Richard Duffill, Cycling Officer, explained that the Council had in October 2015 adopted a cycling strategy. The report updated members on progress made in each area of the strategy. Key developments were:
- The introduction of further 20mph zones which made cycling much safer and more comfortable.
- Significant progress made towards build an upgraded cycle path along the A315, which would be designated as Cycle Superhighway 9.
- An increased number of cycle training opportunities.
- A programme to install hundreds of new cycle parking spaces across the borough, based on resident suggestions.
- Significant progress on the East Acton to Kensington Quietway, construction of which was expected to start in the near future.
- Plans to develop new Quietways from Putney Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge and from Shepherds Bush Green to Hammersmith Broadway. There would also be a new Quietway from Twickenham to Hammersmith which, whilst mostly in other boroughs, would be of significant benefit to residents.
A resident asked whether the new cycle path on the A315 would be bi-directional as King Street was one way from the Gyratory to Bridge Avenue. Richard Duffill said that it would be bi-directional and would not use Beadon or Glenthorne Roads. It was intended that the existing road layout on King Street would not be changed too much with wasted space being used to make room for the cycle path. Designs were still to be drawn up and there would be a full consultation on the proposals, probably starting in the Summer. A resident asked what the likely capacity and usage rate of Cycle Superhighway 9 would be. Richard Duffill said that because of poor connections and facilities the route was currently very lightly used. The new path would be between 3-4 metres wide and that would attract many more cyclists, although it was hard to put a figure to what the usage would be. The theoretical capacity of the route would be around 1,000 bicycles per hour in each direction.
A resident felt that it would be unsafe to have a bi-directional cycle path on the A315 as there were lots of side roads from which vehicles would have to emerge, crossing the cycle path and not necessarily looking both ways. Richard Duffill explained that the route had been designed to cross as few side roads as possible; Transport for London’s design team would be reviewing the plans and checking that they were safe.
A resident noted that the route along the A315 was initially designated as a Quietway and asked why it was now a Cycle Superhighway; she was concerned that a Cycle Superhighway would be less accessible to those who were less confident on their bicycles. Richard Duffill explained that the initially planned route along the A315 had been reviewed by TfL and they had decided that it met Cycle Superhighway design standards. By designating the route as a Cycle Superhighway, more funding would be available to make the route even safer. Mr Duffill explained that the perception of a Cycle Superhighway as being intimidating for less confident cyclists was unwarranted in almost all instances, with any exceptions being in central London at peak times; he did not expect the route along the A315 to be difficult for any cyclist to use.
A resident asked whether it was realistic to increase the number of journeys made by bicycle to 8% of all journeys by 2031. Richard Duffill said that at the moment around 530,000 trips were made by bike in the borough each year. This was about 5% of all journeys and he felt the additional 3% was an ambitious but achievable target.
A resident asked whether there were any plans to promote electric bicycles in the borough. Richard Duffill noted that these were very popular in some parts of Europe, and indeed in hilly areas in the UK, however, their promotion was not a priority for the council as journeys in the borough could be made by the vast majority of people on an ordinary bike. He understood that TfL were considering adding electric bicycles to the Santander Cycles scheme, although this project was in its very early stages.
A resident asked where the Parklet would be in the Brackenbury area. Richard Duffill said that it would probably be near to the Deli, subject to the results of a consultation which was about to be launched. Councillor Hamilton said that he would have welcomed the opportunity to consider the consultation on the parklet at the PAC before it was launched; it was explained that the scheme was of local importance only and that such schemes would not usually be brought to a PAC.
A resident said that secure cycle storage was important for those living in flats. She asked whether she could dare to hope that there would be a bike hangar in every street in the borough. Richard Duffill said that data on where bike hangars were needed was being collated and some would be installed within a month or two. He didn’t think that there would be one in every street, but he hoped that a significant number could be installed. Councillor Harcourt noted that the introduction of bike hangars often meant the loss of a parking bay, which residents needed to be consulted about. A resident asked whether surplus space at Santander Docking Stations could be used to accommodate bike hangars. Richard Duffill replied that it could, however, demand was often from areas where there was little off street space. All of the borough’s docking stations were fairly well used and it would damage the usability of the system if docking stations were removed.
A resident said that changes to Goldhawk Road had made it more difficult to use; she felt that it would discourage people from cycling. Another resident said that getting to Westfield from the South was difficult, and asked what plans existed for a route from Hammersmith to Shepherds Bush. Richard Duffill explained that a new Quietway from Hammersmith to Shepherds Bush was planned, and approaches to Westfield would be considered as part of that.
John Griffiths, Chair of H&F Cyclists, asked whether the Twickenham to Hammersmith Quietway would travel over Hammersmith Bridge. Richard Duffill explained that it would not; the route was expected to join the A315 just to the East of Goldhawk Road having crossed the Thames further to the West.
John Griffiths was concerned that the Westbound cycle lane on Du Cane Road was too narrow and close to other vehicles. Richard Duffill explained that the new Quietway would run to the North of Hammersmith Hospital, allowing those who were not comfortable using Du Cane Road a convenient alternative.
A resident was concerned that there was insufficient provision for cyclists along the New Kings Road; the route was heavily used by commuting cyclists and the lack of space made it an intimidating route for less confident riders. Richard Duffill said that the issue was one he was aware of, although it would not be an easy one to resolve. There were plans to improve facilities in 2017-18 although these were still in the very early stages of planning.
Councillor Cassidy asked whether further Santander docking stations could be installed in the borough. Richard Duffill explained that more docking stations were planned for significant developments such as Old Oak.
Councillor Steve Hamilton asked why the WestTrans Freight Strategy had been appended to the report. Richard Duffill explained that the strategy had been developed during the year, and aimed to reduce the number of lorries using the borough’s roads, thereby making them safer for cyclists
A resident asked whether there were plans to improve cycling facilities on Fulham Broadway as part of the Chelsea FC stadium redevelopment. Richard Duffill said that it was hoped that there would be many improvements but that it was still too early to say what this could mean for Fulham Broadway.
A resident asked whether there were still plans for a ‘flyunder’ in Hammersmith. Richard Duffill explained that a masterplan for Hammersmith Town Centre was currently being drafted as a Supplementary Planning Document; residents were helping to suggest what changes were needed and he understood that a flyunder proposal would be included in the document.