2010: cycling towards the election

2010 is a year of elections: the General Election is sure to gain most media attention but perhaps more importantly for us as cyclists are the local London elections. Lambeth Borough Council elections will definitely take place on Thursday 6 May 2010 – which is probably the same day as the General Election (but not guaranteed).

It is the policies and operations of Lambeth together with the Mayor of London and Transport for London that most affect day to day cycling. Lambeth are responsible for all the ‘local’ roads in the borough that are not red routes. Lambeth is also responsible for promoting cycling in schools, overseeing planning and housing as well as being one of the largest employers in the borough: all matters that impact on cycling in the borough.

In the run up to the local elections we will be publishing a Cycling Manifesto for Lambeth which we will distribute to the main political parties and ask them to sign up to our vision. We have built on work by LCC central and consulted Lambeth Cyclists members at meetings to come up with a 10 point plan to promote and improve conditions for cycling in the borough. We are fortunate in Lambeth in having a long history of cross-party support for cycling so a change of administration is likely not to result in radial change as it might in other boroughs. We want however to be confident that cycling will continue to enjoy the same level of support that it currently does in the borough.

We are planning to hold a sustainable transport hustings meeting in April (provisionally Tuesday 13 April) where we ask representatives of the four political parties on the council to lay out their visions for cycling in Lambeth over the next four years. We will then have a chance to ask questions and probe deeper their support for cycling and sustainable transport measures. Look out for details of the hustings meeting in the next April/May newsletter.

Lambeth wins LCC award

Congratulations to Lambeth Borough Council on winning the LCC’s Best Workplace Initiative award for its innovative cyclist awareness raising campaign for drivers of Council vehicles.

Starting with Veolia waste disposal lorry drivers the Council has been running training sessions to highlight blind spots which may mean they do not see cyclists.

The drivers then go out on bikes with CTUK instructors for a two hour cycle around the borough to give them an idea of how cycling along busy roads with large vehicles alongside appears from a cyclist’s perspective. The aim is to raise awareness amongst drivers and try to avoid collisions, especially between cyclists and left turning lorries. As part of the project the Council has also been out and about giving cyclists and pedestrians the opportunity at events such as the Lambeth Country Show to sit in lorry cabs to get the lorry driver’s perspective. Training is also available for cyclists in road positioning and assertive riding to avoid potentially dangerous situations. The Council will be making the training available to all council drivers and hopes to make it available to all employers in Lambeth.


Two way on Brixton Hill teething troubles?

Following on from the change to two way working on Brixton Hill in November 2009 –a move that Lambeth Cyclists have been advocating for 10+ years- we have had some feedback from members expressing concern about the cycle friendliness of the new road layout.

One or two ‘hotspots’ for cyclists have been identified, most notably going southbound past Coldharbour Lane junction. If you've experienced similar issues or other problems with the new roads layout contact Transport for London - email londonstreets@tfl.gov.uk, and if please copy in Lambeth Cyclists so that we can gather all of the responses together to gain an idea of the problems that cyclists are experiencing with the new layout. We will be carrying out a rush-hour cycle count and review of the area in April as a follow-up to our original Brixton Triangle report completed in 1999. We hope that by giving constructive feedback we can make the area more cycle friendly.