Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 12th September 2005
Present: James Brander (chair), John Chamberlain, Jean Dollimore, Meade McCloughan (minutes) and Helen Vecht.
Apologies: Paul Gasson, Paul Gannon, Jane Boardman, Stefano Casalotti (business meeting only)
St Pancras Way/Baynes Street
- See minute under member’s meeting
- James has drafted a letter to the Camden New Journal responding to Cllr Gerry Harrison’s recent letter. It was suggested that it might be better to leave Baynes Street out it and just concentrate on the Kentish Town Road issue.
Council’s proposals for Gordon Square
- These sound promising, but we await proper details.
- The possible utility of signs indicating to motorists to watch out for two-way cycling was re-iterated.
CCC’s political influence
- It was agreed that our political profile needs to be improved, especially with Cllr Gerry Harrison’s departure next year from the Council and Cllr Julian Fulbrook standing down as chair of WCRSAG (Camden’s Walking, Cycling & Road Safety Advisory Group).
- There are at least seven cycling councillors: Gerry, Julian, Jane Roberts, Sue Vincent, Penny Abrahams, Theo Blackwell and Raj Chadha [all Labour].
- James suggested that we arrange a weekend Camden charity fund-raising cycle ride and invite these councillors along.
- Alternatively, we could arrange a ride with councillors to visit cycling facilities in Waltham Forest, whose cycling officer, Gina Harkell has already approached us with such a trip in mind (WF’s facilities are apparently worth it). This would have to take place during the week, which would be difficult for James.
- We could ask Gerry and Julian to encourage their colleagues to participate.
- It was agreed that more thought be given to these ideas, ideally with a view to some such initiative being undertaken sooner rather than later (but autumn creeping in?)
Mortimer Estate cycle storage initiative
- It appears that this project, which John has been instrumental in getting going, is bearing fruit. Some form of site visit/opening event is being arranged for the 26th September (maybe at 11 am).
- John to find out more about what’s happening and let us know.
- John himself will not be able to attend, but Meade said that he would probably be able to go along. Colin Murphy and Woody Bronson (who joined the meeting about this time) may also be able to go.
Forthcoming WCRSAG (Camden’s Walking, Cycling & Road Safety Advisory Group) meeting agenda items
- With Cllr Julian Fulbrook standing down in due course as chair of this group, Cllr Jill Fraser will be taking over.
- With the important current issues (St Pancras Way, Gordon Square) already in hand with Council officers, it was agreed that there were no pressing issues to take forward to this forum.
- Do we want to raise our general concerns about the tendency for traffic schemes to be put forward with putatively pedestrian/traffic calming emphasises which in fact do little to improve things? Maybe a bit too general for WCRSAG.
- We could perhaps raise the cycle parking/stands issue but as Dave Stewart reported new stands in Kentish Town Road, Chalk Farm Road and 70 south of Euston Road, this was not necessary.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Main Meeting on 12th September 2005
Present: as above, plus Stefano Casalotti, George Colouris, Colin Murphy, Dianne Richards, Martin Parkinson, Woody Bronson, Irene Windsor, Anne Boston, Nick Grande, Karen and Zsazanna Ardo.
St Pancras Way/Baynes Street
- The committee reported on an earlier discussion about the problems with this junction and the Council’s proposals to rectify them.
- The Committee thought that the proposal to put in “Give Way” markings for cyclists was very unsatisfactory and if they are to go in, must only be very temporary.
- There could be other forms of signage, e.g. bollard mounted signs alerting motorists to two-way cycling, which would be much preferrable. Jean to investigate in the IHT / LCDS handbooks as to whether such signs are legitimate.
- As to more permanent improvements to the area, there was no clear consensus as to how we would want the council to proceed.
- There is considerable support for getting Randolph Street made two way, so as to remove traffic pressure from the Baynes Street junction. This is something we could ask the Council to consult on as a matter of urgency.
- The issue of light phasings was much discussed. These do work, but it is not obvious to many cyclists. How could this be overcome?
- The Council has suggested putting in an island and and staggered “Give Way” markings (for motorists) – this sounds OK, but will it be sufficient?
- Some felt that the problems with the junctions were so severe that any proposals would be no more than tinkering – the St Pancras Way route should be closed until a safer design has been agreed, for example, a route that continues up Royal College Street.
- It was agreed that given the complexity of the issues involved we should undertake some proper monitoring of the whole St Pancras Way facility one morning rush-hour in the near future, and use this to inform a further discussion of the whole range of options. .Jean to organize this monitoring session: George, Meade, Lionel and others to help with this.
- Jean to write to Dave Stewart (London Borough of Camden) advising him of our opposition to the
cyclists give wayproposal and advising him of our intention to investigate the area more thoroughly before coming back with substantial recommendations.
CCC’s mentoring scheme
- Meade presented a brief report on CCC’s mentoring scheme, set up in 2001: see
- Various ways of publicizing the scheme were proposed, such as:
- having some sort of flashing indicator on the website;
- flagging it up in the forthcoming newsletter (already underway);
- link to our webpage from the Camden cycling webpage;
- link to our webpage from the BBC London cycling webpage;
- link to our webpage from
TfL Journet Planner
- posters (updating the old one Meade did in 2001) for bike shops, libraries, etc.
Action: Meade to do a new poster, and Jean to liaise with Camden’s web person.
- Meade warned about attracting too much interest, given that we didn’t have many mentors, especially ones who had the time to do more than their usual commute to work.
- It was agreed that the list of mentors needed to be updated and new volunteers attracted.
- There was discussion about the purpose of mentoring: should it be focused especially on helping with routes, or should basic “road-craft” also be included? Some felt that the former should be the focus, but it was also felt that it was important to give basic advice on how to cycle in an urban environment and to advise on obvious unsafe habits. Meade added that it was advisable for mentors to have some training themselves in how to accompany and advice novice cyclists, as had been provided for some of our mentors back in 2001.
- Lionel recommended that we try to build up a database of good routes, perhaps along the line of the very helpful (and illustrated) advice he had recently given via the newsgroup on route to Canary Wharf. Perhaps members could be invited to contribute information via the newsgroup; Lionel offered to collate the results.
- Do people have to be LCC members to benefit? No, but we do our best to encourage them to join.
Car Free Day, Seven Dials, 22nd September 2005
- Stefano outlined Camden’s plans for this event. Our contribution will take two forms:
- a ride in the morning from Swiss Cottage to Seven Dials, with enough cyclists to attract press publicity, so as to put pressure on Camden to make cycling the theme for a future year’s Car Free Day.
- a stall at the event itself (midday)
- The ride had only attracted a few people; Stefano to try again, saying he has a nucleus, needing more bodies. If numbers aren’t forthcoming, the ride should should be abandoned.
- The stall: various ideas were put forward:
- an adult version on the
how did you get to school?game Stefano had for children last year;
- a bike on a stand, so people could (i) test their heatbeat; (ii) try to go fast; ?
- poster boards, with information about routes in Camden,
- maybe also inviting people to mark their favourite / preferred routes on maps?
Enlivening future CCC meetings
- A possible way to do this which attracted much interest was to hold meetings in other venues in the borough, whether to the north or to the south.
- Nick mentioned that the Primrose Hill Community Association had declared an interest in having a CCC meeting on their premises.
- It was agreed to pursue this as an experiment for the November meeting (14th November; CTUK Dr Bike already booked for that date) – Jean to liaise with Nick.
- Nick also said that it would be good to have a more themed, or even debate focused meeting – a suitably controversial issue would be cycling in Regent’s Park!
- Speaker meetings were agreed to be a good idea – more needed to be arranged for future months (we have Barry Mason for October). Interesting topics put forward included (i) cycle helmets, (ii) air quality.