Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 13th February 2006
Present: Jane Boardman, James Brander, Stefano Casalotti, Jean Dollimore (chair), Meade McCloughan (minutes), Helen Vecht, Nick Harding (Camden Living Streets) and Jim Mulligan (Primrose Hill Community Association).
Apologies: John Chamberlain and Paul Gannon.
Matters arising from the minutes of the January meeting
• speakers: no progress as yet; Jean to continue on this.
• maintenance workshops: 13 people are now signed up for all three sessions, which is about the maximum, and so Jean is now putting further responders on a waiting list for a future sequence. Stefano had passed on the details to Westminster Cyclists.
• cycling manifesto: has been sent to the main political parties; no responses as yet.
• mailout: we should proceed with this; Jean to get labels from LCC and Stefano to provide the text (one double-sided A4 sheet; contents: AGM, request for new committee members and council elections/manifesto). [Where/when to do this not yet determined.]
2007 Tour de France
• The 2007 Tour de France will start in London.
• LCC wants local groups to organize rides to the start of the tour, where participants will get seats to watch the opening event.
• It was agreed that we should team up with Islington Cycle Action Group for this.
• Stefano to inform LCC (by the end of February), liaise with Islington Cycle Action Group and inform the newsgroup.
New blood for committee
• As well as general committee members, we should invite nominations for particular posts which people might want to take on, such as rides organizer, local news watcher, fund-raiser.
• If people wanted to take on such roles but not become full committee members, they could be ‘associate’ committee members.
• Jean to e-mail Sela Yair, who organized some rides last year, to see if he is still around and perhaps willing to continue with this.
Safer Routes to School
• Cllr Gerry Harrison has offered to arrange an evening meeting to discuss Safer Routes to School, to be held either on Monday 20th or Monday 27th February.
• Jean, Stefano and one other to represent CCC; Jane could make the 20th, not the 27th.
• We need to clarify what Bob Spellar’s suggestions for Hampstead Parochial School were.
Judd Street consultation
• The deadline for responses is the 24th February.
• The proposal is now also being discussed on the LCC CPEC newsgroup. Jean proposed that we invite that group to advise on and approve our response in due course.
• Jean to advise Nick Harding (Camden Living Streets) as to our thoughts on the impact on pedestrian crossings of Euston Road.
• We should ask for a contraflow cycle lane up Midland Road.
• We object to the one way in Judd St because traffic will be diverted along Bidborough Street into Mapledon Street where they will turn left into Euston Road. This will be severe safety hazard for cyclists on route 6. We should also ask for a contraflow cycle lane up Midland Road.
Parks – Regent’s Park and Hampstead Heath
• Stefano had made an approach by e-mail to the new Chief Executive of the Royal Parks Authority, who is reputed to be sympathetic to cyclists and has met with LCC, with a view to starting a discussion about Regent’s Park. No response yet, so Stefano to print out and post his communication.
• Stefano had written to Simon Lee, Superintendent of Hampstead Heath, asking if CCC could be represented on the Heath Consultative Committee. An unhelpful response has been received, stating that there already are three members representing ‘sports and recreation’ interests, and no more are to be added.
• There is no indication as to what or whom the three named individuals represent, nor any information about what the procedure is by which these three were admitted to the committee.
• Stefano to take these matters up either with Simon Lee or with the Chair of the Consultative Committee.
• Simon Lee did say that the Heath authorities are currently commencing a review of their management plan which will go out to full consultation later in 2006. This should provide an opportunity to us to press the Heath authorities about cycling on the Heath.
Green Fair/Bike Fest – 4th June, Regent’s Park
• Stefano to send information about Bike Fest to LCC.
• Stefano to see if the Green Fair organizers can stump up for some bike parking facilities, e.g. some scaffolding structure (cost up to £500). Otherwise we will have, as last year, to use the railings.
• The desirability of having some left-luggage facility, for cyclists (and others) to leave panniers, bags etc was mentioned (e.g. a supervised tent, perhaps adjacent to the bike parking facility). Stefano to relay this to the Green Fair organizers.
Locations for bike stands
• The Council is continuing to invite suggestions for places for bike stands (subject to the usual conditions, e.g. pavement more than 3.5 metres wide).
• The following locations were mentioned: by the Post Office on Hampstead High Street; Swiss Cottage library/sports centre; Finchley Road outside Waitrose; Finchley Road outside Argos; Tottenham Court Road; Malet Street (use more of the roadspace, as with the newish bank of racks alongside the contraflow cycle lane); University Street (using the roadspace on the south side towards Gower Street, i.e. the area the segregated cycle track would occupy if it proceeded all the way to Gower Street).
• Everyone to review his/her own locality and come up with more suggestions.
Any other business
• Stefano wondered whether we could make more use of the Council’s monthly Camden Living publication. He could submit an article for the ‘How do I …’ section on cycling in Camden. He had asked the editor if we could have a column, but the reply was no. Jim Mulligan to raise the issue with his local councillors.
• Link 28/LCN Route 6 CRISP (i.e. the ‘north-south’ route): no date yet set for this.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Main Meeting on 13th February 2006
Present: as above, plus Peter Ely, Joanna Ely, Colin Murphy, Clive Roberts, Dominic Tinley, John Macdonald, Cyril Cannon, Dudley Miles, Paul Braithwaite, Lionel Shapiro, Alexis Rowell and Anne Boston (with James Brander chairing).
Apologies: as above, plus George Coulouris.
Camden Council’s consultation process: talk by Dave Stewart
• Dave Stewart, Principal Engineer in Camden Council’s traffic engineering section and CCC’s main officer contact, was welcomed to the meeting.
• Dave started by outlining the purpose and character of the consultation process. With many different users and user groups, some will inevitably be disappointed by the final outcome, but it is still important to gather in as many views as possible.
• The first thing that is done in dealing with replies to a consultation is to add up the ‘in favour’ and ‘not in favour’ responses. This is normally done strictly on the basis of replies – a group such as CCC counts as having one ‘vote’. (But CCC members can of course also respond as residents, if in the consultation area.) Sometimes replies can be weighted by locality, so as to give those in the vicinity of a scheme more say in the outcome. With special cycling schemes, the view of CCC would obviously be given greater consideration.
• Next, any comments included in the replies are considered and collated.
• The officers responsible then produce a report on the scheme, the results of the consultation and any feedback from ward councillors, with any consultation comments attached as an appendix (or at least a ‘flavour’ of them).
• The report then goes to an Executive Sub-Group, comprised of councillors (currently Cllr John Thane and three others), which decides whether and in what form the scheme should go ahead. (The Councillors can ask for the proposal to be reconsidered.) If approved, the scheme is then ‘signed-off’ by the Assistant Director.
• In cases where the proposal is quite minor (i.e. does not involve changing a Traffic Order), the report need not be decided on by the Executive Sub-Group, but can be dealt with by the Assistant Director.
• The Council should ultimately inform all those who responded to the consultation with the outcome of the consultation and the decision taken. It could of course not address each comment which had been made separately.
• The Council does have a ‘Consultation Scrutiny Board’, but this serves to review the system of consultations, not examine particular cases.
• As officer with particular responsibility for cycling issues, Dave is happy to be copied in on CCC responses to consultations where we have particular concerns.
• Dave pointed out that in addition to responding to consultations, CCC also has the ability to direct comments on both particular schemes and general trends to Council officers (including himself) through the regular meetings which are held between the two.
• There is also the Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Advisory Group, chaired by a councillor, which although it has no decision-making powers is a good forum for discussion – officers attend, and the minutes go to Cllr John Thane.
• Dave was asked whether it would be better for officers other than those responsible for devising the scheme to carry out the review of responses to the consultation. He thought not, as the main task was just number-crunching. If there were issues of substance, these should in any case have been forwarded to him by CCC as the officer responsible for cycling.
• Any examples of schemes which didn’t go ahead following consultation? Dave couldn’t recall any [but we remember Priory Road, August 2004].
• It was felt that the officer’s reports varied in quality.
• Also that consultations varied in the degree to which the options were broken down, which sometimes made it difficult to discriminate against particular features.
• Nick Harding drew attention to a new type of consultation which didn’t appear to invite responses. Dave confirmed that these are what is termed ‘Revised Consultation’, usually used in relation to Local Safety Schemes, where funding has already been allocated to deal with specific ‘accident’ issues and the Council has already decided to proceed. The purpose of ‘Revised Consultation’ is to notify residents and others of what is planned and enable them to respond if they so wish.
• Dave added that there were some matters on which the Council now did not consult, in particular the installation of cycle stands (following a decision of the ‘Consultation Scrutiny Board’).
• Stefano pointed out that we often think that proposals don’t go far enough. His instinct in these instances is to reject the scheme in the response – but is this the best way to proceed? Dave felt that a ‘yes, however’ response would be preferable, making it clear in the comments what the areas where it was thought the scheme was deficient were. It was sometimes possible to take on board such additional suggestions as the scheme was being implemented.
• Dave was asked whether views could be taken on board in the design stage, prior to consultation? He replied that this certainly was the case with the LCN+ routes, as these are specific cycling schemes.
• Dave also handled a number of questions about particular road management issues, in particular:
– the way in which pavement build-outs and the like lead to motor traffic pushing up tarmac against the side of the road in warm weather; Dave said he wasn’t aware of this; it was something that should be dealt with by Road Maintenance and could be reported to the it via the Council website;
– is it Council policy to reduce the number of one-way streets? He didn’t think so;
– Judd Street – various concerns, particularly regarding the lights phasings and pedestrian crossings, were raised; Dave to talk to David Jenkins (Transport for London) about these.