Barnet Cyclists Volunteers Needed Urgently, Saturday 23 March

I mentioned at the February meeting that Jon Crosby and I need volunteers on short notice to help finish clearing the Dancers Lane cycle path of bramble and black thorn. Your help is needed for Saturday, 23 March – please let me know if you can make it. We need 10 volunteers.

Herts County (HCC) Countryside & Rights of Way (CROW) will supply a van and driver with tools and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, eye protection (when cutting black thorn), hard hats and hi-vis jackets. Volunteers are requested to wear gardening clothes including long trousers and long-sleeved tops. You may want to bring your own garden gloves and tools such as secateurs, but they will be provided by HCC.

There are around 50 metres of the path left to finish off which previous volunteers of CROW started. We will be checking the path the day before to ensure no birds are nesting – the Workday will need to be postponed if any birds are nesting.

Contact details
It is important if you are volunteering to send me your contact details, preferably a mobile number included in case I need to cancel everything the day before. You don’t have to be a member of the BCC, but we are unable to allow children of 16 years and under to help.

On the day
The Workday starts at 10:30 am with a brief explanation of H&S requirements and similar – we are working under HCC management and their insurances. All volunteers will need to conform to the conditions, which I understand include wearing a hi-vis jacket and hard hat and PPE depending on the job you may be doing. We will have to limit the number of volunteers to 10.

I’ll send more details to volunteers, but the tasks are generally to clip, lop, cut, rake and clear off the overgrown bramble and black thorn. It will take about 4 hours plus time for breaks including lunch.

I am asking if the BCC will cover the costs of sandwiches, coffees, etc. back at the S. Mimms Services, which is just up from the work area. I can confirm this in my email to volunteers.

Access to the site
You are welcome to drive or cycle to the site. If driving, the HCC van driver will be able to open the Wash Lane gate and you should be able park on Wash Lane behind the services, since a 2-hour restriction applies in the S. Mimms services. I will send more details to the volunteers.

Please email me (Subject heading: Workday) if you are able to help and provide your contact details.





Thursday 28th February

Monthly Meeting: Ride, Ride, Ride.

Tonight we are going to have a group discussion about how we run our rides and how to get more people to lead them. What are the barriers to leading a ride? It is not as hard as some may think once you have a little help. Stating the obvious: no leaders = no rides. We will discuss our Ride Programme (Is it what you want? Do you want more rides?).

We will also try and cover ‘Ride Etiquette’ (or sadly the lack of it at times). We need to make sure our rides are well run and everyone is safe. There will of course be time for usual business round-up and a cup of tea.

All welcome.

Meet: 8pm Carey Hall, Trinity Church Centre, Nether Street, North Finchley N12


Cycle Weekend 2019: HUNTINGDON 31 May- 2 June

We are starting to plan a cycling weekend based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. For those that are free on the Friday, we will meet at around lunchtime in Huntingdon for an afternoon ride. We will have all-day rides on the Saturday and Sunday into the local countryside. One ride will feature the nearby Grafham Water. You can come for any, or all, of the days. As in recent years, you are responsible for finding and booking your own accommodation. Huntingdon has a reasonable number of hotels and B&Bs at a range of prices. Booking early can mean lower prices for some hotels. There are a few suggestions below.  To register your interest, and to be kept in touch about the programme, please email

There are a number of hotels and B&Bs in and around Huntingdon. This is just a sample:

Marriott Hotel 4*

Holiday Inn 3* (By the racecourse, 2.5 miles west of railway station)

Premier Inn (4.2 miles west of town centre. Located on busy roundabout at junction of A1 and A14. Not recommended for cycling into the town centre – only for those who would use a car to take your bike into town centre for the start of rides)

Sandford House Hotel (Wetherspoon) town centre


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – the time has come

Has the concept of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood reached a turning point that will see it going from a fringe idea to a national or international movement?  Will 90 years of car-oriented development now begin to be rolled back?  The 100 strong turn-out at the excellent UDG-London Living Streets event on 31 Jan 2019, attended by Peter Hale and Charles Harvey, would seem to suggest that the moment has come.

Chris Martin from Urban Movement opened the event by illustrating two diametrically different approaches to urban design, firstly, a road traffic interchange in Huston, Texas, and secondly the entire urban core of Florence, which would fit comfortably within it.   Points that he covered included the need to work with local people to identify and agree traffic cells, the connecting quiet streets, which streets will form the main traffic routes and which of these will need to be improved to become boulevards.   Providing safe crossings where the link streets cross main traffic routes was essential.

Feryal Demirci Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks, Hackney talked about the challenges and progress being made in the borough.  Hackney was experiencing rapid population expansion, very poor air quality, congestion, obesity especially in young people, and yet it had low car ownership and over 15 percent of residents cycled to work.    Some streets in the borough had high cycle flows, with Goldsmith Road recording 6000 cyclists per day.  The borough was repurposing kerbside space, with cycle hangers and parklets.  Footways were being prioritised with both cycle hangers and electric vehicle charging points going in the carriageway not on the footway.  School Streets were being promoted, involving timed traffic restrictions around schools, backed by cameras and signs.  Traffic flows were typically half previous levels.   The borough was also introducing restrictions on all but ultra low emission vehicles.  As to low traffic neighbourhoods, over 100 streets had now been filtered.  She gave the impression that while there could be opposition from vehicle users from outside the area, local communities were strongly behind the introduction of schemes.  Play streets had been made much easier and less costly to introduce following creative use of the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847

Fran Graham from the London Cycling Campaign, argued that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were an effective response to the impact of Satnav, Google maps, Waze etc which has led to increased through-traffic disrupting residential areas in the search for quicker, congestion free routes.  Turning to cycling, she indicated that traffic levels as low as 2000, 1500, or 1000 PCU per day were preferred to enable safe cycling  (PCU – Passenger Car Unit ) This is on a par with  Manual for Streets which cites 100 vehicles per hour peak flow as a threshold level below which pedestrians will share highway space with motorists, and above which they will tend to treat the general path taken by motor vehicles as a ‘road’ to be crossed rather than as a space to occupy.

Laurie Johnston, from the Dulwich Safe Routes to school campaign, observed that regrettably, responsibility for safety is placed on children, not on drivers. (NB research shows that children do not have the cognitive abilities to take responsibility, the law also recognises that they do not have the same capacity as adults). One street is not enough, she said, what is needed is a network of safe door to door routes

Rachel Aldred, for the University of Westminster discussed the research available to date.  The Mini Holland schemes had been assessed comparing areas with interventions with control areas where no changes had been made.  The results were positive with a notable increase in active travel in year 1, which continued into year 2 where there was a recorded reduction in car use. A scheme in Hounslow which involved no more than 2 planters had led new pedestrian and cycle journeys being made, amounting to a £500,000 health benefit.   There were Equality Act reasons for considering low traffic neighbourhoods.  The statistics showed that disabled pedestrians suffered  4-5 times more injuries from motor vehicles per kilometre than the general population.

In the discussion issues that came up included:

·         Traffic Evaporation or Traffic Displacement

·         Using ped-sheds to get a far more accurate view of walkability than just drawing a circle around a point.

·         Local community roadwatch groups to control speeding

·         Involve schools – at least one member of staff to be advocate

·         School streets are valuable but more is needed – children do more than just go to school.

·         Funding of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – S106 funds can be a useful source

Further reading

Guide to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

This publication provides plenty of detailed information on the physical measures that can be applied, as well as a series of steps to follow to take a scheme from an idea to a safer, cleaner, healthier and more social environment.

Sunday 17th February Sunday ride: To The Black Horse

A ride round the lanes of south Herts, with a stop for lunch at one of the increasingly few ‘old-fashioned’ pubs in the area – The Black Horse at South Mimms.

Meet:   10amTally Ho Corner, North Finchley N12

or        10.30amoutside Waitrose, The Spires, Barnet – Stapylton Road

entrance, by the bandstand

Ride leader: Talia Ross (07816 767212)

For all rides:

Please remember to bring a spare inner tube in case you have a puncture and some basic tools that fit your bike.  Late afternoons might be gloomy so bring lights on rides to get you home safely.

Any questions about rides please contact Alison Ewington


Sunday 20th January ride: Winter Wandering to Bricket Wood

We do now have a plan – a cunning plan. Malcolm will lead the group to The Gate pub at Bricket Wood for lunch (no coffee stop in the morning). There will be a stop on the way back for afternoon tea at The Orchard  café at Shenley. The route will involve a little off-road but it shouldn’t be too muddy. It might be a bit nippy so do bring warm clothing – and remember your lights for getting home.

Meet:   10amTally Ho Corner, North Finchley N12  or  10.30am outside Waitrose, The Spires, Barnet – Stapylton Road entrance, by the bandstand

Ride leader: Malcolm Nightingale  0208 449 3253 (mobile: 07538 402147)

For all rides:

Please remember to bring a spare inner tube in case you have a puncture and some basic tools that fit your bike.  Late afternoons might be gloomy so bring lights on rides.

Any questions about rides please contact Alison Ewington