Tuesday, 30 September 2014

London boroughs rejecting segregated cycling

TfL have rightly had a lot of scrutiny on their schemes, including here. However the London boroughs who control 95% of our roads have escaped the spotlight.

It doesn't take long to find serious examples of boroughs failing to provide for cycling or worse, actively resisting it. Freedom of Information requests also reveal that many boroughs have virtually no segregated lanes, except ones built by TfL. It is also becoming apparent that some boroughs are holding back TfL cycling schemes by refusing to cooperate.

In March we ran a poll which found over half of the respondents wanted us to focus on segregated lanes. So with TfL bringing forward ambitious plans, it's time to take a look at the boroughs. We might not like what we see.

City of London Oppose Segregated Superhighways

The City of London are opposing the new North-South and East-West segregated superhighways using spurious objections they seem to have made up on the spot - for instance concerns about the air and noise pollution... from bikes.

They are also removing (unprotected) lanes & instead of removing motor traffic or providing physical protection, they are forcing cyclists to jostle with motor traffic.

Their 20mph limit and plans to make one way streets two way for bikes are welcome, but they don't replace the need for segregated cycle lanes on main roads.

Southwark's Own Transport Department Against Segregated Cycling

Southwark have a poor record and made a U-turn on their cycling commitments. However pressure from grass roots campaigners has led to a review of a major scheme and may signal a change in direction. This is great news however with a history of going back on promises and after admitting their own transport department is the main barrier we need to keep the pressure on every step of the way and also fight for a major change in direction in Southwark - business as usual is not acceptable.

Also in Southwark we have a sad situation where the residents of an exclusive square are seeking to block a quietway.

Westminster Blocked Segregated Cycle Superhighway 5

Despite large numbers of cyclists travelling & working in Westminster, it is one of the least cycle friendly boroughs in London. They also have one of the worst records for cyclist safety.

TfL have proposed a largely segregated lane for the rest of the route, but it appears taking this the full length was blocked by Westminster who are proposing to draw pictures of bikes on side street. Effectively this means CS5 stops at the end of the bridge.

No Segregated Cycling in Camden's West End Plans

Camden's consultation for transforming Tottenham Court Road fails to provide segregated or protected cycling, is disappointing from a borough which has made ambitious proposals in the past. It doesn't do anything to encourage more people to cycle and does not provide for young & old, inexperienced, disabled, less fit people, people with kids cycling or cargo bikes.

Further north Camden are proposing to extend the light segregation on Royal College Street up to Kentish Town. While the improvements & extension are to be welcomed, we aren't going to see large numbers of people take up cycling unless we have a proper network of safe & convenient routes throughout.

And more:

Name and Shame

Are there any examples of opposing councils we have missed, or schemes where councils have shown leadership & support? Please let us know below, our next step will be to turn up the pressure on the anti-cycling boroughs.