The Transport Committee of the London Assembly was tasked with investigating cycling in London at its meeting on 14 June 2012. The aim was threefold: to understand the issues facing current cyclists and the barriers to potential cyclists; to examine the plans proposed by the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to improve cycling safety and increase cycling modal share; and to generate recommendations to the Mayor and TfL to improve the cycling environment and cycle safety in London. Their report, Gearing Up, has just been released and here we quickly pick out some highlights of specific importance for King’s Cross.
The committee comprises:
- Caroline Pidgeon, Chair Liberal Democrat
- Valerie Shawcross, Deputy Chair Labour
- Jennette Arnold Labour
- Victoria Borwick Conservative
- Tom Copley Labour
- Andrew Dismore Labour
- Roger Evans Conservative
- Darren Johnson Green
- Joanne McCartney Labour
- Steve O’Connell Conservative
- Murad Qureshi Labour
- Richard Tracey Conservative
On first reading it’s a report that appears not to pull its punches. Clear in its message that London needs to take action and fast. It’s timely too. Right now Transport for London is consulting on the changes it will propose to the road system in King’s Cross. This report certainly appears to summarise the vast majority of changes our community has wanted for many, many years and more. Importantly it includes a very clear and highly appropriate timetable against which the Mayor and TfL should report progress including:
Which gyratories will be replaced and when [this might include the entire King’s Cross one way system].
How the Metropolitan Police will be required to enforce 20 mile an hour speed limits.
Impact of the changes made to the initial 35 junctions in the current junction review [this includes the junction at Euston Road/York Way/Pentonville Road/Gray’s Inn Road].
The report makes for exciting reading in light of the positive recommendations it makes. At the same time it gives a clear analysis of why such radical action needs to be taken so quickly stating,
“London has witnessed an increase in the number of cycling casualties over the last 10 years. TfL’s data show that while there was a slight decline in all degrees of cycling casualties in London between 2001 and 2005, the number of cycling casualties – in absolute terms – has increased since 2006. The rise since 2006 has occurred across all types of cycling casualty: slight, serious and fatal. The number of cycling casualties rose by 50 per cent between 2006 and 2011.”
Graph 2: Relationship between fatal casualties and distance cycled
Out of the seven recommendations made in Gearing Up the following really jumped out at me as I read through:
The Mayor and TfL should commit to introducing fundamental cycle safety improvements to the junctions included in the junction review.
The junction review should be able to demonstrate substantial and
innovative changes to the space and protection given to cyclists at the
junctions. The changes should take account of best practice in
Denmark and the Netherlands, and be in line with the Mayor’s
commitment to Love London Go Dutch. The Mayor and TfL should
provide the Committee with information by February 2013 on how it
will ensure the 35 junctions to be completed by the end of 2013 will
match these objectives. They should also demonstrate how cyclists’
views and concerns have been taken on board in the consultation
process. In December 2013, the Mayor and TfL should report back to
the Committee on the impact of the changes made to the initial 35
The Mayor and TfL should prioritise the removal of remaining one-way gyratory systems in the junction review. The Mayor and TfL should report to the Committee by February 2013 on which gyratories it will
replace and when.
In the junction review, the Mayor and TfL should examine the case for introducing 20mph limits at more junctions. TfL should consider
trialling 20mph zones on TfL-controlled roads near existing 20mph
zones. TfL could use pilot 20mph zones to assess the impact they
have on the road network, to inform any wider rollout in future. The
Mayor and TfL should report back to the Committee on this proposal
by February 2013.
The Mayor and TfL should reassess the space allocated to cycling in the design of cycle route and junction infrastructure.
Where there is existing provision for the Mayor and TfL to use
innovative road design and technological solutions to improve cycle safety, they should do so.
TfL should report back to the Committee by February 2013 on the
steps it is taking with the MPS on cycling safety, including:
how the MPS Cycle Task Force will increase enforcement activity
along busy cycle routes and at collision hotspots; how the MPS plans to enforce 20mph as the number of 20mph zones increases across London…