Coptic Street was closed for the day and will remain permanently closed. This is part of a scheme of road closures that started last year with Museum Street. Although this was a very small scale closure by international standards, at least it has a long term plan associated with it.
CCC was there as usual. CCC had said that it would not participate in Car Free day unless the council dropped the idea of making Little Russell Street one-way between Coptic Street and Museum Street. Anyway,it will remain two-way. As so often, Jane and Stefano were early on the spot setting up the stall and were soon joined by Helen. John, Daniel and Meade came to take over for the afternoon.
This year the EC set the theme as Safe Streets for Children, and in response Camden invited primary school children along to the event. Stefano hit on the idea of providing a chart on which each child could colour in a square showing the actual way the travel to school and the way that they would most like to travel to school. Some of us were surprised to see that almost all of them walk to school and were pleased that a majority would like to cycle to school.
Coptic Street was chock-a-block with a big variety of stalls including:
- OYbikes who provide hire bikes outside stations and in hotels (oybike.com); these are big heavy chainless bikes with easily configurable saddle height and could be useful for commuters;
- good going, a TfL initiative concerning travel awareness in London
- Camden council had stalls for issues dealing with the school run, air pollution and energy management and environmental education.
The opening speech was made by London assembly member Murah Quereshi who is a London list labour AM – i.e. he doesn’t have a constituency. Clare Neely had advised us to make contact with him as she had heard of our lack of a useful AM in Camden (and Barnet). So he came to talk to us and seemed very sympathetic to cycling issues. Murah is a member of the GLA Transort Committee and said he could help us. We said we would be asking him about TfL’s plans for cycle funding for the next few years and that we would like to know whether they will keep their promise regarding LCN+.
Daniel made contact with the street wardens and discussed ways to get a warden presence in Somers Town. It will be worth following this up.