This report gives what will be an annual update on developments in cycling in the borough. It covers the period since the report to PAC on the subject in February 2015.
Richard Duffill explained that he felt the borough had shown a real commitment to cycling. This was he thought exemplified by the adoption of the new cycling strategy, his employment as cycling officer and the appointment of Councillor Cassidy as Cycling Champion. Now that the Cycling Strategy had been launched he explained that he intended to bring a report on progress back to the committee annually.
Richard Duffill noted that Hammersmith and Fulham had one of the highest numbers of cycle journeys in London, and that the target to increase the share of journeys from 5 to 8 percent was therefore quite a challenging one. The infrastructure for cycling in the borough was on the whole quite good, but major junctions were quite intimidating and so these were key areas to improve. Hammersmith Gyratory had been identified by Transport for London as particularly bad and had been included in TfL’s better junction’s project. Richard Duffill also noted that there was limited funding available for infrastructure improvements and felt that this needed to be communicated better to residents. A network of quietways was being developed to encourage less confident cyclists to use their bikes, and to reduce the number of cyclists using more dangerous routes. The borough also ran cycle training courses and 173 adults had been trained in 2014/15 and further opportunities would be offered over the coming year. Bicycle maintenance classes had also been run for over 100 people over the past year, whilst about 600 children had been trained to level 2 of the bikeability scheme, meaning that they could ride safely on a quiet street.
The Chair asked what was being done to improve the availability of bicycle parking in the borough. Richard Duffill explained that there were about 2,000 spaces in the borough with 100 having been installed in the last year. There were also 100 requests for more parking or new locations which he was dealing with. He felt that some of the borough’s cycle parking was not located where it was needed, and also hoped to install secure cycle units, especially on council estates.
Councillor Dewhirst asked about difficulties in cyclists and pedestrians trying to use the Thames Path and asked what was being done. Richard Duffill explained that the cycle route along the path avoided pinch points as far as possible by using diversions. He hoped to improve signage of these and encourage their use as they were generally faster than trying to ride through narrower sections of the path.
Councillor Dewhirst asked whether there were plans to increase the number of cycle hire docking stations in the borough. Chris Bainbridge explained that the borough was pressing TfL to install more docking stations in the borough, but that they were not currently keen on expanding the network. Where larger developments were taking place the borough sought to have docking stations installed as part of these.
Councillor Holder asked what additional cycle training for children took place beyond level two of the Bikeability Scheme. Richard Duffill explained that no further training was currently offered, noting that this was a problem across the country, not just in Hammersmith and Fulham. He felt that training teenagers was a good opportunity to promote responsible cycling and agreed to raise the matter with TfL. Lynne Seveke, Chair of H&F Cyclists said that she would ensure that some of their led rides were targeted at teenagers.
David Millar said that Cyclists riding on pavements had been raised as a concern at a Safer Neighbourhoods Board meeting. Councillor Harcourt explained that tackling illegality was a part of the borough’s cycling strategy.
John Griffiths explained that he had recently met with Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor of London’s Cycling Commissioner, and that he was concerned about cycle links between Hammersmith Gyratory and Hammersmith Bridge. Richard Duffill explained that the issue had been raised with the TfL team looking at the gyratory, and that they were aware of the high volume of cyclists using the route.
That the report be noted.