All posts by Alex Ingram

Draft Hammersmith Cycling Strategy

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have a new Draft Cycling Strategy which is now in the final days of consultation, with comments due by this Friday, 16th January – Now Extended to 2nd February 2015.

Y
ou can review the strategy in full here and complete the council questionnaire. The strategy has taken on board briefings made by hfcyclists but does not yet contain firm commitments on how to deal with every barrier to cycling in the borough as identified in Space For Cycling. There is support for tackling major junctions, providing space for cycling, filtered permeability and 20mph so the tools are in discussion.

A proposed cycling network is also shared at the current high-level stage where not all alignments have been finalised. A positive sign is that there are two east-west superhighways proposed but unfortunately only the northern one is likely to continue all the way into town. The indicative quietways are likely to be many years away, and the junction improvement at Hammersmith Broadway by June 2017. Out most likely early change is to be 20mph and changes around Hammersmith Bridge.

Screenshot 2015-01-13 14.41.48

Let us know your thoughts below, here is a quick summary of the key items in the council’s strategy aims, but you should review the full strategy here.

The primary purpose of this Strategy is to increase the number of journeys made in the Borough.
The key objectives of the Cycling Strategy are:

  1. Enhance and extend cycle routes to create a comprehensive network
  2. Create more space for cycling to improve cycle safety
  3. Improve interactions between road users to reduce the perception of the risk of cycling
  4. Provide more cycle parking and cycle hire locations within the Borough

This will be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Collaborating with TfL on the development of Cycle Superhighways to extend the cycle network;

  • Implement a network of Quietways building on the existing cycle network;

  • Working with TfL on creating more space for cyclists through the Better Junctions programme;

  • Create a safer environment for cyclists by introducing 20mph speed limits across the Borough;

  • Provide cycle training for children and adults to increase participation and confidence in cycling;

  • Provide training to increase awareness between different road users and cyclists;

  • Increase the number of cycle storage and parking options;

  • Develop and expand the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme within the Borough; and

  • Ensure that new developments are designed to encourage cycling and provide adequate parking.

NOTES OF HFCYCLISTS AGM 2014

NOTES OF HFCYCLISTS AGM 2014

Held at the home of Ken McCosh, 12 Stanwick rd, W14 8UH

Tuesday 13 October 7.30pm.

PRESENT

Ken McCosh, Lars Laamann, John Grifffiths, Alex Ingram, Janusz Carmello, Paul Fox, Paul Saunderson, Susie Gretz, David Marsh

APOLOGIES

Roger de Freitas, Sima John, Richard Radmore, Derek Fordham, Ayse Kardes

WELCOME

We were happy to have Paul Fox with us. He lives in the Brackenbury area and his family all cycle. He has offered to help where it is suitable. He has experience in communications.

CHAIRS REPORT. John Griffiths

April 2013 to March 2014

For the first time we have had two people instead of one taking the roles of Chair and Co-ordinator; I the Chair and Alex Ingram the Co-ordinator.

The group has had regular meetings. Thanks to everyone who has participated, and particularly the hosts. We held a few rides, which were very enjoyable, including some large ones into Central London. We had our usual midsummer ride and Christmas ride to hostelries in Richmond. And of course thanks to Roger de Freitas for hosting the summer garden party.

We had good relations with Officers at LBHF. We were involved in consultations on Shepherds Bush Town Centre West and elsewhere. We carried out a survey on Hammersmith Bridge which may have been instrumental in later developments.

Alex led the Space4cycling campaign which resulted later to the new Labour Party agreeing to all the asks in the different wards. Alex was involved in many meetings at the LCC head office and he has also reinvented the website and introduced a twitter account.

Since April 2014.

There have been many developments, including the Labour Party winning the local elections in May 2014. They set up Policy and Accountability Committees, to the first of which nine of our group sent written material, and three of us spoke, all to great effect.

It looks like Hammersmith Bridge will be made 20mph, and things are afoot at Hammersmith Gyratory. Also the Labour Party manifesto offers a Borough wide 20mph speed limit to some undecided extent.

Thanks to everyone who has been involved, including Ken McCosh our Treasurer, and let’s keep the momentum going.

COORDINATOR’S REPORT Alex Ingram

We are in theory covering only the period from April 2013 to March 2014, I took over as coordinator in June of 2013

Since June we have seen significant changes in the wider London Cycle Campaign, which have as I’m sure I’ve said before, been part of the reason I’ve been more active myself along with the opportunities from enhanced Mayoral spending on cycling.

In August 2013 we ran a very successful RideLondon feeder ride with 75 riders including many children. (And again in August of this year). We have had a few other rides, but clearly need to develop our rides programme.

During the autumn of 2013 I reworked the branch website so that it was in a more modern, mobile friendly template and able to handle much more vibrant presentation of our content.

We have detailed feedback on the shepherds bush town centre west scheme. This helped engage us with many local active cyclists.

Hammersmith Bridge was promoted by John as in need of change. I assisted john with this and hope we can see a way to use the way we did that – in the real world with leafleting, online promotion, and email discussions with interested parties. It showed that even outside Space For Cycling we can reach out well.

I have had much contact with local journalists, and have good contacts and have even managed to get us coverage on the BBC London News around Putney Bridge’s closure. The key item in the period is obviously Space For Cycling though it spilled over into May 2014. The highlights of that are not just support from the new Labour council elected in the local elections but also a high number of responses in our borough and a very successful meeting to set our ward asks. I also personally provided some very technical support to keep the website for Space For Cycling functioning and helped train campaigners in other boroughs.

However, it is with some regret that I must state clearly that I cannot continue as coordinator, not least as I will be moving out of the borough in the coming weeks. I am very keen to remain on the management committee and continue contact with the council, but cannot guarantee my time to either arrange these meetings or attend them any more often than once every two months.

I’d just round off by noting we stand on the cusp of some, but not enough change. We will see more 20mph I am fairly certain though it will be a fight to get it. Hammersmith Broadway will change, and I think Hammersmith Bridge will too. However, with Superhighway 9 failing due to blocks by Kensington and Chelsea we risk being the only side of London without a highly trafficked upgraded cycle connection into Central London. In all honesty, that, along with the absurd price and availability of housing for my generation mean I cannot continue to campaign alongside you in this borough, but I will not give up that fight.

TREASURER’S REPORT – Ken McCosh

Income

LCC grant 287.90

LCC contrib. 160.00

Interest 16.16

TOTAL 464.06

Expenditure

Website 32.40

Catering 315.98

TOTAL 348.38

Nett income 115.68

At 31.03.13 Balance b/f

Unrestricted 3491.44

Restricted 3541.85

TOTAL 7033.29

At 31.03.14 Balance

Unrestricted 3607.12

Restricted 3541.85

TOTAL 7148.97

Allowing for outstanding cheques this tallies with the opening and closing bank balances at the Unity Trust Bank of 7118.57 and 7275.12.

Alex proposed and Paul S seconded that these accounts should be accepted as a true record and this was passed unanimously.

Thanks was given to Ken, John and Alex for the work they had done.

DISCUSSION

The website, it is great that it is now in a format suitable for mobile devices.

John would like to see a policy on what is covered. He would like the content to include notes of the meetings we have held with LBHF and also notes of all our monthly group meetings. At the moment there is only a note of one meeting, for November 2013. Another problem is that the website has not been updated much for about 5 months, so for example it has the Hammersmith Bridge survey on it which is finished. It should be showing the results of the survey.

Previously the site was updated via an html editing program, now it is based on WordPress. Alex says he will show people how to update it. We need several people to come forward to look after the website. Please contact John if you are willing to help. Website at www.hfcyclists.org.uk.

Alex says the Twitter account has over 400 followers. It is used to point people to our website and talk about latest news.

Ken and Paul S suggested that we transfer some of our funds to an account which pays higher interest. The Unity Trust bank which we use does not have any suitable accounts to switch to.

Although we, hfcyclists, are a completely independent organisation, the London Cycling Campaign which is a charity registers our funds as part of its reserves. Alex pointed out that a charity is frowned upon if it has unused reserves, and the LCC would like us to use our reserves and would be happy to use our money. Ken pointed out that in the present financial year we have forgone the grant of nearly £300 which is due to us from the LCC.

We should look into moving part of our monies, particularly the part we call our reserved assets, into another account, so that the LCC would feel under less pressure from the Charity Commissioners, and we would have greater interest. We should also be more active in the pursuit of our goals, recognising that a lack of resources is not a problem.

ELECTION OF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The following people were elected as Officers

CHAIR John Griffiths proposed by Susie, seconded by Ken

TREASURER Ken McCosh proposed by Alex, seconded by Paul S

SECRETARY Alex Ingram proposed by Paul S, seconded by Susie

Other members of the Management Committee were proposed by John and seconded by Alex and duly elected. They are

Lars Laamann, Paul Saunderson, Susie Gretz, David Marsh, Janusz Carmello, Roger de Freitas, Richard Radmore.

REFRESHMENT BREAK

HFCYCLISTS OCTOBER MEETING

We updated Susie, who has been away, on what is happening at the Hammersmith Gyratory, which was covered in the notes of our recent meeting with LBHF.

Susie showed a cutting from this week’s local paper that discussed how RBKC had effectively blocked superhighway 9. Alex had provided some of the information for it. http://tinyurl.com/nyryfnw

We discussed air pollution in the Borough. The monitor at Shepherds Bush has been put out of action by a collision. The report on air pollution in LBHF made by Elizabeth Fonseca at the PAC meeting we attended can be found here at page 8. The report on cycling appears at page 1.

http://tinyurl.com/lnccj8r .

Chris Bainbridge of LBHF reported to John earlier in the day that the February PAC meeting should be dealing with 20 mph speed limits and a cycling strategy that Officers are writing. The consultation on Hammersmith Bridge should be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Works on the Bridge involving a bus gate bypass and 20mph limit [and signs to prioritise cyclists] should be finished by the end of this financial year.

Paul S considered that a 20mph limit in the Borough at 2am for a minicab driver was unreasonable. Alex said that collisions often happened then, and other drivers might have been drinking.

THANKS

We thanked Ken for his hospitality and for the preparation of the refreshments.

EXPENSES

John had expenses of £16.12 for the renewal of the domain hfcyclists.org.uk

Ken had expenses of £53 for refreshments.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

This will be held on TUESDAY 11 November. 7.15pm for 7.30pm

at the home of John Griffiths

122c Edith road, West Kensington, W14 9AP

Notes by John Griffiths [Chair]

NOTES OF HFCYCLISTS MEETING 3 JUNE 2014

NOTES OF HFCYCLISTS MEETING 3 JUNE 2014
Held at the home of John Griffiths, 122c Edith rd, W14 9AP at 7.30pm

PRESENT:
John Grifiths, Alex Ingram, Roy Instrall, Susie Gretz, Paul Saunderson, Janusz Carmello, Petrina Beaufoy Helm, Ken McCosh, David Marsh, Sima John

APOLOGIES:
Roger de Freitas, John Gilbert, Ayse Kardes, Sophie Glossop, John Gilbert.

SPECIAL GUEST
We were pleased to welcome Roy Instrall to the meeting. Roy leads the LBHF Streetscene Enforcement Team. This deals with a wide range of matters including fly-tipping, market traders etc. It also covers dead bikes.

Roy told us of the procedures for removing bikes that are deemed abandoned or derelict and those that are causing an obstruction. Deciding whether a bike is dead or not is not simply a matter of seeing if a wheel or saddle is missing. The owner may have removed them as a precaution against theft. If the tyres are flat as well that is a good indication.

The bike is given a yellow ticket and is then removed a day or two later, using an angle grinder if necessary to cut through D-locks. It is then stored at the depot in Glenthorne road for 21 days at least. In a year about 250 bikes are picked up, and about 5 are reclaimed by their owners..

At the moment the bikes are not recycled in any useful way, other than being taken away as scrap. This is because the Council does not want to be responsible for forwarding bikes that have possibly been stolen or in case the bike has been in a collision and the frame is damaged.

Roy is going to look at the matter to see if there are any alternative ways in which the stockpile of dead bikes can be put to better use by the community.

Roy’s team does not deal with bikes that are removed during pavement works. This is handled by the Council’s contractor.

Roy is a keen cyclist and here is a short clip of him on the Bec Hill Climb.

Roy can be contacted on roy.instrall@lbhf.gov.uk.

COUNCIL CHANGES
The new Council does not become fully operational until after its AGM on 16 June. We understand that Cllr Wesley Harcourt will be the Cabinet Member for Transport, the Environment and Resident Services. Also that Cllr Larry Coherne will head the Policy and Accountability Committee for that section.

HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE SURVEY
We now have had 134 responses to our online survey. The survey was distributed by email, twitter and leaflet. Thanks to all who have filled in the survey, and to those who helped hand out the leaflets

On the question of 20mph on the bridge, there was overwhelming [96%] support for it.
One third of the respondents thought that the bike logos meant cyclists should ride so that they could be overtaken, two thirds that they should ride so that thet cannot be overtaken. For signing meant to convey that cyclists should hold the lane this is not a good result, especially if car and van drivers interpret the logos in the same way.

On seeing the survey Tom Bogdanovicz of LCC told us that Councils can use a sign that states “Narrow lanes – do not overtake cyclists”, even though it is not an officially recognised road sign.

Reading all the responses to thr other questions, John thinks that the best solution for the bridge is a 20mph limit, and very clear signing stating the above, or “cyclist priority” at the pinch points.

We will approach the council with our proposals at some point after 16 June.

The survey has also been useful as a way of introducing cyclists to the group, and many have joined the email group after taking this survey or being on the space4cycling ride.

If you have not done so, please look at the survey now.
surveymonkey.com/s/HBconcepts

SPACE FOR CYCLING
The leader of the Council Cllr Stephen Cowan has asked officers to start seeing how the Councils manifesto can be implemented. Alex will be contacting Chris Bainbridge of LBHF soon with suggestions based on our asks and our mini manifesto.

Some of the asks could be of use in wards other than where they were originally proposed, where applicable, such as a car parking space being given over to cycle parking. One suggestion is to use cycle hangars, miniature aircraft hangars, where perhaps 8 bikes can be stored by their owners who each have a key for the hangar.

20 MPH
The Councils manifesto includes
“Extend the Home Zone programme so that all residential streets, not trunk roads, become 20 mph”

The A4 and A40 were trunk roads, but are now designated as part of the Transport for London Road Network. The other main roads are part of the Borough’s Strategic Road Network, over which the Council does not have complete control as TfL has some control.

John and Alex have met with Jeremy Leach of 20splentyforus, and would like to see a Borough wide scheme rather than incremental home zones. Jeremy is working on an active travel scheme that we hope might help us influence the Council.

HAMMERSMITH GYRATORY
LBHF are carrying out modelling on proposals for the gyratory post flyunder. This probably includes the scenarios indicated in the proposals for the flyunder, such as no traffic on the west side of the gyratory, two way working on the rest of it, perhaps two way working on King street for buses and cycles.

The flyunder should not much alter the local traffic in the centre of Hammersmith, as the flyunder just replaces the flyover, so there is no reason if the modelling is successful it cannot be implemented straight away.

The gyratory refers to Hammersmith Broadway, the old main drag on the north side, Butterwick, the ghastly racetrack on the east side, Talgarth rd to the south and Queen Caroline street on the west. In the interim it would be good if this was made 20mph.

GLENTHORNE ROAD
In recent emails Morag has asked what has happened to the short contra flow cycle lane on Glenthorne rd. Chris has explained this is now incorporated into shared use on the footway. Alex asked what has happened to the elephant footprints indicating where a cycle route crosses Glenthorne rd. Chris explained that these markings can officially only be used at a signalled crossing, and so they have been removed.

THE SCRUBS CYCLE ROUTE
John noticed that there is now a ramp barrier across the entrance from Wood Lane. Chris has passed this on to Simon Franklin, LBHF cycling Officer. Alex and Paul added that there had been problems with travellers on the Scrubs six months ago and that the dormant barrier had since been put back into operation.

This update from Simon Franklin, since the meeting

[Parks Police and Parks have been discussing the replacement of the barrier and potential installation of automated bollards or another form of barrier. Consideration will be made for cyclists, but unfortunately there is no particular time scale for this scheme at present as we need to determine an accurate cost estimate for the works and find the appropriate funds.

I am pressing for this work to be prioritised .

Good news is that Parks have a programme to upgrade sections of the cycle route – possibly to be shared use as in Bishops Park.]

RIDE LEADER TRAINING
LCC organise ride leader training for a group of up to ten people for five hours for £250. hfcyclists could pay for this but we would expect you to lead or help out on rides.

If you are interested in participating please contact Alex on alex@hfcyclists.org.uk and state whether you can do weekdays or weekends or both.

SUNSET RIDE
Join us on our annual ride through Richmond Park to the Roebuck on Richmond Hill. This legendary ride is a highlight of BikeWeek. Local groups ride to meet up there to the greet the sunset.

Meet at 7pm for 7.15pm departure. On the platform overlooking the Thames at the end of Queen Caroline Street almost under Hammersmith Bridge.

Contact Janusz on januszcarmello@hotmail.com , 07809 611 077

CYCLE BREAKFAST
Simon Franklin of the council has invited all local cyclists to their Cycle Week breakfast
8-10AM outside Hammersmith Town Hall, Thursday 19th June

ROGER’S GARDEN PARTY
Roger de Freitas is hoping to hold a splendid garden party again this year, perhaps towards the end of July. More later.

BILLIE FLEMING
Paul wanted us to mention Billie. She died recently aged 100. She was a pioneer of long distance riding. She has an entry in wikipedia.
Obirtuary:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10865425/Billie-Fleming-obituary.html
Interview on her 100th Birthday:
http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/cycling-weekly/billie-fleming-happy-100th-birthday-121964

EXPENSES
Alex had expenses of £57.22 for buying a banner, and printing and laminating costs involved with space for cycling
John had expenses of £24 for Monkey survey [ Hammersmith Bridge survey]
And £33.43 for refreshments.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 8 July, 7.15 for 7.30pm, at the home of Susie Gretz, using the lovely garden if clement.

Susie at 4a Eynham rd, W12 0HA
susanna.gretz@gmail.com
020 8749 1969

Space For Cycling – Hammersmith and Fulham’s parties responses

With only two days to the election, we’ve been looking at the support we’ve gained on for the asks we set out for each ward. Now, the current situation is something of a surprise, as what was set out to be a local ward-by-ward campaign has seemingly split very decisively on party lines.

Overall 64% of candidates support us, but that’s because:

0% of Conservative Party candidates support Space For Cycling
100% of Green Party candidates support Space For Cycling throughout London.
100% of Labour Party candidates support Space For Cycling throughout Hammersmith and Fulham (and some other boroughs)
100% of Liberal Democrats candidates support Space For Cycling throughout Hammersmith and Fulham (and some other boroughs)
100% of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates support Space For Cycling throughout Hammersmith and Fulham (and the rest of London)
0% of UKIP candidates support Space For Cycling

We cannot tell you how to vote, but here’s what we’ve had from the parties:

Statements from the Parties

The Conservatives locally say:

(this space left intentionally blank by hfcyclists, no formal response provided and informally they say they are busy with the election)

Local Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party Caroline Russell has said: (link)

“Any elected Greens will work with local residents and London Cycling Campaign Groups to help make our streets more people-friendly, less vehicle-dominated, and great places to walk and cycle.”

Stephen Cowan, leader of Labour locally wrote to the Chief Executive of London Cycle Campaign, Ashok Sinha stating:

“I am writing to let you know that all of Labour’s candidates in the local elections in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will be running for office on a manifesto that supports Space for Cycling’s proposals. On a personal note, the first thing I achieved after first getting elected in 1998 was to turn the whole of my original ward (Grove ward) into a 20mph Home Zone in 1999. It was the largest metropolitan 20mph zone in the UK at the time and I’d be very keen to see that idea extended along the lines of one of your suggestions.”

Paul Kennedy, Chair of H&F Lib Dems has said: (link)

“As a cyclist myself, I am delighted we are supporting the Space For Cycling Campaign. Hammersmith & Fulham has some of the worst traffic and air pollution in the country, and there is no excuse for the current low level of cycling compared with similar cities such as Amsterdam. The Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for action to tackle the problems with traffic on our streets and the proposals will make our streets safer for responsible cyclists and other road users. The Liberal Democrats are also supporting a default 20mph speed limit in residential roads and decisive action to tackle rat runs.”

We simply do not have a response from the Conservative party at a borough level (but as you can see there is a blank space for one) and none of their candidates have even supported a single one of the wards they stand in. This has not been for the want of trying. We explained our case further to make it clearer, but despite compliments on our web design and tone, no substantive reply has been given to us. We would welcome Conservative support whenever it may come, even though they’ve dismissed some of our requests on the grounds that we didn’t submit them to consultations we weren’t invited to respond to(!)

Throughout the campaign, Conservatives have repeatedly tried to deflect the issues in Space For Cycling claiming that tax rates, tube strikes, the Flyunder proposal or balancing the needs of other residents trump them. We would rather they responded to the issues we’ve laid out. Should they be elected they can naturally contact us after the election, but we would expect a response sooner rather than later.

Conservatives! Press this button and get in touch!

We believe that the Conservatives may at best support only small parts of Space For Cycling, and even then they are not being forthcoming in saying what those might be. It’s not really possible to deliver these ideas in piecemeal fashion, but it’s better by far for us to know what is being disagreed with. In statements they’ve given to date we’d believe they may support a Superhighway, as long as other boroughs do (and we know Kensington and Chelsea likely does not and hence Superhighway 9 rests in the balance), they might support more two-way cycling on one-way streets and they may well support even more hire bikes. This is pretty weak, and we’re having to work second hand. We hope that these candidates and their party become more responsive should they be elected.

We had hoped that Richard Tracey’s statement (as a Conservative Assembly Member) at the rally on Saturday might give us something to balance this page more, but he just spoke about part-time travelcards. We consider it fairest not to quote that as their statement on cycling.

Looking into the next four years

Meanwhile, the speech from Andrew Gilligan also at the rally, made specific commitments to change junctions in North, East, South and Central London, but gave nothing for the West, and nothing for Hammersmith and Fulham. In four years time all we may have from the cycle vision could be a reworked Hammersmith Broadway, a Superhighway running along the A40 and Westway, and perhaps a Quietway, which might link them going north-south and upgrade an existing route. It may well be that the higher quality pieces from the vision aren’t even delivered as part of a coherent network. Councils have a huge part to play in correcting this, especially in our borough where the primary East-West routes are well segregated from and paralleled by other routes that can be used to provide Space For Cycling.

Mayor's Cycle Vision - Hammersmith and Fulham (guess)
Mayor’s Cycle Vision – Hammersmith and Fulham (guess), cycle crossrail in blue, quietway in green, hammersmith broadway in red.
Walking_and_Cycling_leaflet_2006_map_for_web_tcm21-69549-marked
For contrast, our attempt at guessing what a more complete network for the next few years might look like

It will be the job of the next council to see how they can improve that, much of which may involve lobbying and discussing issues with our neighbours (both in administration and as actual residents and businesses) in Kensington and Chelsea who appear to be blocking Superhighways and Quietways reaching the borough. However, we cannot necessarily rely on support from any party, even if they have signed up. The most important thing for all politicians is that they read our candidate briefing, and think about how they will respond to the issues within it. It will be interesting to see how the updated statistics on collisions and traffic to be released over the summer update the trends we have identified – a rising proportion of cycle and pedestrian collisions in the borough, and a falling proportion of journeys made by car. There is surely not only Space For Cycling in Hammersmith and Fulham to be won, but also a need for it to address the issues we are concerned about. Until any party can say that they feel they have a plan that will enable cycling to be a genuine choice for ages 8-80, of any confidence and of any background there is still work to do.

LBHF 3 Year Rolling 2007 2012 Line Percentage

If you’ve not got in touch with your candidates, it’s never too late to remind them of what they’ve signed up to, or to remind them of what we’re seeking to achieve.

Contact your candidates

You came, we rode, and together we rallied.

On Saturday we met at Brook Green and led a ride of experienced members of the group, friends and newcomers to The Big Ride. Marking the culmination of Space For Cycling, it presented a chance for us to meet up, ride together and make our voice heard in supporting the campaign, in response to the comments from local parties and to enjoy a sunny day.

hfcyclists before setting off to The Big Ride 2014

IMG_0013We spent some time before we sent off decorating our bikes (and indeed ourselves) with flags, placards and stickers to support the campaign. Some of the designs we’ve made may (sadly) have to last long beyond this particular campaign as our demands may continue to need to be made.

GroupRidingAfter a brief pause having made our way through the busy London streets we made our way onto Park Lane to add our voices to those of our fellow Londoners. Further down Park Lane riders were warmed up by official speeches and chanting. We however got ourselves into the mood surrounded by some of the fine bicycle sound systems London has gained over the years with a range of TV themes setting a jovial Saturday afternoon tone.

IMG_7364 The ride progressed in a relaxed yet enjoyable and approachable manner through the centre of London with many people on the pavement cheering us on and taking photographs. Some had dressed up even more than our party.

IMG_7368Like any ride through Central London, we saw a good number of the roads which regularly deter people such as ourselves from more regular cycling in London. As we cycled down Lower Regent Street we encountered the half finished works to majorly rework this street but without any Space For Cycling. These are expensive works which will in all likelihood be corrected one day, but with a cost in more than money to bear before then. The London Cycle Campaign had protested these changes to no avail.

Rally

Having passed the Tweed Run, we found ourselves onto The Embankment where traffic free conditions and wide roads made for easy and delightful cycling in the sun. In the distance, a red bus loomed large, and already the main rally had begun. The speeches were mostly welcome, and positive with clear ideas of what was being done or could be done. Strangely in the case of the Conservatives this meant they spoke to us about part-time travelcards and rebates.

By far the most significant speech, as it did contain new material to most, was from Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner and public face of the Cycling Vision. We’ve transcribed it for future reference. This outlined segregated cycleways, major junction overhauls and wider use of 20mph, by no means a full plan for delivery of the Cycle Vision, but it did give some timelines for sections of key projects. However, not one of the schemes he mentioned in specific detail were on the streets of West London or towards our borough. Other than the earlier disclosure of Hammersmith Broadway as a location for junction review at some stage in the coming years, little is clear. Perhaps a map of what we might get in four years now looks like this:

Mayor's Cycle Vision - Hammersmith and Fulham (guess)
Mayor’s Cycle Vision – Hammersmith and Fulham (guess)

Andrew Gilligan’s key message though was that even the most promising sounding schemes are not a given unless there is support, not just from ourselves as people as cycle but also from residents, businesses and most critically politicians. Already it appears there are candidates declaring themselves against schemes such as the Mini-Holland programme for reworking outer-London town centres to the bike. That makes getting support for Space For Cycling all the more vital, clearly, but also the question of how to carry that support on through the next set of councils into London as schemes and opportunities arise.

IMG_7372Finally, after a ride back towards Hammersmith dropping off riders en route, the remaining ride leaders finished the ride at Holland Park, where we turned in by the gate where the 1996 cycling strategy was launched. The junction is almost exactly set out now as it was then, and with Superhighway 9 looking unlikely how will that ever change? We shall have to continue to fight for Space For Cycling throughout London, and make our case plain.

The ride even gained two minutes on Saturday evening’s five minute BBC London News bulletin, which we present for your enjoyment.

Hammersmith Bridge

HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE

It is expected that the roadway of Hammersmith Bridge will be completely closed for a year commencing January 2016. The footways will still be open.

On 25 April we had a ride over the bridge with LBHF Councillors. The object was to convince them that measures were needed to make cycling safer and more appealing on the bridge.

hfcyclistsRideWithCouncillors

 Instead of the present paltry markings, meant to convey that cyclists should “hold the lane” at the pinch points

DSCF2630crop1000

we want something more substantial that shows cyclists have priority on the bridge.

DSCF2630cropCyclistPriority1000

It would be good to have signs saying “DO NOT OVERTAKE CYCLISTS” but officialdom [Road Sign regulations] and anti-clutter sentiment weigh heavily against this.

John Griffiths has written to the Council hoping that they will include this in the Cycling Strategy at this late stage.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LBHF plan to consult on the Bridge and the approaches soon.  This is expected February 2015. They intend to give the bridge a 20 mph speed limit. This will necessitate signs on the bridge saying 20 mph.

In conversations with officers the have said they do not intend to have any notices or road markings indicating “Cyclist Priority”  or “Narrow Lanes – Do not overtake cyclists”

When the consultation appears I hope people will respond saying that these are essential . John Griffiths 25 Jan 2015

Last year we had a survey on Hammersmith Bridge which is now closed.  The survey started on 12 May 2014 and  has attracted 141 respondents. The survey was issued via cyclist email lists, leaflets handed out near Hammersmith Bridge and via the Hammersmith Today website and newsletter.

The survey asked about the new markings and logos placed on the bridge.  The markings were intended to encourage cyclists to ride in a primary position and to  “hold the lane” so that they could not be overtaken at pinch pints. The responsibility was placed on the cyclists to be brave, and not on the motorist to give way.

The headline results were

a] 32% believed that the message from the logos was that cyclists were meant to ride on the left so that they could be overtaken at the pinch points.

b] To the question “Do the markings make you feel safer?” the most popular response was that it makes no difference,followed by it makes it riskier for cyclists.

c] 95% wanted a 20mph limit installed as soon as possible.

Of the 141 respondents 62 live in H&F and 25 live in Richmond. Of the 141 respondents 44 work or study in H&F, 11 in Richmond.  Most were confident or very confident cyclists.

Conclusion from this survey is that the present system is not satisfactory.

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We see the survey as a quest to look into the possible ways the bridge can be handled in the long term, especially as it is due for more serious renewal in 2015. However, in the immediate short term we continue to campaign for our demand in Space For Cycling to see the bridge and surrounding roads up to Hammersmith Broadway and beyond made 20mph.