LC Monthly Meeting 6.30pm 16th April Catford Constitutional, Catford

All are welcome at the Lewisham Cyclists monthly meeting held on the third Wednesday of each month. These meetings are fairly informal and it’s a good opportunity to hear about the current local campaigns and influence their direction. This month we are trialling an eclectic and historic new venue: http://catfordconstitutionalclub.com/ so please come along to check it out…

Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists (LC) Meeting

Wednesday 16th April 2014 at 6.30pm

Catford Constitutional, Catford Broadway. SE6 4SP

1) Apologies and Welcome
2) Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
3) Space4Cycling/2014 Local Elections Campaign
a) Organisation of LC local event on Saturday 26th April on Ladywell Fields.
b) Deptford Bridge as Brockley ‘Ask’.
4) Current issues:
a) Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment/temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
b) Elephant & Castle roundabout redevelopment – TfL consultation deadline 30th April.
c) Deal’s Gateway improvements – TfL consultation deadline 18th April.
d) Somertrees Avenue ‘improvements’.
5) Long term campaign updates:
a. CS5 and its proposed extension to Lewisham
b. Lewisham Gateway and Thurston Road developments
c. Quietway route 2 progress (London Bridge to Greenwich via Deptford)
6) A.O.B

Tim C. (Secretary)

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Deptford Bridge Junction: Do TfL think this is safe enough?

At Lewisham Cyclists, we have been wondering just what the omission of Deptford Bridge from TfL’s revised list of junctions that will be reviewed with a view to redevelopment, actually means.  In fact, not one junction in Lewisham made it on to that list of 33. Andrew Gilligan did warn us that the original list of 100 would be reduced, when he visited our meeting last year. He stated then that it was better to spend more money on fewer junctions and do a good job, than spread the money available thinly and end up wasting it on sub standard and inadequate changes. But, when not one junction in a borough with its fair share of dangerous, busy and badly designed road systems is on that final list, the message, in the absence of any explanation, seems to be that maybe TfL has forgotten Lewisham.  Or possibly they believe we don’t really mind these most dangerous, dirtiest and polluted spaces in our borough.

Schoolchildren have to make a guess at when it's safe to cross, then run for it in the gaps.  Not one pedestrian crossing on this whole, massive, very busy junction. Unbelieveable, but true!

Schoolchildren have to make a guess at when it’s safe to cross, then run for it in the gaps. Not one pedestrian crossing on this whole, massive, very busy junction. Unbelieveable, but true!

 

Well, we, the local cyclists and pedestrians who have to use it, and the even greater numbers of us who deliberately avoid using it because it is so awful, want to make sure that TfL realise that it is that bad.  More than bad. And we do mind it.  Very, very much.  And we want to make sure TfL don’t forget about it and what it does to the community it severs so violently and dramatically with, in some sections, eight lanes for motor traffic across its whole width.

 

Darren Johnson, Green Party councillor and Assembly member, agrees with us. Which is why he asked us along to a photoshoot in the hope of flagging up to TfL just how bad the junction is and how serious and damaging its effect on the local community is.

It’s bad enough for cyclists to negotiate…there is not one single manoeuvre on this junction that doesn’t present serious risks.   We’re all used to the danger presented by crossing lanes to make right turns…that’s magnified here in places where so many lanes have to be crossed to get into the correct position to turn.    However, merely travelling straight on can be a problem, with so many lanes to deal with, and even a simple left turn isn’t that simple, when it’s from a crowded, narrow feeder street like Brookmill Rd where one can be squeezed dangerously as cars accelerate out on to the much wider junction roads.

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An ASL, but 4 lanes of traffic to cross if you are turning right! No wonder this cyclist seems confused.

 

So, tough enough on a bike, but if you want to walk across, just as, if not even more, dangerous and intimidating.  While we were standing on an island in the middle of the junction, we witnessed a mother crossing the road with her young children…constantly on the alert, eyes everywhere,  she had to be aware of traffic from three or four directions at once and make a split second judgement about when to go for the safety of the next pedestrian refuge and then do the same again for the next stage of the road….three times she had to do this, before getting across the whole junction.  At no point anywhere on this junction is there any assistance for pedestrians, not one pedestrian light signal anywhere.  Yet all around the area are flats, shops, houses, schools, parks, a busy DLR station and important bus routes.  It’s a lively, thriving community, completely blighted by this terribly designed junction.

Wait for the gap, fingers crossed and go for it!  While the rest of us huddle, squeezed in between lanes of fast moving heavy motor traffic and wait for the next time...no pedstrian light phase or crossings anywhere at this junction to help.

Wait for the gap, fingers crossed and go for it! While the rest of us huddle, squeezed in between lanes of fast moving heavy motor traffic and wait for the next time…no pedestrian light phase or crossings anywhere at this junction to help.

 

We have already commented in an earlier post that Tfl still hope to run an extension to CS5 through to Lewisham.  And we know that the route they are considering would run through this junction.  It’s not a done deal though…we are awaiting the results of the feasibility studies they are doing.  What we would emphasise very strongly, is that, whether or not a CS5 extension goes through here or not,  Tfl must attend to Deptford Bridge.  And not just to make one route through it safer for cyclists.  To make it part of its community again…a link to the different parts of New Cross, Deptford and Lewisham for everyone, incorporating pleasant traffic free spaces for bikes and people.   It will always be a busy place we know, but it can be a space where motor traffic is calmed and controlled sufficiently, to make moving through it on foot or by bike, easier, safer and a whole lot more pleasant and attractive than it is now. A space which becomes part of the community environment to which it truly belongs, rather than a multi lane speed track which slices that community in two and forces its residents to risk their safety and that of their children every day, and to accept that risk without question. Well, we are questioning it, as loudly and as frequently as we can. Until those that have the power to change things for the better accept their responsibility and start to act.

If you want to help us get in touch on lewishamcyclists@gmail.com and think about joining the London Cycling Campaign http://lcc.org.uk/pages/membership-and-benefits

Thanks to Mike Cavenett from the LCC for the photographs.

Agenda for LC Monthly Meeting 6.30pm 19th March Dog and Bell, Deptford

All are welcome at the Lewisham Cyclists monthly meeting held on the third Wednesday of each month in our favourite Lewisham pub. These meetings are fairly informal and it’s a good opportunity to hear about the current local campaigns and influence their direction. Please come along…

Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists Meeting

Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 6.30pm

Dog and Bell Public House, 116 Prince St, Deptford, SE8 3JD

1) Apologies and Welcome
2) Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
3) Space4Cycling/2014 Local Elections Campaign.
4) Financial & Budgetary Report for 2013/2014
5) Assorted current issues:
a) Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment and temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
b) Elephant & Castle roundabout redevelopment – TfL consultation.
6) Campaigning updates:
a. CS5 and its proposed extension to Lewisham
b. Lewisham Gateway and Thurston Road developments
c. Quietway route 2 progress (London Bridge to Greenwich via Deptford)
7) A.O.B

Tim C. (Secretary)

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Lots of meetings, talking, press releases: Now it’s time for action!

Boris was off again yesterday…another PR exercise designed to convince us that things are about to start changing for the better on our local streets…this time it was the announcement of the “mini Hollands” boroughs.

We local campaigners across London have also been working hard, holding our own meetings, making our own press releases as part of the Space4Cycling campaign.  You can check what we in Lewisham have come up with, after our own public meetings, discussing the issues with as many of Lewisham’s residents as we could.  All the information and proposals we amassed can be found here,  with a handy spreadsheet first, listing all the suggestions people made at our public meeting and then the actual demands listed ward by ward  http://lewishamcyclists.co.uk/campaign-update/space4cycling-ward-demands/

Although we have only selected one idea per ward this time, the other ideas will become part of our campaigning programme for the future, if they prove workable.  Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to come along…change for the better needs us all to keep thinking, talking and asking.

Mind you, I do think we have done more than our fair share of all three, as well as an awful lot of listening, over the years of Boris’ mayoralty.  Action on the ground so far has been pretty scarce and the quality of what appeared on the ground, well, patchy would be a generous description of its success.  Boris and Tfl desperately need to deliver something big, something good to Londoners in terms of cycling in the near future and we desperately need to see it and use it.  As well as the mini Hollands, (which don’t affect Lewisham directly) two quietways are due, one of which will run through Lewisham, and an extension to CS5 for Lewisham.  The latter has caused much controversy and dissent amongst local campaigners.  But it is in the planning stages and we should see signs of all this new infrastructure, before the year is out.

Let’s hope what is delivered lives up to all the hype.

 

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CS5 update

As we said a while back, Tfl had arranged to meet with us in the New Year to update us on their plans for CS5, specifically the section from New Cross to Lewisham.

Now, this in itself is a matter of some dissension amongst local cyclists.  Some want TfL to grasp the nettle, and drive it straight along the main road, through New Cross and down Lewisham Way and Loampit Vale, doing whatever it takes to make it safe and efficient.  Others think that they should abandon the plan to take it all the way to Lewisham,  if a fast route through the centre of New Cross and Lewisham can’t be provided, and use the money to deliver a high quality CS4 with a protected cycle route along the A21 linking that to the rest of Lewisham.

TfL, however, are committed to extending CS5 somehow to give a fast link to Lewisham.   They met with us in January to explain how and it quickly became apparent they believe two things.  Firstly, they have invested too much time and money in this already to abandon the idea and move on to something else and secondly, they do genuinely believe they can deliver a good piece of infrastructure which will be safe, pleasant to use and the fastest option available without using the most direct main roads.

It is far from being ready to build yet, and they were at pains to tell us this.  They were happy for us to share the idea of the route though, to see what people thought about it.  So, I have drawn up the first draft  of the route which should be going through a feasibility study as you read this.  It’s here

CS5That’s about as clear as I can get it for you…or you can link to the map here

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zymna9GbZKQs.kEwRfz8Eb8og

They know that there are a few difficult areas in this that have to be tackled.  They know a safe way has to be found to get cyclists through the Deptford Bridge junction and the engineer we spoke to has observed the junction and said exactly what we have been saying for years.  That there is plenty of space there to work with.  The junction opens out unnecessarily in to four lanes one side, 3 on the other in places, six or seven lanes to deliver traffic in both directions to roads which can take one lane each way at several points.  He strongly believes this space can be used to make safe space for cyclists and get them across on to Brookmill.  We had earlier discounted Brookmill, due to the first few yards being narrowed by the parked cars, a very tight junction where you feel very squeezed by motor traffic, often dangerously so, unless some changes were made, possibly removing parking , slowing motorised traffic in some way on the turn, and controlling its movements here.  In previous discussions, TfL hadn’t agreed to this.  Now they are taking it on board as they agree this route cannot work without some radical changes to the road layout at key crossing points and control of motor traffic speeds and movements.

It seems they have taken this view partly because our suggestion of Albyn Rd as an alternative, being a nice, residential road in a conservation area was deemed unsuitable for Superhighway treatment.  Which we agreed with at the time, but saw as the only option for a safe route if they weren’t going to do serious work on the alternative.

I know some will still think this is a waste of time and money which would be better spent on CS4 and creating good, safe fast links to it from other areas of the borough and beyond to outer boroughs.  This is a valid argument, and one we put to them again.  They seem to think both will eventually happen. However, it looks likely, if it gets through the feasibility studies, they will go ahead with this.  My own feeling, is that, if we get a redesign of Deptford Bridge that works for cyclists and pedestrians, plus a safe way into Brookmill, we won’t have done too badly.  The superhighway engineers are desperate for a success story, remember.  They are, and they should be, extremely anxious that the next superhighway works and is seen to work safely.  I am hopeful this means they will bend over backwards to make sure they learn from the mistakes they have made and produce something really useful that improves the streetscape in our area for everyone.  I say hopeful.  I am not sure how confident I am of this, but we will do what we can to keep an eye on it, and feedback to you, at all stages of its development.

 

 

Space-for-Cycling-flyer-from-London-Cycling-Campaign

Thanks Lewisham! Space4Cycling Public Meeting successful and productive thanks to you!

space for cycling logoA big than you to everyone who came along to the town hall and participated in our meeting…your enthusiasm and energy, coupled with excellent local knowledge will really help us put together a great contribution from Lewisham to the London wide LCC Space4Cycling campaign.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be putting together our list of demands.  it will be one per ward, for the purposes of LCC’s campaign.  But we had far more good ideas for improvements put forward than one per ward, so we will also be collating our own ward by ward document which we be publishing on the website, so people can see what the meeting produced, make comments and add further suggestions.  It’s a big job, so this won’t appear overnight, but it will happen.

Once again, thanks Lewisham!

Central London Grid

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In all the excitement of preparing for our public meeting on Wednesday, and following up on the restrictions proposed to the Waterlink Way with the dog track development, we nearly forgot to remind everyone about the consultation on the Central London Grid, which closes today at midnight.
Although none of it will be in Lewisham, we will have to ride it, as it covers large parts of inner London that many of visit regularly. A chunk of Southwark is in it, as well as those areas we all know instantly as Central London.
So, our response could be summed up as could do better. The glaring omission to me is it completely ignores London Bridge, despite the fact that thousands of cyclists use this every week. As far as cyclists heading in from Lewisham are concerned, our first quietway will end up there. But no way marked to get them across the river, despite the massive amount of space on that bridge.

As far as those areas to the north and west, while we may not have detailed knowledge of these routes, it does seem something else is missing. The proposed CSH 9 seems not exist on this grid. It may well be it has been dropped, as Andrew Gilligan told us there would be fewer Superhighways but those that were built would be delivered to a higher specification

So no Superhighway between the Thames and the Westway. There must be thousands of cyclists moving through this area every week,if not every day. It desperately needs a main cycle route.

We encourage you to read up on the grid and submit a response ahead of the deadline on Friday 14th by emailing grid@tfl.gov.uk, responses over the weekend will probably also count.

Agenda for LC Space for Cycling Meeting 6.30pm 19th February at Lewisham Town Hall

This is a special Lewisham Cyclists meeting to endorse the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) Space 4 Cycling campaigning ‘Asks’ for each Ward in the forthcoming Lewisham Council elections. These ‘Asks’ have been developed over the last couple of months by Lewisham Cyclists representatives from across the borough.

Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists Meeting

Wednesday 19th February 2014 at 6.30pm

Lewisham Town Hall, Catford Road, SE6 4RU

1) Apologies and Welcome
2) Space for Cycling/2014 Election Campaign. Details of the proposed ‘Asks’ for each Lewisham Ward will be available for attendees to review. The objective of the meeting is to endorse these Ward by Ward for use in the forthcoming LCC Space 4 Cycling council election campaign.
The following issues may be carried over to next monthly meeting if time is short after item 2).
3) Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
4) Financial & Budgetary Report for 2013/2014
5) Assorted current issues:
a) Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment and temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
6) Campaigning updates:
a. CS5 and its proposed extension to Lewisham
b. Lewisham Gateway and Thurston Road developments
c. Quietway route 2 progress (London Bridge to Greenwich via Deptford)
8) A.O.B

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Public Meeting of Lewisham Cyclists 19th February Council Chamber Lewisham Town Town Hall, Catford 6.30pm

Lewisham Cyclists invite Lewisham residents to this open meeting to discuss proposals we will be presenting to all candidates in the local elections in May.  These proposals are aimed at improving every ward in the borough, enabling walking and cycling,  making local streets safer and more pleasant for all.  We want these proposals to reflect what local people want, so come along,  have a cup of tea or coffee with us look, listen and say what you think.  You don’t have to be a cyclist.  All are welcome.   Space for Cycling means quieter residential streets,  safe streets for our children to walk and ride to school.  More space on the roads for everyone.   Space for Cycling means Space for All.

We have based the proposals on the London Cycling Campaigns Policy themes
1.Safe Routes to Schools,
2.Areas Without Through Motor Traffic,
3.Liveable Town Centres,
4.20mph Where People Live, Work, Shop and Go to School,
5.Greenways
6.Protected Space for Cycling on main Roads
We also used data from  a survey London Cycling Campaign carried out across London, asking people to identify areas that could be improved.

Now we want to hear what you have to say. Your local knowledge and experience is needed to make our proposals reflect Lewisham’s diversity.  You don’t have to be a cyclist..all are welcome because Space for Cycling means quieter streets, safer roads for our children to cycle and walk to school, less polluted and more attractive spaces for shopping.  Space for Cycling means Space for All.

If you do intend to come, it would be helpful if you could RSVP to us as soon as possible.  If you know of others that you think would have an interest in attending please inform them, give them the link to this website.  We want our proposals to council candidates to accurately reflect the diversity of our borough.  We want to make sure that space for cycling also means more and safer space for people walking, and all kinds of sustainable transport.  space-for-cycling