Mayor of London’s Cycling Questions (and answers): June 2010

With thanks as ever to the office of Jenny Jones AM here is this month’s batch of cycling questions and answers to the Mayor of London. Ian in Jenny’s office writes, “Lots of interesting answers from the Mayor. Real progress made on cycle parking at East london Line stations, as a result of questioning. Going backwards this year on greenways. Lots of good detail on the big schemes which are being launched this summer: cycle hire and superhighways. Delays in docking stations and it doesn’t look as if Barclays sponsorship funding is additional money.”

As always, reactions, analysis in the comments please.

Greenways funding

Question No: 1746 / 2010

Jenny Jones

What was the funding for Greenways in 2009/10? How much Greenways funding did boroughs bid for in 2010/11 and what will it actually be this financial year?

Answer from the Mayor:

Funding for Greenways was £4.0m in 2009/10. This was split between borough promoted schemes (£3.2m) and schemes promoted by other managing authorities (£0.8m). In 2010/11, the programme will be £2.3m, with £1.6m for borough schemes and £0.7m other. Originally, boroughs sought funding of £6.2m for this financial year.

Shoreditch station

Question No: 1749 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Is there any reason, besides revenue raising, why Shoreditch station was moved from zone 2 to zone 1? This causes people travelling between any other stations on the East London Line, which are all in zone 2, to be charged a higher fare.

Answer from the Mayor:

The new Shoreditch High Street station is physically located within the zone 1 boundary, whereas the old London Underground Shoreditch station was further east. It was also one of the conditions of the funding agreement set out by the DfT when they committed funding for the East London Line Phase 2.

The East London Line extension actually reduces fares to some destinations as the fares are now part of the TfL tariff, for example: From Crystal Palace, which is in Zone 3, the fare to London Underground stations in Zone 1 via the East London Line extension and LU is £2.70 using PAYG versus the previous £3.70 fare.

TfL is charging the Zone 1 Oyster pay as you go fare from Shoreditch High Street station to Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction in the north and Whitechapel, Shadwell, and Wapping stations in the south. This will mean passengers are being charged £1.80 all day rather than £2.30 at peak times and £1.80 off-peak.

Cycle parking (2)

Question No: 1753 / 2010

Jenny Jones

What was the budget for education programmes aimed at cyclists who lock their bikes to railings or bike parking stands in an unsecure way?

Answer from the Mayor:

To date there has been no specific budget allocation aimed specifically at this group of cyclists. TfL recognises, however, that educating cyclists is an important factor in preventing cycle theft in the Capital. TfL is therefore supporting various educational initiatives and is working with the Police to inform cyclists about cycle security. For example, TfL produced Bike Theft leaflets last year to inform cyclists about secure locking techniques and bike registration across London.

In future, and as stated in the draft Cycle Security Plan, which was published on 6 June, a series of educational and marketing initiatives are planned to be rolled out across London. This will include leaflets, stickers, new media, and working in collaboration with the Police to inform cyclists as to how they can keep their bikes safe.

Cycle parking (3)

Question No: 1754 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Can you outline the process by which the section of Transport for London responsible for the removal of railings notify the section of Transport for London responsible for installing replacement cycle parking stands?

Answer from the Mayor:

TfL has programmes under way both to remove unnecessary pedestrian guard rail and to increase the amount of cycle parking on its road network. As part of the rigorous assessment process that supports the removal of guard rail, project teams survey potential sites and collect data, including data on the use of the railings for cycle parking. If there is evidence of cycle parking on a length of railing and that length is then recommended for removal, the data is passed on to the project team in TfL responsible for choosing the location of new cycle parking stands. The team will then choose cycle parking locations that best meet demand and if possible add new stands in places where previously cyclists used guard rail to park their cycles.

Cycle parking (4)

Question No: 1755 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Given that Transport for London said to the Assembly Transport committee that they had ‘neglected’ cycle parking at new East London Line stations, can you explain your failure to deliver on promises made in response to my question 2221/2009 last September?”

Answer from the Mayor:

TfL is delivering on the promises contained in answer to your question 2221/2009. Cycle parking has been integral to the design of the four new East London line stations. As demand for cycling has risen TfL has been able to make improvements to the original specification for each of the new stations.

For example, installation of cycle parking will commence on 7 June at Shoreditch High Street (38 new spaces), followed by the installation of 30 spaces at Dalston Junction, 38 spaces at Haggerston and 44 new spaces at Hoxton, all on rail land.


Sponsorship of cycle hire

Question No: 2152 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Is the £25m, spread over five years, of sponsorship money from Barclays Bank in addition to the existing £140m budget for cycle hire and the £145m projected budget for the cycling superhighways?

Answer from the Mayor:

Adjusting for financial years, to allow a comparison (recognising that the Barclays sponsorship commences in July 2010 rather than at the start of the financial year) the maximum sponsorship fee payable to TfL would be £23.8m up to end 2014/15. The total financial package as set out in TfL’s business plan includes a proportion of funding sourced from sponsorship.

Cycle funding

Question No: 1756 / 2010

Jenny Jones

The reporting system for Local Implementation Plans (LIPs) appears to support my conclusion in question 2689/2010 that there is no mechanism for monitoring the overall delivery of cycling hubs in outer London, or guaranteeing that all year 6 school children who want cycle training will get it. The system only provides commentary on new cycling infrastructure and parking facilities and a figure on the total number of children who have completed the training.

TfL have also confirmed that “it will not be possible to report the total amount invested through LIPs to support particular modes”, supporting my conclusion that you will not even know how much boroughs have spent on cycling at the end of the financial year.

Can you now confirm that you have no mechanisms for monitoring these two specific strategic goals and the total amount spent on cycling by boroughs through the LIPs?

Answer from the Mayor:

The reforms TfL has introduced to the LIPs process reduce the bureaucracy associated with the process whilst still providing details of delivery against agreed outputs, such as the number of children provided with cycle training and outcomes, such as mode shift to cycling. This ensures the information that is recorded is of most relevance to delivery of the goals, policies and proposals of my Transport Strategy.

The move away from reporting ‘spend’ on specific modes/topics as the metric of success reflects the principles of my Transport Strategy and ‘Better Streets’ guidance, which encourage designers and engineers to think holistically about the needs of all road users when developing schemes. Within their LIP, boroughs must also demonstrate how they are addressing and delivering against my priorities. You will also be aware of the support that was provided at the start of the year to kick-start the Biking Boroughs initiative across 13 London boroughs.

Motorists jumping red lights

Question No: 1757 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Cuts in the money that Transport for London gives to the Met Police for road safety have led to a reduction in the number of fixed penalty notices for drivers jumping red lights, which dropped from 27,400 in 2008 to 17,684 in 2009. Why are you allowing more drivers in London to get away with jumping red lights whilst increasing the use of police resources against cyclists jumping lights?

Answer from the Mayor:

I wish to ensure safety on London’s roads for all travellers; pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Enforcement is just one approach to road safety; education and awareness-raising both deliver a massive contribution in helping to drive down the number of people killed or seriously Injured in collisions, helping to make London’s roads safer for everyone.

TfL is working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the City of London police to develop a series of operations at key locations. These operations will aim to step up enforcement, engagement and raise awareness for all road users of the dangers of anti-social and illegal behaviour, including the jumping of red lights.

Cycle Superhighways

Question No: 1758 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Would you advise parents that the new Cycle Superhighways will be safe enough for their children to use when they are launched?

Answer from the Mayor:

Barclays Cycle Superhighways are predominantly designed for current and prospective commuting cyclists to improve their journey to and from work. The routes will be safer, with more space for cyclists, and will raise awareness amongst other road users that higher volumes of cyclists are to be expected.

The relative safety of a cyclist is in very large part associated with their own proficiency on a bike. I would always advise young and inexperienced cyclists who are about to cycle on the road that they first receive appropriate cycle training. There are a number of opportunities to access suitable training either via borough or TfL schemes.

Cycling on Albert Bridge

Question No: 1750 / 2010

Jenny Jones

A constituent who has become a regular cycling commuter with her children across Albert Bridge and through Battersea Park is keen to see the retention of the central part of the bridge as a protected two way cycle route. Will you commission a study of the existing use of Albert Bridge by cyclists and how this could be enhanced when the bridge re-opens with further link routes?

Answer from the Mayor:

TfL would not be in a position to commission such a study as it is not the highway authority for Albert Bridge. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea manages Albert Bridge and would need to consider commissioning the study you suggest.

Crossrail construction traffic

Question No: 1751 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Will you use the procurement process to exclude the use of mobile batching plant in the construction of Crossrail? These large vehicles are currently classified as engineering plant, yet they are allowed unlicensed onto London’s roads.

Answer from the Mayor:

Crossrail main works contracts note that mobile batching plant vehicles are classified as “engineering plant” and therefore may be exempt from certain regulations. To ensure this plant is not used unregulated on the project, the contracts state that contractors shall not use this plant without prior approval.

If a contractor makes a request to use such plant they will have to demonstrate that it meets the safety standard of a large goods vehicle, from which they are normally exempt, and that it:

Complies with the Department for Transport’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) operator licensing arrangements required for goods vehicles;
Is fitted with a tachograph which allows us to monitor drivers’ hours and ensure they are taking the legally required breaks;
Complies with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations and in particular the axel and weight limits specified in those regulations;
Shall not be overloaded; and
That the vehicle has a current large goods vehicle M.O.T.

Cycle parking (1)

Question No: 1752 / 2010

Jenny Jones

Thank you for your answer to my question 1359/2010. Do you agree that the very limited cycle parking budget would be better spent on providing more cycle parking at the large number of stations where it is clearly absent or inadequate, rather than spending it on replacing adequate Sheffield stands with CaMden stands?

Answer from the Mayor:

Provision of cycle parking at stations is already prioritised at locations where it is absent or inadequate. Where TfL is able to replace Sheffield stands with more user friendly ‘CaMden’ style stands, it is right that they do so.

Air quality impact of policies

Question No: 1777 / 2010

Darren Johnson

Have you informed the European Commission of the negative impacts on air quality of each of the following: a) intended removal of the western extension of the congestion charge; b) end of the half yearly inspections of black cabs; c) cut to the smarter travel budget d) cut to the car club budget e) bus fare rise leading to modal shift to cars f) intended delay of the Low Emission Zone stage 3?

Answer from the Mayor:

The GLA sent a copy of my draft Air Quality Strategy to the European Commission shortly after it was published for public consultation on 28 March. This sets out clearly how I believe the European limit values can be achieved (and exceeded) in London. The GLA also provided a document to Defra to help inform the Government’s recent submission to the Commission for a time extension for the PM10 limit value. This is available on the GLA website at . These documents show that Greater London is expected to be compliant with PM10 limit values by 2011.

Cycling in London

Question No: 2040 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

According to TfL’s latest data, by how much has cycling increased in London since you became Mayor?

Answer from the Mayor:

Cycle journeys on London’s major roads have increased by 117 per cent since 2000, with around half a million cycle journeys estimated to be made every day in London.

I have set TfL a target to increase cycling by 400 per cent by 2026 (compared to 2000).

Since the 2008 GLA and Mayoral elections, there has been a 14 per cent increase in cycling on London’s major roads.

Cycle Superhighway safety

Question No: 2046 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

There is some very worrying footage available on the internet, filmed by cyclists along the new Cycle Superhighway routes. The footage raises concerns about whether the superhighways will actually improve cyclist safety. What assurances can you give these cyclists about measures to be taken in this regard by the time the superhighways are fully operational?

Answer from the Mayor:

Barclays Cycle Superhighways are not due to launch until 19 July and construction is continuing until this time.

When the routes open numerous safety measures will be in place such as advanced stop lines at traffic signals, changes to junction layouts to reduce potential conflict points, and 24 miles of new and upgraded cycle lanes. Working with the boroughs and local businesses, TfL will provide a range of services to support the Barclays Cycle Superhighways – including 26,000 hours of Commuter Cycle Training, which gives new cyclists the skills and confidence they need to navigate London’s roads safely.

Cycle Hire Scheme

Question No: 2047 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

The much lauded Cycle Hire Scheme for London was supposed to be launched this month, so far it has not materialised. Can you assure me and Londoners that the scheme will be up and running in its entirety by the revised launch date of July 2010?

Answer from the Mayor:

2010 is London’s Year of Cycling and at its heart will be the launch of Barclays Cycle Hire. The scheme is due to launch on the 30 July 2010.

Given that each docking station requires planning permission and a traffic regulation order agreed with the local authority before works begin, it should be acknowledged that a number of aspects that impact site delivery are outside of TfL’s control. It is therefore not possible to guarantee exact numbers at this stage, but I expect this to be as close to 400 docking stations as possible.

Cycle Hire Scheme (2)

Question No: 2048 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

Have Planning permissions been obtained for all the cycle docking stations for the cycle hire scheme?

Answer from the Mayor:

Decisions on planning applications have been made by the nine London boroughs that are within the Barclays Cycle Hire area, taking into consideration public consultation as appropriate.

The vast majority of sites submitted have been approved by the relevant planning authorities.

As expected, a small minority have not been approved. In these cases, TfL is working with the boroughs to either modify the sites to address any issues raised or has identified alternative locations nearby, which will be subject to further planning applications.

Cycle Hire Scheme (3)

Question No: 2049 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

List any outstanding cycle hire docking stations awaiting planning permission?

Answer from the Mayor:

To date, out of a total of 498 Barclays Cycle Hire planning submissions, 75 sites have been refused by the relevant planning authority.

TfL has worked with the boroughs to either modify these sites to address issues identified or identified alternative locations nearby. 11 such locations are currently awaiting planning permission. This follow-up work is necessary to ensure that an effective network of stations is provided.

In addition, a further five sites are awaiting updated planning permissions for the extension of docking stations in order to increase capacity at these particular locations.

As per my answer to 2050/2010, TfL will write to you with the locations of cycle hire docking station sites that have been declined planning permission.

Cycle Hire Scheme (4)

Question No: 2050 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

List any cycle hire docking stations locations which were planned but will not materialise?

Answer from the Mayor:

To date, out of a total of 498 Barclays Cycle Hire planning submissions, 75 sites were refused by the relevant planning authority.

In addition, there are 13 sites with planning permission which TfL is not currently pursuing further due to unexpected complications that arose when site works began. These complications could include encountering buried utilities, tree roots, vaults or cellars.

TfL will write to you with the locations of the 75 sites declined planning permission and those 13 where there were expected complications.

Cycle Hire Scheme (5)

Question No: 2051 / 2010

Valerie Shawcross

Please confirm how many of the cycle docking stations will be installed and operational by the launch date?

Answer from the Mayor:

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme will launch with a sufficient number of docking stations to provide suitably dense network coverage for the scheme.

As stated in response to your question (1251/2009), exact numbers are difficult to state. This is because once TfL has received Planning Consent and a Traffic Regulation Order for a Cycle docking station it may experience complications at the construction stages outside of TfL’s direct control. These could include encountering buried utilities, tree roots, vaults or cellars. Depending on the issue, this may result in delays in installing sites through to operation, a new planning application to modify the site or TfL being unable to construct a site at all.

For this reason, TfL intends the launch number of docking stations to be as close to 400 as possible and will continue working to install any remaining docking stations or alternative locations.

Blackwall tunnel and air quality penalties

Question No: 1779 / 2010

Darren Johnson

The Blackwall Tunnel air quality monitoring site showed that the area was one of many sites in London above the margin of tolerance allowed for if the UK is granted a time extension on reaching the NO2 limit values. As this situation is likely to continue through until the summer of the 2012 Olympic games, will your preference be to close the tunnel, or to pay the infraction penalties issued by the European Commission, or do have an innovative solution to solve the problem?

Answer from the Mayor:

The measures proposed in my draft Air Quality Strategy will lead to NOx emissions being reduced by 35% by 2015 compared to 2008 levels. Despite these reductions, modelling shows that a number of locations next to major roads and near Heathrow will not meet NO2 limit values in 2015 and that some of them, such as the Blackwall Tunnel, may exceed the margin of tolerance between now and 2015. At these locations, TfL will work closely with boroughs through the LIP process to develop local interventions to reduce emissions. However, NO2 is a national issue requiring further action from central Government. Over the next few months I will be discussing with Government the development of joint plans for meeting NO2 limit values and margins of tolerance in London, including a certification scheme for NOx abatement equipment, a national LEZ framework, new vehicle scrappage and retrofit

Blue Cycle Lanes

Question No: 2078 / 2010

John Biggs

Will these be viewed as a folly of your administration, particularly in that they will cause confusion, and that the replacement of otherwise good green tarmac with blue tarmac can be viewed as a waste?

Answer from the Mayor:

The development of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways is not a matter of replacing green tarmac with blue tarmac. The pilot routes will deliver 24 miles of new and upgraded cycle lanes, with advanced stop lines at every junction, over 5,000 new cycle parking spaces and 26,000 hours of commuter cycle training.

More space will be created for cyclists on the roads. The new blue surfacing and bespoke logos will help raise the profile of cyclists with other road users as well as provide a clear “end to end” route, distinguishable from the green London Cycle Network. Only by addressing all the barriers to cycling will we enable more Londoners to cycle to work, bringing about a Cycle Revolution across the capital.

Bicycle Hire Scheme

Question No: 2085 / 2010

Nicky Gavron

Will the Mayor introduce public air compressors to support his Bicycle Hire Scheme?

Answer from the Mayor:

Barclays Cycle Hire users are not required to carry out any maintenance of the bicycles themselves. The TfL contract with Serco covers building, operating and maintaining the scheme. The maintenance regime will include regular maintenance of the bicycle as well as responding to any reported faults on any bicycles.

If a bicycle is faulty, users can return it to the nearest docking station and push the fault report button on the docking point. This will then lock the bicycle at the docking station until it has been repaired, the customer will then be able to choose an alternative bicycle.

London Public Air Compressors

Question No: 2086 / 2010

Nicky Gavron

Will the Mayor introduce London-wide public air compressors to support the capital’s cyclists?

Answer from the Mayor:

I have no plans to do so at present. Facilities are available for cyclists to pump up their tyres at many of London’s excellent bike shops, and track pumps are often available to use free of charge.

Rules of the Road for Cyclists

Question No: 2087 / 2010

Nicky Gavron

Will the Mayor encourage/support strong enforcement action against cyclists who do not adhere to the rules of the road such as running pedestrian crossings?

Answer from the Mayor:

Cyclists are subject to the relevant provisions under Common Law, Traffic and Highway Law and the Highway Code. The Highway Code (195) states that a vehicle must give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing. The Highway Code must be adhered to by all road users, including cyclists, and I strongly favour promoting the ethos of ‘responsible cycling’.

TfL is working with its Policing partners on both targeted enforcement and awareness-raising to encourage all road users, including cyclists, to adhere to the rules. This will include targeting illegal behaviour such as jumping red lights, failing to stop when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing and cycling on pavements.

3 feet please campaign

Question No: 2099 / 2010

Jennette Arnold

As part of your Cycle Safety Action Plan, will you be supporting the ‘3 feet please’ campaign which is fighting for a mandatory minimum three feet space between bicycles and passing motor vehicles?

Answer from the Mayor:

TfL is aware of this campaign, and discussed it with the principle organiser at a ‘Share the Road’ meeting on 14 May. The Share the Road group of stakeholders believe in everyone’s equal right to use the road, from pedestrians and cyclists, to motorcyclists and drivers. The organiser is a long-standing member of this group and TfL has agreed to discuss how his insight might best inform a programme of work TfL has in development around the concept of all road users effectively sharing space.

Pricing of London Bike Hire Scheme

Question No: 2101 / 2010

Jennette Arnold

In comparison with other European cities the annual fee for the London Bike Hire Scheme is prohibitively expensive (London £45, Paris €29, Dublin €10, Barcelona €24 and Norway 60 NOK approx £6.43) Will you acknowledge that this will disadvantage many Londoners who will not be able to afford this excessive rate?

Answer from the Mayor:

Barclays Cycle Hire will be an inexpensive and desirable way to travel, particularly in comparison to other modes of public transport in London.

The annual membership is an extremely attractive and cost effective option for customers who use the scheme regularly. Annual membership provides access to the cycles for approximately 12 pence a day, and this includes the first 30 minutes of any journey being free of any usage charges.

Members also receive a chip enabled membership key, so that they can have the convenience of undocking a cycle straight from a docking point, without having to use the terminal.

London Bike Hire Scheme (1)

Question No: 2102 / 2010

Jennette Arnold

In Paris’ Velib scheme if a user arrives at a full docking station within the first free 30 mins the user is granted another 15mins free time to get to another station to dock the bike. Will this be the case for London’s scheme?

Answer from the Mayor:

If a cycle docking station is full, users will be able to extend their hire time by an additional 15 minutes through the terminal at the full station at no extra charge to allow the cycle to be returned to another nearby cycle docking station.

The terminal will also indicate the nearest docking stations and the number of available docking points to allow users to make an informed decision on which nearby cycle station to return the bicycle to.

As there will be a docking station roughly every 300m, users should never be far away from another station.

London Bike Hire Scheme (2)

Question No: 2103 / 2010

Jennette Arnold

Will there be a system for people to report faulty bikes and how will it work?

Answer from the Mayor:

If a bicycle is faulty, users can return it to the nearest docking station and push the fault report button on the docking point. This will then lock the bicycle at the docking station until it has been repaired, the customer will then be able to choose an alternative bicycle.

In addition, users can also contact Customer Services, as the phone number will be shown on all terminals and cycles.

A monitoring system will also be in place that will alert the maintenance team if a cycle is frequently returned within a very short period of time, implying there may be a problem with it.

TLRN Lane Rental (1)

Question No: 1819 / 2010

Richard Tracey

How many days of roadwork overruns have there been over the last 12 months on the TLRN?

Answer from the Mayor:

From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 there were 480 days of works over-runs on the TLRN. This is down 33%, from 719 days of works over-runs on the TLRN in 2008/9, which, primarily, I believe is a result of improved coordination and joint working between TfL and the utility companies following the introduction of my Code of Conduct for Roadworks.

Outer London Commission (6)

Question No: 1833 / 2010

Steve O’Connell

The OLC proposes ‘some liberalisation’ of car parking policy and the Mayor has already included in his revised London Plan. Does the Mayor also share the OLC’s view that there is scope for “local enhancements to road capacity”?

Answer from the Mayor:

I am very pleased with the work of the Outer London Commission and, as you indicate, many of its recommendations are included in the draft London Plan and in my new Transport Strategy. With regard to road capacity, my main approach is to get the most out of the existing network by measures to smooth traffic flow and better manage the network. That said, I also accept that there may be scope for local enhancements. The draft London Plan and my new Transport Strategy set out (Policy 6.12 and Proposal 35 respectively) the criteria by which new road schemes will be assessed so that they may be taken forward if they display an overall net benefit against relevant criteria.