Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Emirates tour on the cards (and imminent rides)

Looks as though Southwark's Travel Planning Advisor has managed to get Kennington pupils offered a free tour of Arsenal's Emirates stadium.....if they cycle up there.

I'm sure this will be really popular.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, Wed 28th sees a Dr Bike at LBTS and a group riding induction session. Hopefully some adult volunteers for a marshall training session. On Friday 30th we have our first group ride - up LCN3, over Southwark Bridge, along to climb the Monument, then back over London Bridge and along the Thames past the Golden Hinde, Tate Modern, the London Eye etc.

Bank Holiday Monday sees a ride to view the Olympic Site, and Tuesday a ride to Harrods!

To find out more email pedalpowerkennington (at) Googlemail.com

Saturday, 24 April 2010

One-way to Two-way to complement Cycle Hire

Excellent news that the following are to be made two-way for cyclists by August 2010:
Vauxhall Walk, Newburn Street, Glasshouse Walk, Orsett Street and Aveline Street/Wynward Terrace/Brangton Road.
This is according to a Dec 09 TfL document (London Cycle Hire Scheme: Complementary Measures Scheme).

Let's hope we can get the rest done in a few more months.

TfL are also sorting out the entrance to Belvedere Road off Westminster Bridge Road.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Nearly there with rides and contracts

Zipped over to WTW school to talk through cycle training; spoke to Sheila at the Sports Action Zone and Jeanne at WTW about the nitty gritty of the space hire contract; over to Lilian Baylis Technology School to talk through consent forms and ride publicity with Jeremy Drinkall; rode the proposed route of the first group ride with Ola Lawal. It's a fantastic ride past so many London tourist attractions it's not true, plus (if we get a move on) we'll be able to climb the Monument before returning.

London's Walking and Cycling Conference

Smartmoves is organised by TfL as an annual conference and get together of people working for those areas. There were excellent speakers, Question & Answer sessions and workshops.

I was able to ask Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor's Director for Transport Policy, whether cars were meant to shrink as a result of 1.5 metre lanes being painted in a normal road lane wide enough a car or van but no more than that (as shown in plans for Cycling Superhighway 7, which goes through Kennington. He replied that car shrinkage would be the ideal outcome but in reality this is a trial and we need to see what happens. I think we can be sure this won't measure up to Dutch standards then.

There was an excellent presentation on the need to have fun, easy and popular things to achieve behavioural change. This video gives the idea:
The rides in Kennnington I'm organising are about having fun and this workshop helped me to improve the description I'm writing.

I also suggested that it was neither fun nor easy to cycle across central London bridges, with their fantastic views, and that this is something TfL could effect change on. There was a promise to follow that up - if we could get a result it would be great for Kennington residents.

Finally, it was a pleasure to meet and chat with Eric Duval and Suzy Harrison who work on sustainable travel for Lambeth. Also, a chance to talk to Holly Bruford from London Sustrans about the project.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Yippee - received draft contract for cycle hub

Sheila Kelly at the Sports Action Zone has sent through the contract and a quote for installing a stud wall in the new Pedal Power cycle hub. Hopefully we can move in shortly - maybe have a session there in the meantime next Wednesday.

A good session with Ola Lawal today, checking through prospective rides etc.

The blots on the day were hearing that Walnut Tree Walk School haven't been able to book cycle lessons for this academic year, and also hearing the school's PTFA didn't get a Sport Relief grant for rides in the country for families.

The good news is that dates are set for training in the autumn term, with the possibility of a course in the summer holidays.

Kate Hoey to sign CTC Vote Bike Manifesto

Kate Hoey (Lab, Current Vauxhall MP standing for re-election) has emailed me, saying that she'll sign up to the Vote Bike manifesto of CTC - the national cyclists' organisation - when her new office broadband is up and running.

Read the manifesto at

Michael Poole-Wilson (Cons) response

Michael dropped by to talk about the issues this evening. In summary:
Will research 20mph - he has no firm view either way currently

In favour personally of keeping existing lessons for primary school children (non-committal about funding all primary school children).

One-way to two-way for cyclists locally - in favour of the idea. Want to check cost and legality - hope/expect these won't be show stoppers

Signage correction - absolutely a priority

Agreed to have a cycle lesson.

As we were chatting I took the opportunity to ask him whether he'd commit to cycling to the town hall for some meetings from Princes Ward. After some deliberation he said he would.

Emily Butterworth (Green Party) response

A) one-way to two-way for cyclists

-- This is something very close to a Green's heart. Yes, provided that the roads are safe enough for two-way cycling, this would be a priority.

B) Ensuring the signage in the ward for London Cycle Network 3 is corrected. Currently most of it is pointing the wrong way.

-- Is it? That's absurd. Yes, absolutely.

C) 20mph speed limit

-- Yes. This is a measure which Greens in other London boroughs have successfully implemented (Islington has a 20mph speed limit on residential streets). I'd like to go further, and define 'residential' as any street where people live - especially important in our ward, dissected by major A-roads. This would also make the roads safer and more pleasant for walking and cycling.

D) Ensuring that local schools are funded to deliver cycle training so that all children get Level 2 (on-road) National Standard Cycle Training and the opportunity to take Level 3.

-- Yes.

E) Take a cycle training lesson with the borough's providers if you have not already done so.

-- Yes; particularly before I start using the Cycle Hire...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Greenway through Kennington

A sunny cycle from the Brockwell Park to Ruskin Park to Myatts Field to Kennington Park to Archbishops Park - a CRIM(Cycle Route Inspection Meeting) for a proposed 'Greenway' to link the parks. Archbishops wasn't included until I recommended it as the route was to end at Albert Embankment. Let's hope the roads linking the parks can gradually become parks themselves with pleasant walking and cycling paths.

Unsurprisingly a recommendation was making several one-way streets in Kennington two-way for cyclists.

Monday, 19 April 2010

My response to Cllr. Morgan


Thank you for your reply and it will be interesting to see what the council have to say. They are likely to be preparing their LIP submission to TfL and, in my view, seeking funding to make Princes Ward a cycling exemplar within the neighbourhood funding scheme would make a lot of sense to TfL.

I wonder whether the complaints you have had from pedestrians in Vauxhall Street are about it being two-way for cyclists or about general inconsiderate road behaviour. A clear advantage of making a street two-way for cyclists is that it likely to result in a reduction of on-pavement cycling.

I consider it important a safety audit is undertaken before effecting change and seek your commitment in-principle to making existing one-way streets two-way for cyclists on that basis.

I have to say that I am not convinced that it necessarily requires a wait for trials elsewhere. Taking your example of Wincott Street. Part of it is two-way currently, with residents' parking permitted on both sides and part one-way, with the same parking permisssion. The road width remains the same. So there would appear to be no reason why drivers would crash into on one part and not the other - apart from not expecting cyclists (or presumably pedestrians or cats etc.) to be in the one-way section. To remove the one-way expectation simply requires the two one-way signs at the Kennington Road entrance of Wincott Street to be removed; conventional two-way give-way road signs and markings; and the one-way arrow on the road to be painted out (leaving the two-way arrow a few metres further on). To permit cyclists requires a sign saying 'except cyclists' to be added below the no-entry signs on Wincott Street by Gilbert Road.

These are cheap highway measures which will help facilitate cycling thus saving council expenditure - fewer motor vehicle journeys means fewer potholes; cycling is a healthy activity reducing NHS costs; NOx and CO2 emissions are reduced resulting in less asthma (and NHS cost and European fines for air pollution) and help achieve Climate Change targets.

And, in the spirit of a 'John Lewis Council' I volunteer to take down/afix the metal signage in Wincott Street as necessary ;-)

You express your concern about accidents. The cheapest way to reduce the number of killed and seriously injured (and save the huge related on-costs to the public purse) is to reduce the speed limit where people live, work and shop to 20mph. This won't dramatically increase motor-vehicle journey times as the acceleration to 30mph normally just brings them to the next red light or traffic jam a little quicker. In terms of improving traffic flow 20mph can (counter-intuitively) have significant benefits on journey time. It also makes the streets much more conducive to walking and cycling.

So, a crucial question - are there people in Princes Ward currently who are not cycling but would like to? At the end of last term a questionnaire was completed by year 8 pupils at Lilian Baylis. 48% of the pupils said they don't currently cycle to school but would like to, with another 17% stating they currently cycle to school on some days.

There is clear potential if we make our area pedestrian and cycle friendly. That doesn't mean getting rid of the car but it does mean making the alternatives as attractive as possible.

I appreciate you taking the time to discuss these issues which have a significant impact on life here and on the electorate. I should say that I am posting the emails with candidates on the Lambeth Cyclists yahoo group and on my new 'Kennington People on Bikes' blog http://kenningtonpob.blogspot.com/

best wishes,


Lab Cllr Morgan's latest thoughts

Depressingly Cllr. Morgan has come back with the following. How can we get the politicians to see the big picture - focussing on cycling means no need for bus subsidy; NHS costs down due to fitter population and fewer NOx emissions; fewer heavy vehicles and less mileage means fewer pot-holes to repair. The costs of supporting cycling by making an area two way and 20mph are slight relative to the overall public sector savings.


I have asked the council all your questions below so we can all see what the council intends to do.

On one-way streets I have had some complaints regarding dangerous cycling on Vauxhall Street from pedestrians so I would not agree it has widespread approval.

It sounds logical for cyclists no tto have to use Kennington Road to make a turn, but what if they come out of Gilbert Road into Wincott street and get hit by a car who does not realise it is 2-way for cyclist. Which is why I want to see the results of the trails to ensure that will not happen.

On 20MPH I was confusing limits with zones. Happy to support but only if it is needed to reduce the levels of accidents and also dependant on the cots involved in changing everything.


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Reply from Mark Harrison - Lab Princes Ward

Dear Charlie

Just to confirm that I am generally very supportive of the ideas you are putting forward to make cycling easier in our area. The main issue will be finding the money to implement these ideas, though you are and Raj are doing a good job of challenging some of lazy speed reduction schemes and parking alterations officers are proposing – hopefully this will bear fruit.

I’m personally strongly supportive of making all Lambeth-controlled roads in the borough 20mph.

Like Steve, I got my cycling proficiency certificate when I was 11. I don’t personally cycle (I prefer to walk) but I’m supportive of those who do.

I won’t be able to attend the hustings in Herne Hill (campaigning in Prince’s ward has to take priority) but would be interested to hear anything coming from it.

Best wishes


Mark Harrison

Labour and Co-operative councillor for Prince's ward

Email: mharrison@lambeth.gov.uk

Reply from Princes Ward Lib Dem candidate

Sandra Lawman's response - the bits in brackets are my reminders of the topics (see the blog with the original email sent for the accurate version)

Dear Charlie,

Thank you for raising this matter.

A) I would need to look at the road widths and original decisions, but see no problem with this in principle. (One-Way to Two-Way for Cyclists)
B) This should be straightforward to sort out. (LCN3 signage correction)
C) I am not sure how deliverable this would be, but would certainly campaign for it (20mph where people live, work and shop)
D) I see no problem with this (Funding for Level 2 cycle training for all pupils and level 3 as requested)
E) By all means. (undertake cycle lesson)

Please contact me if you have any further queries.

Best regards,

Sandra J Lawman

My reply to Cllr Steve Morgan

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your reply and I am pleased that you aim, if elected, to get the LCN3 signage corrected prior to the introduction of the Mayor's Cycle Hire Scheme and that you support funding for every child to receive on-road cycle training.

Re making one-way streets two-way for cyclists, can you please tell me why you need to see the results of tests elsewhere when Sancroft Street, Vauxhall Street and Newburn Street within Princes Ward have successfully been two-way for cyclists for a number of years?

Would you not agree that it would be quicker, less stressful and less dangerous to cycle from Gilbert Road along Wincott Street to the post box, if this were allowed, rather than going around to Reedworth Street, turning right onto the four lane A road, then turning right off the four lane A road? Does the same logic not apply to the other examples I quoted?

Re 20mph, the Association of Chief Police Officers say that t he guidance for a 20mph road is to issue a fixed penalty notice for speeds of 25pmh or more and to report for summons at speeds of 35mph or more. www.acpo.police.uk . This can be made a focus of the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Beyond reducing the number and severity of accidents, a 20mph limit is a significant factor in making active travel, such as cycling, more pleasant with a resulting increase in uptake. Accidents are only part of the health picture. The Government's top health advisor, says cycling must be increased eightfold to combat the public health crisis caused by designing cities around motor vehicles On the state of public health: Annual report of the Chief Medical Officer 2009 (March 2010)

I would draw your attention to the April 2009 London Assembly report 'Braking Point: 20mph speed limits in London' which stated:

"The report found that in areas of London where 20mph zones have been introduced by boroughs and Transport for London (TfL), there has been a 42 per cent reduction in casualties. The report concludes that implementing a borough-wide default 20mph limit all at once may prevent more casualties and prove more cost-effective than the current piecemeal approach of introducing individual zones."

I hope that you or one of your Princes Ward colleagues will be able to attend the Herne Hill hustings on 22nd April which will have a special presentation by the 20's Plenty For Us campaign. It will highlight the issues about speeding traffic in residential roads and what has been achieved elsewhere to reduce this problem.

Published details of the hustings are at:

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely

Charlie Holland

Friday, 16 April 2010

first response (Cllr Steve Morgan, Lab)


A. I would want to see what happened with this test
ne-way-streets.html) and any other tests, before committing to anything.

B. I would support the correct signage across the ward

C. A 20MPH Limit is not enforceable by anyone. We can put up signs, but
the police could not arrest anyone for driving 30MPH in one of those
zones. Therefore, I would need to see how much it cost to implement and
what the figures on accidents were in the ward.

D. I would support this

E. I got my proficiency certificate when I was 11. still have it in my


Cllr Stephen Morgan
Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Princes Ward

Commitments sought from prospective Councillors

This has been emailed to the local candidates that I've been able to find an email address for. I'll post their replies here too.

"I would be grateful if you could advise me what you intend to do if elected to make Princes Ward less intimidating for Active Travel (cycling and walking).

Specific to the ward, I would like to know whether you will commit to:

A) Getting the one-way street network in the ward made two-way for cyclists.

i) children from Archbishop Sumner's Primary School in Reedworth Street cannot cycle home to local streets such as Oakden Street without braving a four-lane A road (beyond the level taught to the children in National Standard training in the school).

ii) residents of Renfrew Road, Gilbert Road, Wincott Street and Reedworth Street cannot cycle on their local streets to a post box or convenience store
without having to cycle on an A road despite local shops and post box being just at the end of Wincott Street.

iii) children cannot cycle on local streets down to Vauxhall City Farm from the Ethelred Estate without having to cycle on an A road that forms part of the ring
road around the Congestion Zone.

B) Ensuring the signage in the ward for London Cycle Network 3 is corrected in advance of the Mayor's Cycle Hire scheme starting in the ward. Currently most of it is pointing the wrong way.

C) Reducing danger, particularly to children, by setting a 20mph speed limit throughout most, if not all, of the ward - the places where people live, work and shop. I am sure you are aware that much of continental Europe has a 30kph (18mph) standard limit in these areas and that research has shown that the likelihood of being killed or seriously injured is significantly reduced where such a limit exists.

D) Ensuring that local schools are funded to deliver cycle training so that all children get Level 2 (on-road) National Standard Cycle Training and the opportunity to take Level 3.

E) Take a cycle training lesson with the borough's providers if you have not already done so.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Charlie Holland"

Moving forwards on the Pedal Power location

Just received a quote for the studwall we need to put in to the space we wish to rent - £1700. Maths to be done. Still awaiting a draft Service Level Agreement which should have arrived by today. Fingers crossed it'll arrive Monday.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Pushing for one-way to become two-way

The Princes Ward Labour Councillors' blog had a piece celebrating new bike stands at Kennington Cross - giving a chance to make a comment pleading for two-way cycling to access them without having to use an A road:
Good to know they're up for pushing for action - I'll be pushing all the local election candidates on this issue.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Picking up plants from Covent Garden Market

Caroline, the Cycling Gardener, had to fill several large pots with plants at a school in Wandsworth. Time to attach panniers and the trailer!

Meeting Ola

A great meeting with Ola on the 1st. It turns out that he was a pupil at Lilian Baylis School. He's got a lot of experience as a mechanic; working with the community; developing volunteers and as a cycle trainer. I hope that we'll be able to include him in the project - it might involve him staying over with his mum at times since he lives in Essex!