Category Archives: Local Issues

Collected here are campaigns, consultations and local issues we seek progress with.

Hammersmith Gyratory

DOWNLOAD THE  LATEST VERSION OF OUR BEADON ROAD PROPOSAL .

Download (PDF, 387KB)

Our earlier response to a consultation on the Hamermith Gyratory lower on this page. The consultation was reopened for a brief period and we sent in this suggestion for Beadon Road, which has traffic signals at Hammersmith Grove.

BeadonRoadBusStops3

Below is a suggested sequence of phases for the traffic signals

BeadonRoadBusStopsCropNewHGbike

BeadonRoadBusStopsCropNewBusbike

BeadonRoadBusStopsCropNewBeadoncars

BeadonRoadBusStopsCropNewALLPeds

This scheme involves moving the bus stop outside the Hammersmith and City line back to the other side of Hammersmith Grove.  As a result you can have a streamlined flow of traffic at the Gyratory lights.

For a pdf file giving more info on this see

Download (PDF, 461KB)

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FULLER RESPONSE TO HAMMERSMITH GYRATORY CONSULTATION FROM HFCYCLISTS – LOCAL GROUP OF LCC IN HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM – FROM JOHN GRIFFITHS – ACTING CHAIR.

Consultation here

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/hammersmith-gyratory/consult_view

References refer to latest version of London Cycling Design Standards, which can be accessed as separate chapters via

https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/streets-toolkit

1] INTRO

It is very pleasing to see that something is being planned here. It is disappointing that this Better Junction Review does not take in all of the gyratory.

In a response to a question put by Darren Johnson AM on our behalf, Tfl have stated in an email on 9 February 2016

While there are existing cycle demands on routes in to and out of the gyratory which would not link directly to the scheme, we have focussed our proposals around the cycle route that we believe will benefit the largest number of cyclists while not adversely affecting traffic flow.”

It is disappointing that TfL are excluding any options that may adversely affect traffic flow, especially when one is hoping for modal shift away from private car use and one is hoping to reduce air pollution.

2] DESIGN PARAMETERS – PREDICTED FLOW RATES

We have asked TfL and LBHF for the flow rates of cyclists for which this project has been designed. So far we have not been told. If the design does not cope with the number of cyclists using it, it may result in cyclists blocking pedestrian crossings or being left in the roadway. If the stepped track is not sufficiently wide to cope with the flow, then cyclists are more likely to drop off the edge.

If the peak flow rate is more than 200 / hr, then a 1.5m track is not sufficient. We do not know what flow rates this facility is being designed for, and it would be helpful to have these figures.

LCDS 4.4 Widths for cycling on carriageway

Figure 4.11 Summary of guidance on widths on carriageway

Recommended minima

Cycle tracks

including segregated

lanes (5)

one-way two-way

very low / low flow 1.5 metres 2.2 metres

medium flow 2.5 metres + 2.0 metres

high / very high flow 3.0 metres 4.0 metres +

(5) Flow categories are provided in figure 4.12 below. Edge conditions need to be taken into account with an extra 0.5 metres provided next to any object more than 50mm high. More width is also often needed around bends.

Figure 4.12a Peak hour flow categories for cyclists Figure

Peak hour

1-way lane/track 2-way track

Very low <100 <100

Low 100-200 100-300

Medium 200-800 300-1,000

High 800-1,200 1,000-1,500

Very high 1,200+ 1,500+

3] ON THE GYRATORY

We have been informed by LBHF that the funding package behind this consultation only refers to parts of the gyratory and perhaps Blacks Road and/or Beadon Road. We will consider the consultation in two parts, those areas critical to the funding, and elsewhere. Starting by going clockwise around the gyratory

HammersmithGyratoryTop2

4] THE MANDATORY CYCLE LANE

The mandatory cycle lane on Queen Caroline Street would only be used by cyclists coming from Hammersmith Bridge Road. Unless a cycle lane is going to be installed in the future on HBR there would appear to be no point in this track. Cyclists competent to handle HBR would be able to use the gyratory to get to Hammersmith Road. Cyclists on that lane look vulnerable to vehicles turning left into Blacks rd.

5] BLACKS ROAD

In Blacks Road there is only a westbound cycle lane at the entrance to it. Yet more cyclists use Blacks Rd going east.

KingStreet_Gyratory

A Sky-High Count on Us survey carried out on 4 July 2013 [supplied to us by TfL at the request of Darren Johnson AM] shows between 7am and 10am 289 east bound cyclists and only 9 west bound cyclists on Blacks rd. Between 3pm and 7pm it was 53 east bound, 49 west bound.

There should be cycle lanes for cyclists entering and leaving Blacks Road at the gyratory. There should not be a crossover for these cyclists. It is confused by this mystery of cyclists on the mandatory lane on the gyratory.

6] THE CORNER OF KING STREET

On the final curve as cyclists on King Street approach the gyratory they have vehicles heading straight for them before the vehicles veer off into King Street. This must be a very threatening situation. Buses and some other vehicles have a front overhang of over 2m, and a turning vehicle could easily extend 1m over any kerb protection. Pedestrians have a very high kerb barrier to protect them at this spot.

The left turn out of King Street appears to be a very sharp turn of about 120 degrees. The external radius appears to be about 3m. The track appears to 1.5m wide. There is also an island to be contended with when you are part way around the turn.

LCDS 4.5.8

At intersections where cyclists may not need to stop, a minimum external radius of 4 metres should be applied.

7] THE MAIN CROSSING

As the cyclists pass the crossing on the gyratory there may be pedestrians waiting to cross very close to the cycle track. This would restrict the effective width of the track.

8] SHEPHERDS BUSH ROAD

If the crossing of the northbound leg of Shepherds bush road is pushbutton controlled, then it should have automatic detectors for the presence of waiting or approaching cyclists.

Cyclists wishing to go North on Shepherds Bush rd should have a bypass of the pedestrian crossing.

We have been told that there should be a green wave for cyclists across the top of the gyratory, or that they should only be stopped a few times. We have also been told that the reason for the removal of the crossing across Hammersmith road is that the area between the northbound and southbound legs of Shepherds Bush Road is required as a reservoir for waiting cyclists. TfL should make a clear case for the removal of this useful crossing; otherwise it should not be done.

There should be facilities to access to the Superhighway westbound for southbound cyclists on Shepherds Bush rd.

9] THE BUTTERWICK ISLAND

Concerning the island at the north end of Butterwick, we have been told that LBHF may have plans to have a 2-way cycle track on the south side of Hammersmith road going east.

Whatever the configuration of cycle tracks, there should be 2-way access for cyclists on this island:

to the north,

to the central Hammersmith Broadway transport interchange and

to the south and east allowing to travel south towards the Talgarth rd crossing.

10] ON BEADON ROAD

The route Studland Road, Glenthorne Road and Beadon Road should be made as cyclist friendly as possible to take pressure off the superhighway. I completely support the idea of a wide bus lane in Beadon Road. It should allow cyclists to pass buses easily.

11] STEPPED TRACKS

4.2.5 Stepped cycle tracks

Stepped cycle tracks are vertically separated from the footway and main carriageway in order to provide greater protection, safety and comfort than a cycle lane. They offer less separation and less protection than kerb-segregated lanes/tracks, but they may be regarded as a more subtle intervention and can offer more flexible access to the kerbside. The level change between footway and cycleway can also help legibility, with clarity about the function of different spaces for cycling and walking.

Stepped tracks are suitable for one-way with flow or contraflow provision but should not normally be used for two-way cycling. There are few examples in the UK of this type of infrastructure, so there is little established guidance. The model described here is based on Copenhagen’s typical cycling provision, and has been successfully applied to several locations in Brighton and Hove (see photo, right).

Stepped tracks have rarely been used in London. A good example of stepped tracks in London is in the northern section of Pancras Road, where there are 2m wide stepped tracks on either side of the road. Here Pancras Road is straight and has little place function or reason for cyclists or pedestrians to behave erratically. Image courtesy Camden Cyclists.

PancrasRoadSouthBound

Full details can be seen at,

http://camdencyclists.org.uk/2015/10/rcs-southern-extension-in-pancras-road/

Another example of a stepped track in London is on Kennington Park rd close to the Oval. This image is taken from Google street view. Although this road is busier there is little kerbside activity, and there is a park on the other side of the road.

KenningtonParkRoadStepped

12] THE STEPPED TRACK ON KING STREET

Unfortunately the consultation plan does not have dimensions marked on it and we have so far not been given access to any plan that has marked dimensions. It would be good if one could be supplied to us. However the stepped track on King street would appear to be about 1.5m wide with a marked edge of about 0.25m. The step down from the pavement is likely to be 50mm and the step down to the roadway is likely to be 75mm.

It is clear that a lot of design work has gone into fitting a route into the restricted space available. However the safety of cyclists does not appear to have been paramount. King Street is very busy with a high pedestrian density and activity and with many people crossing the street in an uncontrolled manner. The stepped track is contraflow, so pedestrians crossing the road will mainly be looking at the traffic looking for a gap and not noticing a cyclist coming from the other direction.

Cyclists themselves may behave erratically, stopping suddenly at a destination, or moving to avoid an obstacle or broken glass, causing those behind to move out to overtake.

Cargo bikes and bikes with boxes or trailers carrying children may be nearly 1m wide. That does not leave much room for a bike to overtake. Some cyclists may be going very fast. Some may be going very slow, with young children in tow or carrying shopping on the handlebars. At slow speeds particularly cyclists may wobble. In 1957 Lord Denning determined that motorists must ‘allow a cyclist their wobble’.

If a cyclist goes over the stepped edge it may result in a fall into the path of oncoming traffic. This route is meant to encourage beginners to cycle. Very careful consideration should be given to the level of protection given to cyclists.

LCDS 4.1.4 Selecting the right provision

Discusses the functional and aesthetic characteristics of streets as places.

LCDS 3.2.4

Figure 3.5 Cyclists’ effective width: key considerations

Recommended minimum clearance between the furthest extremity of a moving motor vehicle and the outside of the dynamic envelope of a cyclist at 20mph or less * 1.0m

Recommended minimum safe clearance at 30mph * 1.5m

*Greater clearances are recommended for larger vehicles

13] NEAR BRIDGE AVENUE

KingStreet_BridgeAve

Shortly after Bridge Avenue the cycle track appears to have an area of footway flush with it to the right of the track. The track goes into a curve opposite a loading bay and the flush area to the right of the track disappears. Vehicles passing lorries in the loading bay will be right over on the right hand side of the road, with wing mirrors over the track. Because of the curve a cyclist may not be able to gauge how close to the kerb an approaching vehicle will be. It is also an area where people are likely to cross the road informally.

14] TAPER OF DOOM

Just before the loading bay vehicles find that the roadway funnels right down to a narrow width. A vehicle following the left hand kerb will get a shock, as may a cyclist on the stepped track. Anyone following the centre line of the taper will also end up on the stepped track.

15] BY THE BUS STOPS

KingStreet_BusStops

By the bus stop in King Street the carriageway is now about 0.8m narrower than before. The outside lane width beside the bus stop appears to 2.8 to 3.0m wide. Vehicles passing the bus stops will be right over on the right hand side of the road to give clearance to buses. Wing mirrors are likely to clip cyclists, if not worse. This is not the place to experiment stepped tracks of which there is no experience in places with a high place function.

Also losing nearly 1m of footway width at the busy bus stops is not very satisfactory for pedestrians.

16] A SAFE DESIGN FOR CYCLISTS

A practical and safe design for cyclists must be presented for the area to the west of the gyratory. This is both for east and west bound cyclists. At the moment there is no route indicated for west bound cyclists, and that for east bound cyclists is not satisfactory.

If westbound cyclists are to be taken down to the A4 footway and then up Bridge Avenue to King street, the space on the A4 footway is very limited.

If they are to be taken up Angel Walk there is a loading bay just to the east in King street. The Hammersmith Ram could load from Blacks Road.

I hope a satisfactory design will emerge.

John Griffiths MA [Cantab] MSc UCLA

Acting Chair hfcyclists, local group of the London Cycling Campaign in H&F

122c Edith rd, West Kensington, W14 9AP

020 7371 1290 / 07789 095 748

truefeelings@gmail.com

23 February 2016.

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Do they give us confidence in what they are doing?

TfL are working with LBHF to design improvements for cyclists at Hammersmith Gyratory.  This is part of the BETTER JUNCTIONS REVIEW. From the Better Junctions Review website we have

>>> We are working with Hammersmith and Fulham council to make Hammersmith gyratory safer and more accessible for cyclists. Our proposals, when ready, will provide major improvements for cyclists, fit in to the borough’s wider cycling strategy and complement the long-term vision for Hammersmith. Consultation is expected to take place in late 2015, with construction starting in 2016. For further information on this scheme please contact Graham Nash by email CustomerServicesRoads@tfl.gov.uk <<<

There are some problems with this. As yet the new Cycling Strategy has not been published.. A committee to form a long term vision for Hammersmith has not yet been set up.  The consultation may not be ready by the end of this year.

HammersmithGyratoryCycleCountNW_2

It would give confidence if TfL released the cyclist counts it is using for its planning work on the gyratory. It is possible that TfL have absolutely no idea of present cyclist use. To give an idea of the ratios travelling in different directions John and Lynn recently counted cyclists for 30 minutes towards the end of the evening peak.

HammersmithGyratoryCycleCountSW

Present cycle use [mainly high speed commuting] is not necessarily the same as that of the population of future cyclists that one should be planning for.

There are indications that the review may  concentrate on an east to west route linking Hammersmith Rd to King St. Such a route would be very welcome. This would be to fit in with a born-again Cycle Superhighway 9.   CS9 appeared to have died after problems getting a route through RBKC.

However we would like to see the gyratory made safe for cyclists coming from all directions.

It would be good if TfL and LBHF shared more of their thinking before we are offered a consultation.  Once plans are drawn up we have found that there is a great reluctance to make any significant changes.

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.

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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.

 

Potholes – getting the basics wrong

Potholes. A nuisance to drivers and occasional cause of damage to their vehicles. A hazard to people on bikes and often a cause of injury, discomfort and excessive danger. We’re campaigning as part of our Space For Cycling mini-manifesto for the council to take them more seriously, here’s just one simple example of council negligence to explain why we’re concerned about this.

A recent Freedom of Information request by Cycling Weekly looking at potholes and their danger for cyclists (full report published in their April 10th issue) found that no fewer than 8 people had successfully claimed compensation from the council caused by a pothole. The council refused to disclose how much compensation it had paid but across London in five years it is known at least £1m has been paid out. Putney Bridge came out particularly badly with £22k paid out due to its surface alone. Basic pothole repairs are thought to cost £50-60. It would be better to get the basics right, as the councillors claim should be happening but isn’t and fill in the holes or resurface streets.

The sign telling drivers about the cycle lane...
The sign telling drivers about the cycle lane…
... which is obscured by a bush shelter and other signs.
… which is obscured by a bus shelter and other signs.

Our member Susie Gretz who lives near the north of the borough has repeatedly raised the quality of the road surface on Wood Lane north of the Westway. In the southbound direction there is an advisory cycle lane between two fast moving lanes which has long had a series of deep, long and dangerous potholes.

Susie had been somewhat encouraged to read in an article in the (sadly now effectively defunct) local paper in February, the Hammersmith and Fulham Chronicle quoting Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, Conservative ‘champion’ of cyclists and holder of transport saying:

“These road works are essential improvements that will help everyone in the borough in the long-term. This is about getting the basics right, making sure our road surfaces are easy to drive and cycle over, and banishing pot holes, which everyone hates. We know how important our roads are and these improvements will be carried out as quickly as possible, and with as little disruption as possible.”

Traffic rushes past either side of the cycle lane on Wood Lane
Traffic rushes past either side of the cycle lane on Wood Lane

It’s now May. We’ve been down to have a look at the road surface after these repairs. We think it would be fair to say the council hasn’t got the basics right. The potholes remain in the cycle lane, and as becomes rapidly apparent the already narrow cycle lane remains compromised severely by the sunken manhole sat right in the middle of it.

P1000507

Susie Gretz, our local member comments as follows:

The stretches of Wood Lane just north and south of the Westway – in particular, between Shinfield Street and the Westway  – have been in for several years in an appalling condition for cyclists.  Complaints by telephone and writing to the relevant authorities at LBHF have had absolutely no effect.  It is only a matter of time before one of the many potholes on these stretches, especially those on the green cycle path, cause a cyclist to swerve toward either of the two lanes of fast-moving traffic on either side, causing a fatal accident.

A cyclist 'negotiating' their position towards the cycle lane whilst a car driver overtakes to turn left onto the Westway.
A cyclist ‘negotiating’ their position towards the cycle lane whilst a car driver overtakes to turn left onto the Westway.

Looking at collision statistics we can see that 2 of the 67 serious collisions in the borough in the three years from 2010-2012 (2013 stats not yet available)  occurred along this stretch of road. It is notable to anyone who observes how people cycle in this stretch that many people seek refuge by cycling on the pavement. The road has enough width that this would not be necessary were it providing safer facilities.

Space for five lanes. Surely there's more Space For Cycling here?
Space for five lanes. Surely there’s more Space For Cycling here?

Whilst a uniform road surface without troubling and dangerous potholes will improve safety somewhat we are naturally seeking protected space for cycling at this junction. Current design asks people cycling south into Hammersmith and Fulham under the Westway to pull right in front of vehicles reaching close to 30mph readying themselves to enter a faster dual carriageway. Through this junction people on cycles also mix with other vehicles entering and exiting the A40. There is ample space to provide high quality protected space into this junction from wormwood scrubs and beyond, and to utilise low level signals, separate phases and clear protected space for cycling to enable ages 8-80 at any level of fitness to pass a key barrier to cycling. Support our mini-manifesto and ask for protected space in College Park and Old Oak.

It's going to need resurfaced, let's lay it out properly as well.
It’s going to need resurfaced, let’s lay it out properly as well.

What hope now for Superhighway 9?

After seeing that Superhighway 9 wasn’t included on the recent Central London Grid consultation by Transport for London(TfL), our coordinator made a Freedom of Information request to TfL and Kensington and Chelsea council to try and understand why. This was by no means a preferred option to understand how decisions had been reached, but with only blog posts sharing emails between other campaigners and the council and no detailed text explaining Kensington and Chelsea’s grid forthcoming it seemed a reasonable response. We have so far only had a response from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with TfL currently expecting to produce a response in another week or two, conveniently after the final Superhighways announcement is likely.

Even from the Kensington and Chelsea response alone, we have gained significant new information:

  • It confirms that plans for Superhighway 9 have focussed on the issues of Kensington High Street
  • When the cycle vision was launched it was assumed by Andrew Gilligan that Superhighway 9 would not go ahead due to RBKC’s lack of support
  • In the cycle vision as presented to RBKC the only superhighway into the West of London was cycle crossrail up on the Westway
  • Kensington and Chelsea’s original objection to the superhighway was to blue paint on aesthetic grounds
  • It was presumed without creating mockups that Kensington and Chelsea would object to segregation
  • Mockups were then created both of segregation on Kensington High Road and of cycling in Holland Park to try and get these features onto the Central London Grid
  • It was felt by RBKC that a quietway route using Holland Park and Holland Road would be a viable alternative but it also failed to make it onto the Central London Grid
An example of segregation that could be used on Kensington High Street - at risk due to the council objecting
An example of segregation that could be used on Kensington High Street – at risk due to the council objecting

We continue to await details from TfL to get their side of the conversation but it is plain that Kensington and Chelsea are not fully on board with the Mayor’s Cycling Vision and are not interested in any large scale changes to their roads. In their own words “The Central London Grid will not mean any significant interventions and certainly no segregation on RBKC roads” – in which case, what is it for? As such, we are now even more sceptical of their commitment to the Central London Grid and even though there are clearly efforts in here to create a route using Holland Road and making better crossings even in this correspondence it is admitted that it is highly likely to have at least one dismount section even without Holland Park not permitting through cycling.

We stand by our comments on the Central London Grid, that it is vital to make an intervention on the main roads in West London, as by RBKC’s own words on Kensington High Street “there are no continuous alternative east-west routes nearby”. It is very disappointing that segregation is being blocked without so much as a consultation or open conversation with the people who ride upon it and their own numbers are being used as justification not to segregate. This is not thinking that will lead to an improvement in conditions on the roads or a further reduction in collisions in the streets of Kensington and Chelsea. It should be remembered that Kensington High Street is very effectively paralleled as an East-West route by the A4 which provides a much greater capacity and safety for motor vehicles than anything presented to vulnerable road users in the area.

For history on the earlier stages of Superhighway 9, please see our page on the earlier shared designs. We will work hard to uncover more details of what would have happened with Superhighway 9 were it built, should the cancellation of it as a route from Hammersmith into London via Kensington and Chelsea now be confirmed. This could well be in the coming days.