Venue:

Marcon Court Estate Community Hall

Members present:

Marian Farrugia, Anna Kidd (secretary & minutes), Therese Kilpatrick, Charlie Lloyd, Trevor Parsons (chair), Brenda Puech (Treasurer), Oliver Schick, Bea Yates

Topics discussed:

1. Matters arising
2. Tour de Hackney
3. Lucinda Ferrier
4. HGV collisions
5. Street schemes
6. London Freewheel
7. Bank account
8. Tesco planning application
9. Any other business

1. Matters arising
Minutes from previous meeting unfortunately not available.

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2. Tour de Hackney
This is a ride around Shoreditch and Hackney scheduled as part of the Shoreditch Festival. Short (3-mile) circuit will be marshalled, longer (12-mile) circuit will be signed only. LCC’s Tom Morton was due to speak to the meeting but was unable to attend. In addition to the above Tour de Hackney there will a number of other cycle events at Shoreditch Park including a bike polo tournament.

Charlie Lloyd has requested experienced cycle marshals to help on the rides and also volunteers to work as static marshals. Estimated number of marshals needed is 70 in total, as of today 15 volunteers are signed up. Contact to volunteer hello@lcc.org.uk

Action: Trevor to send out messages on this and Freewheel to the Hackney LCC mailing list and to our members’ announcement list

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3. Lucinda Ferrier
The meeting noted with sorrow the death of Lucinda Ferrier, who was killed in collision with a heavy goods vehicle on Stamford Hill, junction with Manor Road southbound, at 06:40 on Monday 23 June 2008. TP has expressed our condolences to Lucinda’s partner, and has offered any assistance we can give. The poor state of road surface at this junction has been widely noted, and may have been a contributing factor to the collision. Defects have been reported to TfL several times over the past year by LCC member and Stamford Hill resident Doug Auld, but no remedial work was undertaken until the evening of the collision, when TfL’s contractors arrived to fix some of the worst of the rutting caused by decelerating buses. This information has also been reported to the police. The carriageway was widened as part of the London Bus Priority Initiative started in 2001. TP has talked to John Franklin about this incident and the issue of road surface condition, and he stands ready to advise and if necessary to be instructed as an expert witness.

A question was raised whether should Hackney LCC attend the inquest to make representation.
Action: Charlie Lloyd asked to investigate to see if we can send our reports into the coroner.

During the discussion the general state of the roads in Hackney was raised, and it was noted that while many improvements have been made over recent years including extra weighting being given to cycle traffic in deciding on resurfacing priorities, problems still remain, especially on the TfL-controlled red routes. A query was raised over whether poor road surface contributed to the collision in which Anthony Smith died, but TP and CL both stated that this was unlikely.

A second question was raised. Should Hackney LCC be pushing for a complete re-assessment of the road surface on the A10? No action minuted for this question.

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4. HGV collisions
Following on from the discussions in regards to Lucinda Ferrier above and other recent incidents we are looking to develop a more concerted campaign effort in this area. Charlie Lloyd (CL) works on this issue in his day job at the London Cycling Campaign office, and as a former lorry driver he is in the unusual position of having experienced the situation from both sides.

CL gave some background on the issue:

  • Nationally 50% of all cycle fatalities are HGV related
  • HGV fatalities in urban areas (London) are 25% cyclists, 40% pedestrians, 15% motor cyclists
  • HGV drivers are aware that cyclists are vulnerable
  • New requirement for improved mirrors on HGVs. These mirrors to be fitted by Mar 2009, but this is not enforceable [on older vehicles?]
  • From 2010 HGV drivers will require in-service training on a regular basis, but vulnerable road user awareness training is not a required part of HGV training.
  • New offence of death by careless driving [minutes corrected] is on the statue books, but this has yet to be used in prosecution
  • Mood in terms of jurisprudence is slow.

Below is a list of the five people killed by HGVs in the borough of Hackney over the last two years. In two cases the lorries involved were making manoeuvres in or out of known rat runs.

  1. Unnamed cyclist (reportedly resident of Cazenove Road) – Kingsland High Street
  2. Brixton Brady – Morning Lane
  3. Anthony Smith – Unladen tipper truck turning from Middleton Road into Kingsland Road – Rat run
  4. Ninian Donald – Whiston Road Tipper Truck unladen – Rat run
  5. Lucinda Ferrier – see previous item

Hackney has some zones which restrict HGV entry to access only. It was suggested that enforcement of these zones is slight in practice. A new zone has been created to the east of Kingsland Road from Falkirk Street up to Balls Pond Road.

TP has sent a letter from Hackney LCC to Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe asking him to convene a working party on the issue of the number of cycle accidents involving HGVs. To date this has not elicited a response. However, a road safety officer has been in touch and TP is meeting him tomorrow, 7 August.

It was noted during the discussion that a number of cyclists have poor cycle skills and that the current opportunity for cycle training in Hackney is not been accessed or indeed reaching these cyclists. Need to increase the awareness of cycle training. Changing the marketing to ‘advanced cycle skills’ would encourage increased take-up by men.

Hackney borough police has arranged for the Met’s commercial vehicles unit to bring its HGV awareness truck to the Kingsland Road fire station Tuesday 16 September. This will offer the public the opportunity to get into the cab to see the restricted view. Hackney LCC asked to bring a stall.

Options for transmitting essential safety messages to cyclists were discussed. It was noted that some of the posters produced by TfL for their Share the Road campaign last year were positively unhelpful, showing a cyclist heading down the left hand side of a lorry approaching a junction. We could produce our own handouts if felt necessary. TP showed some mockups he has been working on.

Actions:

  • Seek the establishment of a working group within Hackney, to focus on this issue. To be discussed further at next meeting.
  • Organisation of a stall at the Tuesday 16 September event.
  • Bea to draft a press release with the aim of encouraging an article in Hackney Gazette.
  • TP to reapproach Jules Pipe.

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5. Street schemes
The section of the meeting was set aside to discuss various proposed street improvements.

5.1 Britannia Junction
LCN+ routes 10 and 16 cross at this, the junction of Hoxton Street, Pitfield Street, Hyde Road and Whitmore Road. Streetscene’s proposal is to keep the roundabout but change the dimensions so as to decrease turning speeds. A zebra crossing would be added on each arm. As noted in the CRISP reports on both of these links, we have always recommended that the roundabout should be removed and that the junction should returned to a simple junction. Indeed, the CRISP report on route 16 gives removing the roundabout as its top recommendation.

Action: Oliver to draft a reply re-stating our recommendation that the roundabout be removed, rather than amended.

5.2 Stoke Newington Church Street
Route 10 doglegs across Church Street between Defoe Road and Bouverie Road. The proposal is to raise the junction of Defoe Road so pedestrians don’t have to negotiate a kerb. Some lining details are being improved as well. Hackney LCC supports this proposal.

5.3 Charlotte Road
The pavement on Charlotte Road and surrounding streets in south Shoreditch is very narrow with no space for cycle parking. The Princes Foundation, whose offices are in Charlotte Road, have been requesting cycle parking provision for a number of years. Trevor has had site meetings with them and suggested that some carriageway space be used to provide cycle parking. Hackney Streetscene has responded favourably and a buildout is currently in process of construction which will have four ‘Sheffield’ cycle parking stands on it.

5.4 Paul Street
Paul Street is part of LCN+ route 10, which is a north-south route roughly shadowing the A10. For many years this and surrounding streets were made one-way to deter rat-running motors. The justification for this has long since disappeared with the closure of the junction of Paul Street and Great Eastern Street to motors. A northbound cycle contraflow was constructed a few years ago north of Leonard Street, but south of Leonard Street Paul Street remains one-way southbound. This proposal is to make the rest of Paul Street two-way for bikes. Hackney LCC is strongly in favour of this proposal, which forms part of a potential back-street link all the way down to Southwark Bridge. We look forward to the City completing this link as soon as possible.

5.5 Broadway Market junction with Lansdowne Drive and London Fields
TfL’s signals division is proposing conversion of current split cycle/pedestrian crossing into a toucan (mixed crossing) on the current alignment of the cycle crossing. This is part of a rolling programme of upgrades. This is rather an awkward junction. The predominant flow is that of the traditional Black Path or Porters’ Route, ie north-south between Broadway Market and the London Fields walking and cycling path. As currently set up, though, priority is given to the east-west movement between Westgate Street and Lansdowne Drive, and the north-south crossing is offset from the desire line. The potential for rearranging the junction is restricted by the presence of a bus stop located close to the junction.

Following our rejection of consultants’ proposals and our presentation of alternative ‘shared space’ proposals (761KB PDF) in March 2006, some useful work has already been done on north and south sides to remove cycle lane demarcation. Oliver suggested that this proposal under consideration here is a generic design that is not in line with the design proposals broadly agreed on by Hackney LCC and Hackney Council. All agree that this requires abroad urban realm improvement approach, and on this basis we will advise Streetscene to ask TfL to withdraw this scheme and spend the money on something else and work towards an overall improvement of the junction.

Action: Respond as outlined above. Brenda Puech is already drafting a response on the same lines for Hackney Living Streets, so it was agreed that this would be presented as a joint response.

5.6 20mph
Due to time constraints, in-depth discussion of this topic has been postponed until next month. The council recently committed itself to 20mph as the default speed limit for the borough. We wish to see the rate of implementation increased.

Action:Brenda to send a letter to Cllr Alan Laing expressing our wish to see faster progress on the 20mph project, and to propose a meeting to discuss the implications of revised government guidance on speed limits contained in Dft Circular 1/2006.

5.7 Living Streets
Due to time constraints this topic was postponed to next month

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6. London Freewheel
The second edition of the London Freewheel will take place on September 21. LCC is requesting that we organise a feeder ride to Victoria Park to join a marshalled ride to the nearest entry point on to the Freewheel circuit in the City.

Action: Oliver and Trevor in discussion with Richard to devise a route for the feeder ride to Victoria Park, also a return route.

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7. Bank account
Charlie Lloyd reports that LCC is looking to set up subsidiary bank accounts for each local group with the same bank as LCC this will give efficiency and cost savings. This package has been set up as a trial and Hackney is one of the test accounts. Once this system is set up and running, LCC will be putting its banking out to tender.

It was agreed that Hackney LCC should be part of the trial. We nevertheless retain the right to continue to operate our current bank account for general purposes and to move to a new bank if we choose, as was agreed in a previous meeting. Example signatures were taken for the new bank account which will be set up as part of the trial.

Signatories: Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

Action: Brenda to return the form with the example signatures to LCC.

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8. Tesco planning application
Tesco currently has a planning application lodged with Hackney Council to alter the exit lane queueing arrangements in the car park and to change cycle parking provision.

This has been hotly debated on the hackney-lcc mailing list with the result that a response to this proposal being drafted using a wiki. The consensus to date is that we object and that currently Tesco is in breach of the planning agreement from when the cycle provision was last altered. The new proposal doesn’t meet current recommendations for cycle provision or be prepared for the future expansion of cycle use in the borough aimed for by Hackney council. The alteration to the car park is aimed at improving egress from the car park, which we think may in due course lead to an increase in the car traffic looking to access the store leading to more problems.

Action: TP to oversee the draft wiki proposal and ensure the reponse is sent to Hackney Council.

[The finished comments we sent are here in PDF. Ed]

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9. Any other business

  • Brenda suggested a parking campaign day, taking over parking bays to show alternative potential uses for street space. Action: AK and BP to develop on this idea.
  • Savoir Fayre at Hackney City Farm on 9th August will include some bike maintenance
  • Bike Yard East: starting in September, will be running maintenance classes and workshop, at Hackney City Farm
  • Louisa Clarke from Street Scene plans to organise a cyclists’ picnic on London Fields for European mobility week on 7th September. Action: We will support this event. However, some members noted that London Fields is now constantly being used for cycling events, and that alternative locations should be considered for future events so as to spread the cycling promotion effort around the borough.

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Next meeting
Wednesday 3 September 2008, same venue.