Latest news from the LCC. London Cycling Campaign is a registered charity that has been actively promoting cycling. Our vision is to transform our city into a healthier, cleaner and happier place to live, where cycling is a choice for any Londoner who wants to ride the streets conveniently and without fear.
New Cycle Parking Strategy for London identifies the problems but under-estimates future demand.
Having a safe place to leave your bike can be as vital to a making a cycle journey as having a safe route. The widespread lack of sufficient cycle parking stands is a barrier to cycling, as TfL’s new cycling parking strategy makes abundantly clear. Without more parking cycling growth will be stymied.
Announcing a welcome £2.5m of funding for parking in the next year, TfL estimates that we need an additional 36,000 more on-street cycle parking spaces, on top of 145,000 existing ones, just to satisfy existing demand. But, , TfL then forecasts an additional requirement by 2025 of just 12,000 spaces even though the Mayor has a target of doubling cycle trips by 2026 from 720,000 to 1.5m. We don’t think this number of additional spaces is anywhere near sufficient to help meet the Mayor’s trip target, and LCC has asked TfL for an explanation of how the 12,000 figure was arrived. We’ll post the response here as soon as we get it.
LCC agrees with Christina Calderato, TfL's Head of Delivery Planning, when she says: 'Enabling more people to cycle is vital if we are to tackle London's air quality and inactivity crises, but many people can be put off cycling to everyday destinations such as their workplace, the shops or the station by a lack of space to park their bike.’
To achieve the Mayor’s cycling targets we need accurate assessments of where parking currently exists and where it is needed. L LCC is helping TfL to address this by contributing to its comprehensive survey of all London’s cycling infrastructure.
Stations – 30% spare capacity outside Zone One
In a welcome, and essential, commitment in the strategy TfL say they plan to have a minimum 20 cycle parking spaces within 50 metres of every underground and rail station outside zone one, and 30% spare capacity. Ten stations will be tackled in the coming year.
The key point about the promised 30% spare capacity is that it will ensure that riders to stations will have the confidence that they can park their bike near the station and catch a train rather than find all stands filled and have to search far beyond the station to secure their bikes. Large parking hubs are promised for major London termini. The potential for growth in trips to stations is enormous: in the Netherlands 40 % of trips to stations are by bike compared to just 2% in the UK.
TfL reports that out of the 516 stations audited outside Zone 1 in 2015, 339 do not meet the new benchmark for cycle parking.
Cycle hangars – 1,400 new spaces by 2020
Another commitment is the increase in so-called cycle hangars on city streets to house the bikes of residents who do not have space in their homes for bike storage. Hackney and other boroughs have long waiting lists for hangars even though residents are charged for the facility. Currently there are 7,000 spaces in 1,200 hangars across London – that is set to increase by 1,400 spaces across London. A step in the right direction but that’s fewer than the number on the waiting list for hangar spaces in Hackney alone so delivery still needs to be stepped up.
Parking for 82 Schools and Colleges
Medical specialists constantly highlight the importance of active travel by children. In Holland half of education trips are by bike, in London it’s less than two percent. Safe routes are an obvious requirement but cycle parking is also essential. Eighty schools and two universities are to get cycle parking this year under TfL’s plan.
In London more than 20,000 cycle thefts are reported each year and unreported thefts could be three times higher according to the police. According to the TfL cycle parking strategy: “Twenty-five per cent of people who cycle, and 22 per cent of people who don’t, are put off cycling in London for fear of cycle theft. When theft occurred, 34 per cent of victims said they had stopped cycling altogether, or temporarily, as a result.”
Secure cycle parking at home and at destinations is the obvious answer. TfL has identified the problems and its proposed solutions reflect LCC’s longstanding advice, as well as international best practice. New developments will benefit from the improved minimum cycle parking standards in the London Plan that LCC and TfL have backed, but retrofitting existing buildings is necessary as demand grows and incentives for employers have worked before and could prove an answer again.
LCC members know that they’re covered when they're cycling
Over the past couple of weeks, we've received several calls and emails about the free liability insurance that comes with LCC membership, so we're publishing this information to remind everyone exactly what's included...
Your coverage, explained
Third-party liability insurance
As an LCC member, you have the peace of mind of knowing you have free third-party liability insurance. Providing your membership is current, you don't need to do anything, you are automatically covered. The insurance covers you for claims made against you for injury or damage caused by you to a third party while you are cycling – this applies anywhere in the world except in the USA and Canada.
You can find a summary of the policy here, which explains the coverage, and exclusions, in greater detail.
If you do ever need to make a claim, you can contact the insurer on 0151 494 4400, referencing London Cycling Campaign when you call.
Free legal advice
We hope you never need it, but our cycle-friendly solicitors are ready to give you advice if you do.
They're experts in cycling injury claims and recognised as leading lawyers in London – if you’re ever involved in a collision, or need legal advice on a cycling matter, you can contact them free of charge on 020 7681 8672.
Great deals on theft insurance
Cyclesure offer LCC members excellent theft and damage cover at a very competitive rates, with great benefits including 'get you home' cover.
If you're not an LCC member it's quick and easy to join.
You’ll be supporting our work to make sure everyone can enjoy cycling in London safely. And in return you'll receive a great package of benefits including the liability insurance and free legal advice explained above.
We are writing to express our extreme disappointment at the sudden pronouncement by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to oppose the Wood Lane to Notting Hill cycle safety scheme at The Kensington Society public meeting.
Despite inviting views and encouraging people to respond to TfL’s consultation, announcing your opposition before the public consultation had concluded has fatally undermined the process, running roughshod over the thousands of people who responded to it in good faith.
The TfL consultation was the official method of gauging the opinion of your residents, and your decision to scupper its results goes against Cllr Thalassites own comments on the need for the consultation to run its full course: “It’s in our interests to consult widely and produce popular policies, so I was happy to commit to six-week consultations.”
According to your statement, you received in the order of 450 emails from residents opposing the scheme. But, the Mayor of London has since told the London Assembly that over 5,000 responses were received overall by TfL through the widely-publicised and legally-mandated consultation.
We do not yet know what support was expressed for the scheme, but by disregarding the formal consultation, you are in opposition of your started aim of listening to your residents.
In doing so, you have amplified the concerns of a tiny, but loud minority of residents, overriding the purpose of the consultation - to identify any resident and stakeholder concerns and address them. You have allowed the opinion of a few to prevent thousands of people living, working and visiting Kensington and Chelsea from having their say.
As TfL’s documentation accompanying the consultation shows, many of the objections being raised against the scheme were not supported by evidence. This is something that you must surely have been aware of and satisfied by before giving your assent for the scheme to go to public consultation. (LCC’s own responses to the majority of objections raised are summarised here, addressing the tree removal, the impact on businesses and journey times.)
We urge you to reflect on the fact that this cycle safety scheme would have brought many benefits for you residents, including reducing road danger on a stretch of your streets that have seen 275 collisions in the last three years. There isn’t an alternative scheme that would address this issue - especially if you plan is to route it on back streets.
The residents in your borough who supported and wanted the scheme have been side lined by your decision – this open letter to yourselves from the Better Streets from Kensington and Chelsea demonstrates that the opposition was by no means universal. Your responsibility to these residents has been completely abdicated by your decision to oppose this scheme - without assessing the views of thousands of respondents to the official consultation - on the basis of weak evidence and a small minority of residents raising concerns.
We urge you to consider the health and well-being of your residents – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable who the evidence shows are most likely to suffer from road collisions – and to review your decision, rather than scuttle a safety scheme that will save lives and prevent serious injuries, while opening up massive opportunities for healthier, greener active travel in your borough.
We stand ready to work collaboratively on improving road conditions and reducing road danger in Kensington and Chelsea.
TfL has a current consultation to massively improve walking and cycling conditions in four linked neighbourhoods stretching from Wood Lane, through Shepherd's Bush, along Holland Park Avenue and ending beyond Notting Hill Gate at the Westminster border. We think the scheme is excellent, and it includes continuous safe cycle tracks along it's length. So please support it: you can read our brief take on it and how to respond to the consultation here and see our full response here.
Despite it being a really good scheme, there have been many concerns raised from some residents, some businesses and some local politicians. It is absolutely important that the Mayor, his team and TfL take these concerns seriously and listen to them. But it’s also very important that they move forward on the basis of evidence and policy, not hyperbole, hearsay and myth – which do seem to be at play with some of the issues raised, and in the tone and tenor of many emails we’ve been sent and tweets we’ve seen.
It’s also important that residents, businesses and politicians listen to the evidence – politics doesn’t go well when we don’t listen to each other, and when decisions are made on whom shouts loudest, rather than the actual evidence available.
Of course, the reality is only a relatively small proportion of residents, and businesses in the area are putting forward these concerns – over and over this is the case. It is important to understand the issues raised, but it is also a failing of the current system that many voices are often missed in this dialogue – the scheme passes many educational institutions and it is interesting that the voices of the young, the students and pupils, are largely silent in the debate thus far.
Change is difficult and often scary – and it is an understandable human reaction to fear it. But in a growing city, rocked by climate, inactivity, congestion, collision and pollution crises, it is no longer acceptable to make decisions based on fear of change. And it is no longer acceptable to delay needed change, based on evidence, because of fear. Or are our very real and well-evidenced fears of the climate crisis, of air quality, of a struggling NHS, really outweighed by fears based on very little evidence (or often no evidence at all)?
The concerns raised, and our view:
Below we cover in detail how and why the scheme will not increase road danger, but rather reduce it; why the felling of trees associated with the scheme, while far from ideal, is worth it; why the scheme will not create gridlock, increase pollution or delay emergency services (rather, in the latter, the opposite); why fears of displaced traffic into residential streets should not derail the scheme (but might mean further mitigation is needed after monitoring); why shops along the route are likely to thrive rather than suffer and how impacts to buses will be minor and can be best addressed.
Road danger will increase
The picture above is the Crashmap results for the last five years of collision data available for the route the scheme passes along, just for serious injuries and fatalities. The roads covered by the scheme are manifestly hostile and dangerous. In the last five years, over 150 injuries have been recorded between Shepherd’s Bush roundabout and the scheme end alone. Serious and fatal injuries come approximately one every three months on that stretch of Holland Park Avenue alone.
That’s an unacceptable toll by any standard – and anyone who raises safety concerns about the scheme, particularly anyone suggesting things are fine as they are, needs to think long and hard about how to square their opposition to the scheme with the data.
Several people have raised the issue of faster cyclists, of a gradient, of behaviour of cyclists at lights, but again, across London the data tells a very clear picture – while poor cyclist behaviour is common, it is no more common than poor driver behaviour, and poor pedestrian behaviour. But far more importantly, the overwhelming and disproportionate majority of road danger – of collisions, of injuries, of fatalities – is caused by poor driver behaviour (see the studies from Transport Research Laboratory, summarised here and work by the West Midland Police Road Harm Reduction Team among others).
This scheme is set to reduce road danger dramatically – that is clear from any clear-eyed assessment of the plans. It is likely to result in slower, calmer driving, less motor traffic-dominated environments, improved pedestrian crossings and far far safer cycling.
Similar schemes across London, and internationally, again, demonstrably don’t result in increased danger, but the opposite. And again it is worrying that many residents and politicians seem keener to make claims than use evidence and data to assess the issues.
Trees are being felled for the scheme
Two mature trees and several other large trees, as well as some smaller and indeed struggling trees in the central reservation are proposed to be felled. That is far from ideal. But we have to weigh up the pros and cons of a scheme that is set to dramatically boost walking and cycling rates, enable many more people to walk and cycle in the area and will overall increase tree planting versus those mature trees lost.
It’s important to understand that many schemes that affect our roads across London involve the loss of trees. It does appear that many of those raising trees as a primary concern now weren’t raising concerns about other highways changes in the area and beyond before. And the question must then be asked – is this about trees? Or is cycling just less important than trees to some people (while HS2 is far more important, for instance)? We believe that each scheme needs to minimise tree loss, but that the amount of tree loss here is far outweighed by the potential good the scheme will do over time.
The scheme will cause gridlock
Simply put, there is no evidence it will. Indeed, TfL’s modelling shows the impact on buses and private motor vehicles is very small for schemes of this type.
On top of that, we are a growing city, with congestion increasing, where the Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims to nearly halve the proportion of private motor vehicles compared to other modes by 2041. If that is a serious aim, we need to stop opposing schemes that evidentially are likely to enable people to shift away from private motor cars because one junction gets a bit worse.
Similarly, claims the scheme will worsen air pollution don't seem to be based in any evidence or data. The same claims are routinely made about the East-West Cycle Superhighway CS3 and indeed the Tavistock Place scheme, however air quality appears to have improved along these corridors, not worsened.
Some have also raised the issue of traffic “displacement”. It does not appear that TfL believes much of this will happen. But if it does, that does not mean the scheme should be cancelled. The answer to ratrun/through motor traffic on residential streets is not solved by simply doing nothing as motor traffic congestion increases and apps such as Google Maps and Waze increasingly encourage drivers to avoid lights and congested main roads. The answer is to build what we call “low traffic neighbourhoods” (see more here). We would support residents, TfL and Kensington & Chelsea council working together on this where needed or wanted.
The scheme can be rerouted
The scheme is directly along the alignment of two of TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis top 25 highest potential for cycling routes in London. These are routes where TfL has used data to identify corridors where many current motor traffic journeys could and should easily be cycled. Any other route would have to be designed to fulfil this potential, to be high-quality and attractive for people who currently drive but might cycle here and would need to pass through key destinations along this potential route.
LCC is always open to conversations about route alignments – and is in this case. But those routes we’ve seen thus far suggested are really not in any way viable – either they don’t fulfil this key desire line and its potential, or they avoid key destinations and amenities, which are really important to fulfil the potential of the route, or they do not enable a complete route without significant diversion and loss of coherence (in other words, we have copious data and evidence to demonstrate expecting people to wiggle all round the houses doesn’t work in enabling large numbers of new people to cycle) or are far too far away from this potential corridor. You can see TfL’s SCA maps in zoomable format here.
Other commenters have suggested other approaches - even a one-way reversible cycle track - that appear primarily aimed at retaining motor traffic lanes on Holland Park Avenue. We have yet to see credible scheme diagrams or explanations. Cycle schemes and highways changes require complex modelling and careful design around junctions etc. There are good design and engineering reasons why TfL propose the schemes they do. Of course, reversible one-way schemes also would not enable the broader range of cycling and the shorter journeys, and out of peak journeys, that TfL's Strategic Cycling Analysis identifies as switchable from car journeys.
There is also another issue that must be addressed – whenever a major new cycle scheme comes forward, particularly involving cycle tracks on main roads, it’s always the "wrong alignment" or the "wrong approach". We can’t have a sensible conversation about cycling schemes if every resident assumes they have more cycle infrastructure expertise than TfL engineers and all the other cycle infrastructure planners and experts involved in this process. And while overall and general support for more cycling schemes in London has repeatedly shown to be huge (repeated surveys show an overwhelming majoprity of Londoners support cycling), when it comes to the main road at the end of your street, many residents, it would appear, suddenly get cold feet.
The scheme will delay emergency services
This is incredibly unlikely, and again there is no evidence to make this claim at all. Other schemes haven’t seen delays to emergency services increase. And indeed the main stated delays to emergency services generally, across London are poorly parked cars, motor traffic congestion, cars not moving out of the way. Existing Cycleway schemes in London regularly see emergency services vehicles using the cycle tracks to avoid congestion.
Shops will suffer
Again there is very little evidence this will come to pass, and the likelihood is trade will improve instead. Over and over across London, on just about every scheme going, traders vastly overestimate the importance of delivery spots directly outside their shopfronts, overestimate by an even greater factor the amount of money drivers spend in their shops, and underestimate the positive impact of changes to the streets their shops are on with these types of schemes. See TfL’s case studies for more information.
In Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland schemes, vacancy rates for shops have gone down markedly, despite dire predictions of the “death” of the shopping high street, and footfall is up dramatically. Similar results can be seen across London, the UK and internationally – as can similar fears voiced prior to changes.
That said, again, it is clear some businesses will need to adjust practices and some will need deliver, loading bays etc. It is important that businesses have an honest and open dialogue with TfL about their needs and that TfL listens. But that conversation doesn’t begin with doom-mongering.
The scheme will affect buses
Bus journey times aren’t set to be dramatically impacted by the scheme, and the moving of some bus stops is not in itself a reason to cancel a scheme – all bus stop movements should be carefully considered and balanced against the improvements the scheme makes by TfL, listening to residents.
The Royal Parks, custodians of eight of London’s most iconic green spaces has launched a public engagement exercise into its future long-term strategy on movement and transport. And the strategy contains several very exciting principles at present.
The Royal Parks manages Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. It acts independently to the boroughs the parks are in, but as the strategy discussion paper launched today points out: “parliamentary approval is required to implement changes to speed restrictions and car parking charges within our parks”.
You can comment on the draft strategy here. Its main aim, according to the discussion paper is to “protect the park environments and enhance the park visitor experience”. To do that, the strategy proposes seven “movement principles”, as below.
The most interesting one on initial read is 4 – The Royal Parks wants to discourage through motor traffic from using park roads. This could have a massive impact on the parks, and on cycling and walking in and through them. Presently, there are clear and massive through motor vehicle routes (or “ratruns”) through Regent’s Park (with the Crown Estates Paving Commission continuing to reject closing its gates around the Outer Circle as was proposed, and supported by them, during the Cycle Superhighway CS11 consultation) most obviously, but also Richmond Park and others.
Removing through motor traffic from these parks would not only make them far far better for people walking, cycling, playing, lounging in them, but also vastly improve the parks as places to cycle in, to and through potentially. Roads inside parks simply shoudn't be alternatives to main roads for thousands of drivers heading for central London daily - if the only motor traffic in these parks were visitors, the roads would be far nicer places to cycle and walk along.
So far, these are just principles in a strategy - it remains to be seen how exactly proposals would evolve. But the potential to improve these iconic parks is huge.
LCC will be formulating a response and letting people know about it asap. You can feed into our thinking at our Cyclescape thread. But most importantly, if you want to feed in to the consultation before we’ve worked up a more full response, get online and support the principles here.
The Royal Parks’ draft movement principles:
We will protect and conserve our parks’ special qualities: “Any changes or developments that affect the way visitors move within our parks should be sensitive to the heritage, character, biodiversity, wildlife and listed landscapes of the parks and must result in no net loss of trees or green space.”
Our parks are for people: “Our parks are places that people visit for relaxation and recreation, and to escape the busy city. To make that possible, we will prioritise walking within our parks.”
We will encourage the use of more sustainable ways to access our parks: “How visitors arrive at our parks plays a significant role in how they use and experience them. We will promote and encourage visitors to use active and sustainable modes of transport for park visits whenever they can.”
Our park roads are not intended to be commuter through-routes for motor vehicles: “Park roads are primarily for the use of park visitors coming to the parks, not for commuters travelling through the parks. Over time, we will discourage the through-movement of motor vehicles within our parks.”
We will achieve more by delivering key projects through partnership and collaboration: “The transport and movement decisions of our visitors do not begin and end at our park boundaries. To deliver positive change we will collaborate with key partners on projects, both within and outside of the parks, to achieve the best possible outcomes for the benefit of our visitors.”
We will make evidence-based decisions: “To make appropriate decisions concerning movement, we will use all available and relevant evidence and data. We will monitor and report outcomes against objectives and embed continuous improvement into our approach.”
We will be proactive in our approach to future transport challenges and opportunities: “The future of transport is quickly changing, and user-expectations play an ever-increasing role in influencing decisions and solutions. We will ensure that we are prepared for these changes and opportunities, so that we can anticipate and respond to change in an informed, considered and prompt way that aligns with our charitable objectives.
London Cycling Campaign and Parents for Future have been joined by hundreds of families and adults riding in solidarity with today’s school strikers to demand global action to avert catastrophic climate change.
In conjunction with today’s global School Strike for the Climate, campaigners from LCC and Parents for Future cycled with hundreds of others from Russell Square, down and around Aldwych, across Waterloo Bridge, past the Imperial War Museum, over Lambeth Bridge and onto Milbank.
The large turnout sends a powerful message that urgent action on the climate emergency is desperately needed by politicians. The climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity, and with 20% of London’s carbon emissions coming from road transport, massively reducing motor traffic and rapidly expanding the network of high-quality cycling infrastructure is vital and achievable.
There is a clear roadmap for how we decarbonise London’s road transport. Now we urgently need the Mayor and Borough Council Leaders to deliver it.
Doing so will create a better city for everyone - one with fewer cars, less pollution, greener streets and much, much more high-quality cycling infrastructure – while helping cut carbon emissions, protecting the future of the planet and millions of people.
Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of London Cycling Campaign said:
“I have worked on climate and the environment for decades. Never during this time have I seen a movement have so great an impact, in so short a space of time, as the school climate strikers. Young people are least responsible for the climate emergency but have most to lose; LCC is proud to be riding in solidarity with them, and Parents for the Future, to demand radical action by our political leaders to stop climate chaos and build a better, zero carbon future for all.”
Millie Guest, Parents for Future said:
“Everyone wants clean air and a safe future for their children, but somehow we collectively have been unable to secure that for the young generation. This must change. We must be bold and ambitious for our children. That is what the youth strikers are asking of adults - for ambition and to build the city of our dreams and not our nightmares.”
Speaking at the London Walking & Cycling Conference, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, have made a series of announcements regarding cycling. The key one being that they have successfully in this term doubled the mileage of protected space for cycling on main roads in London since his election in May 2016. This puts him on track to fulfil the promise he made to us all during LCC's "Sign for Cycling" election campaign.
TfL says that 116km of “protected cycle lanes” are now “complete or under construction” since the Mayor’s election in May 2016, and that 53km where in place at that point. This means the Mayor has to deliver a further 43km before the end of this term – and he is on track according to TfL to achieve that.
The Mayor used his speech at the London Walking & Cycling Conference (co-organised by City and Hackney councils) to tell a “tale of two cities” where boroughs including Enfield, Hackney, Camden, Waltham Forest and City of London were pushing forward on cycling infrastructure, while opposition and inaction from boroughs including Westminster is “harming the health of Londoners”.
The Mayor also announced the Healthy Streets TfL budget has increased to over £2.3bn despite increasing pressure on its finances, and full detail was unveiled for TfL’s quality criteria now being applied to ensure the authority won’t “build or fund new routes that aren’t up to scratch”. The Mayor said the criteria would mean new cycle routes are “for cyclists of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life”. Also at the conference it was finally confirmed that Quietway and Cycle Superhighway branding is being replaced with a unified “Cycleway” branding – with some routes being re-numbered to create a unified numbering system.
It’s great news that Sadiq is on track to fulfil his pledge to our members and all Londoners to triple the mileage of protected space by the next election. With less than a year to go, it’s vitally important the Mayor, TfL, and particularly the boroughs, pull out all the stops to deliver the cycling network Londoners deserve and need to ensure the city can keep moving sustainably and healthily.
However, while the Mayor’s mileage claim is very welcome, it bears some scrutiny. The Mayor and his team are being somewhat coy thus far about exactly what he is and isn’t counting towards this tally – it appears that the Greenway Quietway getting lighting doesn’t count as a new scheme, but do minor works to existing A40 shared space? More worrying, nearly all of the distance delivered thus far comes from schemes well underway during Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan’s term – schemes that were already consulted on, have had no substantial redesign, and just required a sign-off to begin construction.
20km comes from Cycle Superhighways, 5km from Quietways, 17km from other schemes such as Stratford gyratory, Highbury Corner and Westminster Bridge south and 21km from the mini-Hollands – notably Enfield’s semi-segregated network and Waltham Forest work on Lea Bridge Road. All of these schemes were already in train under Sadiq’s predecessor as far as we can tell. Even Cycle Superhighways (or Cycleways as they are now rebranded) CS4 and CS9 had been extensively worked on before the election – and they are yet to begin construction.
Also set for consultation in 2019 are routes taken from TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis of highest potential corridoors: Camden - Tottenham Hale; Dalston - Lea Bridge Road; Rotherhithe – Peckham; Ilford - Barking Riverside; and Wembley - Willesden; as well as potentially the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge, that would link Cycle Superhighway CS4 and the Rotherhithe - Peckham route to Canary Wharf and on to Hackney.
All of these routes, however, are yet to get through consultation – which can be a bumpy ride, as the Kensington & Chelsea schemes are certainly experiencing already. Unless Sadiq gets lucky, and pushes hard, he could still yet easily miss his targets. After all, he has taken three years thus far to add 63km, now he has less than a year to add 43km more. On top of that, there are worrying signs he hasn’t been made aware that what he is set to build isn’t what is required to really deliver on cycling.
TfL’s Quality Criteria
LCC has had early sight of TfL’s cycling quality criteria, and we have a major concern around it. Its launch confirms this – it simply doesn’t set the bar high enough to guarantee, as Sadiq says, that only schemes that will enable “cyclists of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life” will be funded.
The biggest issue is of the six interlinked criteria, that the one for motor traffic volume is set far too high. As currently set, the criteria falls far from Dutch CROW manual guidance, far from LCC policy that is based on that guidance, and far from what is clearly needed to enable cyclists “of all ages, all abilities” to cycle in comfort.
The criteria gives a green light to motor traffic volumes where people cycling mix with motorised traffic “where there are fewer than 500 motor vehicles per hour (vph – two-way) at peak times, and preferably fewer than 200vph.” 500 motor vehicles in the peak hour means people of “all ages, all abilities” would be expected to mix with up to eight motor vehicles a minute passing them. Or, put another way, 500 vehicles in a peak hour generally translate to around 5,000 vehicles a day – which is lower than most main roads, but makes for a very busy and hostile ratrun.
As the criteria are currently set, TfL’s approach will remove the worst cycle schemes that previously would have been funded – blue paint Cycle Superhighways, paint and sign only Quietways down mega-ratruns. But “all ages, all abilities” cycling will remain far out of reach for many schemes that will pass the criteria with flying colours.
Already we’re seeing schemes come forward that are indirect, that go down ratruns with no interventions, and that use shared space crossings of main roads that presumably pass this criteria. If the Mayor wants to truly deliver on his promise to make cycling something for people “from all walks of life”, these criteria will need urgent revision.
On Friday 24th May, LCC is organising a family friendly ‘Climate Strike on a Bike’ with Parents for the Future. Ride with us through the streets of London in support of School Strikers, on what’s anticipated to be London’s biggest school climate strike yet.
Since beginning her ‘School Strike for the Climate’ in August 2018, Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of other school children to join her protest. Collectively, they have been demanding global action to avert catastrophic climate change. And LCC will be joining them on 24th May.
Main start point: Russell Square (south side) 10:30 for 11:00 ride start
Second start point: Waterloo Roundabout (east side, in front of St John’s Church) 11:00 for 11:20 ride start
Finish: Milbank aprox. 12:00 – people can then join the students strike in Parliament Square
For decades, LCC has been working hard to turn London into a world class city for cycling. Given the organisation was born out of the environmental movement over 40 years ago, one of our fundamental reasons for this has been to tackle climate change.
Of course, climate change hasn’t always been front and centre of people’s minds, but recent events have changed that. From the most recent IPCC report, to Greta Thunberg’s challenge to world leaders and the Extinction Rebellion protests in spring, the message that urgent action is now necessary to respond to the climate emergency is being shouted loud and clear.
In London, the Mayor and some boroughs have already taken the positive step of declaring a climate emergency, but what will that mean in practice?
Our roads and streets are one of the key sectors that both the Mayor and borough councils have direct control over, and with 20% of all carbon emissions come from road transport in London, decarbonising our roads will be a be a vital and achievable step towards a net zero emission city.
Taking that setp will mean massively reducing motor traffic and rapidly expanding the network of high-quality cycling infrastructure so that anyone who wants to cycle can - exactly what LCC have long campaigning for.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity. LCC has the road map for the rapid, achievable and necessary way to decarbonise London’s road transport. It’ll create a better city for everyone - one with fewer cars, less pollution, greener streets and much, much more high-quality cycling infrastructure – cutting carbon emissions, protecting the future for the planet and millions of people.
Want to be part of our campaign? Let us know you are interested in hearing more by signing-up here.
Huge congratulations to Richard Balfe, the very first person to complete the London Marathon with an official LCC charity place.
Richard is a long-time LCC supporter and cycling advocate. He also owns and manages one of south London's best loved bike shops, Balfe's Bikes, which has branches in East Dulwich and in Streatham. Richard's heroic efforts meant he completed the 26.2 mile event in 4 hours 52 minutes and raised over £2,000 for LCC. As with all LCC challenge events, all money raised supports LCC campaigning efforts.