Hackney LCC meeting Wednesday 1 October 2003

Venue:
Pub on the Park, London Fields, London E8

Present:
Gigi Davies, Sara Davies, Patrick Field, Sally Haywill, Trevor Parsons, Brenda Puech, Oliver Schick

Apologies:
Katie Hanson

Topics discussed:

1. Matters arising
2. STAbikes nomination / children’s cycling
3. Burns Night
4. Rides
5. Eastway
6. Road safety review
7. LCN+
8. Residential cycle parking project
9. Car free day feedback
10. AOB

1. Matters arising

  • Constitution: no progress yet. We will chase Richard.
  • Staffer – defer until constitution done.
  • Lido – Brenda will go to Lido open meeting on the 7th.
  • Ideas for spending money – haven’t yet asked the membership through the mailing list or newsletter

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2. STAbikes nomination / children’s cycling

Oliver confirmed that he has sent our nomination for STAbikes to the LCC awards 2003.

The STAbikes / SupaNova schools cycle training project was introduced for those who were not familiar with it. SupaNova is being rolled out to no fewer than 11 other primary schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets. An example of the success is Lauriston. When they started their STAbikes-style project there was no one cycling at all; now the culture at the schools has started to change.

Sally said that we may not actually see the most important results for another 20 years. Funders demand evaluation at this very early stage, but the time to see whether that will happen is in a decade or two’s time. If they have the skills, they may, we hope, take it up again after their ‘difficult’ teenage years. Project involves parents, which is important. Patrick encouraged her not to be too pessimistic about the prospects for teenagers continuing to cycle. All you need is for the fashion to change.

If we were going to get every primary school child cycle-educated, Sally reckoned we would definitely need secure TfL funding, year on year. Important to move on from the yearly ad hoc funding arrangements. More regular funding may be available through the TfL cycle training funding which has been bid for by Hackney Traffic & Transportation.

Sally feels there has been a sea change from this time last year, when STAbikes’ Neighbourhood Renewal Fund application ran into objections from some officers in the council concerning road safety. Sally is very keen that the training should stay in the ambit of parents and teachers and schools. Doesn’t want it to be taken on directly by the council – much better if kept at the grass-roots level. Patrick said he would try to find out what the TfL funding guidelines for schools cycle training are.

There’s a meeting of new schools wanting to get started with cycle training this week. STAbikes is evolving into a training organization itself now. Cycle Training Ltd has done a great job, but STAbikes / SupaNova want to do it in the way which suits them exactly, and have full control. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Cycle Training Ltd [a non-profit company, by the way. Ed.] because CT has more than enough work to deal with. Sometimes STAbikes hasn’t been able to offer the training it wanted because CT were stuck for trainers.

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3. Burns Night

Burns Night, our popular annual fund-raiser, should be a committee effort this year. Brenda can put some effort in. Sir Thomas Abney will still be available, if people are happy with it as a venue. But with all the STAbikes and SupaNova work, Sally isn’t going to have time to organize it, though she can offer very comprehensive notes on how to organize the event and how it could be better. But need to start organizing now. Burns Night working group was formed: Oliver, Brenda and Gigi.

The date for the next Burns Night will be the 24th January 2004. First thing is to make sure we get our publicity going now. Should get it in the next London Cyclist, and into all the voluntary sector mailings: ecoactive mailing list, etc. Brenda said she thought we would fill it just by mailing the local LCC groups. Sally said she would like it to be publicized wider and bring in new people.

Need to ask for more people to help, and decide one person who’ll lead. Make sure Douglas is around to be the master of ceremonies on the night.

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4. Rides

Gigi would like to organise some social rides for Hackney LCC. Steve Collins of Tower Hamlets LCC is a whirlwind, but you don’t have to do it to that extent. Gigi: just start things off and then it’ll get a momentum of its own. Start off pretty informally. Look five or six weeks ahead and plan ahead, and publicise on our website, the LCC website, the lcc-riders mailing list.

Sally: important to specify the level that each ride is aimed at. Give lots of detail and information. Gigi agreed. She’s friendly with Steve C. and will get info and tips from him.

Patrick’s going to be starting an adults’ cycling club every Tuesday at Sir Thomas Abney, so could co-ordinate with that.

Gigi would like to be titled the ‘Empress of Excursions’. No one had any objection to that!

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5. Eastway

Oliver wants to improve the ‘interface’ of LCC and the Eastway Cycle Circuit. Something like Barry Mason has done with Herne Hill.

STAbikes is going to start making use of Eastway, to get the older children from the project into competitive sporty cycling. Dave McCarthy is a coach now and is interested to take children along there. In fact they do already go there, but want to do it more. Patrick: that also opens you to Lottery funding.

Oliver spoke to James Cocker at the Cycle 2003 expo. He is in favour of the idea of taking a half day at the track and introducing people to racing. You can hire racing bikes there.

Patrick said a good idea would be for us to promote the Tuesday night event – a ten-mile time trial. Easy event. Also there will be cyclo-cross on Sunday afternoons. The activity is already there, and it’s something that we should just promote to our members.

Brenda said that there’s a chap called Simon at her running club who is responsible for promoting sport to youth for Hackney Council. Interested in thinking of ways of promoting cycling. We should make sure he knows about the contributions we made recently to the draft Sports Strategy. Our response to the draft sports strategy, in PDF format.

Patrick emphasised that in his view, although it would be good to run our own events there as well, we should concentrate on co-ordinating with and publicising events that are already going on there – spectacular things like championship cyclocross.

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6. Road safety review

Cllr Rita Krishna is organising a panel to examine the local authority’s policy on ‘road safety’. Patrick has been invited separately in his London School of Cycling role. LCCiH has also received and accepted an invitation. Once we find out the format of the panel is, we can work out our approach.

We decided it would be a good idea to challenge the traditional ‘road safety’ concept, and promote more progressive opinion such as that which is promoted by the Road Danger Reduction Forum. We should be pushing 20mph speed limits, and getting rid of all one-way streets. Average speed in London is already low, but we need to get burst speeds down. Speed also wastes road space. Important to get trauma risk regarded in proper proportion with the public health risks of lack of exercise.

Oliver recounted the German post-war experience of ‘every tree a potential killer – “Jeder Baum ist ein potenzieller Mörder” – when trees were cut down along previously beautiful country avenues to allow people to speed without the trouble of bumping into trees when they came off the road.

Some discussion on enforcement, which led Patrick to express an interest in going along as our representative to police consultative meetings.

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7. LCN+

Next year Hackney is going to progress a number of LCN+ schemes. In 2003/4, it’ll be making Paul Street two-way in some way, and also improving the junction of Pitfield Street with New North Road. It is quite possible to change the detail – plans not set in stone. We need to pick this up quickly.

Patrick: market research is being done on the Pitfield Street contraflow and Cable Street. Company is Accent.

Sara has filled in a market research form asking about how the two-way reforms in Shoreditch had changed experience of cycling in the area. This is presumably on behalf of TfL Street Management.

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8. Residential cycle parking / Hackney House & Garage

Trevor explained current situation, that we are awaiting appraisal of a supplementary application for NRF funding before we start with our Residential Cycle Parking Project.

Brenda reminded us that no progress has yet been made on the rule that stops people hiring garages unless you have a motor registration, of which David Moreno and Lorna Thunder fell foul [see Cycling in Hackney News August/September 2000 (PDF format)]. We need to get Cllr Jamie Carswell to fulfil his promise to solve this. It’s an equal opportunities issue.

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9. Car free day

Gigi was among those who stewarded at the Shoreditch Carnival & Car Free Day on 21st September, and thought it was great. She was especially taken with the way the street looked at the junction of Curtain Road and Rivington Street – “so lovely outside Barley Mow with the carpet laid out on the street.” The only problem she came across was some of the residents of the Triangle not knowing about it and arriving with cars trying to get in, but it is hard to avoid a few slipping through the net.

Discussion of the issue of the day of the week. The Shoreditch Carnival, if repeated as is hoped, will still be at the weekend. Next year the actual car free day itself (always 22nd September) is on the Wednesday, so it would be nice to trial something then, eg test the viability of getting the buses out of Mare Street Narroway.

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10. AOB

Some discussion about the Women’s Design Service project which is researching why more men than women cycle and finding ways of encouraging women to cycle more.

Patrick said that part of it is that there are many more women who have simply never learnt to balance a two-wheeler in the first place.

There was mention of some recent cycling trends statistics. The area where cycling has gone up the most is Hackney. The place where it’s gone down the most is Hillingdon. Quite predictable, being an outer London borough with lots of severance.

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Next Meeting

Wednesday 5 November (remember, remember!), 8pm, same venue.