Members of Camden Cycling Campaign may be interested to hear the last act of the strange saga that has gone on during the last few years! Thanks to Jeremy Watson for reporting and taking the photos.
May 2009 May 4 stands, inaccessible
After Jeremy sent us this photo, we asked Camden Council to find out when the stands would be made accessible. They asked TfL to find out what’s going on, saying that it looks like a great site for mass cycle parking and possibly even semi-secure parking with restricted access
2010 Dec: 24 new yellow stands and a nice new surface, still inaccessible
2011 Jan 19th: stands have been removed.
At this point, we got back in touch with Camden Council who told us that the stands were installed by one of the Departments in TfL by mistake. They hadn’t realised they needed listed building consent or a structural survey (as they are on a basement) to do so. They therefore have removed the stands to allow these processes to be undertaken and will hopefully be able to replace them (in black) shortly.
A scheme was worked up, quotes received and budget approved in 2010 to increase the numbers of cycle parking stands outside Belsize Park tube station.
Sadly in October last year, London Underground (LU) rejected the space allocation request for this work as they had also received a request from the council to use this same space for growing vegetables. However, LU contractors proceeded with the works by mistake without receiving this approval, which is why they were subsequently made to remove the new stands at their own cost, firstly because they were installed without all necessary approvals and secondly because they have installed unacceptable stands which were not in line with the contract (yellow).
I have spoken to LU and they are still maintaining their position that the council/TfL have to agree what the priority is (cycle parking or vegi’s), before they will grant a space allocation request to install more cycle parking in this area. I am trying to make contact with the relevant person in the council (or their representative) to come to an amicable agreement so that this issue can be progressed.
Camden Council decides on a vegetable garden
(Email from Hannah Brown) I have recently looked at the site and discussed the potential proposals with colleagues in sustainability as well as Alexis Rowell. Having looked at both the space, the current provision on street and potential for growth we have decided that it would be more useful to use the site solely for food growing. This will enable it to be locked when not in use which should help to reduce the chance of vandalism or theft. I note your concerns over soil quality, but there is actually no soil there at all and the plan is to use raised planters, so the perfect conditions can be created.
We have recently put in a number of additional M-stands outside both the tube station and on the opposite side of the road. So far, they do not look to be reaching capacity, however should the demand increase there is a large amount of space to accommodate additional stands. The location of such is also far more overlooked than the gated area (due to the kiosk covering a large part of one corner) and therefore hopefully bikes would be safer.
If you do notice that we need to increase the on street provision, do let me know.
We bow out…
(Reply from Camden Cyclists) Thank you for letting us have the news of the final decision on the use of the space outside Belsize Park Station.
We really only conceived the idea of cycle parking in that location when we saw the inaccessible cycle stands there. I agree that it is a good location for a vegetable garden and hope that the project will be successful. There aren’t very many places where vegetables can be grown in London.
I’ll get back in touch if I hear that more cycle parking is needed.