London Cycling Campaign News

  • Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched
    on 16th November 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Healthy streets make for healthy businesses – new data hub launched A new Transport for London 'data hub' reveals the scale of benefits for the local economy of schemes that improve conditions for walking and cycling. Far from harming local businesses,  ‘healthy streets’ schemes help increase the number of visitors and passers-by on foot and on bike; encourage people to stay in the area and shop or stop off at a café; and help reduce the number of vacant shops and offices. The data hub provides a wealth of statistics including the results of a University  College study which found that  in improved local streets (compared to un-improved ones) : Footfall increased – the number of people standing, waiting and sitting nearly doubled and people walking in the streets increased by 93 per cent People spent more time in the street, with a 216 per cent increase in activity such as going into a shop, stopping at a café or sitting on a bench More retail space was filled by businesses, as there was a 17 per cent decline in retail vacancy·         Other statitiscs recorded in the hub include: Walking and cycling improvements can increase retail spend by up to 30% Cycle parking delivers five times the retail spend per square metre than the same area of car parking Over a month, people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than people who drive to the high street Businesses using cycle freight save between 39 and 64% on delivery costs 81% of Londoners say they can cycle including 3 in 4 of those over 65 and 76% of disabled people Forward thinking business leaders welcome both the outocmes of healthy street schemes and the useful data provided in the hub:  Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Marble Arch business improvement district said, “Our members tell us that their staff, customers, guests, students and pupils need safer spaces in which to operate. It not only helps the trading environment locally but it boosts health and wellbeing and fosters a greater sense of community.” TfL says it will keep updating the data hub as new research becomes available. &nbs […]

  • What to look for in a borough Transport Strategy/LIP
    on 12th November 2018 at 2:35 PM

      Councils will be working hard now to make sure that their “Local Implementation Plans” (or LIPs) are up to scratch. They are the main way boroughs get funding from Transport for London (TfL) outside of specific funding pots (such as “Safer Junctions”, “Liveable Neighbourhoods” or “Cycle Superhighways”). All London boroughs need to submit draft “LIP3” documents to TfL this month (November 2018). Most boroughs are now doing a public consultation and final submissions will be made in February 2019. As our guide on LIPs says, LIPs must set out how a borough will deliver against Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) objectives, so a fair few boroughs are also consulting on a new Transport Strategy at the same time. The LIP is a short term delivery plan - it should include firm proposals rather than just allocations to general programmes of work, and it must demonstrably deliver on key MTS objectives. If it doesn’t, TfL can refuse it, and if the borough repeatedly refuses to play ball, withhold funding or take over the LIP themselves. This blog has a handy round-up of most borough LIPs right now, and keep an eye out on any public consultation sites for them:   Since there’s no standard format for these documents they can be fairly hard to get to grips with. Here’s what we think boroughs should (and shouldn’t) be saying in them: Proper targets We think good borough targets should directly be in line with the MTS and specific - with clarity to how data is going to be collected, how regularly and should cover outputs such as mode share of cycling and/or percentage of pupil journeys to school cycled, not just less important inputs (number of Bikeability training sessions delivered). Targets should be ranged across three years (timeframe of the LIP), a medium-term target (2025-2030) and long-term targets (the MTS runs until 2041). As an example, Camden’s long-term objective is “every resident and visitor will have somewhere to keep their cycle”. A commitment to deliver 1,000 cycle parking spaces might sound impressive but how many spaces are needed to achieve Camden’s long-term objective?  Think about how the borough should look in 2041 - there are seven LIPs before then, so about 15% of any target should be delivered by this first LIP. In the same vein, the Mayor aims to get air quality to within legal limits by 2028 and to WHO levels by 2030 - that means major action in the next three LIPs. Good stuff for cycling We would hope to see the following in most LIPs: commitment to protected space for cycling on main roads including explicit support for any TfL Superhighway or strategic future route schemes in the borough a plan for a cycle network based on TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis and a commitment to enough routes to fulfil the MTS commitment that 70% of residents live within 400m of a strategic, high-quality route lots of cycle parking - secure on-street parking near people’s homes, visitor parking near shops and secure parking at stations; Good stuff for everyone Reducing motor-traffic and road danger is vital for everyone, and fulfilling the MTS. That should be: a commitment to reducing traffic volumes and re-allocating space from motor vehicles to other modes; “low traffic neighbourhoods”, “modal filter (cells)”, area-based traffic reduction etc. Or, as they’re sometimes known “road closures” as well as “School Streets” (timed road closures around schools at drop-off/pickup times) increased coverage of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs, residents parking) and a reduction in the space allocated to car parking 20mph borough-wide redesigns of junctions in favour of walking, cycling and safety. Good stuff for walking Measures to improve walking are usually also good for cycling. Look for: “continuous pavement” or “blended crossing” treatments on side streets improvements to pedestrian crossings, including ensuring all arms of signalised junctions getting pedestrian phases, reduced wait times/increased crossing times etc. How to spot a poor plan If a good plan has lots of targets and specific schemes for implementation, then a plan that’s doomed to fail, or that is just playing lip service (pun intended) to the MTS will likely contain much vaguer commitments. It may also feature: pushing Quietways above main road tracks (these have proved slow, difficult to deliver and often poor quality - they’re a sign the borough doesn’t want to tackle main roads or tough schemes) caveats, evasions or even opposition to the MTS key targets - caveated phrases like “will seek to develop plans for”, “subject to resident and stakeholder consultation”, “subject to scheme justification”, “look for opportunities to incorporate cyclist early release stages and advance stop lines” pedestrian crossing improvements limited to “countdown timers” loose commitments without a specific proposal in the LIP - where is the first “low traffic neighbourhood” going to be? Which roads and junctions are going to be improved? […]

  • Bicycle Film Festival comes to London this November
    on 8th November 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Back with exciting line-up of shorts and feature films from around the world along with a host of supporting events and parties, the Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) returns to London 22-25 November.  As the official charity partner of the festival, LCC is looking forward to a busy long weekend chock-full of cycling related fun and we hope to see many LCC members and supporters in attendance to celebrate the bicycle through music, art and, of course, film. What's On? Thursday 22 LAUNCH PARTY6PM - Look mum no hands! Kick off the festivities with a preview of the film programme by the festival director Brendt Barbur, along with music from LMNH's very own Lewin Chalkley, visuals from the BFI and FREE BEER thanks to Vedett at Look mum no hands! from 6pm. The launch party is free to attend. Sign up Friday 23 PROGRAMME 1: THE BIG LANDS The Big Lands is the story of a 2,000 kilometre adventure on the Trans-Labrador Highway in Canada, which connects handfuls of communities struggling to survive, and stretches the sense of what is possible on a bike. TICKETS ON SALE SOON Saturday 24 PANEL DEBATE12.30PM - Hackney Picturehouse (free event) Join the discussion at the BFF’s panel discussion to explore how culture can affect policy changes in order to make the city truly cycling friendly. LCC Campaigns Coordinator Fran Graham will also be speaking on the panel. Sign up SCREENING PROGRAMME From 4pm - Hackney Picturehouse From a rich collection of animated films about the bike to short films documenting urban bike communities in cities around the world, join us at Hackney Picturehouse for a full afternoon of screenings. Book tickets AFTER PARTY 8PM till late! (free event) Number 90, 90 Wallis Rd E9 5LN Sunday 25 GRAVEL RIDE8AM - London Velo, Deptford (free event) Explore the country lanes and single track in Kent. Starting at London Velo in Deptford, riders will head south into the hills for a challenging gravel ride that takes in the picturesque countryside of Kent. The ride is free to enter but the BFF asks that you make a £10 donation to London’s Air Ambulance, an important service that has helped many London cyclists. Sign up SCREENING PROGRAMME From 2pm - West Norwood Picturehouse Whether returning from the morning’s gravel ride or just about recovered from the after party, join us at the West Norwood Picturehouse for a series of screenings to wrap up the last day of the festival. Screenings include worldwide cycling and sport shorts, Moser’s Dare to Win and Vittoria De Sica’s masterpiece Bicycle Theives. Book tickets […]

  • Westminster’s business as usual approach is failing Oxford Street, and the wider area
    on 6th November 2018 at 12:34 PM

    London Cycling Campaign is frustrated and disappointed that Westminster Council’s proposals for Oxford Street fail to demonstrate any conviction to truly transform the world famous shopping district for the better. Commenting on the proposals LCC CEO Dr Ashok Sinha said: “The council’s timid proposals will not decisively reduce motor traffic in the area as so urgently needed. As a result, Oxford Street will continue to be choked by traffic fumes, blighted by overcrowded pavements, and present unacceptable dangers to cycling. It’s as if the council actually want it to be an embarrassment among global, 21st century destinations.” We have been working closely on Oxford Street with the charity for everyday walking, Living Streets. On the consultation, Joe Irvin, CEO of Living Streets, said: "The problems of road safety, overcrowding and pollution in Oxford Street, together with the challenge to its retail offer, require a transformative plan and we are not convinced these proposals are enough to meet the challenges facing Oxford Street. We also remain concerned that traffic domination across the wider area is not being adequately addressed.” To transform the iconic shopping district into a street that can be used and enjoyed by all, Westminster Council need to stop opposing the original plan to remove traffic from the whole route, provide high quality cycling routes east-west and north-south, and work with TfL to improve bus services for the area, as well as take decisive action to reduce motor traffic volumes across the entire area. Only then can Westminster deliver the Oxford Street residents, businesses and all of London deserves. -        Read more of our thoughts on Oxford Street here: […]

  • Government hard on cycling offences, soft on dangerous driving
    on 2nd November 2018 at 2:55 PM

      Motor vehicles account for almost all of the 1,700 road deaths in the UK each year. In London, hit and run incidents are on the rise. The Government promised to update driving offences and improve road justice back in 2014, but four years on, that process remains on the drawing board. Now it has launched a consultation singling out cycling offences instead, after one high-profile case. In order to reduce the tragic number of road deaths, and for Mayor Khan to meet his ‘Vison Zero’ target to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2041, the Government needs to focus on more than just dangerous cycling.  To truly improve road safety, the Government need to get their priorities in order and bring forward a comprehensive review of all road offences – cycling and driving – as a matter of urgency.  The consultation closes on Monday 5th November - please tell the government to stop singling out dangerous cycling and crack down on dangerous driving.  &nbs […]

  • Lorries with fewer blind spots start to multiply
    on 31st October 2018 at 3:53 PM

      Dennis Eagle Elite tractor unit  Lorries with far fewer blind spots start to multiply The gold safety standard for urban construction vehicles is the lorry with minimal  spots – rated five stars according to Transport for London’s Direct Vision standard. Such trucks will be automatically approved for use in London when new safety restrictions on HGVs come into force in 2020.   Mercedes and Dennis-Eagle were first off the mark when they re-purposed their low-entry, five star direct vision cabs, previously used for refuse and airport work, for construction use. Now other manufacturers are entering the market with offerings of their own, while Mercedes and Dennis-Eagle are trying to up their game. Come 2026 all new lorry types on European roads will have to have highly rated  direct vision because of forthcoming new European Union regulations. We’ve taken at look at the latest that the market has to offer ahead of the Freight in the City expo on November 6th . Scania L series tractor unit Scania L series “…what we have here is an incredibly competent and safe truck, built to make an urban truck driver’s life easier and safer” – high words of praise for Scania’s new L series from a Motor Transport reviewer. The new Scania lorry range has a nine litre engine, choice of gearboxes, three roof heights and a ‘kneeling’  position that makes getting in and out a breeze. You can also walk through the cab which means the driver does not have to risk opening the driver door and getting out into traffic. Motor Transport magazine was enthusiastic about the improved vision from the L series: “We were already big fans of Scania’s next generation driving position, which moves the driver forwards and outwards , and when you are sitting this low the visibility is really superb.” They also concluded that the L series was as comfortable on the open road as it is in urban traffic. “The lack of engine noise is surprising considering there are five cylinders working away in the cab just behind us. It feels more like a luxury coach than an HGV to drive.”  Dennis Eagle Elite electric RCV Dennis Eagle,  Elite tractor unit and eCollect refuse vehicle Not content with pioneering the low entry cab in the refuse sector Dennis Eagle introduced the Elite tipper and skip/loader models back in 2016  and followed that up with a five star direct vision tractor unit ( the cab section of an artic truck).  Dennis Eagle Elite artic The attraction of a five star direct vision tractor unit is that it can complete the urban section of a much longer lorry journey with less stress for the driver and less road danger for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Freight company Explore Transport is already using such a cab on its deliveries into the central London after making a switch of tractor units in Dagenham. The eCollect refuse collection vehicle (RCV) is based on Dennis-Eagle’s well established, five star direct vision, Elite cab but with a 200 kW electric engine instead of the conventional diesel unit. The attraction is obvious – the much quieter electric engine (and electric bin lifts) means early hours working may be more acceptable. RCV’s usually carry out very short journeys from base making the currently limited range of electric batteries a realistic proposition even for the heavy loads carried. Volvo FE LEC Electric Volvo FE LEC Electric Volvo launched a low entry cab version of its FE truck back in 2011 and displayed a tipper version in 2016. The aim of the cab is to improve comfort and safety for the users and improve visibility out of the vehicle. The latest from Volvo is the FE Electric which addresses not only the issue of good driver vision but also exhaust emissions by equipping a waste collection vehicle with a 260         kW electric motor. According to Volvo, the vehicle can travel up to 200 km on one charge of the Lithium-ion battery which should last a full shift of waste collection. Volvo estimates that charging time of the 200–300 kWh battery will be one and a half hours on fast charge or 10 hours on low power.   Mercedes Econic  Mercedes Econic Mercedes were the first company to adapt a low entry vehicle for construction use in urban areas and a significant proportion of five star direct vision vehicles used in London for construction are Econics. Cyclists in London have got used to easily exchanging glances with drivers of Tarmac, Cemex, Laing and Riney low-entry trucks (as recommended by the freight industry)  to ensure they have been seen. The Econic range now includes cement mixers, tippers and a tractor unit. Construction firm Tarmac is running 18 Econic cement mixers in London already and is expected to increase that to 20.  According to MHW magazine the vehicles are powered by 7.7-litre six-cylinder engines producing 260 kW (354 hp) and use six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes. The axle and drive configuration enables them to have an “impressively tight turning circle and makes it significantly more manoeuvrable than a standard 32-tonne construction eight-wheeler,” another advantage in the capital’s narrow streets. Foodservice provider Brakes Group has recently put a Mercedes Econic into operation in London that runs on Shell’s Gas to Diesel (GTL) fuel which emits less NOx and particulates than ordinary diesel. The fuel can be blended with ordinary diesel so no modifications to the engine are required. The company told Motor Transport “The initial feedback from our drivers is that visibility appears much better, and it’s easier to access.”     &nbs […]

  • Government gets behind #StayWider campaign
    on 19th October 2018 at 4:45 PM

    A big thanks to the thousands of you who have signed our Stay Wider of the Rider petition and placed pins on the map at hazardous locations. The results we're now seeing make the time spent well worthwhile! Jesse Norman, the Minister for Transport has clearly heard the calls for action from LCC and Cycling UK and has announced that the forthcoming Highway Code review will look at clearer guidelines for motorists passing cyclists, as well as issues such as looking back when opening car doors by using the "Dutch reach," or using your left hand to open the driver door. There have also been reports in some media that the review will also look at "give way at turn". This would clarify rules on drivers turning giving way to cyclists and pedestrians, and could pave the way for better, simpler junctions - like those found in many European countries. The Metropolitan Police recently met with LCC and provided information about a series of enforcement actions across the capital. Drivers who pass plain clothes officers on cycles too closely are given an on-the spot education session or charged depending on the seriousness of the danger caused. And the Met are using the pins dropped by users of our Stay Wider site as one of the ways they choose where to run operations. As you may have noticed one of LCC’s partners in the Stay Wider of the Rider campaign, Continental Tyres, has sponsored adverts on the back of London buses to make drivers aware of the dangers of close passing and made a humorous video with the Brownlee brothers triathletes (our other sponsor is Uber Eats, who we're working with on driver and rider training). You can still sign our petition to Jesse Norman MP to ensure the Highway Code review bears fruit and that his expressed concern over close passing results in sustained enforcement and development of awareness campaigns for motorists. You can also put a pin in the map showing where you have been close passed. Please do not hesitate to mark locations where there already are several pins – this alerts the police to the frequent of close passes and helps with prioritising enforcement. […]

  • Campaigner Awards Winners 2018
    on 19th October 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Thank you to everyone who attended LCC’s 2018 AGM on Thursday 18th October. One of the highlights of the evening was our Campaigner Awards – an opportunity for us to recognise all the hard work put in by our brilliant campaigners over the last year. We received a long list of wonderful nominations – testament to the passion and dedication of all the nominees – and choosing just one winner for each category was extremely difficult. A big thank you to Amy Foster, Chair of CAMS, who helped judge this year’s awards, and Terry Patterson, Chair of LCC’s Board of Trustees, who helped present the awards on the night.  1. Best Rides and Ride leader Highly Commended: Keith Jones - Tower Hamlets Wheelers Keith has organised a range of well-attended rides, including a full-day ride to Thamesmead, the East End Suffragette history ride, and the revival of Tower Hamlets Wheelers’ summer evening Afterworker Rides.  Oliver Bruckauf and Enfield Easy Riders – Enfield Cycling Campaign Oliver is Enfield Cycling Campaign’s ride leader hero. He diligently organises the new and hugely popular Easy Riders programme, planning routes to interesting places which are suitable for all abilities, and leading many of the rides himself. Arnold Ridout – Newham Cyclists Newham Cyclists help repair donated bikes and organise rides for children as part of the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve cycle group. The rides are popular with children aged 8 to 13, who get the chance to learn bike handling skills and enjoy seeing new parts of their borough.   Roger Mace & John Dunn – Kingston Cycling Campaign Roger and John are a dedicated team who schedule, promote and lead Kingston Cycling Campaign’s 'Bread Pudding' rides, as well as feeder rides for FreeCycle. With 28 rides in the past year, catering for a range of abilities, they consistently attract a large and diverse group of participants. Winner: Harry Clark – Bexley Cyclists Harry has organised and led a programme of weekly Healthy Rides for Bexley, with an estimated 100 people taking part so far. 20 different routes have been developed for the programme, all starting in Danson Park in the centre of the borough. All the routes are designed to take in areas of local interest, taking place mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths. The rides have received lots of positive feedback, and inspired several other people to get involved with the programme. 2. Best infrastructure campaign Highly Commended: Boston Manor Road Cycleway - Hounslow Cycling Campaign This is a mile length of dedicated bidirectional cycle path, running from the Hounslow boundary in the North most of the way down to the Great West Road in the South. Against fierce opposition, Hounslow Cycling Campaign were instrumental in improving the detailing of this project and making it fit for purpose. The A105 in Enfield - Enfield Cycling Campaign The A105 route was officially completed in March. Enfield Cycling Campaign provided a strong voice of support for the project on social media and in the local press, and also helped organise a hugely successful community ride and launch event in March. Winner: Stratford Gyratory – Newham Cyclists Following the London Borough of Newham's successful bid for funding to improve this notorious junction, Newham Cyclists have been involved at all stages of consultation. They have met regularly with council officers to ensure that cycling infrastructure has been a key part of the improvements, as well as working with TfL to ensure that the safety of pedestrians and cyclists was considered whilst the works took place.  The scheme is partially open as of 17th September, with full opening scheduled for 22nd October. 3. Best campaign initiative Highly Commended: CS9 (‘Cycle Safely’ Highway 9) – Hounslow Cycling Campaign Hounslow Cycling Campaign have taken the initiative in calling for better cycling infrastructure in West London, pressing the council and MPs at every opportunity and also helping to campaign over the border in Hammersmith and Fulham. ‘Air Pollution in Sutton’ film – Get Sutton Cycling John and Ben from Get Sutton Cycling researched, edited and produced a short film entitled 'Air Pollution in Sutton: How it affects you and how cycling can help' and aimed at councillors in the borough. The film received positive responses from a number of councillors, and John and Ben hope to produce a follow-up on the benefits of active travel in the borough. Winner: Election campaign - Tower Hamlets Wheelers For the May 2018 Mayoral and local elections, Tower Hamlets Wheelers produced a detailed cycling manifesto setting out what they would like to see achieved in the borough by 2022. This included three main asks for the council: significant new cycle routes, low traffic neighbourhoods, and bicycle parking. Copies of the manifesto were distributed to all mayoral candidates and current councillors, and the content received an overwhelmingly positive response. The culmination of Tower Hamlets Wheelers’ local election campaign was organising the Tower Hamlets Cycling and Walking Mayoral Hustings at Limehouse Town Hall in April.  Five of the six mayoral candidates, representing all the major parties, attended the event and publicly signed up to the manifesto. Since the election, the group's interaction with local councillors has increased markedly, and the positive response to the manifesto has increased the group’s focus on political lobbying. 4. Best family-friendly event Highly Commended: Walthamstow Family Bike Club Newcomers Ride - Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign The Newcomers ride is a new initiative from Walthamstow Family Bike Club, designed for new riders and those who want to gain more confidence. The rides are fully-marshalled and take advantage of some of the quiet streets created by the Waltham Forest Mini-Holland. The Bike Club has also worked with the council to ensure that participants can borrow cycles from the council if they don’t have their own. "Back in the Saddle" - Hounslow Cycling Campaign Hounslow Cycling Campaign were approached by a resident asking if there were any courses to help parents cycling with their children to school. Realising there was a gap in the training, they worked with the council to create 'Back in the Saddle', a course designed to help parents cycle with their kids. They have already run one course, with second planned for November.  Biking Belles - Hounslow Cycling Campaign This is an initiative run by activist Fatima Ahmed with a little help from Hounslow Cycling Campaign and the London Bike Hub. The group meets for twice-weekly cycle training at Hounslow Civic Centre, where more than sixty people, mainly women, have been taught to cycle. Community leaders from the local mosque have also got involved in the training sessions.  Bike from Boleyn – Newham Cyclists This event was developed with supporters of West Ham and a Boleyn ward councillor, with the intention of maintaining links between the original home of the team and the new home at the Olympic Stadium. Newham Cyclists provide the leader and the marshals for the event, making sure everyone has a good time and arrives safely. The ride is an extremely positive community event, attracting a large and diverse group of participants.  Winner: Try-a-Bike at Palmers Green Festival – Enfield Cycling Campaign This is the third time that Enfield Cycling Campaign, along with Better Streets for Enfield, has run a try-a-bike event at the ever popular Palmers Green Festival, and this year was the most successful yet. The cycles on offer included an adult trike, a cargo bike, a cargo trike, Circe Helios duo and trio tandems (designed for families), e-bikes, folding bikes, and many more. The event was one of the most popular at the festival, with hundreds of people trying out cycles and lots of positive feedback. The council were highly impressed, and are keen for Enfield Cycling Campaign to run similar events around the borough, and are also open to considering running a family cycling library as a result. 5. Campaigner of the Year Dan Kelly and Gen Ford – Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign Dan has been one of Waltham Forest Mini-Holland's greatest cheerleaders, playing a central role in mobilising his local community to back the proposals for the Blackhorse Village scheme, and continuing to liaise with councillors and officers to ensure that Mini-Holland keeps progressing. Meanwhile, Gen has been integral to the mobilisation of local residents in Markhouse Village, which was the last “village” in Waltham Forest's Mini-Holland scheme to be consulted on, and also the area with the most organised opposition. Nick Moffitt - Ealing Cycling Campaign Nick has made a remarkable contribution to cycling in Ealing and Hounslow. He has played an instrumental role in the CS9 campaign, as well as leading the organisation of the David Eales Memorial Ride for the past three years and helping to fundraise for LCC. Selena Calder and Grant Gahagan – Haringey Cycling Campaign Since taking over as joint coordinators of Haringey Cycling Campaign in Spring 2017, Selena and Grant have built the group up into an effective advocate for active travel in the borough. As well as noticeable improvement for cycling delivered on the ground via the Quick Wins programme, they have also built up good working relationships with officers in the local council and influenced Haringey's 2018 transport strategy.    John Chamberlain – Camden Cycling Campaign John has been a highly committed and valued member of LCC for many years, and this year, he was the main supporter at the Tavistock Place Public Inquiry, preparing and organising witnesses and skilfully representing the organisation, the result of which is that the with flow tracks are now permanent. John has also been instrumental in the upcoming two-way Midland–Judd cycle route across Euston Road.  Matt Stephen – Kingston Cycling Campaign  Matt has stepped into the role of council liaison for the mini-Holland projects in Kingston, effectively managing the “critical friend” relationships with the officers there. His dedication in driving for improvements on schemes are bearing fruit, with reviews and improvements seen on schemes across Kingston.  Winner: Michael Robinson Michael has played a key role in running the Hounslow CS9 campaign. A major scheme like this can be a trying time for a local group, requiring somebody to manage the difficult task of liaising between the borough, TfL, and activists old and new. Michael has stepped up and proven himself a tireless organiser, unflappable strategist, and friendly leader, setting a fantastic example for other campaigners. […]

  • Westminster’s Oxford Street area plan too weak
    on 19th October 2018 at 12:06 PM

    After rejecting Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street, Westminster Council pledged to present plans later this year, stating that “doing nothing to improve the area is not an option”.  On Wednesday, they finally released their vision for the area. But their strategy amounts to little more than a collection of potential schemes that are wholly inadequate in addressing the primary issue facing Oxford Street, the west end and indeed central London – too much motor vehicle traffic. The proposed measures to reduce or curb unnecessary motor vehicle journeys are insufficient to deliver the scale of improvements that cramped pedestrians, struggling businesses, cyclists facing road danger and residents suffering illegally poor air quality deserve. Westminster Council is proposing spending at least £150 million on a do as little as possible option. Most tellingly, the key recommendations to reduce motor traffic include vague statements such as “encouraging use of public transport, walking and cycling” and to “improve and address existing traffic congestion issues on the surrounding road network to provide less incentive for rat-running”. Such blandishments alone will do little to actually reduce motor traffic volumes. “Encouraging” more people to walk, cycle and use public transport, without meaningful reductions in the dangers presented by an excess of motor vehicles is an approach proven to fail. And the latter recommendation, also known as “smoothing traffic flow” is actually likely to increase motor traffic volumes, given evidence around “induced demand” and “traffic evaporation”. Westminster is only giving lip-service to measures such as traffic restrictions, modal filters, 20mph and lower speed limits. This strategy gives no commitment to actually use these tools to the extent needed to effect genuinely transformative reductions in motor traffic speeds and volumes. Contrast this with the bold and ambitious transport strategy, just published by the City. Westminster’s leadership could learn a lot from their neighbours. Pollution, congestion and road danger threaten Oxford Street’s position as a world-class destination. These plans show a complete lack of ambition from Westminster Council to stop the rot. Residents, businesses and all of London deserve much better. […]

  • Don’t weaken planned vehicle safety measures – say leading academics and safety experts.
    on 18th October 2018 at 10:56 AM

    Don’t weaken planned vehicle safety measures – say leading academics and safety experts. Leading road danger reduction and safety organisations and academics have written to key committees of the European Parliament and to national delegates asking them not to weaken EU Commission proposals to improve vehicle safety, including designs to remove blind spots in lorries.  The letter is a response to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)’s attempts to weaken the European Commission’s proposals on new vehicle safety measures. The full letter is here.  It includes the following  paragraph about improving direct vision: "Direct Vision: better driver reaction times The Commission proposal includes direct vision requirements for trucks and buses, which would mean automotive companies sell vehicles where the driver can see more of the road space around their vehicle. “Direct vision” is the term given to what drivers can see directly through the windows of their vehicle. This is different to “indirect vision”, which is what a driver sees on a monitor or in a mirror. ACEA claims that a sensor system that detects cyclists or pedestrians is more effective. Seeing something “directly” though has been proven to increase reaction speeds by 0.7 seconds. In practice, improving reaction speeds by 0.7 seconds means a reduction of 5 meters in stopping distance if a vehicle is traveling at 25 km/h. 5 meters of additional travel before stopping can be the difference between life and death. Furthermore, surveys have shown that cyclists and pedestrians feel a greater sense of safety when they can make eye contact with truck drivers. This is a more effective safety solution than only having sensors, as sensors can be ignored or require time to identify the source of the alert. Sensors have a key role in improving truck safety, most importantly in areas of the truck where direct vision is not possible."  Singnatories to the letter are: Atontonio Avenoso, Executive Director, European Transport Safety Council, David Ward, President and CEO, Towards Zero Foundation, Prof. Oliver Carsten, Professor of Transport Safety, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Stephen Russell, Secretary General,ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardization, Paolo Cestra, President, TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General,European Cyclists’ Federation,  William Todts, Executive Director, Transport & Environment,  Jeannot Mersch, President, FEVR, European Federation of Road Traffic Victims,  Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General,POLIS, Cities and Regions for Transport Innovation,  Geert van Waeg, President, International Federation of Pedestrians,  Prof. Pete Thomas, Loughborough University […]