Agenda for LC Monthly Meeting 6.30pm 16th July 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. Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists (LC) Meeting

Wednesday 16th July 2014 at 6.30pm

Catford Constitutional, Catford Broadway, SE6 4SP

1) Apologies and Welcome
2) Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
3) Space4Cycling Campaign
4) Current issues:
a. Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment/temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
b. Cycle parking provision
c. Prudential Ride London – Saturday 9th August
d. Lewisham Labour borough-wide 20MPH manifesto commitment.
e. London Cycling Design Standards consultation – responses due by 25th July.
f. Downham Family rides
5) Long term campaign updates:
a. Quietway route 2 (London Bridge to Greenwich via Deptford)
6) A.O.B

Tim C. (Secretary)

Agenda for LC Monthly Meeting 6.30pm 18th June 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. Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists (LC) Meeting

Wednesday 18th June 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
4) Current issues:
a. Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment/temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
b. Cycle parking provision
c. Brockley Fair – Saturday 21st June
d. Prudential Ride London – Saturday 9th August
e. Lewisham Labour borough-wide 20MPH manifesto commitment.
5) Long term campaign updates:
a. Quietway route 2  (London Bridge to Greenwich via Deptford)
6) A.O.B

Tim C. (Secretary)

Agenda for LC Monthly Meeting 6.30pm 21st May 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. Here’s the agenda for this month’s meeting:

Lewisham Cyclists (LC) Meeting

Wednesday 21st May 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
4) Current issues:
a. Catford Greyhound Stadium redevelopment/temporary closure of Adenmore Road and re-routing of Waterlink Way (NCN Route 21).
b. Somertrees Avenue ‘improvements’.
c. Brockley corridor ‘study’.
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
a. Brockley Fair 21st June

Tim C. (Secretary)

Space4Cycling Event Saturday 26th April

Thanks to everyone who came down to Ladywell Fields and stopped to talk about the Space4Cycling Campaign.  Some of you even sent off emails to your candidates there and then.  Easy to do on the go from our tablet!

Thanks also to those of you who donated or bought jumble.  Some of you did both!  And thanks to our great team of efficient Dr Bikers, who ministered to dozens of ailing machines, replacing cables, brake pads and getting many of your bikes working smoothly again.

Don’t forget you can still email your candidates and ask them to support space4cycling in Lewisham

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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.

20140404-114439.jpg
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)

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.

 

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.