Defend proposed improvements to Cycle Superhighway 1

Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) should be a great route for local families and commuters, but streets that are meant to be safe for cycling are too often full of motor traffic, creating an unsafe and hostile route.

Hackney Cycling Campaign have sought improvements since the route opened and as a result of our campaigning, Hackney Council have agreed that further measures are needed to make CS1 much safer.  Please take a minutes to defend proposed improvements to CS1 before Friday 26th January.

The proposals include more filters in Stoke Newington, preventing drivers from rat-running down residential streets and creating safer space for people cycling and walking: you can see the full details here.

The results of filtering a few streets south of this area: streets safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and dogs!

A few local residents are arguing against these improvements, and even suggesting that existing filters along CS1 should be removed.  While some of their concerns are understandable, similar schemes nearby have removed rat-running and reduced traffic across a wider area.  Access will be maintained for people who need to drive – although they may have to use a slightly different route – and roads will be far safer for people walking and cycling.

Please take one minute to support these improvements by responding to the consultation

The council have offered two schemes: both have merit although neither is perfect.  It’s important to demonstrate support for the improvement of CS1 and for the crucial principle that through-traffic belongs on main roads, not residential streets.  We suggest saying you prefer Option B, and, in the comments, suggesting additional measures to avoid displacing traffic onto Dynevor Road: the need to filter Nevill Road is paramount.

Further improvements on West Bank

Another proposal that could use your support is a few minutes ride further north. The council are also proposing removing parking to create a protected cycle track along West Bank, further north on CS1. Please support this proposal too, before Friday 26th January.

A look back at 2017

Hackney has long been a cycling heartland for London and here at the Hackney Cycling Campaign (HCC) we continue to push for the borough becoming a haven for cyclists. We want cycling to be seen as both safe and fun which is reflected in what we’ve done over the past year, and you’ll find some of our highlights from 2017 below…

HCC provided a voice for all cyclists in Hackney with the local council. This has meant that when key roads and junctions have been redesigned, the council has been asked to consider the needs of cyclists including particularly vulnerable road users such as children (a big thanks to Natalie and Harry in our consultation team). You can see some of this hard work now bearing fruit with the filters on Cycle Superhighway 1.

Where needed, we’ve also headed out onto the street to make the case for better cycling infrastructure. On Bath Street our rallying of support ensured that a counterflow cycling track was introduced enabling cyclists to avoid some of London’s less hospitable main roads around Old Street.

Bath Street cycle lane
Anyone passing by many of London’s schools during the start and finish of the day will be all too aware of the impact of the school run. All too often this phenomenon leads to unnecessary congestion, air pollution and an exacerbation of the growing issue of childhood obesity. We’ve pushed for the introduction of a pilot School Streets programme to some of Hackney’s schools as part of a move to encourage more children to walk and cycle to school.

Hackney School Streets

We’re also been keen to help more families enjoy the convenience, speed and ease of getting around the borough by bike. A key initiative has been the launch of the Hackney Family Cycling Library in conjunction with Carry Me Bikes and with funding from TfL’s Cycling Grants for London, The initiative provides local residents with the chance to try out and borrow child bike seats, trailers, tag-a-longs and cargo bike for free, which in in conjunction with quarterly themed group rides and cargo bike sessions has provided an important stepping stone for young families considering taking to Hackney’s streets by bike. It was great to see Ruth-Anna and Alix’s tireless work being recognised with the Best Family-Friendly’ Award at this year’s LCC Campaigner Awards.

Hackney Family Cycling Library Christmas Ride

We also want to celebrate the wonderful contribution that cycling makes to the Borough. Among the events we led or took part in were the Midsummer Bike Social, Bikers Breakfast, Ride London and Burns Night. But my personal favourite would have to be London’s inaugural Cargo Bike Championships at the Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling where we blessed with one of London’s more magical summer days.

 Whilst the above paints a pretty rosy picture of life in Hackney, there’s still lots more to do as and we’d love to have your support. Try joining the London Cycling Campaign, come along to one of our monthly meetings at the Pembury Community Centre and help us toast the haggis at the upcoming Burns Night fundraiser.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthier streets around Well Street need your help

Support the council’s proposal for healthier streets around Well Street

Hackney Cycling Campaign warmly welcome proposals to prevent drivers passing through Hackney from rat-running from Mare Street to Cassland Road.  We’re urging local residents to support the council’s proposals here.

In 2014, Hackney Cycling Campaign’s ‘ward ask’ in local elections was for safer streets without rat-running traffic in the area bounded by Well Street, Mare Street and Morning Lane.  This was supported by all three councillors for Homerton and we are delighted to see their promises being put into action.

The problem

Rat-running currently causes extensive problems in this area.  Drivers racing through create an intimidating environment for pedestrians and people cycling, and cause air and noise pollution.  Rushing to beat traffic on main roads, these drivers are often careless: there have been a number of collisions on these junctions, affecting pedestrians, people cycling and driving, as the map below shows.

Dangerous junctions for all road users. Source: Crashmap.co.uk

Now the council are proposing to make St Thomas’s Square and Darnley Road access only: access for residents, deliveries and emergency services will be retained.  Drivers passing through will have to stick to the main roads, leaving residential roads safer, quieter and more pleasant.

Rat-running through the area has knock-on effects, clogging up the Well Street area with through-traffic (and encouraging drivers to use Richmond Road as a through route).

The result – the usual jams

We hope this scheme will confine more through-traffic to main roads, and encourage local residents to walk or cycle more.

What about main roads – won’t this just make things worse?

A recent scheme in Walthamstow did something similar (but more ambitious): it not only cut traffic on back streets, it cut traffic in the borough overall – see this Evening Standard piece for the details.  It also cut collisions in the scheme area from 15 in the preceding three years to zero.  With the roads empty of traffic-jams, emergency services can also get to their destinations more quickly.

Next steps

While these proposals go a long way, we’re aware they don’t yet go far enough.  Most rat-running will be prevented, but some drivers could change their journeys to take the remaining through-routes.  So, alongside giving your support, we’d urge you to encourage the council to finish the job.  There’s a box on the consultation to ask if you think there’s more filtering needed.  We suggest asking the council to prevent rat-running up Mead Place, and down Belsham Road too.

Click here to support this excellent proposal now.  The consultation closes in less than a month (21st July).

London Cargo Bike Championships

Big shout out to those of you who came down to the inaugural London Cargo Bike Championships in Finsbury Park this Sunday. Under a blistering sun, we had messengers taking on families with a mixture of Omniums, Bakfiets, Bullitts and other two and three wheeled beasts of burden.

It was great to see Mums and Dads with their grinning sons and daughters acting as copilots, providing a much needed reminder of the potential role that cargo bikes have in getting families out of their cars and out on their bikes.

When the dust settled, Kieron took top spot on an Omnium, followed by Charlie riding with Noah and Coco on a Bakfiets on the podium but all of the competitors and spectators were left with smile on their faces.

A big thanks to E5 Bakehouse, Clapton Craft Five Points Brewing Company and Bread by Bike for providing us with some great prizes. Watch this space as we’re hoping to have some video footage soon and look out for more fun next year as we look to bring more friendly competition to the cargo bike world.

London Cargo Bike Championships
London Cargo Bike Championships
London Cycling Campaign cargo bike
London Cycling Campaign cargo bike at London Cargo Bike Championships
London Cargo Bike Championships Prizes
London Cargo Bike Championships Prizes
London Cargo Bike Championships winners podium
London Cargo Bike Championships winners podium
Kieron wins London Cargo Bike Championships
Kieron wins London Cargo Bike Championships

Full listing:

1st Kieron
2nd Charlie (Noah and Coco)
3rd Jordan
4th Marcus and Augustus
5th Ben (Ella)
6th Jono (Lyla)
7th Perry
8th Clarence
9th Ruth-Anna (Bethan)
10th Tabitha (Lyla)
11th David

Where do we go from here? A look back at HCC’s planning workshop

We had a great planning session on Saturday 4th March where we invited local residents to come and help us shape Hackney Cycling Campaign’s priorities for the coming year.

We kicked the meeting off with HCC co-ordinator Jono reviewing the Mayoral Asks from the last local elections where we’d asked candidates from the Hackney Council Elections all the parties to commit to various improvements in the borough’s cycling infrastructure. His presentation highlighted both the progress that’s been made since 2014 as well as the many barriers that we still need to address to make our roads safer for cyclists of all abilities.

Harry, one of HCC’s consultation co-ordinators then broke us up into smaller group’s, asking us to think about the areas in Hackney where we wanted to focus our attention with changes that were ambitious, achievable and strategically important. Rachel provided us with some valuable context, talking us through results from the Hackney Cycling Survey results and her own analysis of Hackney accident data for cyclists.

We came back together where we ironed out some a list of collective priorities. We structured these into initiatives currently underway or going through consultation (“support and augment”), areas where there is opportunity for change in the medium term (“campaign and inform”); and longer term projects in need of change (“shape the debate”). This led to the following list:

Currently in play: Seven Sisters Road through to Amhurst Park Road; Wick Road – Balls Pond Road; traffic enforcement on busy narrow residential streets (we’re particularly interested in West Midlands Police’s close passing initiative)
Mid term: More filtering on Cycle Superhighway 1 (Pitfield St, Balls Pond Road, North of Butterfield)
Long term: A10; Stoke Newington High St; Hackney Road; Graham Road and links with Wick Road; Mini Holland proposal for the borough.

We’ll be using this as a guide to where we throw our energies in the coming year, but we’re definitely keen to hear from other Hackney cyclists about where we need to improve the borough’s cycling infrastructure. If you want to find out more, come along to one of our monthly meetings at the Pembury Community Centre. Hope to see you there soon

HCC planning workshop 2017
HCC planning workshop 2017
HCC planning workshop 2017
HCC planning workshop 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there really ‘safety in numbers’?

New analysis of police injury data known as Stats19 carried out for Hackney Cyclists by Dr. Rachel Aldred shows worrying trends in the borough. Hit and runs are on the increase, and are now happening at a rate of one every two days. While 11% – just over one in ten – of all injury collisions across Britain involve a hit and run vehicle, the figure’s higher in London (15%, or around one in seven) and an even higher one in five in Hackney. And while one in five sounds high enough, it’s one in four for collisions where a pedestrian or cyclist is injured.

Jono Kenyon, Co-ordinator of Hackney Cyclists, says ‘One of our three ‘asks’ for Hackney mayoral candidates was a higher priority for roads traffic policing. Hundreds of people are injured on Hackney’s roads every year while walking and cycling. Road traffic offences, from close passes to hit and runs, need to be tackled to help make our roads safer for everyone.’
Since 2005, injuries to cyclists to Hackney have increased, and although numbers have been falling in recent years, in 2015 there were almost twice as many cyclists injured in Hackney as there were in 2005 (250 vs. 134). Over the same period pedestrian injuries have been roughly stable but car and taxi occupant injuries have decreased. Dr. Aldred comments ‘Clearly cycling in Hackney has grown during this period, perhaps roughly doubling, but it’s a concern that there doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘safety in numbers’ effect for cyclists – in other words it hasn’t got much safer per trip, as cycling has gone up.’
 Join us this Wednesday 1st March to hear more about these issues and see what Hackney Cycling is proposing to ask for in terms of better protection for our communities: http://hackney.cc/events/march-monthly-meeting-2017/

Burns Night 2017

Burns Night 2017 flier

Join Hackney Cycling Campaign at our annual fundraising Burns Night supper and ceilidh. Burns Night is always a lot of fun and an opportunity for London Cycling Campaign members, supporters and friends to meet each other and have a good time in the dark days of winter.

Purchase your ticket

Doors open at 6.30pm, with beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks available at the bar. At 7pm, the traditional fare of haggis, neeps, tatties and whisky is served. Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and well catered for. Recitations and party pieces will accompany supper. (If you’d like to give us a bit of Burns poetry, or if you can play a tune or sing a song with a more or less Scottish theme, you’re very welcome to do so).

After supper, at around 8.30pm, Scottish country dancing will be led by the fabulous Green Kite ceilidh band whose caller will walk you through the steps, so no experience is necessary!

You can also try your luck in our Burns Night raffle for a chance to win some great prizes donated by local businesses and individuals. Proceeds from the raffle will be split between deserving cycling-related causes.

The dancing will continue until 11ish.

Tickets in advance only. No sales on the door, sorry!

Secure, covered cycle parking provided.

We very much look forward to welcoming you once again to toast with us the immortal memory of Robert Burns.