London Cycling Campaign in Hackney

Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, March 6th , 2013, 7:30pm

Marcon Court and Aspland Estates Community Hall

Present: Mohan de Benoit, Kate Charteris, Alex Cooper (committee member without portfolio), Tim Evans, David Harris (treasurer and local news editor), Richard Lewis (newsletter editor and streetscape design adviser), Charlie Lloyd, Richard Lufkin, David Lukes (Sustainability Adviser), Trevor Parsons (co-ordinator), Oliver Schick (secretary, minutes), Chas Wilshere.

Apologies: Siobhan Blackshaw (rides co-ordinator), Brenda Puech (events co-ordinator).


1. Minutes and matters arising

2. 2013/2014 budget

3. Cycle Safety Working Group

4. Hackney Central

5. Shepherdess Walk / Bath Street crossing of City Road

6. Traffic issues in the Whiston Road area

7. Broadway Market awareness-raising

8. LBH major events proposals for Hackney Marshes

9. Proposed works at Marshgate bridge entrance to Hackney Marsh

10. Rides

11. Other events

12. Any other business

1. Minutes and matters arising

Old Street: OS and TP had had a very good meeting with Space Syntax. We are advising them on developing a methodology for cycling along the lines of their existing methodology for walking, i.e. based on a geometrical analysis of transportation networks. We are also going to work with them on an analysis of the Old Street/City Road junction and are working on material to send to them.

Development Management Plan: Action carried over.

Homerton High Street/Ponsford Street junction: We had not heard anything new yet but will enquire as to the latest. Action: OS.

Police use of unclaimed bikes: We decided to write to the police to talk to them about disposal of unclaimed bikes in a more structured way. There were some questions over the way in which smaller local organisations were being involved in this.

Census results: Action carried over.

Olympic Park byelaws: We objected to the draft byelaws for the Olympic Park, as did the Council’s Streetscene department. Their wording was slightly different from ours but substantially the same, concentrating on inconsiderate cycling. The consultation that Hackney conducted on behalf of the Olympic Park Legacy Corporation has now closed and the further stages of the process will occur in due course, including another publication of the next draft of the byelaws. We had heard that there had apparently been discrepancies in how the individual boroughs conducted the process, and had been advised that professional legal input might be desirable.

We were also concerned whether the Olympic Park was going to be open for 24 hours a day and had made enquiries about that.

2. 2013/2014 budget

DH presented his analysis of the current financial situation that he had found as incoming treasurer.

TP asked KC about the difference between the Hackney Bike Workshop at Frampton Park and the once-monthly session at Northwold Road together with Transition Town Stoke Newington. We clarified that while it had previously been an activity of LCCiH, it had, in effect, now become a separate organisation, so that we would not reflect its income and expenditure in our accounts. We were still keen to give a grant to the workshop.

Siobhan Blackshaw had taken over the workshop contacts, including the e-mail address, as Adam Thompson had moved out of the borough.

Action: KC to bring a suggestion for a grant for the Hackney Bike Workshop to a future meeting. We resolved to set a full budget for 2013-4 in May, as DH would not be able to attend the April meeting.

3. Cycle Safety Working Group

This was a group set up at our request after a few deaths of cyclists in collisions with lorries. The remit was subsequently widened to include all serious injuries to cyclists in collision with motor vehicles.

TP and CL reported back on the latest meeting, which had discussed the new publicity campaign. This was going to highlight ‘doorings’ under the headline ‘watch out for me’. We had had some input into the materials for this campaign, although not all of our suggestions had been taken on board. One side of the ads told cyclists to ride well clear of motor vehicles’ doors under the slogan ‘ride wide on the right side’. We thought the reference to the ‘right side’ was confusing. We were also unhappy that both cyclists in the graphic wore cycle helmets, and were going to enquire about what had prompted this decision, as depictions of cyclists should not be prescriptive about whether or not someone chose to wear a helmet.

Hackney was also poised to conduct a detailed analysis of crashes in Hackney. There was a shortage of figures on numbers of cyclists which could help with understanding the developments.

DH asked whether, in light of the tragic death in Holloway Road from a dooring, there were any moves to change national legislation. CL said that the law was already strong on this issue, but the main problem was the tendency of juries to acquit people who had killed or injured cyclists by opening car doors.

OS said that he would like to compile information on the current state of collisions in Hackney. CL said that we should do some work on junctions like Shoreditch High Street/Norton Folgate/Great Eastern Street. Counting cyclists there would give us useful numbers.

Action: TP to ask about how the decision to show all cyclists wearing cycle helmets came about.

4. Hackney Central

We touched on the plans for Hackney Central. We had heard that the plans for a trial of a proposed scheme to re-route buses around the Hackney Central Triangle instead of through the Narroway and to modally filter Amhurst Road and Mare Street between Brett Road and Graham Road had been curtailed. The trial was currently not proposed to include the modal filter, which we feared would result in a negative result for the bus re-routing plan.

RLe said that the buses were routed around the triangle on a regular basis, e.g. when the Narroway was closed for other reasons, so that the potential results of a trial without modal filtering were effectively already known. He said that the outcome would very likely be negative and that it would only work with fewer buses along Dalston Lane and Lower Clapton Road. One of the main problems in Hackney Central was that too few bus routes went along Downs Road/Cricketfield Road/Pembury Road instead of Lower Clapton Road, and that consideration should be given to re-route at least one bus route from Clapton Pond via Downs Road/Cricketfield Road/Pembury Road. A comprehensive bus service review and a new look at signal timings would be required.

Action: TP, OS and RLe to try to get involved in the discussion between LB Hackney and TfL.

5. Shepherdess Walk/Bath Street crossing of City Road

We had heard from Islington campaigner Leo Chapman that a project was planned at this junction, funded by about £77k of S106 money. This would not be enough money to change the junction in the way we would want to. We were trying to find out what was planned and how we might influence the project to improve permeability between Bath Street and Shepherdess Walk. The Hyder Consulting plan of a few years ago suggested creating a ‘waiting pocket’ for cyclists trying to cross straight over.

Action: TP to enquire about the proposed scheme and report back on how we might influence it.

6. Traffic issues in the Whiston Road area

MdB and RLu briefed the meeting on traffic issues in the Whiston Road area. MdB was a field worker for the ‘Dove Row Project’, who work on environmental projects in the area. RLu was helping the project with putting together a submission to the council on the traffic issues in the area.

We re-iterated our support for a bus-and-cycle-only modal filter on the Cat & Mutton bridge. When there had been roadworks on the bridge, daily motor traffic flows had dropped to 2,000 from 5,000. Establishing this on a permanent basis would greatly improve the area. CL said that there was a 7.5-tonne weight limit on the bridge, which was currently being broken mainly by Hackney Council, namely with their small lorries from their depot on Andrews Road. TP found out that signage on the bridge was incorrect when he did a walkabout before Car-free Day last year.

OS mentioned that he was drafting our ‘Vision for the Porters’ Route’, of which the plan for the bridge would form part. MdB presented a wishlist compiled by the Dove Row Project. He was keen on electric vehicle recharge points, video camera coverage on the 394 bus, switching off of bus engines at the traffic lights, restrictions along Whiston Road for through motor traffic, no pay-and-display parking facilities, more roadside seating, a green link between Dove Row and the park entrance, and modifications on Nicholl Street. There were also plans for European Mobility Week and a ‘Give us our daily breath’ art installation to highlight poor air quality. He said that Whiston and Goldsmith’s Estates had more cyclists than car drivers. OS said that most of this was outside the scope of the Vision for the Porters’ Route. He suggested that the Dove Row Project could support a possible ‘Kay Square’ at the junction of Kay Street and Goldsmith’s Row to complement the streetscape work that had previously gone on there, and our proposal for a better crossing of Hackney Road.

CL and TP mentioned the upcoming meeting of Canal & River Trust to explore modal filtering in the area. MdB and RLu were going to attend.

7. Broadway Market awareness-raising

At our previous meeting, we had set a date (13th April) for an awareness-raising action to help reduce the number of cyclists riding through the market at setting-up time and potentially later in the day.

OS had made a start on designing a small leaflet that could be used by both the BMTRA and us. There was a question of how long we would be there. The main problem occurred at setting-up time, but since the street had been redesigned to make the footway level with the carriageway, there were possibly more cyclists riding along the footway through the market. There would still be a need suitable diversion signage which the market could set out. AC asked where we would direct cyclists. OS explained the Sheep Lane diversion. RLe mentioned a possible route along Croston Street, Dericote Street, and Welshpool Street. However, this would only allow cyclists to bypass part of the market. While there was an entrance/exit to/from London Fields close to the junction of Croston Street and Lansdowne Drive, the potential access point to this route from London Fields in addition was not very obvious at present, and involved a difficult staggered crossing manoeuvre of Lansdowne Drive. He suggested improving this access point.

MdB and AC volunteered to help on the day.

Action: OS to ask for volunteers on the list, co-ordinate volunteers and produce leaflets.

8. LBH major events proposals for Hackney Marshes

TE talked about last year’s big Hackney Marshes event. The consequences of this ‘over-use’ of the Marshes had been problematic. The east-west path had been heavily compacted by vehicles servicing the festival, and even though it was pretty hard to damage drainage on Hackney Marshes given that there is a large layer of rubble underneath, ‘they managed it’, creating a problem of ponding. The event area had grown to encompass virtually all of Hackney Marshes, erecting an obtrusive blue wall which blocked views and movement, and that seemed completely excessive compared to the area actually required. The relevance to the group was that several important cycling and walking routes had also been blocked for weeks. OS said that last year’s Bike the Bounds ride had had an annoying experience trying to get around the blockage just before the path along the Lea Navigation had been fully closed.

Hackney Council was now proposing to hold up to three major events on Hackney Marshes per year. This was a real and serious threat to the Marshes. The Council had just launched an eight-week informal consultation and TE encouraged members to look at the Hackney Marshes’ User Group (HMUG) pages on the impact that this plan would have. HMUG were working on their position by consulting members via

RL suggested campaigning for a condition on any planning consent that the rights of way across and along the Marshes be maintained and a condition to return the Marshes to their previous condition following any event.

Action: All to go to the HMUG web pages and contribute to the discussion if they feel strongly about it.

9. Proposed works at Marshgate Bridge entrance to Hackney Marsh

TE had met a Hackney engineer carrying out surveying work at Marshgate Bridge to try to improve the gradient of the entrance to the park. He was worried that this might be a prelude to constructing a vehicular access point. HMUG were keen to stop constant building on the Marshes and the increase in vehicular access. Much of the Marsh had been lost to new car parking at the southern end and the reopening of the car park at the northern changing rooms. There was a possibility of yet another new building, for a new cricket hub, which would be another car trip generator.

Action: TP and OS to ask Hackney officers what the plans were for this location.

10. Rides

Siobhan Blackshaw was going to organise another ride on the 29th of March (Good Friday), destination TBC.

11. Other events

TP had met F K Ranx Germanus-Kunda of the event promotion company Hoxton Pimps. Ranx is involved in Shoreditch Works and is interested in reviving the Shoreditch Carnival and Car-free Day, which we last ran in 2004. A car-free element could be one day of a three-day festival. We were keen to use this as a means of reviving interest in Phase II of the Shoreditch Two-Way campaign.

Car-free Day would be on Sunday the 22nd September this year.

HGV campaign event: CL said that Hackney had so far not signed up to the HGV campaign’s pledge in time for the LCC’s planned time window for press events and photo opportunities (16th to 24th March). They were keen to sign it when they could, and we were in ongoing talks with them. CL would keep the group informed of any developments. We were ready to support a possible press call later. Action: CL.

Possible Bike Week event at London Fields: KC was interested in pursuing this suggestion from the last meeting. DL and RLe also volunteered. Action: KC and DL and RLe to lead on a possible festival.

12. Any other business

None was raised.

The meeting closed at 10pm.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 3rd April, 2013, 7:30pm.

  Minutes of Hackney LCC meeting 6th March 2013 in PDF