Hackney LCC meeting 1st October 1997

Apologies: none

In attendance: Claire Tansley, Patrick Field, Douglas Carnall, Simon Bannister, Keith HCT, Trevor Parsons, Clare X, Crispin Truman.

Topics discussed:
1. Social rides
2. Report from cycle liaison meeting
3. New meeting venue
4. Stratford station
5. Echelon parking and Hoxton CPZ
6. Minibus driver training
7. Cycle training
8. Dalston south update
8. Any other business

1. Social rides

Douglas had a call from a BBC publications researcher involved in creating a personally-tailored public listings service, (kind of ‘push’ technology but delivered on paper). This reminded Douglas that it would be good to have some social/fun rides to publicise in such media. [There hasn’t been much response to Nev’s notice in the August/September newsletter asking people interested in doing social rides to contact him – Nev and Cathi have come to the conclusion that it’s probably better just to go ahead and organise something and advertise it.]

Keith reminded us that a ‘Chiltern/Herts ride’ happens on Sunday every fortnight (next one on the 12th of October). This train assisted jaunt in the country meets at Finsbury Park station at 10.30am. It’s usually in the London Cyclist magazine rides diary.

Various people suggested promoting rides through the Lea Valley/Epping Forest. PF said he doesn’t mind helping out on the day of rides, but would prefer someone else to publicise them. It was decided that we would try to put a first ride together for Sunday November 16th. It could be monthly if successful. Perhaps we could seek assistance or advice from the Marsh Users Group or the Lea Valley Park Authority. We also decided to have a ride to the Design Museum cycle exhibition on 18th January 1998! There is a good discount for groups of ten or over.

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2. Report from cycle liaison meeting

Douglas updated people about the September cycle liaison meeting.

There followed a short discussion about the question of shared use, following on from Douglas’s suggestion of a code of conduct. October/November’s London Cyclist magazine has an article on the subject on page 9, mentioning that LCC’s Policy Group has put together a paper on the subject, and that the Department of Transport has issued guidance on shared use.

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3. New meeting venue

Since the Prince of Wales seems likely to begin charging for use of the upstairs room, we are planning to move to a new meeting venue. We discussed the pro’s and cons of meeting or not meeting in pubs. Claire has secured permission for us to use a very pleasant non-commercial premises known as ‘The Warehouse’ in London Lane, E8. (It was previously London Fields Cycles until they moved into a shop on nearby Mare St.) We decided to go with that, failing any last minute changes before the 15th October London Cyclist borough news deadline.

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4. Stratford station

As discussed last month, Hackney LCC is giving evidence at the public enquiry on the proposed development of the Eurostar station at Stratford. We are due to speak on 15th October. Patrick has sent a ‘statement of case’, but needs time to work on our ‘proof of evidence’. One important point is that the public transport interchange would be a good 400 metres unassisted walk from the Eurostar station, whereas the proposed car parking would be much closer. Pedestrian and cycle access, which should be a central and preliminary consideration in such a development, remains uncertain in the present plans. We have space for four witnesses. Crispin, Douglas and Trevor agreed to meet soon to plan our submission.

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5. Echelon parking and Hoxton CPZ

We have heard that the detailed plans for the Hoxton controlled parking zone include a certain amount of end-on or ‘echelon’ car parking. We discussed the safety questions which might arise from motorists reversing out from diagonal bays, and from the supposedly beneficial by-product of narrowing the useable street space, but did not reach any firm conclusions about a preference, from the safety angle, for echelon as opposed to conventional parallel car parking.

However, it is clear that echelon parking can be used to pack more motor vehicle storage into a given length of street, and we were agreed that this should not be tolerated. The more plentiful the car parking, the more commuters will arrive by car. If echelon parking is preferred by the council officers, let them pad out the parking spaces with trees, built-out cycle parking etc.

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6. Minibus driver training

Simon has just started doing a brand new minibus drivers’ training course called ‘DAT assessor training’. All minibus drivers in London will have to take this course in the next year or so, and Simon says that, since this is effectively a pilot at the moment, he has the possibility to influence the content of the course. He naturally wanted to know what could be added to the syllabus to encourage cycle-friendly driving. Patrick said that trainees should be made aware of the difficulties posed when minibuses double-park. We pointed to the general advice to motorists on Hackney LCC’s innovative cyclists’ parking ticket. Trevor mentioned that driving smoothly for the comfort of passengers entails not accelerating and braking too hard, and that this fits in well with the message that cyclists – who generally keep to a steady pace – need not be overtaken at every opportunity! Simon says the timescale for any syllabus revisions is over the next six months.

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7. Cycle training

Douglas recapped about our plans for cycle training, namely that a small core group will be trained first, and these people will then train up a larger group of cyclists, who will in turn be qualified to teach punters how to ride bikes effectively. Patrick reported that the British Cycle Training Association are running a Preliminary Cycle Coaching Award course in East Grinstead this month, which confers eligibility for third party insurance. Patrick intends to do the course if he can. Claire said that she has been in touch with the English Schools group, and they can send someone to train trainers if we can muster a minimum of ten people for the two-weekend course. Patrick suggested recruiting people London-wide through the LCC. Claire offers herself as a point of contact for this. Her number is 0171-241 0137.

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8. Dalston South update

The decision on planning permission for the delightful Chelverden Properties application has been referred on from the local neighbourhood committee to the borough-wide Borough Services Committee on 13th October, presumably to avoid instant defeat.

Patrick announced to general hilarity that the community group opposing the proposed car-based development off Dalston Lane has been so successful in influencing locals that the developers have resorted to the CIA-style tactic of faking the existence of a pro-development grassroots group. A convincingly blotchy A4 newsletter has been delivered to local residents headed ‘Dalston Lane Scheme Progress Report’, claiming to allay all concerns and ‘give comfort’ to those worried about increased levels of motor traffic pollution. The man being paid to construct this ridiculous farce is a certain ex-Dalston City Partnership employee called Peter Paddon of 26, Widegate St, London E1, telephone number 0171-247 2500. Desperate!

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8. Any other business

Crispin Truman made a stirring appeal for Hackney LCC members to vote for him in the management committee elections at the LCC Annual General meeting.

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