Good bye to the dreaded gyratory?

Lambeth Cyclists have discovered that the Mayor of London’s (Ken Livingstone’s) long-term transport strategy is to get rid of all gyratory systems in London, acknowledging what we’ve been pushing for some time: that they bring little benefit for pedestrians, public transport users or cyclists.

This stunning revelation, confirmed by Deputy Mayor Jenny Jones when she visited Brixton recently, was contained in the Lambeth draft Unitary Development Plan where the Mayor’s objection to Vauxhall Cross was noted. Its great news for cyclists as this will eventually result in the removal of gyratory systems such as those at Vauxhall Cross, Brixton Road and Tulse Hill – something we have been campaigning on for some time.

We will be pushing for implementation as soon as possible but don’t hold your breath – the plan is for the period to 2017. Further information available at www.lambeth.gov.uk

Cycling up in Lambeth

Initial findings of the 2001 census have been published and they show that the percentage of journeys to work made by bike increased by over 1.4% in the years between 1991 and 2001 – whilst this may not seem a major increase it is in the top seven increases nationwide and is the figure for all modes of transport.

Lambeth was one of six London boroughs in the top 14 in terms of increase in cycling.

Similarly data from TfL showed that cycling increased by 74% in the inner London area which includes Lambeth) from 1993 – 2003 and initial findings on the impact of congestion charging show that the number of cycle journeys have increased by 16% since February 2003.

Travel wisely – Go by Bike!

That was the message Lambeth Cyclists sent out to the people of Lambeth during Travelwise week – a week of events leading up to car free day on 22 September, coordinated by Transport for London, with the aim of promoting sustainable forms of transport and encouraging people to think about their transport choices.

We took part in the big cycle to work event of the Thursday of Travelwise Week cycling from Brixton to Victoria and Covent Garden where we joined with other cyclists for breakfast (paid for by TfL!).

On Friday night we held a stall in Brixton Town centre in association with Brixton Forum to promote safe travel at night providing information on night buses, safe travel and of course safe cycling. In a move well timed for cyclists, as the nights are beginning, Brixton Cycles were giving away bike lights, reflective jackets and best of all a competition to win a bike as well as offering discounts on products in store. We also used the event to gain feedback from Lambeth residents, including cyclists and pedestrians, on particular areas or streets where they don’t feel safe travelling at night, the results will be passed on to Lambeth Borough Council by the Brixton Area Forum and hopefully we will see improvements before long.

If you missed this event, but would like to provide your views on areas that need improvement please contact Brixton Area Forum: Brixton@Lambeth.gov.uk / tel 020 7926 1077. The competition was drawn at the September Lambeth Cyclists meeting just as this newsletter went to press – full details in the next newsletter.

Many thanks to everyone from Lambeth Cyclists who helped on the night, and especially staff at Brixton Cycles and members of Brixton Area Forum.

Women on the Move - Cycling for Women, a project by the Women's Design Service

Launch of the project in Lambeth with Deputy London Mayor Jenny Jones (third from left front row), Alix Stredwick (fourth from left front row) and women cyclists from Lambeth

At our August 2003 meeting we welcomed Alix Stredwick, a long term Tower Hamlets LCC member, who explained about the Cycling for Women project she is currently  undertaking at the Women’s Design Service, funded by the national lottery's New Opportunities Fund. The project was launched in September with a photoshoot in Brixton with Deputy London Mayor and Green Party Assembly Member Jenny Jones.

Alix explains the purpose of the project:
Did you know that government figures for 1995/97 show that on average, men make about two and a half times as many bicycle trips as women, and cycle about four times as far? And that the Public Transport Gender Audit carried out by the University of East London found that women account for only 4% of journeys made by bike?

The Women's Design Service, a London-based charity that works with women in urban environments, is undertaking a year long pilot project called Cycling for Women based in Camden and Lambeth. The project seeks to understand and address the reasons why comparatively few women compared with men cycle as a means of transport in London.  Cycling for Women aims to encourage and enable more women to cycle, and to help inform policy-makers on how to make cycling an easier choice for everybody.

But WDS needs your help to recruit women to take part in the project. All expenses are paid by WDS, free training is provided and some women may even end up with a discounted price bike!
 
WDS needs women over the age of 18 for:
-  Action Research: Six women in each borough are kitted out with equipment on loan from WDS and free training in order to confidently and safely take up cycling as a means of transport.
- On-road Cycle Training sessions: 30 women in each borough will be given free on-road cycle training in groups of 3-5 women in order to increase their cycling confidence.
- Maintenance Classes: Free women-only classes for women in each borough.
- Cycle Networks: Groups of 15+ women in each borough who get together to support and encourage each other on confidence-boosting cycle rides and other activities. The aim is to ensure that cycling becomes a sustainable
activity and women encourage other women and men to do the same.
- Focus Groups: Share your views about cycling, either as a 'cyclist', 'non-cyclist' or someone who can cycle but does not do so regularly.
- Surveys: Complete paper- or phone-based survey about attitudes towards cycling.

Participants can be women of any age over 18, of any fitness level and cycling ability - including disabled women and women currently unable to ride a bike, as long as they live or work in Camden/Lambeth.

If you, or someone you know would like to get involved, please contact Alix Stredwick astredwick@wds.org.uk tel 020 7490 5210. Further information on the project is at www.wds.org.uk