Mayor of London’s Cycling Q&A: February 2011

Again, thanks to the office of Jenny Jones, for distributing this batch of questions the Mayor of London and his answers. Please scour away and alert readers to anything of particular note in the comments.

Funding the Biking Boroughs

Question No: 672 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Having given Biking Boroughs £25k to draw up extra plans, will you look again at giving them an additional multi-million pound ringfenced budget so they can take those ideas forward and contribute to your strategic targets?

Written answer from the Mayor

I am delighted to be able to advise that despite the financial pressures within TfL, it has been possible to identify a dedicated budget of £4m over the next three years to accelerate delivery of the Biking Boroughs programmes. This investment, alongside the London Implementation Plans support and relevant boroughs’ own policies and projects, will support a step-change in provision for cycling in line with my objectives for a cycling revolution. TfL has now issued the bidding guidance to the Biking Boroughs and expects to formally confirm the allocations on 1 May 2011. Further details can be found in TfL’s Press Release of 17 February 2011.

Cycle parking at Crossrail stations

Question No: 673 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Can you provide a full update on the increases in cycle parking expected as a result of Crossrail’s redesign of stations and associated facilities?

Written answer from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Cycle Superhighways

Question No: 750 / 2011

Richard Tracey

When the initial 12 cycle superhighways are complete, has any thought been given to extending them further or introducing more routes?

Written answer from the Mayor

There are currently no plans to introduce any new routes other than the 12 already announced. Funding would be needed for any further routes.

That said, TfL remains keen to work with the London Borough of Newham to explore possibilities for extending Route 2 to Ilford after the 2012 Olympic Games. Other than this, there are currently no plans and no funding allocated for any extensions to the 12 planned routes.

Cycle problems at Oval

Question No: 434 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

I have received a large number of complaints from cyclists using the Cycle Superhighway at Oval that they are in conflict with other traffic at this junction. What is being done to improve the situation?

Written answer from the Mayor

Overall, conditions for cyclists at this junction are a lot safer following the introduction of Barclays Cycle Superhighway Route 7.

TfL has removed a major conflict point by taking out a southbound filter lane for general traffic on the A3 at the junction of Kennington Park Road and Brixton Road. The filter lane meant that cyclists travelling straight on had to move from the bus lane across two lanes of fast-moving traffic. Now that the filter lane has been removed, cyclists only need to cross one lane of general traffic, which has been significantly calmed by the introduction of a signalised left-hand turning.

Other improvements to cyclist safety at Oval include blue surfacing across the junctions and trixi mirrors, both of which help make cyclists more visible to motorists.

Gants Hill Roundabout

Question No: 439 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

Why was funding for access improvements to the bus stop by Gants Hill roundabout not included in the major refurbishment works at this location?

Written answer from the Mayor

The Gants Hill project was originally conceived as a carriageway refurbishment scheme. The scope was later widened to include improvements to footways, lighting and landscaping.

TfL has an ongoing programme to improve accessibility at bus stops in London. Works are prioritised where accessibility can be improved at comparatively low cost in order to improve as many stops as possible. At this stop however there are difficult constraints which will require a more complex solution, at a much greater cost.

Kerbs at bus stops should allow for an accessible angle on a bus wheelchair ramp when it is deployed. The footpath at this location is narrow and there is insufficient width available for the kerb to be raised higher as this would create a drainage problem for the adjacent properties. Providing a drain within the footway in order to raise the kerb was considered, but this would have resulted in an angle between the kerb edge and the drain, effectively steepening the angle towards the ramp.

The potential for undertaking access improvement works at this stop will be kept under review. Any workable solution identified will need to be prioritised in relation to the benefits and costs of other improvement works on the Transport for London Road network.

The first May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May) for Network Rail works between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone
Sunday 8 May for Network Rail works between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone
Sunday 29 May for LU and Network Rail works between Paddington and Harrow & Wealdstone.

The calendar of upcoming closures is available on the TfL website at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/livetravelnews/realtime/tube/track-closures.pdf.

Segregated Cycle Tracks

Question No: 491 / 2011

John Biggs

A recent TfL press release (11/1/2011) states “that cycle journeys have shot up to 100% during peak times on the first two Cycle Superhighways”. The A13 route from Barking is mainly segregated, saw an increase in the number of cyclists of over 100% when it became Cycle Superhighway 3, as compared to 50% for CS7 from Merton which is not segregated. Do you agree that these facts demonstrate that segregated cycle tracks are safer and more popular and will you, therefore, be prioritising segregated facilities on future highway routes?

Written answer from the Mayor

It is worth noting that needs vary significantly between cyclists. Some will feel safe and be more attracted to cycling through segregated and dedicated routes, whilst others will have their needs met through improvements in conditions on the highway.

We must also be realistic. In many places, the existing layout of roads and buildings means that there is simply not enough space to provide segregated cycle lanes without adversely impacting other users. As a highway authority TfL has to consider the needs of all road users, as well as nearby residents and businesses. Segregated cycle provision is also less flexible to fluctuations in demand for road space from cyclists and other road users.

Elimination of blind spots around lorries

Question No: 502 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

One of my constituents from Clapton died earlier this month after being hit by a lorry whilst cycling. You wrote to me on the 11 January 2010, and said you had written to Lord Adonis on the issue of legislation regarding the retro fitting of safety equipment, including mirrors, to all HGVs. What talks have you had with the current Secretary of State about this most important issue?

Written answer from the Mayor

I was very sorry to hear about the death of one of your constituents earlier this month. Cycle safety is very important to me and my number one priority, as identified in the Cycle Safety Action Plan (published in March 2010), is to reduce cycle fatalities which involve lorries.

Since writing to the Secretary of State last year, TfL has been working closely with the Department for Transport who are represented on TfL’s Cycle Safety Working Group. The group oversee delivery of the Cycle Safety Action Plan, which includes identifying improvements to lorry operation and design. In April 2011, TfL understand that the Department will be publishing research on how lorry drivers’ direct and indirect vision from vehicles can be improved (including recommendations for any legislative changes).

Following the completion of this research, TfL will work with freight operators in London to implement the recommendations of this study. TfL and I will also work with the DfT to review whether any legislation needs to be addressed in terms of retrofitting of safety equipment.

Elimination of blind spots around lorries

Question No: 503 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

In your letter to me about the Commercial Vehicle Education Unit of 11 January 2010, you said you were “keen to look at all kinds of innovative solutions that will help improve safety for cyclists.” One of my constituents has suggested the installation of sensors and cameras on lorries as this measure is now more affordable and should be widely applied. Have you discussed the introduction of such equipment with the Secretary of State for Transport?

Written answer from the Mayor

My Cycle Safety Action Plan was launched in March 2010. The Plan can be viewed at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/15480.aspx. One of the actions within the Plan is to identify the most appropriate safety devices for freight operators. TfL has been in communication with the Department for Transport on this matter and understands that Department for Transport will be completing a piece of research in April 2011 which will advise on how lorry drivers’ direct and indirect vision from vehicles may be improved.

In parallel, TfL is running a technology trial for lorries to evaluate the most effective motion sensors and cameras currently on the market for detecting cyclists. Following the trial, TfL and I will consider whether it would be appropriate for further representations to be made to the Secretary of State regarding the introduction of such equipment.

20mph zone in Kingsland Road

Question No: 507 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

Will you support Hackney cyclists who argue that the work to improve Kingsland High Street aimed to encourage the use of walking and cycling offers a great opportunity to introduce a 20mph zone on this red route similar to the trial zone on Camden High Street?

Written answer from the Mayor

The proposal for Kingsland High Street involves narrowing the carriageway and widening the footway. Reallocating road space is another way of reducing vehicle speed, although at present when this road is busy traffic does not generally travel above 20 mph. TfL has no plans to introduce a 20mph limit at all times.

The outcome of the trial zone on Camden High Street is still being evaluated.

Cycle parking on Kingsland Road

Question No: 508 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

Brand new cycle stands were recently installed on the footways of Kingsland Road even though the old ones were only 1-2 years old. Will you please provide me with the costs involved in replacing the existing bicycle stands?

Written answer from the Mayor

The new cycle stands were installed as part of a developer funded footway paving scheme, where it was agreed to provide three cycle stands in place of the existing two stands. There was therefore no cost to TfL and the removed cycle stands will be recycled. As part of these works, the bollards were also removed to improve the street scene which is consistent with my Better Streets initiative.

Impact of cycle parking on Kingsland Road

Question No: 509 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

The newly installed cycle stands on Kingsland Road have been placed in clusters on the footway and are now taking up more footway space than before. Was the negative impact on the pedestrian flow along this busy road taken into consideration during the planning process?

Written answer from the Mayor

New cycle stands have been provided along Kingsland Road where the removal of bollards has freed up footway space. Unfortunately, the stands were installed incorrectly. The contractor will be making the necessary changes at no cost to TfL by the end of February.

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Cycling in Walthamstow Central

Question No: 512 / 2011

Jennette Arnold

Thank you for your answer to question 282 / 2011. I was pleased to hear that the work at the Hoe Street/Selborne Road has finally been finished. Following from your answer, my constituent would like to know:

Why it took 18 months for the signs and traffic lights for cyclists to be sorted out at this junction?

Why there was a lack of information to cyclists provided on site or via Waltham Forest Cycling group?

Written answer from the Mayor

Due to a safety problem identified on site when modernising the traffic signals, a partial redesign was required to activate the cycle facilities, which introduced delay into the scheme. This technical issue was not resolved as quickly and proactively as it should have been by all involved, and protracted delays occurred which affected the resolution time.

The circumstances and delays have been part of a ‘lessons learned’ discussion with the London Borough of Waltham Forest in order to improve collective performance.

Although the junction of Hoe Street and Selbourne Road is not part of the Transport for London Road Network, TfL recognises the value of information for all road users. TfL will also discuss with Waltham Forest how the provision of information can be improved in future schemes.

Bicycles on DLR

Question No: 561 / 2011

Len Duvall

What are the barriers to bringing bicycles on to the DLR?

Written answer from the Mayor

Many DLR stations are elevated and there are particular safety issues in transporting bikes to and from the platforms as well as to other passengers on stairs and in trains. DLR lifts are small and will not accommodate bikes in a satisfactory manner and cycles are not permitted to be carried on escalators. Also, unlike many other light rail systems, the DLR has tunnel sections where bicycles in evacuation situations are a particular concern. DLR trains are not designed to carry bikes and many DLR platforms have constraints on space and don’t have capacity for both bikes and passengers.

Considerable investment has been made on delivering secure and well lit cycle facilities at stations, and DLR has received awards in recognition of this work to integrate and improve cycling facilities. The majority of stations have received new or improved cycle parking and the remaining stations will be covered shortly (subject to funding still being available).

The DLR system is very busy – currently carrying approximately 70 million passengers per annum (estimated to increase to 100 million by 2013/14). To provide for this capacity, DLR has had to invest heavily in providing trains for passenger use and develop its infrastructure.

Cycling on pavements and cyclists going through red lights

Question No: 577 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

During 2010 there appeared to be a huge variation in the number of Fixed Penalty Notices awarded to cyclists who ride on the pavement or cycle through red lights. Do you think this evidence reveals that the Metropolitan Police are not consistently enforcing the legislation in this area? Do you think more measures should be taken to protect pedestrians from the small minority of adult cyclists who blatantly break the law?

Written answer from the Mayor

The issue of safety for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists is an integral part of the objective to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London’s roads. The establishment last year of the MPS Cycle Task Force and the commencement of the trial of a cyclist improvement scheme “Capital Cycle Safe”, are delivering a more consistent approach to tackling offences committed by cyclists across London.

Cycle Hire docking stations not in use

Question No: 579 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Please provide a list of cycle hire docking stations which are currently not in use, along with the reasons.

Written answer from the Mayor

The number of docking stations not in service on a particular day is variable, depending on the activities of highway authorities, utility suppliers and property owners, along with any faults which may occur with the station itself.

As of 15 February 2011, four stations were not in service:

Cheapside, Bank: This docking station has been suspended, pending relocation to a nearby site at the request of the City of London. The new site is expected to be available by the end of July 2011.
Pall Mall, St James: This docking station has been temporarily suspended in preparation for two-way traffic on this road. Westminster City Council installed a pedestrian island which has narrowed the carriageway near the docking station. As a result, Transport for London wishes to address safety concerns by redesigning the station. The station is expected to reopen later this year.
South Kensington Station, Thurloe Street, Kensington: This station is currently suspended to allow scaffolding and building works to take place. This station is expected to return to service by the end of February.
Old Brompton Road, South Kensington: This station is currently suspended due to gas main replacement work in conjunction with The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea road resurfacing. This station is also due to be reinstated by the end of February.

Bikes on Crossrail trains

Question No: 590 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Will bicycles be allowed on the new Crossrail trains?

Written answer from the Mayor

No decision has been taken regarding the carriage of bicycles on Crossrail trains. This will be a decision taken by the future operator of Crossrail services. It is likely there will be restrictions on the carriage of bicycles through Crossrail tunnelled sections, but further consideration will need to be given to the carriage of bicycles on above-ground sections of the route.

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20’s Plenty Campaign

Question No: 591 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Will you be supporting the “20’s Plenty” campaign for London?

Written answer from the Mayor

20mph zones are primarily instigated in residential areas, especially those including schools or children’s play areas and where cycling and walking are actively encouraged. The establishment of 20mph zones is the responsibility of the boroughs. TfL works with the boroughs to ensure any new zones are targeted appropriately so that they will be effective in making the areas safer for vulnerable road users. As such, while TfL’s approach cannot be construed as actively supporting the 20’s Plenty campaign (which is calling for a blanket 20mph zone to be introduced across London), it does indicate support for the implementation of 20mph zones where these are appropriate and have strong local support.

Cycle Hire

Question No: 608 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Why, between and including the 5th February to the 9th February, did the Barclays Cycle Hire website say, “Sorry, the Barclays Cycle Hire website is currently unavailable. Please try again later or call our contact centre on 0845 026 3630 referencing Support ID?”

Written answer from the Mayor

The Barclays Cycle Hire website was working normally on these days, with over 12,000 hits, and more than 800 successful membership applications received between 5 and 9 February.

However, the message was inadvertently displayed due to a temporary glitch with the website. TfL has instructed Serco to ensure this error is not repeated. If a customer has a specific issue then TfL will be glad to assist.

Cycle Superhighways (2)

Question No: 753 / 2011

Richard Tracey

Please provide a chart/map of the two Cycle Superhighways delivered, which shows the increase since opening of cycling along each section.

Written answer from the Mayor

Please find a chart attached as Appendix H showing average 12 hour, two-directional flows in August and October 2009 (blue bars) against August and October 2010 (red bars).

The latest figures show an overall increase of 70 per cent in cycle journeys across the two pilot routes, with increases of 100 per cent or more seen on some sections during peak hours.

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  • adam

    Great work. I don’t know if you understand how good you have it but in Philadelphia, a fairly bike friendly US city, we get no support even close to this. Even reading about the specifics of certain roads and bike parking is interesting because it illustrates how to encourage lawmakers to create a more bikable city. Well done.

  • Lyndsay

    I know Boris is a bit quirky, but I like his support for cyclists in London. Maybe it harks back to his near-miss in London when he almost got squished on his cycle in a road accident.

  • http://www.truslerlegal.com/ Deborah Bradley

    “Great work. I don’t know if you understand how good you have it but in Philadelphia, a fairly bike friendly US city, we get no support even close to this.”

    no imagine doing this to California.

  • Paul

    This is a good sign of hope for a positive relationship between the government officials and their constituents. Unified for a common purpose.