Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 9th August 2004
Present: David Arditti, James Brander (chair), John Chamberlain, Jean Dollimore, Daniel Glaser, Meade McCloughan (minutes) Helen Vecht and Sela Yain.
Apologies: Stefano Casalotti, Jane Boardman, Paul Gannon and Paul Gasson.
• We have about £1,300 in the bank, but have received no income yet this year (there is about £800 owing to us).
• James is in the process of applying for a ‘two-signature’ bank account.
ERCDT assessment of Camden’s cycling delivery
• In 2003 the ERCDT (English Regions Cycling Development Team) assessed Camden’s performance on cycling, giving it a rather glowing report as well as making various recommendations. We have now been asked by ERCDT to comment on Camden’s progress on the recommendations.
• Unfortunately, there has not been much progress on the ERCDT’s recommendations, and whilst the Council is still on the whole good on cycling, there were some areas where its record is somewhat equivocal. Various traffic schemes where cyclists’ interests had not been adequately considered were mentioned. The impact of the Council’s role in LCN+ on its own cycling planning (given the apparent lack of a dedicated cycling officer) had been deleterious.
• Jean agreed to complete the ERCDT review reporting form using the comments made.
• A new category of committee membership, namely ‘associates of the committee’, has been devised to accommodate Andrew Conway, our ‘webmaster’. David Arditti and Helen Vecht have also been given this status.
• Daniel’s other commitments have meant that his level of CCC activity has dropped of late, and this is not likely to change in the near future. His contributions are much valued, however, and he was encouraged to remain as a committee member, which he said he was happy to do. (Daniel is still due to contact Simeon Bamford (Cycle Training) to see if he would be able to speak at our November meeting.)
• Following the discussion of the Council’s Road Safety Scrutiny Panel’s report at the June CCC meeting, James has informed WCRSAG that we are willing to participate in a Council initiative to address pavement cycling.
• The Council is now seeking funding for such an initiative, and so we will wait to hear from them.
• It was felt that whilst it was good to show willing, we have to ensure that this doesn’t take up too much of our time and that we don’t get too associated with the whole issue.
Haverstock Hill/Prince of Wales Road/Maitland Park Villas
• Jean’s proposed letter to the CNJ outlining and supporting the rationale behind this scheme (in response to the article in the 5th August edition) was discussed. It was felt that we should support the Council in this way given (i) the ill-informed nature of the criticism in the CNJ piece; (ii) the Council’s worthy intentions in this regard; (iii) the fact that CCC is in part responsible for the nature of the scheme (we asked for the 3rd, northern-most ‘toucan’ crossing). The letter was accordingly amended and approved.
• At the same time, considerable unease was expressed about the new facilities, both in respect of their utility for cyclists and the difficulties they present for pedestrians. The main problem relates to the lack of space on the west of Haverstock Hill and on the south east corner of the junction is too narrow. The local representative of the Pedestrian Association is already campaigning against the facilities. We decided not to offer further criticisms of the design or ask for changes with the officer who designed it (David Jenkins) or with Dave Stewart until we have seen how it develops. At this point, David Arditti asked us to minute that he disagreed with this decision.
• The desirability of ‘toucan’ crossings in general was debated. Some felt that they are pernicious because they encourage traffic planners to treat cyclists like pedestrians. On the other hand, some particular examples (e.g. Hyde Park Corner) are known to work well. It is arguable that the HH/PoW/MPV junction is not an appropriate place for them.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Main Meeting on 9th August 2004
Present: as above, plus Anne Boston, Paul Braithwaite, Andrew Conway, George Coulouris, Martin Farquar, Jennifer Lansbury and Séan Thompson.
• John Chamberlain reported on the work he has on this issue. The plan is to develop a secure residential cycle storage project in one of the Council’s estates. John has met with Council officers who are enthusiastic about the idea. The next stage will be to choose and survey a particular estate.
• The focus on residential parking was questioned – what about workplace or destination parking? John referred to the findings of the Womens Design Service that the latter tends to be much less of a problem.
• Andrew added that he and Stefano will be attending a conference on ‘Encouraging Workplace Cycling’ in September, which will no doubt touch on storage issues.
• Lots of signatures from people supporting cycling on the Heath were collected when we held a stall at the open day last month.
• James intends to send these to the Heath superintendent, copying the letter to new chair of the Hampstead and Heath Society, to whom he will also propose arranging a meeting.
• As part of a possible future push on Heath cycling routes, it was suggested that we enlist support from Transport for London, which says that it wants to promote cycling in parks.
• It was pointed out that there appeared to have been a considerable increase in the number of motorized vehicles on the Heath of late.
• Anne and John have been attending meetings about the proposed development and ploughing their way through the outline planning documents. Our input to the process is to be routed through the Council.
• Anne described some of the general planning issues which will affect cyclists. For example, no ground-floor housing is planned, so cycle routes will not benefit from the overview which residents otherwise provide.
• John then took the meeting through a list he had drawn up of cycling issues which we would want to have taken on board in the planning process. The most important of these relate to cycle access to the scheme from the north, east, south and west. Some of the things we want (e.g. Camley Street/Agar Grove link) fall outside the development itself, but we are hoping can be factored in under planning gain provisions. Similarly, station parking and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link are excluded.
• George suggested we look into the possibility of new N-S or E-W routes through the development. This would fit the ideas of the Camley St to Agar Grove Link and the Brill Place and Wharfdale Rd access points already under discussion and will be added to the response to Camden.
• John will update his list and put in on the CCC website in due course.
• Andrew announced that the new website is up and running, with new features still being added. Everybody is encouraged to have a look: http://www.camdencyclists.org.uk/ccc
• One of the main outstanding stages is to enable the user log-in facility, so that CCC members can input directly to the website. This will for example allow us to comment on consultations etc via the website. We will need to be careful that this facility is integrated with use of the newsgroup, so that we don’t end up with dual unconnected discussions.
• The website itself has the capacity to support an e-mail newsgroup. It was agreed that it would be a good long term goal to move the newsgroup from Yahoo to the website.
• In the interim Andrew can enable individual CCC members to publish content on the website. Jean is already able to do so; Meade (for minutes), John (for Kings Cross) and Helen (for news cuttings) will be given access and instructions shortly.
London Cycle Network Route 5 (Kilburn to Burnt Oak
• LCN route 5 (Kilburn High Road Station to Burnt Oak) is currently being devised. The initial proposal is for it to proceed up the A5 (Kilburn High Road straight up to Staples Corner and beyond). This route is at present not all suitable for cyclists, and proposed changes to facilitate flows of motor traffic will make it even less so. There is some scope for improvements, but not to the level that the LCN should be at.
• David has therefore designed a route which goes round to the west of the LCN, via Gladstone Park and Welsh Harp and presented this to the team looking at LCN route 5. This has received a favourable response from (Brent) Council officers, but it is not known whether the consultants engaged on the project will be able to investigate it. The meeting gave its wholehearted support to David’s planned route and endorsed his skepticism about the potential of the A5.
• David and Jean are to join other members of the route planning team on a walk along the A5 this coming Thursday (12th August).
• Monday 13th September – speaker Mayer Hillman.