Our chair, Geoff Stilwell introduced Will Norman as London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner
Here are our notes on Will’s talk
Click on any photo for an enlargemant
Will outlined the challenges facing London:
- global warming in which 26% of CO2 generated by transport
- the most inactive generation of children and falling life expectancy
- increase in number of deaths from air pollution and congestion is getting worse
- the GLA predicts that if things continue as they are people in London will spend 3 days a year stuck in traffic.
The Mayor’s Transport Strategy announced in 2018 aims to increase the current 63% of journeys by walking, cycling or public transport to 80% over 25 years.
It proposes a Healthy Streets approach in which, e.g. people will choose to cycle etc.
Currently, there are 700,000 bike trips per day and this can be increased by providing better infrastructure. But there are still 1/4 million cars per day on the school run.
Will noted that it was his choice to be walking as well as cycling commissioner. He believes that we need to think about the integration of walking and cycling into to transport network, e.g. with bike hubs near stations; but it is difficult to retrofit in our crowded roads and ith opposition, .e.g. from Westminster. It should have been got right from the start in new areas e.g. Olympic Park. Will noted that people change their behaviour when they move house or change jobs and it is essential to improve the infrastructure.
Will showed the maps that show a propensity to cycle, saying that the process of choosing where to build infrastructure must be transparent: TfL use the SCA (Strategic Cycling Analysis) which is based on census data, count data and allows for growth, the propensity to cycle, gradients/geography (how hilly). Then – highest (score) level = set of routes
The LN funding is a different approach to drive up demand in Outer London. There will be new quality criteria for quietways.
Junction improvements are important: Archway has been done, Highbury Corner too. Work has started on Old Street.
Wood Lane to Holland Park Avenue – there is huge kick back on this despite no loss to cars or buses. Loud opposition often feel they are the majority
Hackney to Isle of Dogs – first orbital – new crossing across Thames
As to Camden schemes:
- Tavistock Place: Will thanked CCC for all our work and says he believes the borough has survived the trauma of the Public Inquiry.
- Pratt – Delancey: a workshop is coming up.
- Holborn gyratory: Will is delighted that Camden has won LN funding;
- Midland – Judd: people starting to use it; some concerns regarding the taxis adjacent to the cycle track
- Brunswick Roundabout will follow
- CFR2 – Tottenham Hale to Camden Town. Soon to be consulted on. Urge CCC to respond.
Account for 60% cyclist deaths and 25% pedestrian deaths
New standards for visibility scored 0-5 in which Direct vision score 5. After 3 years 70% of HGVs will have to be safer.
Community grants are available
Jean Dollimore: we have had a big disappointment at Swiss Cottage!
WN: this is a dangerous junction that needs treatment. TfL is working with Camden on a single scheme for the junction.
Regents Park has 3 x collisions rate on other roads and 50% drive over 30 mph. As soon as gates open, air quality in kids area becomes illegal
Crown Estate Paving Commission is responsible. He encourages us to approach them. Crown Estate Paving Commission are Not ‘FOI-able’
He will not go half way – a scheme has to be complete and safe or not at all e.g. close 4 gates or tow gates on one side?
George Coulouris: cycling across Euston Circus into TCR has become MORE dangerous (as work on TCR gets underway)
WN: knows about this from Michael Barratt it needs to be addressed properly.
John: it illustrates a disconnect between Camden and TfL
WN: It is challenging and pressing. TfL has a new structure with an officer working with each borough.
Martin Nelson: Growing problem with portable angle grinders. He lost his bike outside the hospital (UCH) while his wife was having treatment. His friend had ebike with 3 locks taken
WN: is aware of thefts. People must have decent locks and register their bikes. Registration should be at point of sale.
Tracking thieves must be Intelligence led rather than by bobbies on the beat
WN: this is part of the MTS’s Vision Zero approach, which uses 4 pillars
safer streets, safer vehicles •20mph and enforcement e.g. of driving with mobile phones.
TfL gets no money from central government (the only city in the world not to)
David Lincoln: partner is headmistress in Islington; they have most obese children. And children are excluded from active travel because they don’t have bikes or scooters. David is a district nurse; district nurses don’t cycle. How can we integrate these people?
WN: schools are critical in dealing with health inequality. STARS gets engagement. Grants available for community groups, and those with other mobility issues e.g. see the work of Wheels for Well Being.
Rachel Wrangham: ‘carrots’ provided by TfL but it’s left to boroughs to provide ‘sticks’
What is being done at TfL to get people out of their cars?
WN: ULEZ is having a phenomenal impact; only 70% of cars are compliant. He personally felt CC was effective and remembers the day it started – as student at LSE
But now we need a more sophisticated system
Geoff Stilwell thanked Will for a thought-provoking talk and for taking so many questions.
Photos by Geoff Stilwell