This is the press release that was sent to The Islington Gazette and The Tribune
On Saturday May 10th, Islington Cyclists Action Group took to the
streets and visited locations that are difficult or dangerous for
cyclists to negotiate. The group ended up at the Town Hall (photos
below). The group is asking candidates to support specific measures in
each ward which will enable everyone to feel safe on a bike, from
8-year-old children to 80-year-old grandparents. Voters can find out
more about the measures at the Space for Cycling website
Tom Harrison (ICAG) said “One of the simplest and most effective
actions the council could do is make the roads safer and more
comfortable for older people to walk and cycle. This means separating
walking and cycling routes from busy traffic areas by closing
residential streets to through traffic, installing more seating areas,
and providing protected cycle tracks on busy roads which makes the
streets navigable by those of us with slower reaction speeds.”
John Ackers said “There are still councillors that regard cycling as a
niche activity for relatively fit people. But actually cycling
is for everybody and it’s the answer to many of the borough’s
problems. Cycling improves people’s long term health, reduces
congestion, reduces air pollution, reduces obesity, reduces travel
costs and encourages social cohesion. We can learn much from
Copenhagen and Amsterdam.”
Join us on a ride from The Sobell Centre to the Town Hall
Show your support and celebrate #space4cycling
Next Saturday, 10th May, join us to celebrate what #space4cycling really means!
We are asking candidates to support specific measures in each ward which will enable everyone to feel safe on a bike, from 8-year-old children to 80-year-old grandparents. Join the Islington LCC on a ride as we visit some of the sites where we’re asking for change.
We’ll be meeting at the Sobell Centre for a 9.30 breakfast (free pastries!). The ride starts at 10.00 and will finish at 12.00 outside the Town Hall.
If you can’t join us on the ride itself, just turn up at the Town Hall at 12 to show your support for #space4cycling in Islington!
Here’s an interesting exchange of emails between Caledonian Ward resident Richard Truscott, ICAG coordinator Alison Dines and Councillor Paul Convery about space4cycling in Caledonian Ward and elsewhere.
On 29 April 2014 21:41, Richard Truscott wrote:
I was wondering what you’ve heard from Islington Labour (& indeed most if the other parties) so far? I’m surprised to see that on the website most candidates are not even listed, despite the confirmed nominations having been published for at least a week. I’m also surprised that all the Islington Labour candidates I’ve seen listed are marked as being opposed to Space4Cycling.
I increasingly think the Space4cycling campaign is badly misconceived; it is all too easy for candidates who are not going to be in power particularly, I notice, the Greens to support it, but it is not so easy if you are from a party that might, but have not had an opportunity to be involved in the selection of schemes. In my own ward, Caledonian, the scheme is on a road that Islington Council doesn’t control, as are several other schemes, whilst one is I understand for a scheme Islington Council proposed, consulted on and got an overwhelming negative consultation response.
I have copied this to 2 of my own ward councillors, who I know are in favour of cycling, and the Islington LCC / ICAG contact. I regret not taking part in the discussions in Islington, which I must have missed at a busy time, but I never heard anything like as much about the discussion in Islington, where I live, as I heard about the discussion in Haringey, where I work. I am an LCC member and thoroughly support the principles of Space4cycling, of giving cyclists safe space on the roads, where necessary (which will be a lot of the time) separated road space, either as physically segregated lanes or separate quiet roads, and ultimately normalising cycling.
On 29/04/14 23:45, Alison Dines wrote:
We chose some big schemes for the ward asks as we found that in the LCC survey many people highlighted how difficult it was to cycle in places like Highbury Corner or Archway. In Islington, Labour have replied as one party with the attached e-mail which includes a letter and spreadsheet and your e-mail is timely as we are discussing how best to use their response. We are hoping for local ward engagement with the Space for Cycling campaign so I hope other Labour candidates will reply to the e-mails they receive.
On 30/04/14 11:21, Councillor Paul Convery wrote:
Thank you for copying me into this reply. It seems like I shall probably end up being marked down by LCC as “non-compliant” which will be pretty absurd. I am not backing the LCC “ask” for York Way for a number of reasons which I epxlian below. But am I still a pro-cycling, road safety supporter? Yes, absolutely. I ride a bike and use public transport. So does my entire family. I have never owned a car in my life. I don’t even posess a driver’s license. But the LCC campaign is just about to categorise me as a non-supporter, a bad person, an anti-cycling candidate.That is not good politics. I think LCC has really been a bit sloppy in picking some of the ward asks. Some are not merely practical and supportable, but Islington Council is already taking steps to implement them. Others e.g. the Tollington one, is very difficult because, it’s a scheme that recently went out to public consulation and was overwhelmingly not supported because it seemed to involved complex and adverse traffic displacement.The Caledonian ask is much more complicated than it seems even though, superficially, who could possibly not support it, as I’ve been asked? One correspondent who just wrote back to me this morning said “gosh how can’t you support this … didn’t you know a young woman died there some time ago”. Well, the fatality of Min Joo (“Deep”) Lee on October 3rd 2011 is deeply ingrained in my memory. I am one of a small number of people who has viewed the horrifying CCTV recording showing the moment she perished. That’s why I helped the campaign attempting to get TfL prosecuted for corporate manslaughter in that death.
The reply that I have sent to the approximately one dozen emailers says that there may be much safer ways to bring cyclists travelling north-south through our neighbourhood and through the Kings Cross junction in particular. I also mention that York Way is not an Islington Council controlled road because Camden is the highway authority and we therefore have less direct control over it than if it were an Islington road.
But I also think there may be higher priorities for cycle-friendly initiatives in Caledonian Ward, for example, east-west permeability and safer routes to school for children on bikes. I have not been party to the mechanism that, in the words of the campaign “local people have decided” they want a segreagted cycle lane on York Way. But this proposal has never been discussed with the Council and certainly not raised with members representing either Caledonian Ward or Somerstown Ward (the Camden side of the road).
York Way is a particularly difficult road not least because it forms part of the Kings Cross gyratory system. Over the past 4 years, we have worked hard to remove the gyratory system which blights hundreds of homes in our neighbourhood. The gyratory is mainly controlled by TfL who have proved very resistant to change until quite recently. However, as a first step, Islington Council is shortly going to return part of the Caledonian Rd to 2-way working. So, we are making some progress. As part of these works, a new crossing treatment will be engineered for cyclists at the junction of Caledonian Road and Killick Street.
My reservations about the York Way scheme are two-fold:
(a) we are trying to remove the KX gyratory and return roads to more conventional configurations because those are safer for a start (particularly for pedestrians). It may be that a segregated cycle lane on York Way can be integral to that but, on first sight, it looks more like an “ask” which could compromise the case for undoing the one-way traffic up York Way.
(b) the proposal’s rationale seems to be that you should add a further extension to the Elephant-Kings Cross North-South Cycle Superhighway. But the Superhighway to KX proposal has a serious flaw: it funnels even more traffic (cyclists) into the already overcongested Kings Cross junction. Kings Cross is now completely saturated by every mode of surface transport: pedestrians, vehicles, cyclists. And that is going to grow in the medium term. So, increasing the volume of any mode of transport right into the middle of the Kings Cross junction is crazy. In my view, we should test whether alternative routes through/around Kings Cross are better. After all, if you look at the S4C “ask” for Barnsbury Ward it mentions a scheme to encourage cyclists off Pentonville Road, onto an alternative parallel route which would then lead east-west cycle traffic to bypass Kings Cross. I think that’s a very sensible principle which we should apply to north-south cycle traffic too.
Obviously this is an election period. People use it to make demands. Fair enough. As candidates we are all big enough and experienced enough to take this on the chin. But it is not a good way for LCC to engage with a Labour led Council that is fundamentally committed to road safety and to encouraging cycling when you put-up demands which appear designed to “fail” some candidates not because they actually oppose more space for cyclists but because the proposal itself is too complicated to just superficially “support”.
On 30/04/14 17:27, Richard Truscott wrote:
I am a Labour Party member but I’m particularly motivated over Space4Cycling to ensure LCC & the cyclists cause is not marginalised as a fringe “outgroup” issue of only interest to extreme greens. That’s I suppose Labour philosophy in general; a force for progressive politics but that can command a majority; I argue in the Labour Party for cycling (& get a good hearing) but recognise it needs to be balanced against other worthy causes & what can be achieved. And I do believe it is practical & justify able to create more space for cycling, proper Dutch space; for instance I argued (too late it turned out) within LCC & within the Labour Party for Drayton Park to be properly Dutch-ified with continuous segregated cycle lanes, but I think helped get the rotten original scheme at least made less bad. I’m confident under Labour Islington would be keen to create good Dutch style segregated cycling facilities where achievable & commanding public support. So let’s avoid becoming marginalised and engage with all parties fairly!
Thank you for taking part in the space4cycling campaign. Here are the responses from the local political parties. If you haven’t taken part yet or want to know more about this campaign then go to the London Cycling Campaign space4cycling site.
Islington Labour Party
Islington Labour Party has responded centrally to the ward asks. Some candidates, Paul Convery, Theresa Debono, have also written to their local voters.
Monday 28 April 2014
Dear ICAG and LCC members and supporters,
I am writing on behalf of Islington Labour to thank you for the many emails you have sent to our council candidates across Islington (all of whom are listed here) with proposed suggestions for cycling improvements in their respective wards. We welcome the effect your campaign has had in raising awareness of the forthcoming elections among cyclists in the borough.
In reaction, please find in the spreadsheet attached here both your suggestions and Islington Labour’s collective responses in brief. We are responding together, as we agreed with London Cycling Campaign that we would, because we are standing in next month’s elections as Islington Labour – a single party, not just 48 separate individuals.
Islington Labour recognises that cycling is one of the most sustainable modes of transport and that it makes a significant contribution to reducing road traffic congestion and improving health. We support policies and projects that encourage cycling and improve safety for cyclists on all of Islington’s roads.
Over the past year, Islington’s Labour council has taken a number of major steps to improve safety for cyclists and all road users, including becoming the first London Borough (Camden and the City of London have since followed suit) to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all roads that the council controls. We are lobbying Transport for London to do the same on their roads in Islington and we are working with the Metropolitan Police Service to seek closer enforcement of the new limit over time.
In December, at the suggestion of London Cycling Campaign, we announced new measures to boost cycle safety through extra training for Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers working for the council, its contractors and major developers in the borough. According to London Cycling Campaign, no other borough in London has imposed this requirement on developers. This means many regular drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles in Islington will be required to take the Safe Urban Driving training course.
Islington’s Labour council continues to tackle accident hotspots across the borough, to make local cycle network improvements and to improve conditions for cyclists through road traffic engineering with projects that make physical improvements to our roads. These have recently included enhancements at: Goswell Road / Old Street; Brecknock Road / York Way; Mildmay Park; Caledonian Road (between Roman Way and Camden Road); Hornsey Road / Bavaria Road; Jackson Road / Lowman Road; Monsell Road; Hornsey Road; Archway Close; Caledonian Road / Copenhagen Street; Blackstock Road; Junction Road / Cathcart Hill; Old Street / Mallow Street; Clerkenwell Road / Britton Street; Liverpool Road; Essex Road; Tollington Park and Brewery Road. In the Bunhill area, for example, we have enhanced cycling facilities on Bunhill Row and supported EC1 NDC public space projects in Malta Street, Mitchell Street, Compton Street and Cyrus Street. We and our partners have also increased the number of bike stands and the amount of cycle parking in the borough, for instance on Gillespie Road and at Highbury Corner.
Islington’s Labour council also funds a series of initiatives to provide cycle training and make cyclists aware of road dangers. Every Islington primary school can take up free Bikeability cycle training and we also deliver Bikeability in half the borough’s secondary schools. On the first Sunday of Bike Week – that is 15 June 2014 – we will hold our highly successful Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling, in partnership with Haringey and Hackney councils. The Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling has been shortlisted twice in the National Transport Awards this year in the ‘Achievements in Cycling’ and the ‘Transport Partnership of the Year’ categories.
In January 2014, Transport for London informed the council of their commitment to deliver major improvements at key gyratories in Islington at Archway, Highbury Corner, King’s Cross, the Nag’s Head and Old Street. The council is working with Transport for London to ensure that these projects deliver very significant improvements for all road users, including cyclists, and also transform the environment in these areas for the better. Although these projects may take some time to complete, it is encouraging that this much-needed and long-awaited work is now moving forwards.
The coucil has also been investigating new cycle routes and route improvements across Islington. As you will appreciate, the council is under severe financial pressure, with the Tory-led government cutting our budget by a third over the past four years and with the worst ever cuts to local government still continuing, so available funding is being stretched to meet our existing essential obligations. However, early in 2013, City Hall announced that £913m is to be made available to improve cycling in London. Part of this funding is being offered to councils to fund the delivery of new cycle routes, so Islington Council has submitted a bid to Transport for London for an ambitious programme of new routes, as part of the development of a Cycling Grid for central London, a Cycle-to-School pilot project for Tufnell Park and the Quietways programme to provide better cycling links across Islington. We continue to lobby Transport for London and the Mayor of London to provide the funding to help us deliver these improvements, and we expect an announcement from Transport for London in May 2014 informing us which routes are being funded (with an announcement of the Cycle-to-School pilot project expected later now, in July). Any support you can express for the council’s proposals to the Mayor of London or Transport for London directly would help support our bid.
If funding is forthcoming, we will develop designs to create high quality routes. These could include segregation and other safety features. However, careful consideration will need to be given to any significant traffic displacement onto nearby residential roads. It is therefore crucial that all schemes that propose improvements are subject to extensive public consultation to allow local residents the opportunity to influence the types of improvements that are delivered, and to build support for any changes to local roads that impact on the local community.
Islington Labour will take onboard the suggestions you have made and we will look to act on them where we can. We would appreciate it if you could update the LCC website accordingly to reflect our support for cycling in the borough.
Islington Labour councillors, including myself, speak and meet regularly with John Ackers and other members of Islington Cyclists Action Group and with Tom Bogdanowicz and others from the London Cycling Campaign. We want to continue to work closely with you as we work together to make Islington as safe and welcoming for cyclists and pedestrians as possible.
Cllr Andy Hull on behalf of Islington Labour’s council candidates 2014
The candidates for in Islington Liberal Democrat ward are responding to individual voters.
Islington Liberal Democrats
LibDem John Gilbert writes to Alison Dines:
Thank you for your recent email about the ‘Safe Space for Cycling’ campaign.
As a long-standing member of the London Cycling Campaign and a regular cyclist myself, I am writing on behalf of all three Liberal Democrat candidates in Highbury East ward – Terry Stacy, Julie Horten and myself, John Gilbert – to confirm our support for London Cycling Campaign’s proposal to provide protected cycling space at Highbury roundabout. We have also let the London Cycling Campaign know that we back their proposals.
We know from personal experience that the current dangerous situation for cyclists at the roundabout needs to end. Liberal Democrats in Highbury have been calling for improvements here for some time now. When we ran the Council until 2010, we specifically set aside £1million to help remove the gyratory system at Highbury Corner and improve public access to Highbury & Islington station. This included a new public square in front of the station, access to the green area at the centre of the roundabout, as well as cycle lanes separate from the rest of the traffic. It is good news that the Mayor of London has finally agreed to progress this scheme in conjunction with works for the new Cycle Super Highway along Holloway Road.
We have also been involved in other campaigns to make cycling easier and safer in Highbury, such as:
new, secure bike parking facilities at Highbury Corner, Taverner and Peckett Squares
safer cycle paths in Drayton Park
improvements to the dangerous junction for cyclists and pedestrians at Holloway Road/Fieldway Crescent/Madras Place, on which we worked with community groups.
calling on the Council and Police to enforce the borough-wide 20mph speed limit
making the Council fill in potholes throughout the area, including our recent successes on Sotheby Road, Highbury Grange and Highbury New Park
While there has been a welcome rise in the number of cyclists in Islington and London generally, there is so much more that the Council could do though to make cycling more attractive and safer for Highbury residents.
In our manifesto for the elections on May 22nd, one of Islington Liberal Democrats’ key commitments is to extend the London Cycle Hire scheme across Islington. This would encourage more residents to start cycling, improve health and fitness and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
We are also calling for the Council to use more of the money it makes from traffic fines and parking tickets on safer cycle facilities around the borough, such as improved junctions and segregated cycle paths. There is, of course, a need to work closely with Transport for London on the roads they manage, but the Council could also be doing much more itself. It was wrong of Labour councillors to axe the funding to make key junctions safer in their first budget after they took control in Islington in 2010.
I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if you would like any further information.
With all best wishes
Islington Green Party
Islington Green Party is responding centrally to individual voters.
21 Apr 2014
Thank you for contacting us about the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for Space for Cycling.
As you will have seen from the LCC map, Islington Green Party is already supporting all 16 ward asks for Islington. Candidates standing for Islington Greens have a consistent track record on active cycle campaigning, including improving the Madras Place crossing, the Londoners on Bikes Mayoral Election campaign 2012 and supporting LCC campaign rides and Roadpeace vigils across London. We care about cycling as much as you do.
The Green Party has a comprehensive range of policies supporting active travel and prioritising the movement of people on bikes and on foot over that of vehicles. We see safer streets for cycling as part of the solution to reducing road danger, air pollution and carbon emissions and making our city more liveable.
Just today, Green MEP Jean Lambert has voted to introduce EU measures which will make cyclists more visible to lorry drivers. The Parliament also voted to postpone measures which would give the go-ahead to the cross-border movement of huge mega-trucks. Greens have been fighting hard to ensure that such measures were rejected, which would have put the HGV lobby before the interests of wider road-users.
Over fourteen years on the London Assembly, Jenny Jones AM has championed the cycling cause and demonstrated the commitment of Green politicians to meeting the needs of vulnerable road users.
Islington Green Party Councillor Katie Dawson (Highbury West 2006 – 2010) introduced the 20mph limit on all our residential roads. Islington Greens campaigned and successfully made the case for 20mph limits on our main roads on the basis that the majority of serious collisions happen on main roads. We are now pressing TfL to bring 20mph limits to the Mayor’s roads.
Highbury East candidate Caroline Russell raised the issue of Lorry danger reduction in the Council chamber and we were very pleased that the Labour-led council took action to ensure all HGV drivers working on contracts in the borough undertake training.
Since the last election, Labour has introduced over 800 additional parking bays across the borough, despite car ownership levels going down year on year. The latest census shows only 35% of Islington residents have access to a car or van and the council’s policies should reflect that. Labour just don’t get that encouraging car use is the wrong solution for transport in islington.
Any elected Islington Greens will work with local residents and Islington Cyclists’ Action Group to help make our streets more people-friendly, less vehicle-dominated, and great places to walk and cycle.
We care about cycling as much as you do. VOTE GREEN in Islington on 22nd May.
Thanks to everyone who turned up for the feeder ride and made it so good. Special thanks go to Nick for the route and Sergeant Kendall and his team from Islington Safer Transport Team – we haven’t had a police escort van before! Congratulations to Suzy for a fine speech and Jono for winning the ‘Evans’ Prize. Photos still on their way…
Amazing! 124 of 177 Islington candidates have supported Space for Cycling. We’re second borough at 70.6% on May 21. 240 of 242 Hackney candidates signed up – giving them the top percentage of 99.17%. All impressive. 112 of 225 Camden candidates committed to Space for Cycling, giving that borough a score of 49.78%.
Since the launch, over 82,256 emails have been sent from all over London – by 18.30 on the eve of the polls. Look at the LCC site to see the number updating.
Once the elections are over, we may move into another phase. We could find ourselves writing to the ward councillors to honour their promises…
At the LCC office, volunteers are working hard to keep the website up-to-date. You may have to adjust the view on your computer (Zoom out) to see the pages properly. On the page for each ward, is the “ask” and it also displays the percentage of candidates who are supporting the “ask.”
UPDATE: Just in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen our more recent blog posts, we want to be clear that Islington Labour are now supporting some of our asks, which is great news. In fact, it is worth saying that they have been very open and honest about their views with us, which we are particularly grateful for.
They have made clear that they are committed to working with TfL to install protected space4cycling in Archway, Nags Head, and Highbury Corner. Thank you to all the candidates in these wards for supporting what could be major improvements for Islington. With properly designed segregated tracks, these junctions may be accessible to anyone wanting to use a bike in the not too distant future.
In the week of the election though, not all Labour candidates support our space4cycling requests, so if you havent done so already, do email them as its not too late to try to change their mind.
Last week, Islington Labour released their manifesto for the May elections. We at ICAG couldn’t help noticing that it doesn’t really understand the benefits that an active travel approach would have for Islington.
Of course, we recognise it’s a bit late to change the manifesto so instead, we’re asking the Labour candidates to commit to implement the #space4cycling asks in each ward.
Disappointingly Labour candidates have not yet signed up to support our campaign, despite our “asks” being the easiest way to meet many of their stated objectives.
Lets hope we can persuade them to join the thousands of Islington residents who do want #space4cycling.
Continue reading to see how supporting our cycling asks could add some real substance to Labour’s promises.
Cost of living – cutting energy bills through insulation programmes and building new local power stations, and providing free school meals to all primary school children
Oops, they forgot transport! With average travel costs in excess of £1000 a year, Labour could really help residents with the cost of living if they made it possible for everyone to walk and cycle, which after all, are practically free.
Islington council has already had to close a budget gap of £112 million since 2010…We are expecting further cuts of £34 million in 2015/16 alone. Islington is facing more severe cuts that most parts of the country,
Investing in getting more people walking and cycling is one of the best ways of saving money. The health service could save millions for instance. And with more people cycling than driving, the council would also save on road maintenance.
But we know that times are tough for small businesses and we will work with small business owners to make sure they have the support they need.
Comfortable cycle routes to and from small businesses would help as cycle tracks are known to boost trade and attract the best workers.
The cost of travel in London is a major burden on people on low and middle incomes. We will continue to campaign against unfair increases in public transport fares.
They can do so much more than campaign on price increases. They could provide an almost free alternative to public transport by committing to the #space4cycling aks and investing in walking and cycling routes which anyone can use without fear (the biggest barrier to cycling in London).
Islington has the lowest amount of open space of any borough in London. We will look after our parks, adventure playgrounds and other open spaces so that children have safe places to play. We will also make it easier for residents to close their streets to traffic on particular days to create ‘play streets’.
One of the key #space4cyling asks is to remove through motor traffic on certain streets. Not only would this create safe cycling routes, but it would also create spaces to play so that children can play on these streets every day.
Too many elderly people face loneliness and isolation, and the council will continue to focus on helping elderly and vulnerable people stay active and connected. We will campaign to protect the Freedom Pass so that older people can get out and about, and we will protect funding for free swimming for older people
One of the simplest and most effective actions the council could do is make the roads safer and more comfortable for elderly people to walk and cycle. This means separating walking and cycling routes from busy traffic areas by closing residential streets to through traffic, installing more seating areas, and providing protected cycle tracks on busy roads which makes the streets navigable by those of us with slower reaction speeds.
We will use the council’s new responsibilities for public health to tackle health problems early and promote healthy lifestyles. For example, we will use our public health funding to invest in stronger health services for young children and new parents, and to support sports programmes for young people.
All the biggest health problems faced by Islington residents would be tackled by more cycling and walking. That’s why the most effective and lasting health policy would be to sign up to the #space4cycling asks.
Air quality has been improving in Islington but is still not good enough, particularly along our main roads. Poor air quality is a major health risk as it can cause childhood asthma and other respiratory problems. We will campaign to force the Mayor of London to take action to improve air quality in the borough, for example by tightening up emissions standards for taxis, HGVs and buses.
95% of roads are owned by the council. There are plenty of things the council can do alongside TfL. Making #space4cycling on side roads would encourage an awful lot of people out of their polluting cars and buses. Replacing car parking with bike parking or wider pavements would also encourage people out of their cars.
We are proud of our record as the first borough in the country to introduce a 20 mile per hour speed limit on all our roads. This makes our roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and brings both health and environmental benefits. We will work with local police to ensure that this new limit is observed throughout the borough. Encouraging more people to walk and cycle will help improve residents’ health, cut emissions and improve air quality.
You can add in that it will save the council and individuals money too, as well as boost business.
We have introduced new planning rules to make sure that new developments are car-free (except for blue badge holders and car clubs) and we are fitting more bike stands and stores to encourage residents to cycle.
While you’re at it, hows about more safe cycle racks at places we might want to go? Highbury and Islington, Angel – demand for racks is way outstripping supply but no there doesn’t seem to be any plans to do anything about it.
Islington Labour is committed to making cycling and walking in the borough safer so that residents have the confidence to leave their cars behind. By summer 2014, all of the council’s own HGV drivers will have attended safe urban driving training and we will require all major new council contractors and major developers operating in the borough to do the same. The council plans to achieve silver accreditation under the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (which sets out safety requirements beyond the legal minimum for the council’s own vehicles) by summer 2014, followed by action to achieve gold status.
OK, but most HGVs in the borough are coming through it. And no mention of subjective safety – HGVs aren’t a main reason people don’t want to walk or cycle – bikes need to be separated from all motor vehicles including buses: so build protected bike tracks and close roads to through motor traffic as the #space4cycling campaign calls for.
Main roads and large roundabouts in Islington are controlled by Transport for London, and these are where most accidents occur and also where air quality is particularly bad. We will lobby Transport for London to introduce 20 mile per hour speed limits on their roads in Islington and improve cycle safety on the roads they manage. We will work with Transport for London to review the operation of all major roundabouts in Islington to make sure they are working as best they can for Islington’s residents, including cyclists and pedestrians.
The council controls 95% of roads. Sure, lobby TfL, but get on with your own stuff too! Its worth pointing out that Islington Labour have had numerous opportunities to encourage TfL to improve the roads for cyclists, but they haven’t taken them. The redesign of the Nags Head is a current example: Labour councillors prefer a scheme which doesn’t improve the area for cycling at all. We look forward to this change in policy.
Our long- term aspiration is to remove the major gyratories in the borough.
Removing gyratories is no good unless you provide deliberate cycling infrastructure and better walking provision as well. Several of our #space4cycling asks involve making these gyratories cycleable, so why not sign up to make the commitment now?
The idea of this slideshow is to show the volume of cyclists using Old Street – Clerkenwell Road route. Seeing is believing – 22 shots to support the need for improvements for cyclists along this route…
Seeing as you ask…these shots were taken between 6.10 and 6.35pm on June 25 2014 at the traffic lights, junction Old Street, Helmet Row and Whitecross Street. I’ll leave someone else to count the total of cyclists! Note: lots of cycle helmets, but little or no lycra, nor hi-vis jackets.
A few weeks ago I went to a talk by Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor of London’s Cycling commissioner. Andrew is charged with turning the Mayor’s ‘Vision for Cycling’ into reality. It was very exciting hearing someone with serious political power talking about Transport for London’s plans to build a comprehensive network of cycle routes, with segregation where needed. He made it clear that as well as the headline grabbing routes, the majority of the network will be based on local borough roads.
His primary mission is to develop linked up routes, allowing non-cyclists to see that riding is a safe and convenient way to travel. As part of that network, the whole one way system between Finsbury Park and Holloway may be re-engineered. How this happens is up for debate.
I would argue for the inclusion of two-way, fully segregated cycle tracks, designed to Dutch standards.
By giving cycling it’s own dedicated lanes you enable children to ride to school and the elderly to use bikes to get around
It encourages better behaviour by cyclists using the streets. Again by having a space which is safer to use, they are less likely to ride on pavements. Traffic signals can be phased to cycling speeds, with less temptation to jump red lights.
It’s good for motorised traffic. Drivers have fewer cyclists filtering around vehicles.
If we want lots more people cycling, we need direct and visible routes to where people want to go. It’s no good just offering quiet back routes. They can sometimes be less direct and harder to navigate. In addition, destinations are usually on the high-street. Shops, cinemas and libraries are all places where people go locally. These are all on main roads.
What is clear is that if London wants to become more liveable, cycling has got to be regarded as a natural, simple and economic method of transport. We need to develop joined up continuous networks. As cycling advocates, we should be requesting and sometimes demanding facilities for people who don’t feel able to ride. It can be difficult to imagine a mass cycling culture, but for people who have seen it, the contrast between those streets and London roads is stark. Yes, lots of changes need to be made, but TfL and the DfT are making changes to UK laws to allow re-engineering of roads to work more like European systems.
Compare Seven Sisters Road with a Dutch city street
Returning Seven Sisters Road to 2 way operation rather than taking the opportunity to incorporate proper ‘Dutch’ design infrastructure would in my view be a mistake. If you want to see what Seven Sisters Road would look like if it were two way, then just head to Finsbury Park. This is no pedestrian paradise. Or take a trip up to Green Lanes, shopping city.
Making routes people and cycle friendly is of course much better for both the physical environment but also the economics of the area. Many studies have shown that with increased footfall and cycling usage, shops benefit from an increase in revenues.
Islington’s Air Quality is very poor. The borough suffers from worse air pollution than the London average with over 50% higher levels of dangerous airborne particles than the World Health Organisation limits.
In conclusion, the moment to push cycling forward properly is now. The Mayor has said ‘Cycling will be treated not as niche, marginal, or an afterthought, but as what it is: an integral part of the transport network, with the capital spending, road space and traffic planners’ attention befitting that Role’.
Islington along with Hackney and Haringey Councils have said as part of a tri-borough ‘Accord’ they want to encourage walking and cycling for local residents and visitors. This should include joint working with TfL to improve pedestrian and cycling links across Seven Sisters Road.
London Cycling Campaign has been extremely clear on creating ‘Dutch’ style conditions, and it became their principle campaign last year.They got complete support from all the Mayoral candidates, who all agreed to back the campaign demands. 40,000 people signed the campaign, showing that there is a huge demand for safer cycling conditions. The Cycling Touring Club has very similar views.
We should not be so hasty as to want to remove the one way system if this diminishes the ability to implement proper cycle routes and improve the quality of the local environment. We must not squander this opportunity to create real change.