Andrew Gilligan had already met with Camden officers and councillors (Brian Deegan and Cllrs Sarah Hayward and Phil Jones) to discuss new and improved routes for Camden. We were therefore pleased that at least 3 dozen people turned up to ask him about the details.
Meade, as chair, introduced AG who then gave an outline of the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London, noting that the CSHs (Cycle Superhighways) are not up to scratch: those already built will be improved and others built to a higher standard. Our CSH 11 which was to have been on Finchley Road will be given a new alignment (not yet decided).
AG explained the notion of the Bike Crossrail (a long east-west route that includes segregated tracks on Victoria Embankment) and may be via Trafalgar Square or Parliament Square. He said that there will also be a north-south route in similar style, but was unable to reveal the details.
AG discussed the issue of contention between cyclists and buses. Island (or floating) bus stops (with cycles on the inside) will be used in wider roads, as for example on CSH2 extension through Stratford. He noted that in places with crowds of pedestrians and numerous bus services, island bus stops may disadvantage bus passengers who have to cross the cycle track.
AG praised Camden schemes and suggested that some cycle superhighways might use lightweight segregation similar to that proposed for the upcoming new scheme in Royal College Street.
AG explained Quietways: routes on pleasant, low-traffic side streets with segregation when using main roads. Noted that routes should follow our mental models of London, so would be named after tube or bus routes (e.g. the Jubilee Line Quietway or the Inner Circle Quietway, North Circular Quietway or South Circular Quietway).
AG explained the Central London Grid which consists of Superhighways + Quietways.
AG asked us to keep in touch with him as to what’s going on in Camden, then opened the discussion to questions. There were many questions and the following points came out.
- John Ackers of ICAG asked what TfL would do about boroughs that don’t participate in a proactive way. AG said theyare all cooperating.
- The Central London Grid will be planned by a board from the 9 boroughs involved: Camden represented by Sam Monck (Assistant Director, Environment and Transport) is one of the 3 main partners with City and Westminster).
- Paul Braithwaite pointed out TfL’s poor performance with junction improvements at Kings Cross and Camden Road junctions, noting also that Swiss Cottage is a black spot. AG said that past performance in the junction safety review has been poor and rushed and that Swiss Cottage will be one to be done properly.
- James Brander said that he likes the superhighways and thinks that many cyclists do like them, but that priority is a problem. AG agreed that cyclist priority is essential and will be taken more seriously in the future.
- AG replied positively In response to a mention of our 2003 campaign to remove through traffic from Regents Park, saying he would discuss it with Colin Buttery.
- Asked about training, AG said a lot is spent on bikeability training in London but little evidence it is working, the small number cycling to school has decreased. Few kids go to Level 3 on-road. He will support the Tufnell Park Cycles to School campaign. Policy is to improve London for everybody, not just current cyclists. Need to broaden cycling demographic.
- Alex Santacreu asked why there is no mention of road danger in TfL’s draft police and crime plan for London; AG didn’t to answer that question about the police, referring us instead to TfL’s Road Safety Action Plan.
- David Arditti asked AG about buses and cyclists. AG won’t do anything that will significantly disadvantage those who use buses (who are not vocal, e.g. don’t tweet or blog).
Meade thanked Andrew Gilligan on our behalf. It was a pity he had to rush off as we all stayed and chatted until it was time to leave the hall at 10 pm.
We are to keep AG informed about progress and problems. And it could be useful to find out the following:
- alignment of the Central London Grid in Camden
- alignment of CSH11
- alignment of N-S quietway
- alignment of Inner Circle quietway
Thanks to David Arditti (@voleospeed) for ideas contained in his live tweets.
Photos by Geoff Stilwell and David Arditti.