To receive a report from the Head of Transport Policy & Network Management on cycling in the Borough and to understand the perspective of cyclists
The Committee will also be receiving a number of written submissions from local cycling groups and residents
Chris Bainbridge presented the report, which gave an overview of cycling in the borough and current issues and the measures being taken by the Council to improve cyclists safety and encourage cycling.
Hammersmith & Fulham had one of the highest cycling rates in London, at 4% of all journeys compared with 2% for London as a whole. The target was to increase this to 7% by 2031.
The London Cycle Network (plus) had left the borough with a fairly comprehensive network of signed cycle routes. In March 2013, the Mayor of London had launched his cycling vision, which had three main areas:
· a small network of high quality ‘Cycle Super Highways’, targeted at commuters;
· a larger network of ‘Quietways’ mainly using less trafficked streets, suitable for cyclists including those who were less experienced, and
· ‘Mini Hollands’ at selected town centres in Outer London.
The Mayor’s Cycle Hire Scheme was proving popular with some 60 docking stations in the borough. By May 2014, the number of docks and hires in the borough had risen to 78,000.
Mr Bainbridge stated that the main reason people gave for not cycling was concern for their safety. There had been some highly publicised and poignant cyclists’ death in London. Between a third and half of cyclist deaths in the previous three years had been the result of collisions with HGVs. The Council was one of the pioneering boroughs in providing ‘Changing Places’ mutual awareness sessions for cyclists and lorry drivers.
Mr Bainbridge outlined a number of initiatives including the introduction of 20mph speed limits in residential areas. H&F Cyclists had expressed concern about cyclists’ perception of danger on Hammersmith Bridge and had asked the Council to introduce a 20mph limit.
Cycle theft was another deterrent to cycling. The report showed that cycle theft in the borough declined between 2012 and 2013.
Alex Ingram and John Griffiths, representing H&F Cyclists spoke about desired cycle safety improvements across the borough. Mr Ingram referred to areas where people perceived danger and did not cycle, and suggested that more could be done to make these parts of the borough more accessible for cyclists looking for safe routes. The stereotype of confident young male commuters asserting their space on roads was common.
Mr Griffiths spoke about desired safety improvements on Hammersmith Bridge, asking for a 20mph speed limit to be considered.
Mr Bainbridge then responded to these points and other queries and comments.
The Council had to prioritise areas where there were real dangers of collision.
Cycle training was open to children and adults who lived. worked and studied in the borough. Normally two lessons were offered.
There were no current plans to extend the cycle hire scheme or the number of docking stations.
Councillor Stephen Hamilton queried the measures in place to encourage people who perceived cycling as too dangerous, such as creating less dangerous routes across the borough. Mr Ingram suggested that these people required networks at a greater separation from traffic to be enabled to cycle, either protected lanes on roads or routes on quieter streets.
Mr Bainbridge referred to the London Cycle Design Standard whereby existing streets could be given a cyclability rating, indicating those roads where people could cycle quite comfortably. The cycle map of the borough was being updated and the points raised at this meeting would be taken into account.
The Council had bid for funds for a Cycle to School partnership involving a number of schools in the White City area and expected to be notified of the outcome in August.
It was not safe to encourage cycling in all area. Wormwood Scrubbs and along the Thames or canal were recommended for less confident cyclists.
Councillor Hamilton suggested that measures to slow down traffic at junctions might be more effective than 20mph speed limits, as physical measures to slow down traffic had been shown to reduce accidents.
Councillor Phipps suggested that cycling could be encouraged by keeping open parks until dusk.
Mr Griffiths queried the impact of the Hammersmith Bridge changes. Mr Bainbridge responded that further work would be required. Mr Griffiths referred to the H&F Cyclists survey which found that many cyclists found the four pinch points on the bridge very intimidating, and many would not cycle across on the roadway. Where the bridge was narrow, cyclists were expected to ride in the middle lane. This could feel very threatening with a 30mph traffic speed limit. The survey had recommended that a 20 mph speed limit be imposed on the bridge as soon as possible.
H&F Cycles had been consulted on the position of the logos, but were unhappy with the consultation and hoped that future consultations would be much better.
The Chair proposed that council officers looked into a number of priority areas and reported back.
1. The following areas be assessed and reported back to the Committee:
· Cycle safety on the Hammersmith gyratory
· The benefit of introducing 20mph zones
· Safety improvements for cyclists on Hammersmith Bridge
· Creating a new borough cycling map with routes graded according to cycle safety
2. The committee recommended that in the longer term a cycling forum of interest groups be established.
Mr Ingram agreed to let members know if there were any meetings scheduled by the cycling forums in other boroughs.