Category Archives: Space For Cycling

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.

+++++

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.

Space For Cycling – agenda by Ward and Theme

Our meeting to discuss and define one ask per ward for the Space for Cycling campaign is on Monday 17th February upstairs in local pub, Blue Anchor at 13, Lower Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9DJ from 6:30PM, starting just after 7PM.

Ahead of the meeting, and after our earlier summary we now have a new, more colourful and comprehensive map of responses to our survey. We will add to this with a detailed tabular list of all asks in each ward and submitted suggestions ahead of the meeting. Naturally any extra asks are still welcome in comments here or at the meeting itself. If you can’t make the meeting comment below or send comments to spaceforcycling@hfcyclists.org.uk – Thanks!

We’d encourage everyone to explore the asks by reading over our summary and looking at the map ahead of the meeting. We will be working from printouts on the night but will have a computer or two should we need to refer to any data in detail. Our aim is to pick one theme per ward and a simple, clear idea of the aim to achieve with it. We can combine multiple ideas into a single ask, which will be particularly necessary in wards like Hammersmith Broadway.

Load the map in a new window or tab by clicking here then read our quick guide:

You can turn layers for each of the asks on and off on the map, along with the ward boundaries.
You can switch between a cycle base map or a minimal black and white map. You can also turn layers for each of the asks on and off on the map, along with the ward boundaries using the control top-right, it is collapse by default and expands when highlighted.

Clicking on a coloured section of road explains the ask, says how many supported it and confirms the road name.
Clicking on a coloured section of road explains the ask, says how many supported it and confirms the road name.

Clicking anywhere else inside a ward will confirm the name of the ward.
Clicking anywhere else inside a ward will confirm the name of the ward.

We will split the agenda and the borough into three distinct sections. Each of these are a combination of wards, to enable us to discuss the themes, and how they might best be applied in a coherent area. We may change the order in a cluster as we progress but should stick to the otherwise.

These ward groups are from the north of the borough to the south with each a cluster of wards around the three major town centres of the borough – Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham.

Shepherd’s Bush Cluster

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 20.05.46

College Park and Old Oak Ward

Protected space on main roads – Wood Lane, Scrubs Lane, Du Cane Road, Old Oak Common Lane

Greenways – routes on Wormwood Scrubs and along the Grand Union Canal.

Wormholt and White City Ward

Areas without through motor traffic – Wormholt Park Area – highlighted Adelaide Grove, Galloway Road and Wormholt Road on the map.

Protected space on main roads – A40 / Du Cane Road Crossroad

Shepherd’s Bush Green Ward

Protected space on main roads – Shepherd’s Bush Green, Uxbridge Road, Westfield Shopping Centre approaches and Holland Park Roundabout

Safe routes to schools – Uxbridge Road

Liveable Town Centres – Shepherd’s Bush Green

Askew Ward

Safe routes to schools – Goldhawk Road (concern noted on speed)

Protected space on main roads – Goldhawk Road

Hammersmith Cluster

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 20.06.04

Addison Ward

Areas without through motor traffic  – Trussley Road and associated backstreets (Hammersmith Grove, Sulgrave Road, Lena Gardens, Batoum Gardens)

Ravenscourt Park Ward

Protected space on main roads – King Street continuing to Chiswick High Road and Goldhawk Road

Liveable town centres – King Street

Areas without through motor traffic  – Ashchurch Park Villas

Hammersmith Broadway Ward

Protected space on main roads – Hammersmith Broadway Gyratory, Hammersmith Bridge, A4 to Knightsbridge, King Street Cycle Lane (extend to Broadway), Entry & exit from Hammersmith Broadway to Shepherds Bush Road, Entry from Beadon Road, Glenthorne Road, Dalling Road, Studland Street, Entry Exit from Hammersmith Broadway to Queen Caroline Street, Blacks Road as alternative to Hammersmith Bridge Road.

20mph – Hammersmith Bridge

Greenways – Cycle routes not continuous along Thames

Liveable Town Centres – Hammersmith Broadway, King Street

Safe Routes To Schools – Hammersmith Flyover

Avonmore and Brook Green Ward

 Safe Routes to Schools – Brook Green

Areas Without Through Motor Traffic – Brook Green

Fulham Cluster

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 20.06.11

20mph – One person suggested 20mph throughout the SW6 postcode. We’ve mapped what this would mean, and it clearly leads to the question of a borough wide limit. There are rather more 20mph zones in the north of the borough, though no coherent map of current 20mph roads exists (that we’ve found). SW6 covers roads in all of the following wards.

Fulham Reach Ward

Protected Space on Main Roads – Fulham Palace Road, exit of St Dunstan’s Road

Areas Without Through Motor Traffic – Margravine Gardens

North End Ward

Protected space on main roads – Junction of Gliddon Road and A4.

Areas without through motor traffic – Barons Court square mile, Barton Road, Palliser Road, Vereker Road, Baron’s Court Road

Fulham Broadway Ward

Areas without through motor traffic – Ongar Road / Walham Grove / Halford Road

Munster Ward

20mph speed limits – Gowan Avenue, Bishops Road, Wardo Avenue

Town Ward

Protected space on main roads – New King’s Road (tough noted as busy and narrow)

Parsons Green and Walham Ward

Areas without through motor traffic – Effie Road no contraflow 1-way street and rat run, close Parsons Green on side by White Horse Pub – due to speeding and excess traffic near school.

Liveable town centres – Fulham Broadway

Protected space on main roads – Wandsworth Bridge Road (detailed proposal for a bidirectional cycle lane), King’s Road, New King’s Road, Fulham Road, A308 Sloane Square to Putney Bridge.

Sands End Ward

Protected space on main roads – Wandsworth Bridge Road

Palace Riverside Ward

Protected space on main roads – Fulham Palace Road, Putney Bridge and approaches

Space4Cycling – survey responses

Towards the end of 2013 we asked you for your feedback on barriers to cycling in Hammersmith and Fulham and beyond. We are delighted with the level of responses we’ve had and have had plenty of data to review over Christmas and New Year.

We’re still examining the issues in each ward but already have been able to produce a map of responses and potential improvements.

Space4Cycling working map

 

There are obvious clusters at Hammersmith Broadway and Shepherd’s Bush Green, where gyratories present a barrier to many. Additionally you can see repeated patterns along many key routes, highlighting the lack of provision on East-West routes that many use for commuting.

We have highlighted in black the roads where interventions have been suggested by the survey data. These actually form a reasonable basic grid, though the gaps in Fulham and elsewhere need to be addressed.

Please explore the map and let us know by comment or email if you’ve anything you’d like to see added.

If you’re wondering how we put the map together, we’ve also written that up.