The LCC e-news on 12th August told us that members had chosen ‘Going Dutch’ for the 2012 Mayoral Election Campaign, stating : “Clear space on main roads for cyclists in London is what you want”. In the late 1990s David Arditti worked with Paul Gannon and Paul Gasson in the achievement of the segregated tracks in Royal College Street and Tavistock Place. Currently he is active in Brent Cyclists but and recently had put his view on Go Dutch on his Vole O’Speed blog. He kindly agreed to lead a discussion as to what we think should be done in Camden as part of Going Dutch.
David gave a presentation which he said was based on material prepared by Jim Davis of Chair of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain. This material is presented in the fourth talk on the page.
David presented figures and graphs to convince us that:
- the UK is one of the least safe places to be a cyclist or even worse a child pedestrian.
- safety relates to infrastructure
- levels of cycling are very low compared with Holland and Denmark, particularly for women and men above 20.
David reminded us that in the 1930, LCC built cycle tracks along the main roads, but CTC opposed this, saying that cyclists should have a right to ride in the road.
Cycling numbers declined from the 1950s and the changes in Holland and Denmark have taken place during the last 20 years.
David then showed some examples from David Hembrow showing streets in Holland before and after changes and others comparing streets in the UK with changes made to streets of similar basic character in Holland.
We thanked David for his stimulating presentation and then moved on to discuss how we think this should be applied in Camden.
David suggested that the LCC should campaign to raise the Cycling Superhighways to Dutch Standards. It was felt that this was a good idea, but we also wanted something for Camden, based on the idea that the Mayor of London should be persuaded to fund one Go Dutch scheme in each borough.
Stefano and Stephen Taylor told us about their experiences of cycling in Japan, where people use the footway to go slowly, but we came back to the idea proposed by David that new infrastructure is required to change cultures.
Tottenham Court Road
This is a Camden road and Paul Braithwaite confirmed there is a scheme afoot to return it to two-way working. (Camden’s LIP discusses the introduction of public realm improvements and 2-way traffic along Tottenham Court Road (cycle and buses only) and Gower Street – see figure on left.) Although we discussed Kentish Town Road as another possibility, it was felt that we should grasp an opportunity to get radical changes in to this new scheme. Meade explained our apparent reluctance as stemming from the criticism of the existing two-way tracks that he has experienced as a long-time member of Camden Cyclists. However we managed to reach a consensus that we should do some work on Tottenham Court Road. The first steps to be:
- carry out cycle counts on Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street
- ask Camden Council for present and target cycle flow figures in these roads
This would be followed later by an approach to Sam Monck and Louise Bond
David Arditti’s blog post
Following this discussion, David has written some further thoughts about Tottenham Courts Road Another discussion of Dutch-Style Infrastructure in Camden
Cycling Embassy Launch
Cycling Embassy of Great Britain: launch on Sat 3rd September at noon on the south side of Lambeth Bridge. Ride over the bridge and picnic in Victoria Gardens.