Hackney LCC meeting Wednesday 4 May 2005

Venue:
Marcon Court Estate Community Hall, E8

Present:
Brian Catchpole, Tim Evans, Susannah Fernandez, Simon Hughes, Vicky Lack, Melissa Martin, Trevor Parsons (chair), Brenda Puech.

Towards end of meeting: Richard Lewis and Oliver Schick

Apologies:
None received.

Topics discussed:
1. Whiston Road/Goldsmith Row junction
2. London Bus Priority ‘footway grab’
3. Pembury Road/Cricketfield Road/Downs Park Road junction
4. Cycle Strategy Development
5. Old Street cycle lane proposal
6. Bike Week 2005
7. Well St Common festival 21 May
8. Car Free Day 2005
9. Budgets and LCN+
10. Planning briefs
11. Cycle training update

1. Whiston Road/Goldsmith Row junction

It was noted that this scheme is currently in abeyance because the engineer responsible for it has left the council. Although we sympathise with the local residents’ anxiety to see a solution for this junction, we do see the current delay as a positive development which may create an opportunity to re-examine the available solutions. The only option which was consulted on was a signalised scheme. We believe that other options are preferable and should be given more careful consideration.

  • Action: Brenda to write on our behalf to local councillors and senior council officers re-emphasising our opposition to the signalised scheme and pointing out the failings in the way in which that scheme was developed and consulted on

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2. London Bus Priority ‘footway grab’

There was a discussion on how much further we could get involved in opposing the taking-over of footway space in Lower Clapton Road for loading bays in the current London Bus Priority scheme. We have already stated our opposition to the policy in our official response. It was felt that footway space reduction is primarily an issue for pedestrians, and it was suggested that members who felt strongly about it could develop a combined response together with other interested parties such as Living Streets and Disability Hackney.

  • Action: Brenda and Melissa

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3. Pembury Road/Cricketfield Road/Downs Park Road junction

Tim reported that the council is installing traffic lights and a road block at this junction without maintaining permeability for cycle traffic into and out of the eastern section of Downs Park Road. A dropped kerb has been installed to permit access by emergency vehicles, but its location requires cyclists to make an awkward and potentially hazardous manouvre, and the engineers explicitly did not intend this to serve cycle traffic. Oliver asked to see plans at design stage but these were unfortunately not forthcoming, an omission which surprised us as the lead engineer in question has been very co-operative and communicative in other schemes. Once the  problems became obvious as the scheme was being implemented, Tim tried without success to set up meetings with the engineers, and the scheme has unfortunately been finished without any changes.

  • Action: We will monitor the operation of the new scheme and press for changes as soon as possible.

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4. Cycle strategy development

It was reported that the council is preparing a cycling strategy. The draft was written by a consultancy called TPI, but will require a considerable amount of extra work. The consultation period on this will run from June to August. Satu Vaisanen will be organising the consultation.

  • Action: Trevor to liaise with Satu on organising a consultation workshop

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5. Old Street cycle lane proposal

For background, see discussion in February’s meeting. Trevor reported that the cycle lane proposal seems unlikely to
go ahead, as a result of our intervention (50KB PDF). This is a satisfactory outcome for the moment, but we do hope that our
suggestions for kerbline adjustment at the junction with Pitfield Street will be progressed.

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6. Bike Week 2005

We finalised our events for Bike Week including Bike the Bounds on 11th June, the London Fields cyclists’ breakfast and the afternoon pitstop on 16th June – see diary for details. Yet to be confirmed was an event on 18 June. This may be either a Hackney historic buildings ride or another Tree Musketeers ride.

  • Action: Marian to provide details to Rebecca Lack, editor of London Cyclist magazine

Hackney Council is keen on doing a promotional event during Bike Week, in addition to its support for the cyclists’ breakfast and the pitstop. This would be in the form of a photo opportunity to promote incentives for council employees to cycle. Oliver and Trevor are liasing on this.

It was reported that Frank Merrigan, LCC member and Hackney librarian, plans to do a display for Bike Week in early May.

  • Action: all to provide any appropriate publicity material they may have

Trevor hopes to have a second edition of Desire Line magazine ready in time for Bike Week

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7. Well St Common festival on 21 May

Katie Hanson is co-ordinating our stall at this community event, but more volunteers are required.

  • Action: Katie, Melissa, and Richard to run the stall

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8. Car Free Day 2005

Trevor hopes that we will again be able to promote the Shoreditch Carnival & Car Free Day on Sunday September 18th 2005, but this does depend on the availability of sufficient funding (a mixture of public funding and private sponsorship as previously) and equally of people willing to put in the huge amounts of time necessary to organise the event. Trevor would personally like to spend more time focussing on the travel awareness elements.

Since last year, the event has been operated through a non-profit company called Shoreditch Carnival. Trevor will be meeting HVA and HCVS for advice on the development of the organisation and to obtain accountancy advice.

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9. Budgets and LCN+

It was reported that Hackney Streetscene has around £700,000 to spend on cycling-related projects in 2005-06. This funding is of course tightly tied to the projects for which it was awarded, and includes money for a cycle training programme (which STA Bikes will be bidding to deliver – see below), a proportion of the highway maintenance prioritised for cycling, and a substantial amount for the improvement of the borough’s London Cycle Network Plus (LCN+) routes.

Around 18 junctions and links are currently covered by the LCN+ multi-year funding programme. Olu Soyoye, Hackney’s cycling projects officer, has asked us to help him prioritise which areas to work on first, and wants us to present him our ideas for schemes.

We have suggested the following junctions/links to start with:

  • Junction of Pitfield Street, Hoxton Street, Whitmore Road and Hyde Road near the Britannia Leisure Centre: we think the
    current roundabout is a barrier and an eyesore, and should be replaced by a more human-scale junction
  • Broadway Market / London Fields junction: we would like to see this junction remodelled to reflect the importance of
    north-south cycle traffic, reduce the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, and improve the entrance to the park
  • Powerscroft Road junction with Lower Clapton Road: probably signalisation, cycle crossing, making Powerscroft Road
    two-way
  • Lamb Lane entrance to London Fields: awkward gradient needs adjustment – an easy fix.

Olu will be giving us large-scale maps on which to create sketches of options we would like to be explored in the design of schemes.

  • Action: Trevor to initiate discussion on our mailing list regarding prioritisation of LCN+ programme. Richard to lead on development of scheme prototypes.

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10. Planning briefs

The council is consulting on a major planning development in Dalston – a transport interchange and mixed development linked with the East London Line extension. The older lags recalled the evidence we gave to the public enquiry back in 1998 regarding planned
development in Dalston Lane, and suggested that this would be useful background.

  • Action: Vicky to take the lead on this consultation

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11. Cycle training update

As reported above, around £190,000 has been allocated to the borough for cycle training, following a successful bid to TfL which was drafted by Sally Haywill of STA Bikes.

Council officers are currently preparing to put this cycle training programme out to former tender. Local authorities have strict guidelines, called Standing Orders, which govern the way in which they let large contracts. The size of the programme in question may apparently require that it is advertised throughout the European Union! However, practically speaking we know that very few organisations would be able to deliver such a programme, and we are hopeful that its delivery will be awarded to STA Bikes, which would manage the programme and subcontract parts of the bid to other groups including the London School of Cycling and Cycle Training UK.

It was noted that the old cycle proficiency-type training has now been superseded by the National Standard, a comprehensive three-level syllabus which aims to produce riders who are competent, confident and able to ride in real-world conditions.

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Next meeting
Wednesday 1 June 2005, 8pm, Marcon Court Estate Community Hall, E8