London Cycling Campaign News

  • What’s next for Cycle Superhighway CS11? TfL lays out their plans
    on 19th March 2019 at 5:20 PM

    Road conditions inside Regent's Park On Tuesday, TfL released a new statement on Cycle Superhighway CS11, the legal action against it by Westminster Council and the next steps it and City Hall propose. The statement may be understated, but it barely conceals the fury clearly felt by Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman and others – laid bare in follow-up tweets. Will Norman calls Westminster’s action “shameful” in blocking a scheme that would have seen “lethal Swiss Cottage junction becoming safe for people cycling and on foot”. Norman pledges to “re-look” at the junction as soon as possible with Camden Council – a new scheme not linked to any Westminster roads would be unlikely to be subject to legal action by Westminster Council. TfL’s statement is more measured, suggesting the body is “disappointed” over the judges’ decision on CS11 legal action, and continuing: “The Court’s decision did not determine that CS11 was a badly designed scheme, nor that it had an unacceptable impact on traffic, air quality or the environment, or that TfL had not engaged correctly with the public and stakeholders.” Indeed, it is clear that the transport authority and City Hall view, (as we do), that Westminster’s stated reasons for continuing to seek delays to the scheme are unreasonable. The statement lists out the many measures TfL followed to progress the scheme, including:  Listening to concerns about traffic changes and working to further minimise any traffic displacement, including revising the design at Swiss Cottage. Undertaking detailed environmental assessments for the scheme, which concluded no overall significant impact was predicted on air quality or noise as a result of the CS11 proposals The TfL statement even lays out how Westminster’s shock decision to scrap the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street had effected the scheme, stating: “We had also committed to complete traffic assessments for the southern section of the CS11 route and to work closely with Westminster City Council in doing so. The timing for these traffic assessments had been planned to coincide with similar traffic analysis for the Oxford Street Pedestrianisation scheme, which Westminster City Council has since decided not to move ahead with in the form previously agreed with TfL and the Mayor.” Both Norman and TfL address not just the issue of Swiss Cottage, but also Regent’s Park’s Outer Circle – where four gates were only due to be open from 11am-3pm daily. It is now clear that it is the Crown Estates Paving Commission, a statutory body that controls the gates of the park on behalf of nearby residents, is actively blocking this scheme.  Norman tweeted: “I’ll continue to pursue urgent safety improvements for Regent’s Park. The Outer Circle has nearly 3x more collisions than comparable roads. Half motorists break 30mph speed limit. We caught one doing 78 mph at 5pm. Our CS11 scheme would've reduced speeds & rat-running in the park… It’s unacceptable that the Crown Estates Paving Commissioners refuse to address safety concerns and extend the hours which they keep some of their park gates closed.” The TfL statement reads: “The CEPC, who take responsibility for repair and maintenance of the streets, pavements and gardens of the Crown Estate around Regent’s Park, and for the current night-time closure of Regent’s Park gates, have recently indicated that they are not willing to progress the planned safety improvements in the Park, despite two alternative workable options being developed.” The CEPC seem now to be the sole barrier to a safer and more enjoyable Regent’s Park, despite having publicly committed to the scheme in the past. Previous director Max Jack told The Guardian newspaper after pressure from LCC the four gate closure scheme would be a “really significant benefit” and suggested it was Westminster Council at fault: “they aren’t very keen on gate closures.” But it seems that position has shifted. So what next? We believe TfL and City Hall are right to urgently move forward with their plans for Regent’s Park and Swiss Cottage as individual schemes. It is clear, for now, that Westminster City Council remain committed to blocking cycling improvements wherever they involve meaningful reductions in motor traffic capacity. Of course, LCC will continue to engage with borough Councillors and officers to try and shift their thinking. But we will also work with TfL, City Hall, Camden, and the Royal Parks and other key stakeholders to bring forward the urgently needed Regent’s Park and Swiss Cottage improvements. […]

  • Construction obstruction solution – the cycle tunnel
    on 8th March 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Construction obstruction solution – the cycle tunnel Road works and construction works can hazardous, obstructive and a massive inconvenience for cyclists. But with a little thought and imagination obstacles can be addressed and resolved. Midgard, working for the JRL construction group, took the innovative step of building a tunnel over the very popular cycle track in Cable St near Tower Bridge, to avoid diversions, cycle dismounts and hazardous conflicts. The tunnel, built with scaffolding pipe, runs for a hundred yards above  the two way track in Cable Street. An opening on the street side provides both light and improved personal safety. As an added incentive to promote cycling Midgard has posted small posters with cycle journey  timings from the Cable Street location to various East End destinations. The well designed and well used (Cable Street is used by thousands of cyclists every day) temporary facility was not first choice for Midguard. It was the helpful intervention of Michael Barratt MBE at TfL and the assistance of a local LCC activist that persuaded Midgard to install a facility that is welcomed by users and shows how constructive thinking can deliver a high grade result. Midgard’s Cable St scheme joins Thames Tideway’s Blackfriars Bridge project in setting a best practice standard for cyclists at construction scheme. A new guide to best practice for traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians,  at roadworks has recently been published by TfL – make sure your borough requires that the guide is  followed at local work sites and road works. &nbs […]

  • Westminster’s wishy-washy Oxford Street scheme lurches forward
    on 4th March 2019 at 12:31 PM

    LCC statement on Westminster’s plans for Oxford Street Westminster council has, in approving spending £150 million over three years on its Oxford Street district plans, once more sought to avoid properly planning to reduce motor traffic, or for walking, cycling and healthier, more active modes of travel. The vague plans offer no clarity as to how many of the motor vehicles blighting the entire district will be removed, where, over what hours of the day, or how the rise in pedestrian levels associated with the Elizabeth line will be catered for, much less how even those who currently cycling in this infamously anti-cycling borough will be protected, or how the potential for more people to cycle will be unlocked. Cllr Richard Beddoe of Westminster told The Evening Standard “we’d never play fast and loose with the safety of anyone”. But these vague plans look set to play fast and loose with the safety of everyone – particularly the most vulnerable on the borough’s roads. The same approach is being repeated, right now, with Westminster’s plans for The Strand and Aldwych, which leave those cycling a horrible choice between cutting through pedestrian “shared space” or braving hostile and dangerous traffic. Westminster approves draft Oxford Street plans Westminster Council’s cabinet have approved draft plans to spruce up Oxford Street and the surrounding district after the pro-car borough rejected TfL and the Mayor’s plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street. The approved plans will see the council spending £150 million of its own money across the next three years, without any addition funding coming from the Mayor of London or Transport for London. But what will the money be spent on? Anyone who knows is keeping schtum. The strategy proposes “97 projects across 88 streets… across nine zones.” But while we know what many of these projects might look like – Westminster has not yet revealed full proposals for any projects, just vague aspirational ideas. For instance, their much-heralded twin plazas around Oxford Street station are detailed as follows: “In very busy areas where the widening and decluttering of footways will not fully address safety problems, we will *consider* restriction or removal of traffic at appropriate times.” [emphasis our own]. Similarly sections around Bond Street and near Tottenham Court Road’s Crossrail exits would be “considered for a high level of pedestrian priority.” What exact level of priority, how many vehicles and at what times would be allowed through the new plazas (note in Westminster’s visualisation, there is still a road through both plazas) and other questions remain totally unanswered. Westminster told The Evening Standard even during “critical times of the day”, buses wouldn’t be gone from the street necessarily – they’d just be “fewer and slower” (that’s a 20mph, not 30mph, limit apparently). Westminster vs Sadiq Westminster’s plans are the latest in a long line of moves to prioritise motor cars above everything, do fairly little for walking and absolutely nothing ever for cycling. See their current proposals for The Strand and Aldwych for a recent example. The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has been scathing thus far about Westminster’s alternative plan to fully pedestrianise the iconic shopping street, which they have blocked. Khan has called them, thus far: “sketchy”, “underwhelming”, and suggests the plans would leave Oxford Street “one of the most dangerous in London” and “polluted, congested and dangerous” with risks from remaining traffic and crowded pavements, as well as “hostile vehicle” terrorist attacks. Cllr Richard Beddoe, Westminster, responded: “We’d never play fast and loose with the safety of anyone.” Which is an odd comment for such a motoring-obsessed borough, which has, for instance, blocked improvements at Swiss Cottage gyratory and Lambeth Bridge North roundabout – dubbed the most dangerous roundabout for cycling in the UK. The Oxford Street District projects are now due to go into design development, stakeholder engagement and traffic modelling, with construction on first projects due to begin in the autumn. Westminster’s consultation, which was responded to by over 1,800 people, saw significant support for removing motor traffic from all of Oxford Street and reducing it across the entire district, and for a better deal for those walking and cycling than on the table currently; also significant concerns around the schemes displacing traffic into residential streets nearby. Once again, Westminster Council removed from the main consultation response analysis many of those who cycle, and who used LCC’s suggested responses. Needless to say, LCC opposed the current Westminster proposals. Our full consultation response can be seen here and quotes and blogs from the original launch of the proposals here. […]

  • 11 new Liveable Neighbourhoods announced
    on 4th March 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Today’s exciting news from Transport for London sees 11 new Liveable Neighbourhoods dotted across London take a huge step towards becoming reality. They join the existing seven boroughs with funding, bringing the grand total of Liveable Neighbourhoods up to 18, with the 11 new boroughs splitting £53.4 million (an average of just under £5 million per borough) between them. The Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme provides funding specifically for area based walking and cycling projects. These are the successor to the “mini-Holland” schemes in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest that London Cycling Campaign won from previous mayor Boris Johnson. In the run-up to Sadiq Khan’s election as Mayor, we got him to “Sign for Cycling” and pledge to make available funding for all London boroughs for such programmes – so these Liveable Neighbourhoods are also down to LCC campaigning and your hard work! The second phase of schemes (see below) look fantastic and ambitious. They include transforming the notorious and lethal Holborn gyratory in Camden, where over 500 of you joined our protest on the lack of action to make the junction safer last summer. This Camden project will also start to deliver our long-campaigned for “London Boulevard” running from Tottenham Court Road to Old Street. Today’s announcement also means that most London boroughs will be developing or building big cycling schemes this year – and that’s why we need your help more than ever, to make sure the funding wins turn into real, on-the-ground improvements. It also means that campaigning from LCC and our borough groups is really paying off in most boroughs – with schemes we’ve been pushing for years now moving forward. If you live in one of the 18 boroughs now with Liveable Neighbourhood funding please sign up here to ensure you get regular updates on how the schemes are moving forward and what we and our local groups are up to; if you don’t live in one of those boroughs, please sign up here so you can add your voice to those working in the borough to make sure your town centre is next for a transformation! All of the seven borough schemes that won funding in 2018 are all moving towards getting their plans out for public consultation - Ealing, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Greenwich, Lewisham and Waltham Forest. The existing Liveable Neighbourhods will be joined by: Shortlands, Bromley: Connections to Shortlands station with “protected cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings” plus “School Streets” and a new low traffic neighbourhood west of Bromley Town Centre”, “pocket parks” and a “cycle hub” at the station. Holborn, Camden: Camden will remove the lethal gyratory and introduce “protected cycle lanes running east to west along High Holborn and Theobalds Road… Sections of New Oxford Street and Great Russell Street will be closed to all motor vehicles… a section of Bloomsbury Way will become bus and cycle only” as part of a future route that will run from Tottenham Court Road to Old Street in Camden and Islington. City Cluster, City of London: Zero-emission zone in “the heart of the Square Mile, with key streets to be transformed to prioritise people walking and cycling. Other streets in the area will be gradually closed to most motor traffic and opened up as public spaces.” Old Town, Croydon: The aim is to reduce the impact of the hated Croydon Flyover that severs connections between town and residents. Enfield Town, Enfield: “new pedestrian crossings and improved cycle links… new 20mph speed limits” will knit the missing town into the broader mini-Holland schemes Enfield is already rolling out. South Chiswick, Hounslow: The scheme aims to connect south Chiswick to “upcoming Cycleway 9 and create a new pedestrian bridge linking to the Thames Path... also… better access to Dukes Meadows”. Atlantic Road, Lambeth: Atlantic Road will go “walking, cycling and bus-only road with access… for local freight traffic” with wider “footways and… new pedestrian crossings”. Nearby, “low traffic neighbourhoods in the Railton, Ferndale and Loughborough areas” will feature “modal filters and improved crossing points” and there’ll be a cycle track “between Brixton Town Centre and Loughborough neighbourhood”. Freemasons Road, Newham: Custom House becomes “a major destination with a new central town square”. Freemasons Road will become “walking and cycling… corridor” and the surrounding residential areas get upgrades too. South Bermondsey, Southwark:  Cycling and walking in the “Bramcote Park estate” will get improvements and a connection to Cycleway 4 (Tower Bridge to Greenwich), Old Kent Road and Lewisham’s Deptford Parks Liveable Neighbourhood. Bow, Tower Hamlets: The town centre around “historic Roman Road” will get “improved walking and cycling connections from the surrounding areas” and “bus improvements” too. Old Ford Road gets “cycle facilities” and the road “underneath Coborn Street rail bridge” gets a modal filter. Ilford, Redbridge: is to get “segregated cycle lanes which will connect communities currently divided by the North Circular… New bridges will be built over the River Roding and Alders Brook.” In the launch press release: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “For too long streets around London have been designed solely around cars and motor traffic. Our £50M investment will transform neighbourhoods and local town centres in inner and outer London, making them cleaner, greener and more pleasant places to spend time. Working with these boroughs to make our streets more welcoming for walking and cycling is vital for our health and wellbeing, but also essential for the future vibrancy and success of London’s local high streets.” Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator at London Cycling Campaign said: “These bold proposals to make greener, healthier neighbourhoods, where far more journeys can be walked and cycled, and where car use is reduced are great news. They come as a result of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promise to London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Sign for Cycling’ campaign, to provide funding for such schemes in every borough. We look forward to working with the new Liveable Neighbourhoods boroughs to turn their plans into a reality and to help the remaining boroughs without funding to bring forward suitably radical plans to improve their boroughs as well.” Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications at Living Streets, said: "Motor traffic is having a serious impact on the health and safety of people living and working in London. These imaginative plans will help make our capital city a healthier, happier place for everyone. We're delighted that more communities are set to benefit from cleaner, safer and more attractive streets. Not only will this ensure that people who currently walk and cycle are protected but it stands to enable and encourage more people to choose healthier, more sustainable ways to carry out their everyday journeys." Join London Cycling Campaign As a membership charity we rely on funds raised through subscriptions from individuals who share our vision of making London the best cycling city in the world. If you share our vision please join LCC today.             &nbs […]

  • Big win! Stratford major scheme opens
    on 26th February 2019 at 5:46 PM

    We recommend watching the video at double speed! Newham has officially opened the transformed Stratford town centre, and what a result it is! It replaces the old gyratory, which had previously dominated Stratford town centre, surrounding the old shopping centre and cutting off Westfield, the mega-busy train and bus station and the Olympic Park with multiple lanes of traffic. Cycle Superhighway CS2 runs out here, and there's lots of cycling in the area already despite the hostile streets. But they are hostile no more. The project has introduced physically protected cycle tracks around the entire junction, upgraded pedestrian crossings and removed the gyratory by creating two-way roads which will calm and slow motor traffic. Our Infrastructure Campaigner rode round the scheme on launch day, and gave it a glowing review. In the video you can see cycle crossings, vans parked in the cycle track (it is early days) and some interesting design details that may need a snagging list. But this represents a major win for cycling and a major win for the area. Newham Cyclists, our local group, deservedly won Best Infrastructure Campaign at our Campaigner Awards last year for their work around the scheme - in first pushing for it, then promoting it, working with the council every step of the way. So what's next for them and the borough? TfL's Strategic Cycling Analysis highlights the importance of an extension out towards Ilford, as well as a southern route to Plaistow. So there is lots more to be done to make cycling safer in Newham, but the good news is that the sucess of the improvemnts at Stratford town center have clearly emboldened the council. They put in three Liveable Neighbourhood bids last year (we're just about to find out whether they won any) and are moving forward now with gusto. […]

  • Tell Westminster Strand/Aldwych plans are rubbish for cycling
    on 25th February 2019 at 1:31 PM

    The one way system that covers part of the Strand and Aldwych is a multi-lane nightmare of buses, taxis, motorbikes and more, all changing lanes and racing around the heart of the West End. Horrible to cycle round and hectic to walk next to.  Now, Westminster Council has put forward a plan to remove the gyratory, creating a new public space. At first glance, this looks great. But scratch the surface and it’s clear, once again, Westminster has dismissed the dangers faced by people cycling here; once again they’ve put car parking spaces before protected space for cycling, metal boxes before people. The current plans expect the 2,000 plus people who cycle through here daily to either mix it with multiple lanes of motor traffic around Aldwych, dodging sharply manoeuvring traffic and stuck next to parked buses and cars, or to cut through the proposed pedestrianised section on The Strand – a recipe for conflict between people on foot and bike, the result of which could even be a cycling ban there. To make this a transformation that works for everyone who walks *and* cycles in the area, Westminster needs to provide Dutch style protected cycle tracks like those on the Embankment through the scheme.  Click here to take our one minute action and tell Westminster to improve the scheme for cycling.  The plan explained in more detail The plan is for Westminster Council to remove through motor traffic from The Strand between Waterloo Bridge and Arundel Street, putting all the motor traffic in both directions on Aldwych and removing the current one-way system. Buses, taxis and loading vehicles will still come into the western end of the scheme, with most then looping back by Melbourne Place. And the eastern half of The Strand will become a pedestrian plaza, basically. The plaza idea is great – but there’s some snags. First, with all the traffic on Aldwych, Westminster is planning for two lanes of parked vehicles (loading, pay by phone bays, resident bays, diplomatic bays, bus waiting bays and more) there plus four lanes of moving traffic. This leaves no room for cycling on what will be a very busy road. Four lanes of traffic squeezed between two lanes of parked motor vehicles will be incredibly hostile to ride around, polluted and traffic-choked – and Westminster has made no provision to try and reduce motor traffic here. To make this work better, protected cycle tracks should be the bare minimum here, and we think this would be fairly easy to do just by cutting some of the massive amounts of parking/loading provision. Westminster has told us that it won’t put cycle tracks on Aldwych because that might displace motor traffic away from the scheme, with drivers trying to avoid traffic lights and delays using narrower streets nearby. But the answer to this issue is to further restrict motor traffic on those narrower streets, something Westminster should increasingly be doing anyway – that way, the council could reduce the amount of vehicles cutting through Soho and Covent Garden and make cycling and walking safer around Aldwych. Faced with four lanes of moving, hostile traffic, and multiple traffic lights to wait at, we believe many cyclists will choose instead to use the plaza on The Strand. The proposal is for “shared space” where pedestrians, cyclists and even low levels of motor vehicles delivering or arriving etc. mix. The result here will be inevitably cyclists trying to cut through from end to end of the scheme and on, and going in both directions, mixing with each other and passing through crowds of pedestrians – it’s a recipe for conflict between cyclists and pedestrians that neither group wants. And we believe this may even suit Westminster Council – they will wait a few months, then happily ban cycling in response to complaints and that will make matters even worse. This isn’t a recipe that will work out well for anyone – so we’re asking you to raise this issue loudly with the council. Contact Westminster today. It takes just one minute to do. […]

  • Safer lorries on the horizon as London and Brussels back better direct vision in all new HGVs and seek to eliminate built-in ‘blind spots’
    on 15th February 2019 at 4:37 PM

    Safer lorries on the horizon as London and Brussels back better direct vision  in all new HGVs and seek to eliminate built-in ‘blind spots’  Lorry safety is set to improve as London, the European Commission and European Parliament push forward on making trucks with far fewer ‘blind spots’ the norm on European roads. London Cycling Campaign has lobbied consistently to reduce road danger by eliminating vehicles with very poor direct vision and the EU proposals will tackle this at source by requiring manufacturers design all HGVs to meet standards for far better driver vision. Speaking to Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European cities gathered at City Hall the Mayor said: “I’m delighted that the European Commission is following our lead and proposing to incorporate direct vision into its revised road safety regulations. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to reduce road danger – and would be a major step forward in making all HGVs safer across the UK and Europe, saving hundreds of lives every year.” Roza von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP and lead ‘rapporteur’ for the General Safety Regulations revision,  told the meeting at City Hall that she was proposing earlier implementation of the regulations on direct vision to help save lives. Transport for London has already announced a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and, from October 2020, will be restricting vehicles that don’t meet minimum ‘star ratings’ from entering the capital unless they have additional safety features. In TfL’s own contracts, one star lorries will be the minimum as of October 2019. Amsterdam Council, which had a representative at the City Hall meeting says that it too is switching to vehicles with good direct vision to reduce road danger. Ria Hilhorst, Amsterdam’s cycling policy advisor, said: “London’s HGV Safety Permits scheme is a great opportunity to stress the importance of direct vision for truck safety. The Direct Vision Standard would reduce casualties in cyclists and pedestrians and similar standards will hopefully be included in the EU’s revised General Safety Regulation.”  The Direct Vision Standard categorises HGVs depending on the level of a driver's direct vision from a cab. Restrictions in an HGV driver’s field of vision, or ‘blind spots’ have been identified as a significant contributory factor in collisions.  TfL research shows that between 2015 and 2017 HGVs were isproportionately involved in fatal collisions in London, including 63 per cent of those involving cyclists and 25 per cent of those involving pedestrians. This is despite HGVs making up only four per cent of the overall miles driven in the capital.  A European Parliament committee will first vote on the proposed GSR changes on 21st February, ahead of the final European Parliament vote later this year. This will be the first GSR reform since 2009, making it a once-in-a-decade opportunity to get direct vision included.  A public consultation on TfL’s HGV Permit Scheme is currently underway and closes on Monday 18th February 2019. &nbs […]

  • Cycle Superhighway CS11 ruled out (for now) by Westminster action
    on 8th February 2019 at 5:37 PM

    Sad news: the High Court has ruled that Westminster Council's judicial review of TfL's action on Cycle Superhighway CS11 cannot be appealed. The likely result is that work to tame the horrific Swiss Cottage gyratory will now be set back years. The case, as best as we can tell so far, hinged on the point that TfL consulted on a route that included closing gates around Regent's Park, cycle tracks on Portland Place and cycle lanes on Avenue Road as well as tackling the Swiss Cottage junctions, then tried to deliver just one bit of it when push came to shove. This allowed Westminster to mount its challenge - on the grounds that the business case and traffic modelling hadn't been done for Swiss Cottage on its own. Of course, it was delays to other sections of the scheme - including delays dealing with Westminster Council itself - that led to TfL trying to move forward on just Swiss Cottage. Swiss Cottage needs help A quick look at the terrifying collision map for Swiss Cottage junction shows in the last five years, around 60 collisions have resulted in injuries around the junction. That’s 12 people a year seen by emergency services. And one a year on average for a serious injury, one every five is killed. That’s far too many. Of those, the bulk are happening to three groups: pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikers. For each, this complex and often high-speed junction, is resulting in hospital stays, life-altering injuries, families distraught or torn apart. Measures to prevent this toll have been blocked following Westminster Council’s legal win against Cycle Superhighway CS11 after the High Court ruled TfL could not appeal against a Judicial Review. It is likely TfL and the Mayor and his team will now advance a scheme to tackle the junction - as a standalone Safer Junctions scheme perhaps. But that is likely to require new modelling and a new public consultation - one that is likely to be attacked by the very same forces that attacked Cycle Superhighway CS11. Until the scheme is past all that, likely years from now, more people are likely to be injured, and killed possibly, at the gyratory. Of course, there’s more to it than just the human toll from collisions. Such a nasty junction represents a barrier so that fewer people walk, cycle or shop here than could, and would, if things were different. That’s the point of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, of TfL taming our worst junctions, adding public space and cycle tracks.  Because the outcome of the 'do nothing' alternative, which may satisfy CS11 opponents, is not just collisions, but the congestion, pollution, climate change and inactivity we see daily already – and, in a growing city, set to get even worse. As a result of those who opposed the scheme, Swiss Cottage won’t get fixed any time soon – and every year of delay will mean more cost in terms of collisions, ill health and lost business. Why did anyone want to stop Swiss Cottage? The council and campaigners against CS11 say they wanted more data about the risk of traffic being displaced by the scheme away from main roads and onto residential streets. However, this is a common refrain across London, and specifically from Westminster. It is unlikely that more modelling, more data would have satisfied Westminster, and there are obvious measures the borough itself could take to mitigate any displacement if it was so concerned - such as filtering streets or areas into "low traffic neighbourhoods". On top of that, Camden, where Swiss Cottage actually sits, supported the scheme and did not appear to voice such concerns. Indeed, our Infrastructure Campaigner sat in a summer of meetings with TfL officers, and representatives of key groups against CS11 and officers from Westminster Council where it was made clear the Swiss Cottage section had been amended and was not likely to displace anywhere near as much traffic as first feared. However, some people and some councils will use any and every reason going to avoid changing roads, particularly when those changes are away from motor vehicles and towards more walking, and particularly towards more cycling. Westminster Council also opposed and is blocking the Lambeth Bridge scheme - stopping progress on the northern roundabout in their borough, that has been named the most dangerous roundabout in the UK, again because of fears of traffic displacement (and the removal of a palm tree). Weaning Westminster off the car It is understandable that Westminster's residents fear even more traffic on their already polluted and clogged streets. But the answer is not to accept traffic levels as they are now, but to reduce them by mitigating current schemes and building more schemes. As well as schemes like CS11, Westminster residents must work with organisations like us to close off ratruns, push for "School Streets" that limit motor traffic near schools, lobby their borough to reduce car parking and restrict car access increasingly. Fighting for a status quo where pollution kills near 10,000 Londoners early a year, inactivity far more (while crippling the NHS), where we have less than 12 years to take drastic action on climate change and where people continue to be seriously injured every year so people, many from outside London all together, can save a few minutes on their drive to the west end should not be an acceptable answer for anyone. Particularly not for Westminster Council, its Councillors and its residents. We hope Westminster's residents demand the borough now works actively with the Mayor, the Walking & Cycling Commissioner and TfL to deliver safe cycling on Portland Place, through Regent's Park, on Avenue Road and at Swiss Cottage, and to reduce motor traffic on their streets too, rather than continue to accept a far too high level of cycling collisions, injuries and fatalities and a motor-traffic dominated, polluted Westminster. We also hope that until that happens, TfL and the Mayor moves forward independent schemes outside of Westminster in Regent's Park and at Swiss Cottage working with Camden, The Royal Parks and The Crown Estates Paving Commission to deliver safer cycling and walking. […]

  • 1-min action: Tell Westminster today to not cut cycle route
    on 7th February 2019 at 2:59 PM

    Westminster Council are renowned for their antipathy towards cycling and walking – they’ve recently opposed pedestrianisation of Oxford Street despite major and mounting safety concerns, they’ve legally challenged Cycle Superhighway CS11 despite the section in question being outside their borough, and they’ve produced plans for cycling on The Strand that make virtually no sense (more on this soon). But they’re not just about the big schemes – even down to tiny back-streets they now seem intent on destroying the few vaguely OK cycling routes through their borough they’ve created over the years. Crossrail works have closed Great Chapel Street for the last few years – severing a useful north-south route from Soho to Fitzrovia, from Carlisle Street, across Oxford Street to Newman Street. Now the works are finishing, Great Chapel Street is set to reopen. But as a one-way street. And without any cycling contra-flow. You'd be forgiven for thinking Westminster council actively wants to discourage cycling. It would cost very little to reinstate this rare (for Westminster) but much used cycle route, and would have minimal impact on motor traffic flows. The consultation closes 8 February. Please write to the council today calling on them to improve and not remove facilities for cycling. Email with subject: 7439/PJ or mentioning this (it’s the traffic management order number) in the email. And ask to keep Great Chapel Street two-way for cycling. All of the detail is in this PDF. But it is fairly complex. The key points to make is cycling in Westminster should be a lot better than it is, that the council should be seeking to improve cycle routes not cut them apart, and that to do so here means keeping Great Chapel Street open in both directions for cycling. […]

  • Big news! Engagement begins on four new major cycle routes
    on 1st February 2019 at 3:14 PM

      TfL has begun public engagement of the first four of its new high-priority “future routes”. With the Mayor announcing he is scrapping “Cycle Superhighway” and “Quietway” brandings, we don’t know yet what these will be called, but all four run along routes in north-east London identified as having the highest potential to deliver more journeys by cycling. These four routes feature substantial amounts of main road protected cycle tracks and will help the Mayor push forward on his commitment during our "Sign for Cycling" campaign to triple the mileage of protected space for cycling in London by the end of his current term (in May 2020). These routes will also be subject to the tough new quality criteria laid out in the Cycling Action Plan. Prior to formal public consultation, TfL is engaging residents and everyone on where exactly these routes should go and asking for local expertise in delivering them to the best standard possible. The TfL website is here and they’re asking: “Are there opportunities or challenges with deliveries to local businesses, schools and other facilities?... Do you have any issues with rat running in your local area? Is there anything you would like to see us do to your local streets to help this?... How do you see these routes helping your local high streets and town centres? How could they support local regeneration?” and other questions too. We are using Cyclescape to collate the views of those who cycle in London, or want to, to inform our response to these four routes – you can feed into them via the links below, but please send any thoughts you have (even it is just “hurry up and get building these already”) to TfL as your first priority. The routes are: Camden - Tottenham Hale At approximately 12km, this route would connect the town centres of Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters and the Nag's Head, making it easier for people to make local journeys and use local services. The route would use both main roads and quieter back streets,” said TfL. This route would essentially link cycle tracks and routes in Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland that feed through most of Walthamstow, and past the new Wetlands centre, to Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Finsbury Park, the top of Caledonian Road and on to Camden’s Royal College Street tracks. It would link to several other schemes around Manor House that Hackney have planned and must upgrade the sections of Cycle Superhighway CS1 it uses if it’s to be a success. And there does, on the map, appear to be a missing bit between the Wetlands and Tottenham Hale – which is odd. Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here. Dalston – Lea Bridge This 3km route would fill the gap between Lea Bridge and the existing cycle route between the City and Tottenham at Dalston. From Lea Bridge the proposed route heads towards Lea Bridge Road to Lea Bridge roundabout, after which it joins quieter back streets including Downs Park Road and Sandringham Road to connect through to Dalston," said TfL. This fills in a missing link between the end of Waltham Forest mini-Holland cycle tracks on Lea Bridge Road and CS1 in Dalston, and would mean, alongside Quietway 2, there were much-improved onward connections for new cyclists leaving Lea Bridge Road. Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here. Hackney – Isle of Dogs This 7.5km route would stretch from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs via Westferry, Mile End and Victoria Park. It would connect with the cycle routes between Stratford and Aldgate and Barking to Tower Hill, as well as the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf crossing. There are currently two options in Hackney we want your views on," said TfL. This links Quietway 2 and central Hackney, across Victoria Park and across Mile End Road and CS2 to Canary Wharf – it then runs through the Isle of Dogs and reaches the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, with links also to the proposed Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe walking and cycling bridge. What the solution for the narrow Grove Road will be interesting, as will how the design detail works out with the infamously anti-cycling Canary Wharf Group as a stakeholder on the Isle of Dogs. Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here. Ilford – Barking Riverside This 7km route will link Ilford to Barking Riverside via Barking town centre using mostly quieter back streets. It would include key connections to the cycle route between Barking and Tower Gateway, Ilford Elizabeth line station and Barking Riverside Development - this includes more than 10,000 new homes and a new London Overground station," said TfL. This links the car-dominated and ageing Ilford town centre gyratory and Crossrail Elizabeth line station with Barking station and town centre and the new mega-development at Barking Riverside, including its Overground station. Feed into Cyclescape here. And send views to TfL here. […]