Our deputation argued the case on three main points:
- discouraging uptake of cycling by frightening inexperienced cyclists;
- pollution from P2Ws,
then discussed the arguments made in favour (safety for motorcyclists, encourage more motorcyling), then CCC asked Camden Council to continue to promote cycling:
1) by reserving the Bus Lanes for use by buses, and cyclists and possibly taxis;
2) inform the Mayor of its opposition to extending the use of bus lanes to
All the councillors’ questions were friendly. One of them said it would have been more effective to concentrate on the issue of discouraging the uptake of cycling. And I think we agree on that. We were asked about the possible confusion caused by different rules in different boroughs but failed to take advantage – we should have said that Hackney and Lewisham had already decided to oppose the Mayor’s proposal and that to avoid confusion, others should join them.
The leader of the council (Cllr Keith Moffatt) said he was sympathetic and that Cllr Paul Braithwaite (Camden Cycling Champion Councillr) had asked him to state his strong support. Keith wants to take the issue to the London Councils Group. It will also be considered by the Exec Envt Group. (Keith spoke instead of the chair of Exec Envt because the new incumbent [Chris Knight] was not appointed until later in the evening).
Motion by Cllr Maya de Souza
This Council resolves to:
(a) communicate its opposition to extending the use of bus lanes to motorcycles to the Mayor whilst commending the Mayor for his continuing support for cycling in London;
(b) request the Mayor ensure enforcement against car and motorcycle use of bus lanes and also against intrusion into the advance stopping space
(c) retain the use of bus lanes in Camden controlled roads for buses, bicycles and taxis only
Unfortunately there was not time to hear this motion – we had hoped that a vote on that would have settled the issue. It will also be considered by the Exec Envt Group.
Discussion after the Council Meeting
This was quite helpful. First we talked to Maya (and Adrian Oliver) and she suggested we should try to get further discussions with Cllrs Keith Moffatt and Chris Knight. Then Chris Knight joined us – he will be happy to meet with us; although a motorcyclist, he is sympathetic, but feels that more research should be done and derides the poor TfL report that came out in April (we agree that it’s a poor effort after six years of trials, although we do feel it indicates that widening the trial might be dangerous to cyclists and peds).
Other councillors joined us (Matthew Saunders the Lib Dem who raised the confusion issue) and Julian Fulbrook Lab (totally sympathetic cyclist) who chairs WCRSAG and suggests we bring it up there.
- it was worthwhile doing the deputation to get the Council thinking about the issue
- it was very disappointing that Maya’s motion was not voted on
- we have a lot more work to do.