Our new committee member, Geoff Stilwell who works at Sidings Community Centre had suggested that we should meet there so as to make contact with people in the west of the borough. This idea was welcomed by Sue Measures, the manager of the centre.
We were pleased to have over twenty people at the meeting and to meet many new people.
George Coulouris took the chair and welcomed everybody.
Sue Measures (Centre Manager, the Sidings Community Centre) welcomed everybody on behalf of the Centre. She thought that the main reasons locals cycled was going to work, keeping fit and going out with the family. Safe cycling for children was a big local issue.
John Chamberlain introduced CCC’s activities. We were the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and, in the main, a campaigning organisation. We had good relations with LB Camden, and were statutory consultees for traffic orders. TfL were consulting us at the moment about Kings Cross and possible removal of the Swiss Cottage gyratory. We have monthly meetings, and a speaker about four times a year. We promote monthly bicycle maintenance classes at Kentish Town. We run rides about four times a year. We keep an eye on new buildings, and try to encourage the provision of secure cycle storage. See illustrations.
Cllr Russell Eagling discussed cycling issues in West Hampstead. He wondered in what respects West Hampstead was different from the rest of Camden. Quite a lot of housing was two storey houses with gardens. Public transport was perhaps less frequent than elsewhere in Camden. This encouraged cycling. Swiss Cottage was a big cycle problem.
Meade McCloughan reviewed recently installed cycling facilities in the South Hampstead/Kilburn area. There were a lot of one-way streets in the area, much favoured by traffic engineers, but dangerous for cyclists as they encouraged motorists to go too fast and made local journeys difficult. LB Camden had recently taken a broader view of the South Hampstead/Kilburn area and had introduced a number of contra-flow cycle lanes. Had these caused problems? Some of the roads concerned were narrow, with parked cars on each side, and motorists sometimes did not see the contra-flow cycle signs and did not expect cyclists using them. Hopefully things would improve as motorists got used to the signs. See illustrations.
David Arditi gave a short talk about Brent Cyclists, comparing cycling in Brent and Camden with cycling in Assen in the Netherlands. View David’s slide show.
After refreshments there was feedback from the meeting. Suggestions were: –
Short cycle rides for children;
Agewell cycle training for over 50’s. Initial training could be provided by Camden, and then the participants could be taken out for longer rides;
Training and rides for younger adults;
Training for ride leaders.