Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 10th October 2005
Present: James Brander, Stefano Casalotti (chair), John Chamberlain, Jean Dollimore, Meade McCloughan (minutes) and Helen Vecht.
Apologies: Jane Boardman, Paul Gasson and Paul Gannon.
Matters arising from minutes of previous meeting
• The February 2006 meeting will be held at the Primrose Hill Community Centre. (Will there be a charge for this? Jean to find out.)
• Our AGM will be held in April 2006; we should have a speaker for that meeting.
• Meade to produce draft new constitution during the autumn.
• Meade still to update mentoring publicity.
• Stefano wondered whether the LCDS featured an exclamation mark sign which we could recommend for use at e.g. Gordon Square, Baynes Street.
St Pancras Way/Baynes Street
• Jean summarized the results of the monitoring we had recently undertaken.
• Another monitoring session is required to assess the situation in the evening rush-hour (particularly with north-bound cyclists). This was arranged for Thursday 13th October.
• The Council’s consultants, JMP, are doing a safety audit (which was due in any case as the ‘Phase Three audit’ and is only now being done). We suspect that JMP’s recommendations will compromise cyclability.
• It was therefore agreed to engage Ray Blackwell of Sustrans to do a survey on our behalf, at a cost of £300. The Council will be interested in seeing a third-party report.
• The revised planning application has now been submitted and is being considered at lots of public meetings. Responses have to be in by 21st November. For the most part, we can simply repeat what we submitted before, as despite some general improvements, the scheme remains much as before. CCC will submit its own response, but it would be best, as before, to get our ideas taken on as part of the general Community Forum response, which should be possible.
• The main cycling issue is the removal of the 2-way cycle track between the two stations (the track from the north will now stop at the entrance to the new St Pancras suburban station). We should certainly oppose this.
• It was argued that as cyclists will nonetheless be able to get to the stations and we already have the Somerstown north-south route, the priority should be improving east-west permeability, and perhaps we should direct our energies here.
• The Camley Street facility is looking more likely.
• We previously opposed the proposed pedestrian/cyclist bridge over the canal by the nature reserve as (i) the nature reserve was opposed and (ii) the facility didn’t seem to provide much real benefit for cyclists. John is now inclined to revise (ii), and so will talk to the nature reserve people and see what their position is.
• Hackney CC has offered to help – John to contact Oliver Schick and find out more.
• The Community Forum is having a discussion meeting on Thursday 20th October – Anne Boston to attend on our behalf (others welcome). The final meeting to finalize the Forum’s report is on Tuesday 8th November – Anne and James to attend.
• King’s Cross should be put on the agenda for the November members’ meeting.
• The Cycle Route Inspection Meeting (CRIM) for Link 27 (Tottenham Court Road – Highgate)went well; we now await the consultant’s report.
WCRSAG (Camden’s Walking, Cycling & Road Safety Advisory Group) meeting
• Stefano handed round copies of the Camden Cycling Plan Third Review 2005.
• We’ve now heard that Cllr Gerry Harrison is to return to the chair of WCRSAG for the rest of the electoral year (to April 2006).
• The next meeting will be on the 23rd November.
Future CCC meetings
• James floated his ideas for completely changing our meetings. Instead of always meeting in the same place, we should become peripatetic, holding meetings in a different community centre, etc, each month, with Dr Bike (always provided by CTUK?) attached. In addition, we could commission CTUK to arrange a separate monthly bike maintenance workshop, maybe in our current venue.
• It was agreed that we should consider these ideas.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Main Meeting on 10th October 2005
Present: as above, plus Danny Berry, Anne Boston, Cyril Cannon, George Colouris, Colin Murphy, Chris Naylor, Martin Parkinson, Lionel Shapiro and Geoffey Thomas.
Pedestrians and Cyclists
• The main meeting started with a talk by Barry Mason, co-ordinator of Southwark Cyclists (http://www.southwarkcyclists.org.uk ). Barry described how up to a couple of years ago, the pedestrian lobby in Southwark was made up of two long-standing, vociferous, unaccountable and over-influential anti-cyclists. This unsatisfactory situation changed when some Southwark cyclists, in conjunction with Living Streets (as the Pedestrian Association is now known), arranged a public meeting to set up a Southwark branch of Living Streets. Fifty people attended and the consensus which emerged from the floor was that pedestrians and cyclists had more in common than not and should work together. Southwark Living Streets (SLS) thus took shape, effectively displacing the previous lobby. The organization is open, democratic and well-supported, indeed is one of the most active such groups in London. It is entirely independent from Southwark Cyclists – no-one from the former is on the latter’s committee. The co-ordinator, Alistair Hanton, was to have come along to our meeting too but had been in the end unable to. Barry went on to describe the “synergy” that exists between SLS and Southwark Cyclists. The two groups often now submit joint responses to major consultations (e.g. London Bridge, Elephant & Castle).
• How was the initial Southwark meeting publicized? Via the Southwark Community Council [our equivalent: Voluntary Action Camden – http://www.vac.org.uk ] and schools. (Parents tend to be keen on both pedestrian and cycling issues.)
• One of the problems we have in Camden is with the parks, where cyclist/pedestrian conflicts seem to be an issue and we have the Ramblers’ Association and other parties with fixed ideas about the Heath. Barry commented that this was not the case in Southwark, where all the parks are in the hands of the Council. He added that the focus for problems in Southwark was the Thames Path, where some narrow sections, the multitude of tourists and some reckless cyclists often made shared-use difficult. Some Residents’ Associations in the area have asked for cycling on the Path to be banned. Barry added that one solution would be to improve the parallel route close by along Upper Ground.
• The issue of pavement cycling was raised. In Southwark, Street Wardens are known to chastise pavement cyclists, but with what impact it is not known. The meeting was reminded of Camden Council’s pavement cyclist leaflet, which we had had a hand in producing. (It would be good if we a stock of these leaflets.) The police had planned to have a mini-clampdown on pavement cycling in Kentish Town one day in the summer using these leaflets, but this didn’t take place. We assume it will happen sometime when they are less busy. Questions were raised about the point of this exercise – is it just a symbolic gesture, or it is a foretaste of a more widespread campaign? What is the Council doing with its leaflets? Has there been any publicity?
• Stefano added that we had invited Nick Harding, the Camden representative of Living Streets to the meeting, but he unfortunately was unable to come. Nick has recognized that Living Streets needs to be better organized in Camden. Is this something we could help with, along the lines of the Southwark developments?