, is already a CLOCS champion and requires all major developments in the City to follow the well-established safety standards laid out by CLOCS. CLOCS is an industry-led standard for the construction sector whose requirements include:  construction lorries that meet specified safety standards (including side guards, alert systems and six mirrors); drivers completing the Safer Urban Driving (SUD) course that includes on-bike experience; site marshals guiding vehicles in and out of sites; and operators agreeing lorry routes with local authorities.  Local authorities that become CLOCS champions, like Camden and City, incorporate the standards in the planning process so all major developments have to adhere to the same procedures and agree to periodic audits. […]

  • Construction Logistics Plans: safe working in a busy city
    on 9th March 2018 at 4:20 PM

    As part of its partnership work with TfL and the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) community LCC is looking at some of the innovative approaches to reducing road danger and improving safety implemented by CLOCS members.  Engineering, design and consultancy firm Arup employs 13,000 people in 35 countries. It’s UK arm is a CLOCS champion and it runs the Construction Logistics Plan training scheme in association with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and Transport for London (TfL).    Construction Logistics Plans: does your borough require them?  As military commanders well know logistics can win or lose battles. In construction, logistics serves a similar function, to deliver goods on time, but it can also help avoid conflicts that win the battle to save lives. Getting materials to a work site at the right time on the right day is the conventional task for a logistics manager. What CLOCS champions, and developers,  are learning from a new Construction Logistics Planning course run by CLOCS champion Arups is how to not only keep a work site rolling but how to avoid injuring road users, piling up complaints from local residents, and meeting the requirements of a borough council. A Construction Logistics Plan (CLP) is defined as “a management tool for developers and construction contractors to help mitigate the risks associated with construction activity. The CLP focuses specifically on construction supply chains and how impact on the road network can be reduced” For any high or medium impact development a majority of London local authorities (though not all) are likely to require seeing and agreeing a CLP. Without an outline CLP, and then an agreed and more detailed CLP, planning permission may not be granted, or construction may be delayed.     Neither a cycle user nor a pedestrian is likely to ever see a CLP unless they are commenting on a planning application (which can be worth the effort). But we are all impacted by the running of building sites. The difference between a site that has developed an approved and well-considered CLP and one that ignores such planning can be significant. Multiple lorries driving at speed past a school at drop-off time or obstructing the pavement on a school walking route, for example, can be highly hazardous. Getting tangled up in early morning school traffic can also waste a lot of time for the HGV driver and his employer and can lead to costly delays in the constriction programme. Trainees in CLPs are not only expected to digest the steps required to produce a CLP that will pass muster with local authority but are also required to evaluate CLPs and work through a template CLP. Each CLP is expected to list what a contractor is committed to do to minimise impacts of their work as well as stating what has been proposed and considered. If, for example a site is within 100m of a navigable waterway or a rail siding they are expected to consider moving freight by water or rail. Re-timing deliveries out of peak is step developers usually consider to both avoid hazards and save time – in Southwark some sites have agreed the arrival of vehicles before site opening times (and waiting with engines switched off) to minimise movements of HGV during the morning peak. Developers and council officers can apply  via the training website  to attend one of the CLP courses run by Arup in  conjunction with CILT and TfL. There is also a comprehensive manual called Construction Logistics plan Guidance on the web […]

  • Women & Cycling: Six women discuss the challenges and the push for change...
    on 2nd March 2018 at 2:47 PM

    Last summer we spoke with six women about the challenges they face and the push for change to get more women into cycling. To celebrate International Women's Day this year, we wanted to re-share their their stories and invite the London cycling community to think more about how we can continue to press forward and progress gender parity, both in cycling and beyond...     Ruth-Anna McQueen, Hackney Cycling Campaigner with a focus on family cycling The first thing people say when I tell them we have three young children and no car is usually: “How do you do it?” I work as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and my husband is a teacher; our children are 6 years, 4 years, and 7 months’ old. But here’s the thing — cycling is honestly the only way we can manage two parents with busy jobs, and getting three children to school and nursery on time.        Not only is it perfectly possible to manage in London without a car, in many dense urban areas it’s much easier and quicker to do day-to-day journeys by bike. The perceived difficulty often comes when you add in children, but luckily there are plenty of options available nowadays to suit all budgets, ages and family sizes. From the common rear-mounted bike seats to trailers, front seats, tag-alongs, various parent-child bike coupling mechanisms, family tandems, and the most expensive, but arguably easiest option of a cargobike (both ‘boxbike’ and ‘longtail’ designs are now widely available in the UK).      I am passionate about opening people’s eyes to the possibilities of family cycling as a solution to so many of the problems we have both individually and on a societal level. Locally, I’ve teamed up with Carry Me Bikes to run a Family Cycling Project, funded by Cycling Grants London. We are loaning out free family cycling equipment to families, organising social group rides for families and ‘tots and cargobikes’ sessions with qualified cycling instructors for parents wanting to start cycling with their children.        Concern about sharing road space with motor vehicles is the biggest concern of many parents I speak to, especially as children grow and start cycling independently. While this can be mitigated to an extent by using parks, off-road cycle routes and quieter roads where possible, it remains a significant barrier, which is why I’m also an active member of my local LCC group, campaigning for safe space for cycling on main roads too. Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee The number of trips made by bike every day in London has increased by around 160,000 since 2007, but overall mode share is still only about 2%. Why is this figure not rising? And why are men far more likely to cycle than women in London? 18% of men are regular cyclists, compared to 9% of women.      Cyclists are omnipresent on London roads but I really would like to see more women using their bikes to get around our city. For some, it is that perception of safety which affects whether they decide to take up cycling — which is why investment in safe routes is vital — both quieter routes and segregated Cycle Superhighways.      When it comes to mode shift, the potential for safe cycling routes in outer London in particular is huge. If we could encourage many more people to make local trips by cycle, rather than car, the impact on health, air quality and wellbeing would be enormous.        And if you want to try cycling — without splashing out lots of money — there is the bike hire scheme in parts of London, though interestingly, only a quarter of the scheme’s members are women.      I have no doubt that over time we will see more Londoners and in particular more women across the capital using bikes. In the meantime, the London Assembly Transport Committee will continue to push in every way we can, for a friendlier cycling environment that works for everyone. Nicola Hill, Operations Manager at The Bike Project The Bike Project was set up in March 2013 to provide a solution to the lack of mobility faced by asylum seekers and refugees living in London. Put simply, when you’re receiving just £36.95 per week asylum support and a bus pass costs £21.20, you have little left to live on — so a bicycle can be a vital lifeline. More than 27,000 bikes are abandoned in London each year and over the past four years The Bike Project has collected, fixed up and donated over 2,700 of them. Early on the majority of our beneficiaries were male and through speaking to women, we learned that many did not feel confident in their ability to ride the bikes that we offer. Women also tell us that they come from societies where women are not encouraged to cycle, or where doing so can be dangerous for them.  So learning to cycle through our Women’s Project is more than a practical necessity, it’s also a strong stance against deeply ingrained beliefs and cultural taboos. Sarah, who is now our Lead Cycle Instructor,  came along as she wanted to get trained up to be able to teach other women to cycle, most for the very first time, in a female-only space. Through participating in our lessons, women gain independence, get fit, save money and learn practical skills, which helps to improve physical and emotional wellbeing while getting to know their new city and each other in a fun, safe and welcoming environment. The Bike Project runs two training sessions per week (Mondays in Croydon, Wednesdays in Wapping). Contact to refer a woman for lessons or if you are a female NSI-qualified instructor and would like to teach. Jools Walker, author of Back in the Frame and founder of VéloCityGirl I recently spoke at the Women and Cycling Conference in Bradford. When large ‘conferences’ like this happen, two of the big topics often discussed are gender inequality in cycling and building (or improving) high(er) quality infrastructure when it comes to encouraging more women to ride. Don’t get me wrong, of course these are important topics that should always be covered (still, we work towards the day when working towards solving these are a thing of the past), but in among this, we need to talk more about the topics that intersect these — such as the lack of representation and diversity within the cycling industry. Just as in everyday life, not all women are the same.      The conference theme was to ‘inspire more women to cycle more often, to more places’ — and one of my strongest beliefs in how to do this is to share the stories of women and groups that are never ‘normally’ represented in mainstream cycling. Everyday women are extraordinary women, and the importance of celebrating this and seeing someone ‘just like you’ can be the key to getting more young girls and women on a bike. I’ve learned in my seven years of being back on the saddle the power of seeing someone you can identify with, and totally believe this is something that should never be underestimated. Amy Foster, Southwark Healthy Schools Champion, chair of the Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School forum and Vice Chair of the LCC board of trustees I talk to lots of families who tell me that the roads around their schools are not safe enough for their children, and that they don’t see the pavements outside their schools as safe. Considering that the biggest killer of children aged 10-18 in the UK is road traffic incidents, parental fears around road safety are not unfounded.      If it isn’t safe for children to get to school independently, parents’ lives end up revolving around school pick-up and drop-off times, adding to stress levels in already busy lives.        Schools need to do all they can to work with their communities to make their local areas safer for cycling. I work supporting schools in Southwark; we have a fantastic school travel team, a supportive LCC borough group and a council that is looking to develop its cycling infrastructure. As chair of the Safe Routes forum we are pushing for new zebra crossings and a lower speed limit that will make big differences for the families in our network.      We also look to replicate great work happening elsewhere in London, such as ‘Healthy School Streets’ where the road outside the school gate is closed during the school run, encouraging families to choose to walk, cycle or scoot to school, reducing road danger for the kids and cutting air pollution from idling cars at the school gates.        We are more fortunate than many schools in London. We have a fantastic traffic-free cycling route passing within a few metres of our school, which many of our families use. However, it is terrifying that a ‘healthy’ school run remains a matter of luck and we must do all we can to work together to ensure safe, connected cycle routes exist across the capital. Amy is also a Southwark Healthy Schools Champion and chair of the Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School forum. Lucy Garner, Wiggle High5 Professional Racer  You live in the Netherlands, what do you think of riding around London? It’s certainly extremely busy, but you can see that there is obviously progress. There are substantial bike lanes now, which I’ve only briefly sampled — I didn’t expect them to be that big and wide, that’s a major improvement. Do you think having events like the Women’s Tour in London will inspire more women to cycle? Yes, I think it definitely helps having women’s races, just to show the general public what women’s cycling is about and how we race. We put on really aggressive racing, and having the Women’s Tour come to London on the last day is really important and shows how much it’s growing and how much bigger it’s becoming. Why do you think women are under-represented in professional cycling? Several reasons. But I’ve been cycling for over 10 years and it’s progressed so much in that time. I’m in a really fortunate place to be a professional female cyclist now — and like a lot of the women in the peloton, we’re not having to work alongside cycling commitments. That’s important, because it raises the whole level of cycling, and women’s professional sport generally, as we can just concentrate on our cycling. How can we encourage more women to get into sport cycling? I started cycling because it was such a social sport, there are so many clubs and group rides you don’t have to go out on your own. I have so many more friends now! A lot of people think of cycling as being just for men, but there’s loads of bikes and kits which look great for women, and they’re attractive, interesting designs too. are sponsors of the Wiggle High5 professional cycling team which competes on the Women’s Tour and other professional races. Visit the International Women's Day website Let us know how you're going to #PressforProgress on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Want to learn more about our current campaigning work? Click here. Interested in becoming a member? Join today.   This article was originally published in the Autum 2017 issue of the London Cyclist.&nbs […]

  • LCC Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham weighs in on women & cycling
    on 2nd March 2018 at 1:43 PM

    International Women's Day is an annual event and this year, Thursday 8th March sees various groups around the world celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. 2018's theme is #PressforProgress, and whilst much progress has been made in relation to women's equality, the world is still unequal and this day calls upon everyone to encourage advocacy for women's advancement everywhere, in every way. This topic resonated with us at LCC and not just on the subject of women, but in relation to all our campaign objectives. In relation to women and cycling, Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham spoke with six women about the challenges and push for change, which you can read here. She also weighed in herself to try and answer the question:  How can we get more women into cycling?  I have been cycling in London for about seven years and I cycle for many of the same reasons that many others do: it’s healthy, cheaper, quicker and way more fun than the tube at rush hour. In the last seven years I’ve seen the number of people riding alongside me increasing. I still get a kick out of sitting at the lights, surrounded by loads of others going about their daily lives by bike. I especially like spotting fellow female cyclists. There have been more and more of us women on bikes in recent years, and I love it. However, we are still the odd ones out on the city’s streets. Cycling trips have boomed in London — according to TfL stats, there are now more than 670,000 trips a day, an increase of over 130% since 2000. But the number of men cycling is growing faster than the number of women. Overall, women are around half as likely as men to have cycled in the past month. But nowhere is gender equal; broken down borough by borough, there are some clear leaders and laggers. Enfield brings up the rear with women 29% as likely as men to have cycled in the past month (although that might all change as the mini-Holland settles in). Barking and Hillingdon join them at the bottom, with 33% and 35%. Hammersmith is top, but still only at 70%, with Kingston and Richmond on 69% and 68%. If you compare that with the cycling nirvana that is the Netherlands, where over half of all cycling trips are made by women, then you know that London is dragging its feet when it comes to enabling more of us to dust off our bikes.  Safety issues A large part of this comes down to feeling safe on the roads. The majority of people prefer cycling when they are separated from traffic in high quality segregated cycle lanes, or on roads that are quieter, where the traffic moves slowly. This is especially true for women thinking about cycling. It’s why women are often referred to as the ‘indicator species’ of a safe cycling environment — if you have a gender balance on bikes (or more women than men cycling), it’s a sign that the area has great cycling infrastructure. LCC lobbies so hard for good quality cycling infrastructure for just this reason. It’s not just about the people who already get about by bike; it’s about creating space in London that everyone who wants to cycle feels happy doing so. Cycle Superhighways, Quietways, the existing mini-Hollands and upcoming Liveable Neighbourhoods all have a part to play in this. We have to make sure that when we build cycling infrastructure, it works for everyone. That means segregated cycle lanes must be wide enough to accommodate all types of bikes that make trickier trips simpler; adapted bikes, cargo bikes, bikes with tag-along trailers all make carrying home the shopping or taking the kids to school much simpler. Making these everyday trips easier, especially the ones included in care-giving tasks (because the bulk of care-giving does still fall to women in this country) helps boost the number of women choosing bikes for their journeys.  Route choices Additionally, planners need to listen to concerns about routes. Not only do they need to go where people want to go, like shops and schools, but there could be concerns about routes through parks, quiet streets and estates, particularly after dark. My commute takes me through a lovely park, meaning I can avoid traffic entirely. However, once the sun sets, that unlit park doesn’t feel quite like the haven it is during the day, and I end up cycling home on a busy, aggressive stretch of road I can normally skip. There hasn’t been much research on this, but anecdotally it’s an issue that needs a lot more consideration. We also need to tackle behaviours that discourage women from cycling. The Near Miss Project — a piece of research by LCC Trustee Rachel Aldred — found that women experience twice as many ‘close passes’ as men. Having a motorist speed by, way too close for comfort, is incredibly off-putting, sometimes to the extent that people stop cycling. It is why it’s so encouraging to see police forces beginning to take it so seriously. West Midlands launched their Close Pass Initative last year, where a plain clothes officer cycles along the road, and if a motorist passes too close, they are pulled over by colleagues further down the road and given a warning. It was highly praised by cyclists across the country, and since then many other police forces have been lining up to roll it out on their roads, including here in London. Gearing up The range and quality of bike gear on the shelves is better than ever before. Biking brands have recognised that the growing numbers of women cycling presents a huge market for them and are stepping up to the plate. They’ve come a long way from the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach (y’know, make it smaller and stick some flowers and pink accents and there you go, a ‘ladies’ bike). It’s easier than ever to find the perfect bike, and if you’re not into the full Lycra look, you don’t have to look hard for stylish panniers, waterproofs, even reflective knitwear. Bike shops have joined in on the self-reflection, and realised that sometimes it can be quite intimidating walking into a workshop. Wandering into a very male environment, worried you’re going to get sneered at for not knowing how to fix a puncture, can be so off-putting that sometimes the puncture doesn’t get fixed. The bike returns to the spiders in the shed, and its owner to the tube. A non-judgmental atmosphere can go a long way, and shops are picking up on this fast. And it’s not just about making the shops less scary places to pop into, they are working to provide safe spaces for everyone who wants to learn how to maintain their bike — Women and Gender Variant workshops are popping up in a number of places. Representation across the board It’s also incredibly important to see women getting involved in everything to do with cycling. There are a number of powerful women in City Hall now, advocating for the cycling community, from Caroline Pidgeon and Caroline Russell on the London Assembly Transport Committee to Val Shawcross as Deputy Mayor for Transport. Professional women’s cycling is becoming more visible too, with women like Laura Trott and Dame Sarah Storey leading the medal tables at last year’s Olympics and Paralympics, and events such as the Women’s Tour, RideLondon and Tour de Yorkshire putting women’s races on our screens. Many tracks are trying to encourage more female racing, with Herne Hill Velodrome and Lee Valley VeloPark both running women-only training sessions. Greater inclusiveness And it’s not just about gender — all under-represented groups need to be visible in cycling. Wheels for Wellbeing campaigns for inclusive cycling, supporting, enabling and campaigning for disabled cyclists. They’ve recently challenged councils and TfL to use more diverse images in their cycle and transport strategies. If you’ve not heard of her already, look up Ayesha McGowan. She’s on a mission to become the first female African-American professional road cyclist, and flying the banner that representation matters the whole way. What’s LCC doing? Alongside our infrastructure campaigning and road danger reduction work, LCC is running projects to reach out to under-represented groups in cycling. Our Urban Cycle Loan scheme is running in five boroughs. People can borrow a bike, lock, helmet and hi-vis vest for a month for £10, and are given the opportunity to take up free cycle training at the beginning of the month. If they like the bike at the end of the loan, they can buy it at a discounted price. While not specifically targeted at women, we are finding that the majority of people taking advantage of the scheme are female, and they are highly likely to keep riding once the month is up.  We’re also proud to have some incredible women as part of our family, such as our 2016 Campaigner of the Year Clare Rogers, coordinator of Enfield Cycling Campaign. She has tirelessly built support for the Enfield mini-Holland scheme, which has faced considerable ‘bikelash’, by engaging with the wider community in an intelligent and positive way, even organising a builders’ breakfast for the workers constructing the cycle tracks on the A105. And she’s often seen practising what she advocates on the school run with her kids on her tandem. We have a Women and Cycling working group that is actively looking at how we improve the gender balance on the roads and within LCC. We recognise that having women role models at all levels of leadership - from ride leader to Board member- is critically important if we want to improve participation by women. If you’d like to find out more about this group and what they are currently working on, please email Fran (   LCC will keep campaigning to create the environment on our roads that welcomes everyone who wants to cycle. We’ll keep listening to women (and BME, older, disabled people, and other under-represented groups) and amplify their voices. We’ll keep championing the amazing work that is happening around London: the projects, schemes and events that showcase and support women who want to cycle. And I’ll keep cheering anytime I see a fellow lady on a bike at the lights.    Visit the International Women's Day website Let us know how you're going to #PressforProgress on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Want to learn more about our current campaigning work? Click here. Interested in becoming a member? Join today.   This article was originally published in the Autum 2017 issue of the London Cyclist.&nbs […]

  • Huge public support for Cycle Superhighway CS9 despite bikelash
    on 28th February 2018 at 6:25 PM

    The numbers are in, and nearly 60% of the 5,388 responses to the Cycle Superhighway 9 (CS9) consultation supported the proposals, despite a furious bikelash from ward Councillors, some retailers on Chiswick High Road and some residents. The plan is to put cycle tracks from the edge of Brentford to Olympia, a route that will be the first of its kind in West London, creating much needed protected space for cycling. Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator, LCC, said: “It’s fantastic to see huge public support for Cycle Superhighway 9. Alongside tackling several dangerous junctions, CS9 will take the Mayor another step towards fulfilling the commitment made to LCC members and all Londoners to triple the amount of protected space for cycling on our dangerous main roads.” Although the formal decisions to approve CS9 are unlikely to be made before the local elections on 3rd May, the consultation results are a clear indication that CS9 is likely to go ahead. Designers at TfL will now be working on amendments to the scheme based on the detailed feedback received at consultation – and hopefully fixing some of the concerns about pedestrian space and a few of the junctions that LCC and others raised. Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “It’s great news that our plans to improve walking and cycling in west London have been backed by Londoners. Cycle Superhighway 9 will improve safety for cyclists and make the area more attractive for pedestrians, providing real benefits to the whole community. I look forward to working closely with the borough councils to consider all of the responses and develop our plans further.” Bikelash kicks off Conservative London Assembly members immediately criticised the consultation announcement and plans for CS9, with Tony Devenish suggesting that Mayor Sadiq Khan must listen to the “wishes of local residents” and Tony Arbour saying the consultation had been “undermined by people who live nowhere near the areas affected.” However, TfL has revealed the response rates to the scheme and demonstrated that 75% of respondents were local residents, compared to just 17% who commuted through the area, 14% who visited and 13% who were employed locally. And TfL separated out 941 responses from our supporters who emailed in a form letter, so those numbers don’t reflect the London wide support and interest in the plans. The scheme has clearly divided the local community, however. Most local community groups who sent in a response opposed the scheme (with common responses for CS9 to be rerouted onto the  A4 and worrying about speeding commuter cyclists). However, of the respondents, 65% of those who did respond said they cycled in the area. Which shows that, despite what the residents associations think, there are clearly a lot of local people who cycle and want CS9 to become a reality! Chiswick High Road – the area which was most controversial during the consultation process – unsurprisingly received the lowest overall approval – 59% (but the highest number of people strongly supporting). Every other individual section of the scheme saw support and strongly support responses totalling 60% or over. The scheme was supported by LCC of course, but also by Ealing Council, Hammersmith & Fulham Council, London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, Middlesex Association for the Blind, Wheels for Wellbeing, Living Streets, Holy Trinity Hounslow, St Paul’s Church (Ealing), Hammersmith London BID, West London Business and businesses including Glaxo-SmithKline, Heathrow Airport, L&Q Housing Association, Olympia and Sky. It was opposed by some of the usual suspects (Alliance of British Drivers, Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, Road Haulage Association etc.), and there were some unusual concerns amongst the responses. Turnham Green ward councillors, according to TfL, claimed CS9 would cause an “increase local crime (cycles used for snatch thefts and for planned heists from high-value retailers such as jewellers)” while one response, according to TfL, said “Cycle Superhighways were the sole cause of slower motor traffic journeys in London … objected to reducing bus lanes to provide space for cyclists, as cyclists do not pay to use the road… called for cycling to be banned on roads away from CS9…”. The full consultation report is available here. […]

  • The top five tips for cycling in the snow that you should remember this week
    on 26th February 2018 at 5:45 PM

    The UK is set for a cold and snowy week and many cyclists will be considering downing tools as a result. But all is not lost. Hövding, experts in all things cycling and based in Sweden, therefore well versed in all things snow-related, has compiled a list of top tips to keep cyclists on their bikes - rather than resigning themselves to public transport with other commuters.  1.    Decrease your tire pressure. The minimum PSI marked on the side of your tire is recommended. 2.    Remember not to brake too sharply. This will result in skidding and potential loss of control, putting yourself and others in danger. 3.    In addition to the above, be prepared to brake far more in advance than you usually would. 4.    If you are able, invest in some anti-fog glasses. These can help with the poor visibility and ensure the snow stays out of your eyes! 5.    Avoid metal on the roads. Manhole covers, gutters, grates, etc. can prove slippery in these conditions. […]

  • GROUPTEST: Winter Jackets
    on 26th February 2018 at 12:53 PM

    British weather can be a fickle thing, and having the right kit can mean the world of a difference to your riding experience - especially during winter months when low light and changeable conditions are in full swing. The LCC team tests some winter jackets that promise to keep you dry, visible and most importantly riding all throughout winter:  HOWIES Clearim/Clearer £59 105gSizes: S-XL (men); XS-XL (women)Colours: clear or raven (men), clear (women) Cycling jackets don’t come much more minimalist than the Clearim (or women’s Clearer) — certainly not waterproof ones. Though to call this featherweight top ‘waterproof’ is perhaps a touch misleading — the fabric itself is highly waterproof, but the jacket does not have sealed seams and there’s also large mesh underarm vents where rain could get in. In practice we’ve not had any major ingress issues, despite a few Thames Path soakings. It is also PET/PFC-free which we wish more companies would embrace. Simple hem and wrist cuffs keep the weight down and contribute to a tiny packed size; the jacket can be stuffed away into its own rear pocket (right). We’re big fans of clean, unfussy bike clothing and the Clearim’s a jacket we’d want to carry all year round.   METIER Beacon Gilet £180 metiercycling.comWeight: 280gSizes: XS-XL (men),8-14 (women)Colours: black only Only officially launched last month, the new Metier range could’ve easily slotted into our Big Lights Test too. We’ve seen integrated LEDs on jackets, bags and suchlike before, but here it’s taken a stage further — on both the gilets and jackets (£250) there’s two strips of white LEDS across the shoulders (offering a claimed 160 lumens) and a row of five red LEDs across the rear (22 lumens). You can choose between constant or flashing modes, with run times from 12 to 72 hours. The small, discretely-hidden battery can be removed for USB charging (about 3hr) and controls are easy to use. We noticed quite a bit of glare from the front lights, due to their positioning; it might have been better to repeat some of the excellent rear reflectivity here instead. Also we found rucksack straps obscured their effectiveness on our commutes. The gilet’s very much a high-performance roadie style; slim fit, four-way stretch, water-repellent fabric, essentials pocket. We like the innovation, but the cost will put it out of reach for most. MADISON Zena £120 madison.ccWeight: 345gSizes: 8-16Colours: black, purple or red Sitting near the top of Madison’s women’s winter jacket line-up, the Zena is arguably the most versatile of the lot, being well suited to all types of riding from touring and mountain biking to the daily commute. The waterproof, seam-sealed outer material not only feels soft to the touch, but it has a lovely stretch which doesn’t feel at all restrictive on the bike. The cut is described as ‘slim’, but in temperatures below 10-degrees we’ve managed to add a jersey and midlayer comfortably; with the extra layers the hem did become a little tighter across our hips though. The adjustable hood is a really nice fit, and equally useful on and off the bike. We also much prefer these chest pockets to hip ones, which can often get in the way. It’s been a great performer overall. One side note: the ‘red’ colour option we tested  is actually more pink. You’ll love that or hate it.   PROVIZ Reflect 360 Plus £110 provizsports.comWeight: 400gSizes: XS-XXXXL (men), 6-16 (women)Colours: silver/grey only Out of the packet the Reflect looks like a fairly standard bike jacket, except with a little sparkle to the outer fabric. It’s only in fading light or darkness, under the direct beam of vehicle headlamps (or fellow cyclists’ lights) that it comes alive — with millions of tiny glass beads set into the material you are completely unmissable (see inset). The fabric is extremely waterproof too, though not particularly breathable, so it’s great to find pit-zips and a rear vent for cooling. Pockets at front and rear hold the basics, and there’s plenty of adjustability at both cuffs and hem. Sizing is generous so there’s room for a layer or two beneath on colder days; a long tail keeps your back warm, while the collar has a fleece lining to snug down into. For easier-paced rides and city cycling this is a standout product in more ways than one. REVIEWS: John K, Ellie Mahoney, Sarah Flynn […]

  • 2 minute action: let’s get a bigger ULEZ
    on 23rd February 2018 at 1:09 PM

      The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (also known as the ULEZ) is part of Sadiq’s plan to cut the harmful levels of air pollution that Londoners are exposed to. The first stage in this plan starts in April 2019 in central London – with people driving older and more polluting vehicles being charged extra to enter the existing congestion charging zone.  The current consultation is about the second stage – extending the area covered by the ULEZ to the north and south circulars by 2021. Respond to the consultation now This is great news – as congestion, unnecessary car journeys and resulting air pollution doesn’t just affect Zone 1! LCC is partnering with the Healthy Air Campaign – a coalition of campaigning groups fighting illegal levels of pollution – and collectively we want the ULEZ’s benefits extended to everyone in London and as soon as possible to tackle this major hazard to us all. Take action today Think link takes you through to Healthy Air’s website. Please fill out their response and use their suggested responses – they’re the same as ours! It’s super-easy, very quick and your response goes directly into TfL’s consultation. You can read our full response to the ULEZ consultation here.  &nbs […]

  • Local Group News: March 2018
    on 19th February 2018 at 12:21 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. Brent and Harrow Cyclists Newsletter Bromley Cyclists Newsletter Camden Cyclists Newsletter Ealing Cyclists Newsletter Enfield Cycling Campaign Newsletter Hackney Cyclists Newsletter Haringey Cycling Campaign Newsletter Hounslow Cycling Camapign Newsletter Cycle Islington Newsletter Kingston Cycling Campaign Newsletter Lambeth Cyclists Newsletter Merton Cycling Campaign Newham Cyclists Newsletter Richmond Cycling Campaign Newsletter Southwark Cyclists' Newsletter Get Sutton Cycling Newsletter Tower Hamlets Wheelers 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: […]

  • GROUPTEST: Rear Panniers
    on 14th February 2018 at 5:14 PM

      Whether you're commuting or touring, panniers are a fantastic bike accessory for a few reasons. Besides keeping the weight (and sweat) off your back, they offer a larger capacity than a backpack and are built to withstand the toughest conditions. The LCC team tests some rear panniers that we think you can get behind:  ALPKIT Toliari20 £35 (each) alpkit.comCapacity: 20-litres (each)Weight: 800g (each)Other options: 5-litre or 12-litre, plus ‘clipless’ versions Alpkit says its Toliari 20s are designed for racks with 10mm tubing and it worked perfectly with our Tubus Logo. Mounting hooks slide along a rail into your optimum position; there’s about 40mm of range with each hook which is plenty. The hooks clip onto the rack, though there’s no ‘locking’ system — not an issue for city commuting but on rougher terrain it’s worth checking the clips fit your chosen rack well. Alpkit does supply a bungee to clip to the lower rack for added stability, but we found this too short to be useful and didn’t use it. At 20-litres the Toliari’s in the same bracket as the Altura and Ortlieb products tested here, though Alpkit’s are longer and slimmer, meaning they stick out less and sit slightly closer to the ground. One bag easily swallowed our work gear (laptop, waterproofs, jumper, tools, tube), but you need to think about packing more as the streamlined design limits rummaging room. The rolltop closure is quick and simple, the welded seams have helped keep our kit bone dry, plus there’s tabs aplenty for LEDs or other equipment. RE ALTURA Sonic 40 £99.99 (pair) 40-litres (pair)Weight: 2060g (pair)Other options: from 15-litres (single) to 56-litres (pairs) The Sonic 40s set out to do one job above all else: keep your kit dry. And subjected to several summer soakings we found that they did that job very well indeed. No pockets means fewer seams and less chance of water ingress, and the waterproof fabric has even proven tough enough for hard off-road abuse. The rolltop closure clips neatly to each side of the bag, but left open we had room to transport cricket bats and tennis rackets for a day out in the park.We found the Klickfix system effective in stopping the bag from popping off the rack when hitting potholes; the hooks can be positioned to suit your rack and a large red button releases the bag. There’s a bottom rail with a horizontal clip to hold the bag to the lower part of a rack too. The carrying handle was slightly narrow for our hands, but there’s attachment points for a shoulder strap. Good reflective detailing on all sides and LED loops. There’s four colour options and 15-litre/25-litre singles also available. AS ORTLIEB Back-Roller Classic £110 (pair) ortlieb.comCapacity: 40-litres (pair)Weight: 1900g (pair)Other options: 30 designs, from 12-litres to 42-litres If any brand’s synonymous with panniers it’s Ortlieb — and the Back-Roller is as close as you’ll come to a benchmark product. To get the best from them you need to take a bit of time to set them up properly. Firstly, the top mounting hooks are adjustable; they slide along the rail and click into the ideal position for your rack. You get different plugs for use with thinner- tubed racks, while a lower hook is adjustable by hand, sliding along a lower rail and rotating through 360 degrees. A clever mounting system means the top hooks open when you lift the carrying handle — and close, locking to the rack, when you release it. The rolltop closure is a hassle-free affair and one bag held our daily commuting gear, lunch and bike spares comfortably.The internal sleeve held our 13in laptop and the inner mesh stasher is ideal for tubes and mini-pump. The coated fabric and welded seams make extreme waterproofing perhaps the main selling point for these bags though — the way they stave off torrential downpours is stunning. Five colour choices. RE CARRADICE Super C £120 (pair) 54-litres (pair)Weight: 2236g (pair)Other options: 15 designs, from from 15-litres to 58-litres Carradice has been making bags since 1932 and the Super Cs offer that traditional look and feel. Made from cotton duck, a type of waterproofed, heavy duty canvas that means they should last a lifetime if cared for properly.The huge capacity means it’s possible for us to squeeze our two-man tent, poles, pegs and sleeping bag into one bag alone. External pockets are great for holding a waterproof or snack, but it means the left and right bags aren’t inter-changeable. The main compartment closes via drawstring and clipped, foldover lid. The mounting system is very solid too, rattle-free and adjustable for different racks. Once the hooks are screwed into your chosen position, bag mounting/removal is quick and easy; the lower clip can be positioned through 360 degrees and tightened in place with a hex key. For longer trips we paired with Super C front panniers — equally as handsome and dependable. RE REVIEWS: Rob Eves, Ashok Sinha. All bags tested using Tubus racks. […]