Camden Cyclists have been working with Sam Monck since the discussions on the LIP (Local Implementation Plan) for 2005-10. After that, Sam became head of Street Policy and spoke at our AGM in May 2009 on Terry Farrel’s Bloomsbury Vision.
This time, we invited Sam to tell us about how we can get cycling issues into the next 5 year plan and then implemented under the new funding structure.
Sam told us that his team is now called Public Realm and Transport Policy.
TfL’s former 23 programs have been replaced by 5 new programs which include corridors, neighbourhoods and smarter travel as well as major schemes (e.g Kentish Town and Chalk Farm Town Centres). Sam approves of this holistic approach which he regards as better than a scattering of schemes for cycling, local safety or walking. He sees a disadvantage in boroughs which don’t support cycling – having more interest in motor traffic. But it will be different: instead of the engineering team making bids under the LCN+ budget, Sam’s team will make bids and allocate the work to the engineering team. Sam is a trained traffic engineer.
Funding is now allocated to boroughs according to a formula, which is fairer than before. But Camden will lose funding e.g. 1.5 – 2 £ million from £5 million.
Sam mentioned the London mayor’s air qualiry strategy and second transport strategy documents, which will be a basis for the LIPs.
Camden politicians support sustainability e.g. we are to have one of four trials of 20 mph average speed camera in Fitzjohns Avenue.
The Next LIP
How can we best deliver a LIP which encourages cycling? Sam has contacted TfL about the cycling superhighway on the A5 to ask about flexibility of routing and is still waiting for a reply.
The LIP must be designed to produce a better city. Camden still might implement segregated cycling if appropriate, but many are against it.
The following were among the topics raised:
- dedicated cycling officer: Sam wants officers to be generalists, but said this topic will not die
- sustainability: Camden will attempt to reduce the need to travel but will not reduce road capacity – vanishing traffic is at 10-15% level and shifting it is not acceptable; managing movement is about modal shift; Sam regrets that he thinks that carbon reduction is unlikely to move to the necessary level in Camden
- public realm (enjoyment of the city) see Fitzroy Square ; St Giles Circus will follow
- permeability: Sam explained really well with an example of a route parallel to Euston Road on the north side where the mainline stations are major barriers. He regrets the loss of the link from Regis Road to Arctic Street.
- private cars don’t fit in the city: Sam didn’t take that one up.
Finally, Sam asked Camden Cyclists to provide him with wish lists (e.g. like the ones we already provided for permeability and for danger spots).
Photos Lionel Shapiro*