Hackney LCC meeting Wednesday 7 February 2007

Venue:
Marcon Court Estate Community Hall

Members present:
Rachel Aldred (Frampton Park BUG), Nell Cameron (Frampton Park BUG), Tim Evans, Marian Farrugia (joint publicity co-ordinator), Simon Hughes, Neil Irons, Richard Lewis (chair, joint co-ordinator), Charlie Lloyd (membership secretary), Trevor Parsons (joint co-ordinator, minutes), Brenda Puech (treasurer), Oliver Schick (council liaison co-ordinator, minutes), Ralph Smyth (City Cyclists co-ordinator), James Woodcock (Frampton Park BUG).

Topics discussed:
1. Matters arising
2. Frampton Park Estate BUG and cycle parking
3. Burns Night
4. Treasurer’s report
5. A10 collision reports and proposed works
6. AGM 7th March
7. Streetscene liaison
8. Invite to opening of Tyssen School Children’s Centre
9. Culford Road HGV issues
10. CTC benchmarking project
11. Look ahead at 2007 dates
12. Broadway Market scheme drawings
13. Eastway cycle circuit legacy
14. Capital Woman
15. Any other business

1. Matters arising

Sally and Thérèse attended the Hackney Streetscene liaison meeting as proposed.

Trevor has contacted Dai Powell of HCT requesting a meeting.

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2. Frampton Park Estate BUG and Cycle Parking

Rachel reported that she started talking to the Council & TfL in October, mainly through the Tenant Participation Officer, Michael Maloney. Just before Christmas, she heard that £50k would be granted for 75 bike lockers (preferably something which offers similar functionality as Bikeaway’s lockers). The BUG (bicycle user group) and the Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, which is quite supportive, identified locations together. They have already found 26 would-be users, and there will no doubt be more when people see the lockers on the ground. The hire revenue will be used to fund cycle-promoting events such as Doctor Bikes and rides. The funding is on the way via Hackney Council and needs to be spent before April ’07. The fund holder is Jean Cantrell of Hackney Streetscene. Hackney Homes should be the developer in terms of planning by virtue of being the landlord for the estate.

There was some discussion about whether planning permission was required before installation could go ahead. Rachel reported hearing that it would be. Richard and Trevor suggested that this could be permitted development, as lockers were removable and only bolted to the ground. Trevor referred to Bob Davis’ experience in Ealing, where many lockers had been installed as permitted development. Richard also advised that Frampton Park BUG should request a Certificate of Lawful Development from the development control officer. This shouldn’t cost much, as it would be part of an internal Council procedure.

Actions: Trevor to contact councillors to enquire about how procedures for this kind of development can be developed.
The estate is mostly within Victoria ward, with a small part in Chatham ward. Councillors Geoff Taylor and Katie Hanson have both registered their support. Rachel is to contact councillors, also Daniel Kemp, the third Victoria councillor. Richard to check on progress with Streetscene’s Transportation section.

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3. Burns Night

The meeting gave thanks to all the volunteers. Income was down a bit this year (from £1,500 to £1,200), mainly because of reduction in ticket income rather than an increase in expenditure. The meeting thought it would be a good idea to overbook a little next year to account for no-shows. There was some discussion about the venue. Ben is looking at alternative venues. However, the meeting agreed that we should balance any current drawbacks against the ease and familiarity of running the event at Sir Thomas Abney primary school, a venue choice which also helps to cement our strong relationship with the school as a centre of excellence in the promotion of cycling.

Actions: Marian to give Trevor a list of raffle sponsors to acknowledge on our website.

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4. Treasurer’s Report

Brenda gave a quick treasurer’s report. We started the year with a balance of £2475.48 (once all our expected cheques come in) and made anadditional £1100 from Burns Night (though £200 of this will go to Pedal Power as raffle proceeds). So we start the year with a comfortable £3,375.

One of the reasons we don’t spend as much as we used to is that the Council’s Streetscene department is now keen to fund and promote events that we originated, notably cyclists’ breakfasts. Our cue to innovate!

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5. A10 collision reports and proposed works

Ralph Smyth, a Hackney resident who doubles as both chair of City Cyclists and also chair of the LCC’s Policing and Enforcement Working Group, gave a quick briefing on five weighty A10 collision reports (covering the length of the A10 in the borough) that had been researched by TfL over the last two and a half years. Ralph obtained
these through sitting on the Red Route Forum.

What is designated as the A10 started life as the Roman road north from London to Lincoln, and is known by different names throughout its length in the borough, starting with Norton Folgate and Shoreditch High Street in the south, moving through Kingsland Road, Kingsland High Street, Stoke Newington Road, and Stoke Newington High Street up to Stamford Hill in the north. It is the borough’s principal street and its principal cycling route. However, Shoreditch High Street had not been included in the study–perhaps going north-south TfL ran out of time before the introduction of the new corridor management approach.

These studies are comprised of statistics and analyses of collisions, with proposals for changes to reduce the collision rate. This is apparently the last such study to be conducted on these lines. A new ‘corridor planning’ approach is due to be phased in gradually, bringing together the narrowly defined ‘road safety’ approach with other approaches such as bus and cycle priority.

The study’s methodology was criticised for failing to include modal share comparisons. For instance, cycle involvement in collisions at the A10/Downham Road junction was at 46%, but this was not set against the very high number of cyclists choosing this route, and no attempt made to compare it to their share of overall traffic volume.

All funding for works associated with the current approach is from the road safety budget, and is therefore limited by strict cost-benefit criteria. Ray Yelland of TfL is interested in our views, but these road safety schemes have non-consultation status, in contrast to the corridor planning approach which will include public consultation.

The report shows interesting, and perhaps predictable, differences in collision factors along the length of the A10 in Hackney. Alcohol impairment of motorists and cyclists is a significant factor particularly in the Shoreditch area. Doorings are most common in the north where Kingsland High Street and Stoke Newington Road are heavily parked.

Marian noted problems at the junction of A10, Richmond Road and Englefield Road.

Ralph is disappointed to see that there are no proposals for improvements at Shoreditch High Street, particularly since the existing London Cycle Network route to the east is closed at Wheler Street for the foreseeable future due to the destruction and occupation of the Bishopsgate Good Yard. Ralph also stressed that no proposals were identified for improving the A10 Advanced Stop Line (ASL) facilities, many of which were unlawful and inadequate, especially with respect to lead-in lanes. Ralph proposed campaigning for a 20mph speed limit from Dalston Junction to the junction with Barrett’s Grove in the north.

The report’s recommendations for Dalston seem to be going in the wrong direction, including the installation of a large amount of extra guard railing. Why should Dalston get the old-fashioned heavily engineered approach, when Kensington High Street has de-engineered, removing almost all guard railing, to produce a more pleasant environment with lower speeds and fewer collisions?

In Dalston after 7pm there are currently no restrictions on motor vehicle parking. There was support for Ralph’s suggestions of extending Red Route restrictions until 11pm or to have double red lines in key locations (which mandate no stopping at any time), the subtle raising of junctions (as done at Bishopsgate), and a 20mph speed limit in Dalston town centre. (There was a suggestion that there had been a bit of a backlash against the introduction of new 20mph zones in Hackney. We should seek clarification of that.)

Charlie agreed that the report’s conclusions seem not to be taking account of recently-developed TfL guidance. We should stress that there are different ways of reducing casualties, with the same or similar benefits as the measures the reports propose, that can at the same time help improve the street environment and make it appear to be less dominated by motors. Charlie advised getting in a skeleton response now, setting out the principles of our advice, and get into the detail scheme by scheme. We should also clarify procedure with TfL and make contact with Ray Yelland.

There are no proposed budgets for the measures identified, only costings that may be met from TfL’s Road Safety budget. Some works had already been completed given that the first of the reports was done in 2004.

Brenda noted that a significant number of road safety officers oppose the de-engineering approach and this example in particular. At a recent training event for Road Safety Officers, a speaker supported the reintroduction of guard railing on Kensington High Street on the basis of a claimed increase in collisions–a claim which Brenda says is not borne out by the statistics.

The five volumes of the report were taken away by Brenda, Oliver, Richard, Simon, and Trevor.

Actions: Brenda, Oliver, Richard, Simon, and Trevor to meet to discuss and compose response after digesting their reports. Oliver to contact Ray Yelland at TfL. Ralph to send him contact details. Ralph to send e-mail to the hackney-lcc mailing list.

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6. AGM

It was decided to book the back room at the Wellington (no hire charge), on the corner of Balls Pond Road and Culford Road. It was noted that the cycle parking situation was not great and ideas brainstormed how to provide adequate lockage. We were also advised to check for football fixtures first, as both rooms of the pub would be packed in this eventuality. Marian said that lots of cyclists frequented the pub.

Actions: Marian and Trevor to do invitation postcards for all members. We will set up a Doctor Bike if possible. Trevor and Richard to hire the doctor. Charlie Lloyd to do displays on Tour de France and Mass Ride. Marian to do interactive timeline of the year’s events for the calendar so that we can gain volunteer commitment to help with them.

Richard to ask Alix Stredwick of Hackney Streetscene if she can do displays on Hackney’s work. Co-ordinators to invite nominations to the committee.

7. Streetscene liaison
The at-grade pedestrian and cycle crossing of Lea Bridge Road just west of the bridge is in question. There was some discussion of whether an at-grade crossing or an improvement of the narrow crossing under the bridge would be better.

Oliver was supportive of a crossing at the bridge itself, mainly to ‘break’ the rhythm of speeding on LBR and thereby decrease severance. An at-grade crossing also offers a higher level of service. There are already many people crossing at-grade informally. Issues of safety: Bad sightlines at the bridge may cause problems with the crossing.

Ralph re-iterated his opposition to the proposed signalised crossing, citing increased stopping chance for cyclists travelling on Lea Bridge Road.

British Waterways don’t want the LCN+ on their land, but Richard explained that the Council could help to improve the under-bridge crossing under contract with BW.

Tim suggested using the Yahoogroups Files area to post scheme proposals.

We also talked about the South Millfields entrance. Tim thought that the refuge island, on a pedestrian desire line, was not a good idea. He has replied to the consultation stating this clearly.

Action: Oliver to circulate proposal for Lea Bridge crossing.
Oliver to draft South Millfields entrance consultation response and circulate.

8. Invite to opening of Tyssen School Children’s Centre
Tim announced the opening of the innovative children’s centre at Tyssen School on Monday 26th February. The school would like to have an LCC presence and a Dr Bike. He asked for volunteers for a Dr Bike. As no-one volunteered at the meeting, he would pay Thérèse Kilpatrick to provide the service.

9. Culford Road HGV issues
A new ban on right turns from Ball’s Pond Road into Southgate Road has resulted in HGV traffic diverting via quiet residential Culford Road, which is currently on the route of the LCN+. (We have suggested a route variation that is to be confirmed.) Mandy, the landlady of the Wellington, is among the locals calling for action against this. Trevor joined Mandy and others on a walkabout of De Beauvoir with Streetscene officers, during which this problem was discussed along with others, such as missing signs.

10. CTC benchmarking project
Hackney will take part in a CTC cycle benchmarking session next week (13th/14th February). Tim will be presenting his work at Tyssen school, and Trevor will be doing a presentation about residential cycle parking. Sally will be presenting STA Bikes, and Oliver will also attend.

11. Look ahead at 2007 dates
Marian had the idea to produce a timeline of the year ahead for the AGM.

Dalston Car Free Day proposed for Saturday 22nd September. Could use it as a chance to promote the idea of a 20mph in the town centre. There appear to be tentative plans by the Council to do it in Kingsland High Street.

September 23rd is the ‘London Freewheel’ mass bike ride. There will be five rides coming in from around London. For four hours, principal streets north from the Embankment will be motor-free. It is aimed to be an annual event. This will be run by the GLA rather than TfL.

There is also the Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’, 7th and 8th July. Charlie reports great activity and enthusiasm surrounding this. Ralph reports that the City is planning lots of post-first stage activity. Groups organising rides to the Tour stand to receive £300 for their efforts.

Brenda said she was keen to do an event ‘renting’ parking bays and having a roadside café sometime, with deckchairs.

Action: Marian to produce timeline.

12. Broadway Market scheme drawings
Richard displayed a ‘shared space’ design he is working on for Broadway Market. This is to be presented during the above-mentioned CTC cycle benchmarking session. The Broadway Market
Traders and Residents’ Association is now very enthusiastic about shared space. We will put the design in E8 magazine. There was a discussion about the best way to demarcate the footway edge, especially for those with visual impairments.

Ralph suggests a daytime 7am to 7pm motor ban in Broadway Market, since good alternative routes exist. Don’t ban 24 hours because at night it’s good to have all traffic going through from the point of view of ‘passive surveillance’. There was some discussion about pedestrianisation. Ralph asked what had happened to the proposed Urban Safety Management Study from the CRISP for Link 250.

13. Eastway cycle circuit legacy
In contrast to the current but doomed Eastway cycle circuit’s 34ha site, the replacement track shown in Olympics legacy plans is crammed into just ten hectares, with a U shape on the north side of the A12 and crossing the land bridge for a section to the south. The initial drawing showed a much more generous replacement. Now it’s getting smaller and smaller. The area is supposed to be an urban park.

The Olympic transport plan consultation ended last Friday. All active travel groups made submissions, generally to the effect that more ambition was needed!

Next up is the detailed legacy planning application. It’s a massive document. Attention required. Oliver encouraged those interested to join LCC’s Olympics working group.

Would be good if Hackney LCC did a separate response on the Eastway.

Action: Oliver to prompt group about Eastway planning application response. Deadline 19th March.

14. Capital Woman
This is a conference taking place on the 3rd March at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster. It includes workshops on cycling for women. LCC is organising three rides to the event, including one from Hackney, leaving 0830 from Hackney town hall. Charlie is temporarily the Hackney representative for this, but is looking for a volunteer to lead the ride, preferably a woman. The web-site is http://www.london.gov.uk/capitalwoman/

15. Any other business
We briefly discussed surface improvements occuring in South Millfields. Tim has passed on concerns about the detail of a crossing island in the imminent LCN+ scheme at the south-west corner of the park.

Ralph said that there’s some money available for cycle parking on Red Routes. There is a big backlog of demand to satisfy on Old Street, Bishopsgate, Curtain Road, and Stoke Newington High Street. Trevor recalled that we provided suggested locations in response to an enquiry last year, as well. Now that the Greens have secured a big increase in cycle funding for the next financial year, there should be lots more money for cycle parking.

Ralph drew attention to the new online mapping provided by Camden Cyclists, and Cambridge Cycling Campaign. The Camden map should be encouraged to spread London-wide. Openstreetmap is doing great work producing free mapping data, and there is an annotatable map of the Greenway.

Trevor drew attention to a satisfactory conclusion regarding the  reappearance of the dreaded dismount sign at the East London Railway bridge works on Kingsland Road.

Several members had noted traffic counts being conducted last Saturday. Counters questioned said that they were surprised to have received specific instructions not to count cyclists. Why?

As a test of the council’s promised change of policy on garages, Brenda has requested to rent a garage for bike storage in her council block. The housing office refused to send her a form because she would not be storing a motor vehicle in the garage. She may ask for a copy of form under the Freedom of Information Act.

Action: Brenda to follow up and all to think about strategy on this issue.

Tim said he wanted to borrow the Brox for the opening of the Tyssen School Children’s Centre event.

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Next meeting
Wednesday 7 March 2007, Wellington pub, Culford Rd N1 7pm (one-off venue and time change for AGM)

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