Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 12th March 2007
Present: Anne Boston, James Brander (chair), Stefano Casalotti, John Chamberlain, Jean Dollimore, Meade McCloughan (minutes) and Helen Vecht.
Apologies: Jane Boardman and Richard Fletcher.
Matters Arising From the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
• Mabledon Place/Euston Road/Ossulston Street crossing: Jean has contacted Mike Greene, who has replied positively, saying that he has already written to TfL and will do so again with any more explicit recommendations we have on this. Quick discussion revealed that the priority was some sort of ‘yellow box’ treatment of the eastbound lane of Euston Road.
• Hampstead Heath event: Meade still to investigate the suitability of the space near the car park on East Heath Rd (opposite Downshire Hill Road) for cycle training.
• Rides: Jean to inform the Primrose Hill Community Association about the various rides coming up this year which it could participate in, in particular Paul Braithwaite’s 24th June ride.
London Cycling Campaign Borough Groups Meeting
• Stefano attended this meeting on behalf of CCC and was able to report back as follows.
• Cycle maps: the new TfL cycle maps are due out in July. The total number is to be reduced from 19 to 13, with the maps being double-sided (east-west continuity). This means that the detailed map of central London which all the maps currently feature on the back will disappear, which some felt was a shame. At the Borough Groups meeting the need for the central map to have north-south continuity on its verso/recto was stressed, which we certainly would like. The central map will have a more general cycling and walking focus.
• Tour de France: it has now been clarified that we will not be expected to perform wonders publicising the ride to the Prologue event on the 7th July – this will all be undertaken centrally. Our role will be to organize and lead a ride to the event, which we have already decided will go from Swiss Cottage (in front of the Hampstead Theatre). We will be given £300 by LCC towards our expenses – e.g. more tabards, flags, banners, etc. Barnet Cyclists are already planning on joining up with our ride. Some thought will have to go into planning the route and making organizational arrangements in due course (e.g. breaking the ride into smaller groups if we get a large turn out).
• Mass Participation Cycle Day: this is still on for Sunday 23rd September. It will be called the Something [sponsors name to be added] London Freewheel. Other than that we don’t know more than we did last month.
• Grants to borough groups: these have now been settled at £200 p.a. plus 20 pence per member. James added that with the waiving of photocopying charges for our newsletter, this amounts to a neutral change for us.
Forthcoming CCC meetings
• Chairs: the following schedule was agreed: April 2nd – Meade; May 14th – Helen; June 11th – Jean; July 9th – Stefano; August 13th – James; September 10th – Anne.
• AGM: will take place at the May meeting, at Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design, in the ‘exhibition space’, entrance opposite Red Lion Square.
• Minutes: Meade will not be able to take minutes at the April meeting (as he is chairing) and probably not at the June and July meetings, as he plans to be away then. Anne offered to taken the minutes at the June meeting.
• Speakers: Sam Monck is due to speak at the May meeting. It would be nice to have a sports cycling theme for June meeting, as part of the build up to the Tour de France shindigs. We should try Nicole Cooke (http://www.nicolecooke.com/ ), alternatively Konrad, the owner of Chamberlaines bike shop, whom Stefano has had contact. At some stage it would be good to have a speaker from the Royal Parks.
• It was agreed to run Dr Bikes outside West Hampstead Library (West End Lane) on the following Saturdays: 31st March, 5th May, 16th June, 30th June, 28th July and 22nd September.
• James will be the Doctor at all these, with John planning to assist in June and maybe subsequently, and Meade and maybe Lionel also assisting, depending on other commitments.
• James to contact the library staff to let them know and check it’s OK.
• It was agreed that it would be too expensive, time-consuming and awkward to arrange a sequence of maintenance workshops in the spring/early summer and that instead we should hold off till we can resume the Velorution workshops in the autumn.
• Stefano to notify people on his waiting list and let them know about our forthcoming Dr Bikes.
Green Fair, 3rd June
• We still do not know if TfL is also funding/organizing Dr Bike, as last year. (Admittedly, its decision to do so last year did come quite late.)
• Stefano has ring-fenced £400-500 of the general TfL grant towards the costs of providing Dr Bike if TfL doesn’t. It may be difficult to get CTUK to do this; if so, we could perhaps look to local bike shops.
• Paul Braithwaite’s ‘Peripherique’ ride (round the Camden boundary) will now not be a charity ride. It was agreed that we should do our best to support this endeavour.
• Richard has stepped down from the role of Rides Co-ordinator; John agreed to take on the role. Jean and James to let him know about what needs to be done.
• The Rides Co-ordinator’s basic responsibilities are: (i) to keep a register of all forthcoming rides; (ii) ensure that all rides organized by CCC are logged with LCC for insurance purposes; (iii) to identify and encourage members who would willing and able to lead rides.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Main Meeting on 12th March 2007
Present: as above, plus Blake Ludwig, Colleen Macaulay, Alex McKinnell and Dudley Miles.
Apologies: as above, plus George Colouris and others.
• Hampstead Heath: the first stage of the consultation is now underway. It is rather involved, but can be done on-line. It was agreed that we should mail-out the relevant details to CCC members, perhaps using some of the funds kindly offered by our anonymous donor to assist the Heath campaign. Jean to organize.
• Regent’s Park: some proposals are expected to come forward later this year.
CCC mapping project
• Jean outlined the work she, George and others have put into the mapping project on the website.
• Her next plan is to record bike stands on the map, and to the end would like volunteers to check bike stands in their areas and log them directly onto the map.
• Dudley offered to cover England’s Lane/Haverstock Hill, Meade similarly Kilburn, Alex West Hampstead. Colleen also volunteered her services.
• Volunteers should get in touch with Jean.
Speaker: Richard Bourn
• James introduced Richard Bourn, who for the last five years has been London Coordinator of Transport 2000 (see http://www.transport2000.org.uk/ ). Previously, he was with the Council for the Protection of Rural England and, before that, was one of the main movers behind the Camden Transport Forum.
• Richard first of all mentioned the aspects of the Mayor’s transport policies which Transport 2000 supports. The Congestion Charge and bus improvement schemes have been a good thing. Efforts to promote walking and cycling have been OK, but more money should be devoted to them. Travel Demand Management (TDM), which includes school travel plans, has been developing, and will move on in due course to workplace and community travel plans. (Ben Plowden, formerly of the Pedestrians Association, is now in charge of TDM.)
• Richard then moved onto consider some of the things wrong with the Mayor’s strategy. First of all, very little is being done to push progressive transport in outer London. Secondly, the Mayor is still planning for overall growth in car travel (albeit at a reduced rate). Thirdly, and related to this, there are a number of big road building programmes in the pipeline, especially in east London (‘Thames Gateway’), e.g. a new six lane bridge over the Thames. There are also a number of big developments which include massive car parking provision, e.g. 10,000 at Stratford City. Fourthly, the important theme of accessibility is too narrowly restricted to the issue of disabled access to buildings and public transport, when it should mean much more as well. Finally, the Mayor is at best indifferent to the importance of reducing the need to travel.
• So what’s driving the Mayor’s transport strategy? There are three main factors: (i) the existing capacity constraints on the transport networks; (ii) the projected growth in London’s population and economy – by 2025 there are expected to be an extra one million people living in London (mainly on the periphery, esp. the ‘Thames Gateway’) and an extra one million people working in London (mainly in central London); (iii) the need to do something about climate change – the target is for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025.
• Transport for London has a new strategy document which describes the aim to reduce car use from 40% of journeys to 30% by 2025, and increase cycling from 1% to 5%.
• There are a number of big public transport schemes being planned, such as Crossrail, the new Thameslink, expanded DLR, an orbital railway line (continuing the North London Line) and tram schemes.
• Richard returned to the issue of minimizing the need to travel. How would this work? Well, Richard argued that the existing nature of most of inner London displayed the required characteristics – people don’t have to make long journeys, and often use public transport and their feet when they do travel (the ‘modal split’ for journeys in inner London is 25% car, 56% public transport and 17% walking/cycling).
• As to Camden, Richard stressed the importance of the Cross River tram scheme, which he sees as an enormous opportunity to ensure road space reallocation and public realm improvements. He was also very keen to see 20 mph speed limit made the default for the borough (as it nearly is now in Islington).
• There then followed questions from the floor. Dudley asked about road charging and how this would be implemented throughout London. Richard suggested that it would probably not take the form of an expansion of the existing Congestion Charge scheme, but rather use ‘tag and beacon’ technology, whereby each vehicle would have a electronic tag.
• Blake wondered whether King’s Cross should not also feature in Richard’s list of worryingly car-centred developments. Richard said that the King’s Cross car parking / units ratio was in fact quite low, but that as Camden was the leader in car-free development it should perhaps have done more to reduce the ratio here. (Apparently it is lower in the Islington section.) It may be possible to get some changes in this direction as a result of the judicial review process.
• Stefano questioned the effectiveness of ‘TDM’, given our experience with school travel plans being used by car driving parents to facilitate their travel plans, and not promoting walking/cycling. Richard asked Stefano to provide details of the problems we have encountered which Richard can then take up with Transport for London.
• Richard’s enthusiasm for trams prompted some contrary views, in response to which he insisted that although expensive, they were much more fuel-efficient than the alternatives (and there are in any case less expensive, ‘light-tram’, versions) and that they work well elsewhere. Not everyone was convinced!
• Finally, Richard was asked to confirm which of the long list of public transport plans he mentioned were actually going ahead. Most of the work in east London will happen, but others are still up in the air, particularly Crossrail (even though the London Borough of Camden is still intending to shut down St Giles Circus next year to get started on it!). An Enabling Bill is currently in the Houses of Parliament to allow Crossrail to start, but there is still no funding for it.
• Richard was then thanked for his very informative talk whereupon the meeting ended.