Lambeth Cyclists architecture ride this Sunday: 30 October 2011: the Country Retreats of South London

Sunday 30 October 2011

Eagle House in Mitcham on
Eagle House, Mitcham

We'll be looking at several big houses on our journey from Streatham to Mitcham via Wimbledon; houses that were once country retreats. There's more than one might expect!

We start in Brockwell Park: the house there will be our first stop, then on to Streatham Common, Furzedown, then on to Mitcham, where we'll have a pub lunch.

After lunch, we will look at a house on the south side of Mitcham next to the Wandle, then Morden Hall and Morden Park, and then perhaps finish with a glance at a house on Merton High Street.

Meet: 10.00 am (for 10.15 am start) by Brockwell Park, Herne Hill gate (junction of Dulwich Road and Norwood Road, SE24)

    Those who wish can return by train (SW Trains or the District Line) from Wimbledon Station.

    Ride will finish about 4.00pm. Some hills, overall distance no more than about 10 miles, but at a fairly leisurely pace.

    All welcome - no need to register - make sure your bike is roadworthy!

    - Note the ride this month is on a Sunday -

    See and Hear Big Ben up close! The December Ride

    Cyclists outside parliament on

    Lambeth Cyclists’Architecture Ride Friday 9 December 2011 
    Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860) and Augustus Pugin (1812-1852)

    Lambeth Cyclists’ Architecture Ride in December, led by Charlie Holland, offers an exceptional opportunity to join the very few who have climbed the 334 stone spiral steps in the Houses of Parliament clock tower to see and hear Big Ben strike the hour right up close! (I did this for Pedal Power Kennington last year, see the photo above, and the teenagers loved it, but the adult ride leaders loved it more).

    Sir Charles Barry was chosen as the architect to design the new Houses of Parliament after the fire of 1834, and he selected Augustus Pugin as his assistant.

    Starting at Clapham Common Bandstand, we’ll ride to Portcullis House for the Clock tower tour, then ride to look at other works by Barry and Pugin, and have lunch, before returning for a tour of the rest of the Palace of Westminster.

    10am meet Clapham Common Bandstand
    10.50 Arrive Portcullis House
    11.15 Clock tower Tour starts
    12.30 Clock tower Tour ends
    12.30 - 3 Ride to view other Pugin/Barry buildings and lunch
    3.10 Arrive PofW Visitors' Entrance
    3.45 Palace of Westminster tour
    5.00 Tour and Ride ends

    Booking no later than Sunday 20 November is essential for security clearance.
    Please only ask for a space if you are CERTAIN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND ON THAT DATE. There are only 16 places on the tour so book early! You MUST return the security clearance info below on requesting your place, and we will contact you to confirm your place.

    For security reasons, it is the House of Commons' policy to obtain security information on all visitors wishing to tour the Clock Tower. All visitors must have a full UK address at which they permanently reside. Children under the age of 11 are not permitted to participate in the tour. The booking information will be passed to the Police for vetting. Tours of the Clock Tower cannot be provided to overseas visitors.

    Each visitor (aged 18 or over) should bring two forms of identification, one with their home address, the other with photographic ID. Passport, driving licence, utility bill or official letter.

    Owing to the nature of the tour, it is not suitable for all visitors and requires a certain degree of good health and fitness as you will be required to climb 334 stone spiral steps.If you are in any doubt about your ability to participate in the tour you should consult your doctor. Sensible shoes must be worn.

    Please email the following information to Charlie Holland  no later than Sunday 20th November to book your place (1st come, 1st served).

    MOBILE PHONE NUMBER (for me, not the security services!)      

    Lambeth's Core Strategy for Vauxhall

    The Vauxhall Society reports that, "Lambeth councillors have hired an extremely-expensive architectural practice, Farrells, to make up planners’ and councillors’ minds for them on whether Vauxhall Cross is to be a ‘centre’ (i.e. fit for people) or an ‘interchange’ (what we have now)."

    Lambeth Council has already made up its mind - Lambeth's Core Strategy, adopted this January, includes the following about Vauxhall:

    "Overall, development will be supported to provide at least 3,500 new homes
    and 8,000 jobs in the Vauxhall area and appropriate community and public
    transport infrastructure improvements will be sought.
    This will be achieved by:
    (a) Active ground floor frontages being provided in development throughout
    the Vauxhall area, with a mix of uses including Central London Activities
    with local services and facilities serving the predominantly residential
    areas to the east of the railway viaduct. A focus of new retail uses will be
    promoted around the transport interchange to create a district centre.
    (b) Developing an accessible, legible and permeable pedestrian and cycling
    environment, including creating public spaces, promoting public art, with
    key landmarks, quality streetscape, strong linkages to the River Thames,
    between public spaces, and connections from east to west between Albert
    Embankment and the primarily residential areas beyond the railway
    viaduct and ensuring that a high quality riverside walk is maintained.
    (c) Seeking substantial improvements in the quality, access and capacity of
    public transport in the Opportunity Area as a whole and in particular
    Vauxhall underground and rail stations, bus services, enhancement of the
    quality of public transport interchange, highway improvements throughout
    the Vauxhall area particularly seeking the removal of the one-way traffic
    system and transport links to the wider area."

    I hope that Farrell's have been appointed to show how this strategy, including the removal of the one-way traffic system, can be achieved.

    Free bike lights when you join London Cycling Campaign before 30 October 2011

    Photo of woman cyclist on
    The clocks go back next Sunday (30 October 2011)  and the longer nights will be drawing in.

    To help you stay visible London Cycling Campaign is offering a FREE set of bike lights worth £24 if you JOIN before 30 October.


    Not only will LCC be helping you stay visible during the longer nights LCC membership also includes;

    Protection on the roads with

    • Free third party insurance – did you know you can be sued if you crash into a car or pedestrian. LCC membership covers you up to £5 million

    • Free legal helpline – LCC provides priority legal advise from an experienced solicitor used to dealing with cycling related issues and crashes

    • Great deals on theft insurance - LCC Urban Cycling Insurance policy offers excellent theft and damage cover for your bicycle at a very competitive rate, with great benefits including 'get you home' cover.

    • Keep up to date with London Cyclist magazine and Lambeth Cyclists newsletter

    Great offers and discounts
    • Enjoy up to 15% off new bikes, accessories, parts and servicing in over 120 London bike shops can save you a fortune, and can cover your whole membership cost.

    • LCC members also receive exclusive offers from Cotswold Outdoor, H2 gyms in Soho and many many more.

    Join now on the London Cycling Campaign website

    Please note that all offers and discounts are made to members entirely at the discretion of the third-party supplier, from which we do not gain or have any control.

    Lambeth Cyclists meeting this evening

    Lambeth Cyclists meeting on
    Come to the Lambeth Cyclists meeting tonight!

    We hope you can join us for Lambeth Cyclists' October meeting this evening (18 October 2011) at 7:30pm upstairs at the Priory Arms pub, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, SW8. The first part of the meeting will be business looking at latest developments in cycling in the borough followed from approximately 8:30 onwards by drinks in the bar - it would be great to see you for all or just the second part of the meeting!

    Road Danger Reduction lecture at LSBU

    Lambeth has a Road Danger Reduction policy rather than a Road Safety policy. The emphasis is on ways of reducing the danger that larger, faster vehicles can cause by limiting them and making their drivers mind out, rather than putting the onus on the more vulnerable road users to limit their journeys and mind out. Their's a great chance to find out more from an expert on Thursday 27th October at London South Bank University.

    Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment, Department of Urban Engineering:    Extra-curricular transport lectures series
    “What’s wrong with the ‘road safety’ industry?”

    A lecture by Dr Robert Davis
    Chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum
    Thursday 27th October 2011 12.30pm to 1.30pm Room LR375
    LSBU London Road Building, Building Number 11 
    See on the map on the LSBU website
     (Access via London Road only)
     Dr Davis will argue that the ideological and institutional basis of what is officially known as ‘road safety’ is actually part of the problem of danger on the roads. A radical reappraisal of the theory and practice of ‘road safety’ is necessary to formulate a civilized approach to safety on the road – for real road safety – for the 21st Century.

     Dr Robert Davis is a founder member and now Chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum, set up in 1993 after publication of his ‘Death on the Streets: Cars and the mythology of road safety’. He has worked as transport planner in local government the last 25 years.
     If you would like to attend, please inform Professor John Parkin so that your name may be added to the list for access purposes (, )

    Guardian features new Vauxhall cycle storage facility in the Bike blog

    The Guardian today features the new Vauxhall Fietshangar cycle storage facility (featured on this website on 1 August 2011) in its Bike Blog today - see

    Opportunity at the London Cycling Campaign: Business Development Manager

    The London Cycling Campaign are currently recuiting for a Business Development Manager - full details are available on the London Cycling Campaign website

    London Cyclists show TfL the future of Blackfriars

    Blackfriar reimagined diagram on
    London Cycling Campaign has produced fantastic images and animations showing how the junction at the northside of Blackfriars Bridge can be dramatically improved for pedestrians and cyclists. If you cycle in London (or want to but daren't) you absolutely should check these out.

    Please join the Blackfriars Bridge flashride this Wednesday to push the Mayor and TfL into action. The ride meets at 5.45pm by Doggett's pub on the southside.
    It's also well worth while checking out this Cyclists in the City blogpost. Also see the Guardian Bike Blog article on LCC's new proposals

    Traffic engineering not necessarily the answer: learning the lessons of neighbourhood improvements in the Ruskin Park area

    Most of us will be aware that physical measures are not necessarily the only solution when it comes to slowing dangerous traffic in residential areas. Here Lambeth Cyclists' Clare Neely reflects on developments near her home.

    Shortly Lambeth Council will be installing a number of physical measures; speed tables and road cushions, to reduce speeds in the area around Ruskin Park in SE5.

    Sadly, and despite a spirited campaign by local residents, these are unlikely to reduce the rat running through the area which discourages cycling and walking. Many local people felt that a combination of 20mph signage and road closures to discourage speeding through traffic, would be a better use of resources. These measures would prevent people driving through the area and thus do more to encourage cycling and walking than solely physical measures managing the traffic there.

    In discussions there was the usual motor vehicle capacity nonsense coming from the Council. It would seem though that everyone has now moved on. Even Norman Baker MP, the far from radical government Minister for Transport, wants to discourage short motor vehicle journeys and encourage cycling and walking.

    Although the more over engineered scheme is set to be implemented in the Ruskin Park area, the arguments made during the campaign have not been lost. Other neighbourhoods which are subject to speeding rat running traffic we hope will be able to see that encouraging cycling and walking and reducing through traffic is a better solution to trying to slow down, but accommodate, through motor traffic.