Members attending:

Oliver Schick, Richard Lewis, Trevor Parsons, Therese Kilpatrick, Brenda Puech, Simon Hughes, Sally Haywill

Guest: Jean Cantrell, London Borough of Hackney Streetscene (bus priority, walking & cycling).

1. Updates from Jean Cantrell
CPZ areas F, B and H are undergoing a review and public consultation is starting soon. All single yellow lines will be change to double yellow, because if you don’t want people to park in a particular location (mainly for reasons of safety and accessibility) you may as well make that completely clear. There will be no hesitation to remove existing parking bays where safety and accessibility require it. These areas include some LCN routes. Jean gave us detailed plans of the proposed changes and asked us for our feedback.

LCN+ route 9
Mare Street ASLs, other on-carriageway markings etc. will be delivered at the end of this year. The continuation of this LCN+ link needs progressing: Churchwell Path, Lower Clapton, Millfields etc all need improving to LCN+ standard. The budget is 37K including fees. Further up the road, the junction of Powerscroft Road and Chatsworth Road is up for improvement possibly before the end of the year, using a small amount of LCN+ and other funding; solutions proposed include installing closing one of the arms of the junction to motors.

Improvements to the Lee Valley walk are at feasibility stage.

In the London Fields area, LCN+ work on the top of Broadway Market, Martello Street and Lamb Lane may be progressed by engaging a consultancy.

LCN+ route 10
Following the implementation of the contraflow on the northern section of Paul Street and Leonard Circus, a review is under way which will take into account the incomplete and substandard way in which the work was done by the contractor.

At the south end of Pitfield Street, a relatively small scheme (cost 16k) will extend the segregation of the contraflow as it approaches the crossing of Old Street, so as to prevent blockage by illegally parked motor vehicles. Currently going to frontagers for consultation.

The new junction arrangement at Pitfield Street, New North Road, Fanshaw Street (AKA the St John at Hoxton junction) was also discussed.

A big consultation study is planned for the Britannia junction (Hyde Road, Whitmore Road, Hoxton Street, Pitfield Street). Hackney LCC’s view that the existing roundabout is a cycle-unfriendly, over-capacity eyesore has been noted. Originally bid for 85k in the BSP. Will be a complicated scheme to progress, but Hackney is looking to achieve some spending there. Early input required from LCC. Oliver reminded the meeting that there are still no finalised CRISP reports. All are aware that LCN+ project team is keen to see our CRISPs wrapped up.

Oliver asked about the timescale for finalisation of CRISPs on LCN+ routes 9 & 10, now that we have returned our copious comments on those draft reports? LCN+ is keen to have a day’s meeting with all parties. Jean will ask Lynette and Steve Cardo at LCN+ to arrange this meeting. All interim briefs will contain Hackney LCC responses as appendices. Oliver asked could we look at producing bus priority-like overviews of the routes?

Northchurch Road, De Beauvoir Square and Whitmore Road are being looked at together. Around 50K will be spent in this area on feasibility, design & implementation this financial year. Jean was asked about the issue of road surfacing esp in Northchurch Road and Terrace, as Highways is understood to be prioritising some of its spending towards high-demand cycling streets. Jean to chase this up.

Lamb Lane itself, between London Fields and Mare Street is to have new buildouts at junctions and signage in conjunction with an area regeneration scheme led by Carlos in the traffic team.

LCN+ Route 16
Mare st andrews pritchard. uncontroversial rt 16. haven’t seen mare st end yet. brenda more concerned with ada st. That will come up.

Howard Klaasen has just started the feasibility stage looking at the Hyde Road / Penn Street / Poole Street stretch between the Britannia and New North Road. Works will be junction improvements, raised tables etc.

The Eagle Wharf Road contraflow and two-way scheme, together with the signalisation of the junction with New North Road, is about to go to consultation.

Another element of LCN+ is ‘asset management’ (in other words maintenance). TfL employ consultants to survey, but borough has to invest time to produce a schedule for contractors. The types of defect picked up include gulleys dropped, signage missing or poorly aligned, and bad surfacing. Richard asked whether there wasn’t an allowance in the Borough Speding Plan for future maintenance? Jean said no, schemes once implemented are effectively handed to the borough to maintain, but in practice maintenance budgets are not increasing. This is why LCN+ and CCE are prepared to invest to ensure that maintenance happens on the LCN+ network at least. Jean is comfortable that this work will start soon.

Trevor asked about the problems with the poor quality of implementation of the contraflow on the north end of Paul Street, and wondered whether the contractor would carry the can as they should. Jean confirmed that Streetscene was very unhappy with the contractor’s performance and that punitive measures will result, including the reallocation of work in the southern sector of the borough towards the northern sector’s term contractor.

CPZ review in Shoreditch and De Beauvoir. Lavinia Bodisco working on it. Residents will get a full cons – we have an early sight here. Sally thought it would be good to target these areas with CTUK postcards, although this would have to be handled carefully (and more than half of the subsidised adult training places have already been taken up). Streetscene is responding to requests for motorcycle parking, Jean said, and we should specify any further cycle parking we would like to see within these zones. Richard alerted Jean of our policy against the provision of further motorcycle parking, because of its effect in encouraging the take-up of this mode with its attendant environmental damage (noise and pollution) and worsening safety record both for riders and other vulnerable road users. Jean advised us to flag this up in our consultation response.

Oliver advised that the Northchurch Terrace ‘car haven’ needs careful treatment.

Jean said that Streetscene is receiving an increasing number of requests for cycle parking stands from the general public. The priority list is growing & growing.

There is also 100K of funding for ‘local routes’. Richard related that he had successfully applied for additional funding in Brent. Routes through parks have gone into the BSP.

Big thanks to everyone who helped with the Cycling England demonstration town bid presentation.

Intensified bus priority on Route 38

Oliver has ridden route today.

Broad issues are:
– inset parking footway red which can lead to cyclehostiile lane arrangements, eg critical widths.
– converson of zebras to signal control, which we oppose in almost all cases
– narrow kerb lanes which provoke footway cycling
– a few asls with subst feeder widths
– ‘snaky’ lanes.

On the positive side we welcome the footway additions and 24hr operation of bus lanes.

The proposals for the Queensbridge Road / Dalston Lane junction are problematic; creates three pedestrian islands and introduces a ratrun left turn into Dalston Lane, probably offset by ratrun by backstreet into Queensbridge Rd. Motor priority will attract more private motor traffic – a recent example is Essex Road where additional motor vehicle capacity has led to new queues.

The consultation closed on Friday, and we had problems with meetings. Now we will have to put our comments in writing instead.

Brenda asked Jean to what extent Hackney Council is able to influence bus priority? Jean responded that ultimately it is 100 per cent up to the local council to decide what goes in. There is no scope for TfL to force changes against the borough’s wishes except on the TLRN, and very little of the route 38 proposals are on TLRN. Cllr Stops and others are taking a strong interest.

Oliver: how does it work with strategic routes where TfL can veto the borough? The new Network Assurance (NA) unit within TfL can also veto schemes. They are very interested in signal timings & flows. They oversee the strategic network and also any schemes that affect the Strategic Road Network. Hackney is bullish on it. These are very early days with NA.

Richard concerned that remit of NA is very motor-centric in practice, when the Traffic Management Act is actually about *all* traffic. There is a substantial disagreement within TfL. NA can veto other TfL units but havent yet.

Hackney Streetscape is looking to have a team of three people working on buses. Cycling officer Olu now has the assistance part-time of Howard and Bronwen.

Windus Streets for People: the last of the signage is being sorted out. We should regard it as a small campaigning victory that they aren’t one-ways as originally threatened.

We thanked Jean for attending and keeping us so well informed.

London Fields West Side Car Free Day
Went well, despite the challenges of organising the event with busy volunteers and the school being understandably wary. The timing was tricky at the beginning of the new school year. It would have been better to have staff available at the end of the school day to help supervise the wind-down. Very little impact on local motor traffic. Parents commented favourably. Three times as many bikes in the school bikepark in the days following the CFD. There is, though, a worry about losing the bikepark because the building may be turned into a shower block. (Shower block gives brownie points for ‘schools into communities’ because it can be used by outsiders coming in to use the school). Parents Simon and Ian will try to keep up the momentum produced by the CFD, including the possibility of a new mode filter at the junction of London Fields West Side and Gayhurst Road (as we had on the day). School-based CFDs are an idea that should be seeded more widely. No reason why we shouldn’t pick other times of the year as well. We will do an article about it in the next issue of Desire Line.

Abney Park open day
It was a good stall but rained late on. Made lots of good links with people. High footfall and interest.

Burns Night
Sally confirmed that 28th January is OK with Sir Thomas Abney School. We’ll defer detailed planning to next meeting.

Bike recycling project (AKA Hackney Hub)
Therese said she didn’t have too much to report. Minutes of latest meeting will be published soon. Therese has attended an LVRC course called ‘Ready Steady Start on setting up a voluntary organisation which was very helpful with subjects such as aims and objectives, mission statement & name. Also fundraising, premises, training.

Simon said that his organisation St Mungo’s is taking over 146 Mare Street which has an old gym which they will refurbish in the spring. They aim to incorporate a social enterprise which fits in with their objectives. Therese very interested. Definite possibilities. Simon outline pros & cons with St Mungo’s: strong work & services section could help with funding applications, but might also want to take the project over in the St Mungo’s brand. Simon is also looking at another property in Victoria Park area. Therese & Simon to coordinate and set up a meeting with work & learning services section.

Space could also be used for LCC Hackney office perhaps. LCC board looking at funding for borough support worker. Suggestion is to create a working space in-borough. Also the Hackney LCC workshop will be homeless soon. Paul Standeven is still very keen to get involved. Mungo’s would view the project well if it was strong on training & rehabilitation.

Chatsworth Road winter market 3rd December.
We will have a stall again at this great event. Brenda, Richard and Simon volunteered.

Olympics: Eastway cycle circuit relocation
Brenda reported that a replacement circuit is to be built on Ramney Marsh in Enfield. It will recreate the curves and gradients of Eastway as much as possible. It is eight miles from Eastway, making this a bit of a loss for local people. Patrick: this particularly affects people who are already coming from south of the river. Brenda said 60 people attended the Eastway meeting on the relocation, which was dominated by sports cycling people. It was addressed by a huge team of 15 Olympics development people. There was no talk of funding to assist affected groups (eg Pedal Power). Most attenders were in favour of the move and were most interested in the details of the circuit and in the maximum possible free car parking (!). The development team weren’t aware that local running groups have been using the circuit for 20 yrs. Vincent Bartlett of LDA wants to talk to affected user gps.
Eastway to close July ’06. Lee Valley Park will maintain continuous route to Ramney Marsh.

Sustainable Borough Partnership Board
We have been invited to join this section of the Hackney Strategic Partnership. There are underspends apparently. Oliver reported that originally the sustainability agenda was supposed to be driving all other activity but that idea was dropped. What chance of getting underspend funding allocated to useful smaller-scale projects in the face of drive towards mega-projects? Richard: let’s make a composite project then!

Our stall at the recent Mile Of Art was the second most successful stall in recent history. We talked to 300 people or so.