Oval reversals ensure Lambeth roads remain slightly more cycle- safe

In the Kennington area near Oval tube station cyclists have managed to overturn two decisions –to not reinstall a cycle lane and to install a new barrier on LCN route 3-which made the roads more unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Both cases relate primarily to Transport for London roads. Both were cases where we or other cycling bodies knew nothing of the proposals and so were not able to question/ offer feedback on the developments.

We would like to think that if these had been Lambeth Council proposals the new cycling strategy would have prevented them getting beyond the planning stage.

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TfL frustration 1: What happened to our cycle lane?
TfL frustration 2: Barrier makes temporary appearance on LCN 3 cycle route


TfL frustration 1: What happened to our cycle lane?

Anyone who has cycled around the Oval tube station in the North of Lambeth in recent weeks will have noticed the road resurfacing works being undertaken. The results of the resurfacing have made the situation worse for cyclists as cycle lanes appeared to have been be arbitrarily removed.

Here Lambeth Cyclists member Mark Knox explains his frustration at the situation.

Cycle lane removed near Oval tube station on lambethcyclists.org.uk
At the end of October there was resurfacing work around the Oval junction. Some of us then noticed that although the red route markings, the lane markings, and the Advanced Stop Line boxes had been immediately reinstated, a vital cycle lane, on the short section of Brixton Road linking Camberwell New and Kennington Park Roads, had not. This was a very useful facility, allowing cyclists to safely reach the ASL at a difficult junction and to position themselves carefully to deal with the chaotic traffic conditions on that road - especially important if heading towards Elephant and Castle. Without it, and with the traffic on this section usually either solid or speeding, things were suddenly a whole lot more dangerous. 

Several of us began to try and find out what TFL thought it was doing: not an easy task. However much burrowing you do on their website, it's not obvious where such questions should be directed. Waiting, if you have the patience, to talk to their customer service helpline, doesn't make things any clearer and responses to our emails were confusing and unhelpful. After three weeks we still didn't know if they planned to reinstate the cycle lane, and if they did, when, or if they didn't, why not. 

Then, after nearly four weeks, we had this response: "we have listened to the concerns raised by cyclists using this route and the decision has been made to reinstate the markings as per their previous layout". 

So - a campaigning success, and thanks to all who took the time to follow this up. Questions remain: How can TfL so casually remove vital cycle facilities without any consultation? And why is it so difficult to get a straight answer from TfL? If they make a road more dangerous, surely they should have some way to deal more rapidly with the concerns of those they have put in danger.


TfL frustration 2: Barrier makes temporary appearance on LCN 3 cycle route

At the beginning of November 2013 a barrier (photo right) appeared at the top of Meadow Road opposite the Oval cricket ground on London Cycle Network route 3 which travels from Clapham to Waterloo along back routes. The effect of the ill-thought out barrier was to make it dangerous for cyclists and for pedestrians by reducing the space for manoeuvre.
Barriers on LCN route 3 at Oval, now removed, on lambethcyclists.org.uk

It also made it harder for cyclists to join the often fast moving traffic by the cricket ground. It was unclear who had installed the barrier –TfL which is readying the road for the cycle superhighway nearby, Metropolitan Housing undertaking improvements to the nearby housing or Lambeth, responsible for the route. After complaints from our members to councillors and the GLA and contact from Lambeth Cabinet Members the barriers were removed a week later – cost of barrier installation and removal unknown

Saturday's Architecture Ride postponed

Unfortunately we have had to postpone Saturday's (30 November) Architecture Ride Railway Revival - railway stations new, old and restored owing to the ride leader having unavoidable commitments and so being unable to lead the ride.

The ride will be rescheduled in 2014 - watch this space!

Lambeth Cyclists and LCC response to Nine Elms draft Design for Cycling strategy

Transport for London held a consultation, now ended, on the draft Nine Elms South Bank (or Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area in old speak) Design for Cycling strategy document

This is the response, in full, jointly submitted by London Cycling Campaign and Lambeth Cyclists

London Cycling Campaign and Lambeth Cyclists response to draft ‘Nine Elms on the South Bank – Designing for Cycling’ strategy by TfL

Overall, we commend this as a hugely encouraging document and one that, in its final form, will hopefully set a standard for the future of London as it ‘goes Dutch’.

We applaud the use of the Dutch criteria, the intention to use filtered permeability; segregation where there are high motor traffic volumes; and the need for the cycle routes to be direct and efficient, and the provision of a finely grained cycling grid throughout the area.

Page by page comments are below, but there are some general points that we would like to raise:

1. It has been said that the best cycling policy is a motor-vehicle policy. This document majors on cycling infrastructure but is light on detail concerning locations of filtered permeability and matching vehicle turning locations; taxi stands; loading/unloading bays; drop off points of passengers by drivers, and location of cycle parking in relation to car parking by shops. The design needs to ensure that space intended for fantastic cycling by the widest range of ages is not subsequently compromised by poor design for essential motoring needs, while reducing the need for motor vehicle journeys and making cycling the obvious choice for most journeys.

2. There should be a map with local schools showing how Dutch quality cycle routes will reach them and permit independent travel.

3. Given the length of time before the Northern Line Extension happens (if it is approved) and the indeterminate time-scale for completion of an uninterrupted linear park and Thames path, Nine Elms Lane should be made very cycle friendly as a priority in order to inculcate a cycling culture as soon as developments come on stream. We recommend considering making this part of a realigned CS8.

4. The policy should be to design for clear pedestrian and cyclist priority over turning traffic at minor side roads and building entrances.

5. Where segregated tracks are used alongside a road, great care must be taken to make turning right using the track as efficient as turning right through being on the road. Hopefully a resolution will be identified as part of the revised London Cycling Design Standards with regard to the different rules for turning traffic that the Netherlands and Denmark have. Signal timings and banning certain turns for motor traffic may facilitate this.

6. An appendix giving details on planning policies with regard to cycle provision (e.g. cycle parking for visitors) and motor-traffic reduction, with a statement on their quality in terms of the ‘Go Dutch’ ambition, may be useful.

Page 5 – ‘Characteristics of successful cycle routes’
Add to point 2) Directness: Where traffic lights for cyclists are required, the time on red should be kept to the minimum. There must not be more green time for road users than cycle path users.

Page 8 – ‘Initial Observations’
Should 2) Secondary Roads be amended to read ‘…well used by adult cyclists’?
Amend point 3 within Opportunities: Make cycling the easy option, whether adult or child’ for local journeys to shops, schools, friends and local services

Page 9 – ‘Diagram of principal through routes’
Should include Wyvil Road on secondary routes

Page 10 ‘Routes – existing’
Pts 1 and 2: CS8 and CS7 – add ‘not designed to be used by children under 14’
Pt 4 LCN route 37 – amend to very low quality. The bus lanes however are well used by adult cyclists.
Pt 6 cycle lanes on Vauxhall Gyratory ‘ Their low quality and time inefficiency compared with being on-road means they are under-used.

Page 11 Photo labelled 6: change under-used to ‘un-advantageous’

Page 12
1 CS5 – State whether or not this is designed to be used by under 14s.
3 Thames River Path – This has provision to be an excellent leisure cycling route, as long as faster/commuting cyclists are given a route they prefer to use, in order to avoid pedestrian conflict’

Page 14 ‘Cycle Parking’
Requirements – add ‘conveniently’ to cyclists needs list
Proposed – is sufficient cycle parking at grade for visitors and at commercial and retail developments being designed into developments?
Potential – Extensive secure and convenient cycle parking provision needs to be designed into proposed Northern Line Extension stations

Page 16
An exemplary cycling network  - Amend to include ‘makes walking or cycling the obvious mode for short journeys’
Objectives – Direct Routes – amend as on P1

Page 17
Add to potential options:
CS8 – re-route proposed alignment of CS8 along Nine Elms Lane and the Albert Embankment

Page 18 ‘Main Roads’
Treatment, Both
‘Junctions designed to ensure that cyclists on cycle facilities are not at a time disadvantage to being on road’

Page 20
‘Quietways: Side Roads’


Lambeth Cyclists meeting tonight

Come to the Lambeth Cyclists meeting tonight, Tuesday 19 November 2013, 7:30pm in the Effra Social pub, 89 Effra Road, Brixton SW2 

Lambeth Cyclists meeting on lambethcyclists.org.ukWe hope you can join us for Lambeth Cyclists' meeting this evening   (19 November 2013) 7:30pm at the Effra Social. We are usually in the room to the right of the entrance or at one of the tables at the front of the pub, ask if you cant see us!

We will be joined at our meeting by Amy Summers, newly appointed LCC Activism Coordinator who will be talking about LCC central campaigns especially the one leading up to the local elections in May 2014 and how our local campaigning can complement the main LCC campaign focus.

LCC have identified six policy they they suggest focusing on, identifying specific targets within each ward to determine prospective Councillors' views about, and seek a commitment to achieving the changes:

  • Safe routes for schoolchildren
  • Streets without through motor traffic
  • Dedicated space on main roads 
  • Greenways 
  • 20mph speed limits 
  • Liveable town centres 
We will be talking about how these apply to Lambeth 

We will also be looking at other developments in cycling in the borough including the Space4Cycling protests, the new TfL cycle superhighway under construction in Kennington and forthcominbg events. The meeting will be followed from approximately 8:30 onwards by drinks - it would be great to see you for all or just the second part of the meeting.

LCC Chief Executive demands Space4Cycling: London cycling death toll is utterly intolerable

London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive Ashok Singha has contributed an article to the Guardian  Bike Blog in which he demands that Mayor of London Boris Johnson makes changes to make London a truly cycle-friendly city.

See the full article: Guardian - London cycling death toll is utterly intolerable

London cycling death toll is utterly intolerable

Shocked. Appalled. Angry. As a cycling campaigner you steel yourself for the news of yet another cyclist being killed or seriously injured in a collision with a motor vehicle on London’s streets.

But the news of a woman being killed on the notorious Bow roundabout on Wednesday shook me. Maybe it was because it was the third such death at Bow.

Maybe it was because the London Cycling Campaign has consistently warned the mayor that his ‘early start’ traffic lights are flawed.

Or maybe it was because we have now seen five cyclists killed in collisions in our city in just over a week, with a spate of others being hit and now fighting for their lives in hospital.

 Unusually, this morning I woke up wondering when the next fatal collision might be. It wasn’t long before I received a text saying another cyclist had been killed late last night in a collision with a bus on cycle superhighway 2.

This death toll is utterly intolerable. One struggles to imagine the pain of the bereaved family and friends. Why should the simple act of using a bicycle to travel to work, school or to meet friends carry with it such risk? Would we tolerate this if the same risks were attached to tube travel, or driving?

Read more on the Guardian Bike Blog>>

Space for Cycling protest ride tonight 6:30pm Bow Roundabout

This morning, Wednesday 13 November 2013,  a woman cyclist was dragged under the wheels of a lorry, which appeared to be turning from Bow roundabout on to the southbound A12.

Photo of Bow Roundabout following collisionThis is the fourth death of a cyclist in eight days.

We in Lambeth Cyclists, like many Londoners, are shocked and angered at what has been the fourth cycling death in just eight days.

The London Cycling Campaign is calling on the Mayor Boris Johnson to take immediate action to prevent further avoidable deaths - first, by putting in place a safe design for Bow roundabout.

Protest ride tonight
LCC are holding a flash protest at Bow roundabout (Mile End Road, E1) tonight  organised in response to yet another death at the failed junction, which still presents a totally unacceptable risk to cycling.

We will be laying flowers at the scene of the crash and then cycling around the roundabout from 6.30-6.45pm. We will be dispersing by 7pm.

Assemble from 6pm (for 6.30pm start) on pavement outside McDonalds, at Bow roundabout (if the roundabout is still closed by the police, we'll assemble as close as possible on Bow Road west side)

Please bring lights, candles, placards for this peaceful protest


Barclay's Hire bikes coming to Stockwell, South Lambeth and Kennington soon

Barclays Hire bikes, aka 'Boris Bikes', will shortly be available in more places in Lambeth.

Cycle Hire docking station in Stockwell SW9 on lambethcyclists.org.uk
Over the past few months Transport for London has been installing docking stations at various locations in Lambeth - centred on Stockwell, South Lambeth and Kennington.

The new cycle hire bikes are set to go live in December. Full details will be available on the Barclays Cycle Hire website shortly

Find your stolen bike - Lambeth Police to display recovered bikes Friday and Saturday

This Friday and Saturday Lambeth Police will be running drop-in sessions at which they will be displaying stolen bikes that have been recovered around the borough. They will also be offering security marking for bikes.
Bike rack with wheel locked to it on lambethcyclists.org.uk

If you have had your bike stolen over the past few months in Lambeth it may have been recovered by the Police - this is your chance to reclaim your bike.

If you believe that one of the bikes on display in Kennington Police Station is yours go along with proof of purchase or other proof that it is your bike and you will be able to reclaim it from the Police. You will also need proof of identity. As well as being on display at the Police Station photos of the recovered bikes will also be available on the Metropolitan Police Flickr page.

The sessions will be running 12am-4pm on Friday 8 November 2013 and 9am-3pm on Saturday 9 November 2013 at Kennington Police Station, 49-51 Kennington Road, SE1 7QA (near to Lambeth North tube station)

More information on the Lambeth Police webpage


Cyclists protest at danger from new barriers on Oval cycle route

London Cycle Network 3 sign on lambethcyclists.org.ukCyclists from Lambeth and beyond have been protesting at the addition of new barriers on London Cycle Network Route 3 at Meadow Road, SW8 opposite the Oval Cricket Ground. We have received several emails about this over the past few days from concerned Lambeth residents.

The new barriers are located at the top of Meadow Road which has been shared happily by cyclists and pedestrians for many years. 

New barriers on LCN route 3 at Oval on lambethcyclists.org.ukThe new barriers squeeze the pedestrian and cyclist traffic at this junction through a 'chicane' type arrangement.

This will inevitably lead to conflict between pedestrians and cyclists especially at busy times when significant numbers of people pass through this junction on bike and foot on their way to or from work or school.

Barriers create conflict between cyclists and pedestrians
Local resident Danny Williams commented that he did not see how these barriers improve safety. He stated "Firstly, for people cycling into Meadow Road, you can no longer safely turn off Kennington Oval with enough speed to avoid any oncoming traffic because there is a fence in your way." 

New barriers 2 on LCN route 3 at Oval on lambethcyclists.org.uk
He added "It is impossible for two people to navigate at the same time - try cycling through this with a child and at rush hour, this junction is fairly busy. You now have several people on bikes and pedestrians all fighting over a narrow scrap of pavement instead of having space to move safely around each other." 

"I cannot see a single way in which these barriers improve safety. They certainly make it considerably less attractive and less safe to use route 3. If there is an issue here with cyclist speeds (and bear in mind there have been no barriers here for years and years), then a speed hump would do the trick." 

London Cycle Network Route 3, which runs from Clapham to Waterloo, is a route used by many cyclists as it travels along the backstreets rather than the busy A3 Clapham Road and A203 South Lambeth Road.

Improvements to the junction are expected to be implemented as part of Transport for London's Cycle Superhighway 5 which passes along Kennington Oval - the latest plans for CS5 propose a shared use toucan crossing at this point to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

We at Lambeth Cyclists are concerned that these new barriers make the junction unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists and offer little benefit to either group and run contary to the aims of the Lambeth Cycling Strategy. We are in contact with Lambeth and will seek to clarify why this change has been made.

See also http://cycalogical.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/oval-lambeth-fail-again.html