Monthly meeting: Thursday 26th November 8pm

We will hold our second online Zoom meeting next Thursday at 8pm. The main topic will be a discussion about the new cycle line which is being installed in Barnet. Have you tried it? what do you think about it? What has been the local reaction – from both cyclists and those that have yet to see the light? Take the chance this weekend to ride it and see what you think. Take some pics (good and bad bits, any problem areas) and send them to alison.ewington@ntlworld.com and we can share them at the meeting.

This meeting is open to members of the group and our local supporters only. If you attended the last meeting there is no need to do anything and you will be sent the Zoom invite in a few days time. If you wish to be added to the list, please send an email to alison.ewington@ntlworld.com.

Have you responded to the Highway Code consultation?

As you may know, the government is consulting on a revision of the Highway Code. The consultation ends at midnight on Tuesday 27 October, so there is still time to do an individual response online using this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders

Cycling organisations have been heavily involved in lobbying to make the Highway Code more cycle-friendly and are keen for as many organisations and individuals as possible to respond.

You may find it helpful to see the comments made on behalf of Barnet Cycling Campaign:

H1] We support the concept of a “Hierarchy of Road Users” giving priority to the needs of a the most vulnerable. It reminiscent of the law of the sea that “sail comes before steam”. We would prefer the term “Hierarchy of Responsibility”.

H2] We support pedestrian priority at junctions and priority on shared pedestrian / cycle paths.

H3] We would support the rule prioritising cyclists going straight ahead at junctions.

Rule 8] Is not well defined. An illustration would help. For example, a pedestrian may want to cross a major road where another road meets it a junction.

Rule 59] People should be able to cycle in normal clothing. We would prefer the wording “You should ensure clothes cannot get tangled up in the chain or in a wheel or obscure your lights when you are cycling”.

Wearing a helmet is a matter of choice. We suggest that removing the word should and changing the clause to the following advice. We would prefer the wording “Evidence suggests that wearing a cycle helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a head injury in certain circumstances. Cycle helmets, if worn, should conform to current regulations, be the correct size and securely fastened”.

Rule 66] We would prefer the wording of the second paragraph to read “cyclists may ride two abreast at any time, but consider a riding in single file on narrow lanes to provide for passing when drivers approach from behind or in front. When riding in groups on narrow lanes, it is sometimes safer to ride two abreast to shorten the overtaking distance or discourage overtaking when it could be unsafe”.

Rule 67] We would strongly support the advice to leave a door’s width when passing cars. A car door’s width is often wider than 0.5m. We feel that most of the time cyclists should take the “primary position” as recommended in Rule 72 (below).

We would endorse caution when passing on the left of large vehicles due to their blind spots.

Rule 72] We would support the recommendation to take the “primary position” on quieter roads.

Rule 76] We support the priority given to cyclists going straight ahead, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

Rule 82] Puffin crossings should be mentioned as well as Toucan crossings.

Rule 140] Add “You must not drive or park in cycle track at any time.”

Rule 163] We support the changes to this rule:

1] Allowing cyclists to filter though slow moving and stationary traffic provided they exercise caution.

2] Advising a minimum overtaking distance of 1.5 metres under 30mph and 2 metres at speed over 20 mph and for all large vehicles.

In the section on overtaking distances, we would recommend changing the wording from “As a guide” to “You should”.

Rule 213] Amend to read “Cyclists are also advised to ride at least a door’s width from parked cars for their own safety, which can mean they need to cycle in the centre of the lane”.

Rule 239] We support drivers using the so-called “Dutch Reach” to avoid the “dooring” of cyclists and motorcyclists.

The consultation is at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders and closes at midnight on 27th October.

Try the new A1000 Cycle Lanes

Work has now started on the A1000 cycle lanes, working northwards from The Bishops Avenue up to North Finchley. Please go and ride along this southern part of the route and pass on your comments to Charles Harvey, our Campaign Coordinator, at campaigns@barnetlcc.org

Work will progress in stages, so you may find posts being added after a cycle lane is marked and pavement build-outs being removed at a later stage. A full set of drawings showing the completed scheme can be found at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PvhyYjnXyK6E4YO9rrFiiYW_n0UeV3if

Monthly Meeting – Zoom. Thursday 29 October 8pm

As the chances of meeting in person have once again slipped away from us, there will be an online meeting to catch up on what has been happening in the way of campaigns and rides on our usual last Thursday of the month. The first one will be Thursday 29 October at 8pm.

This meeting is open to members of the group and our local supporters only. In order to control attendance, and to make sure things run smoothly, if you wish to attend please send an email to alison.ewington@ntlworld.com. You will then be sent a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the 29th.

The Regents Park demo – Saturday 12 September at 10 am

Yes, we are going on a demo!  Just two minutes from Gt. Portland Street tube station outside the CEPC offices, 12 Park Square East, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LH.

Bring some cardboard banners if possible with No Through Traffic, Shut the Gates, No Rat Runs, Who Are The CEPC? etc. as the messages.

Parks for People is an umbrella organisation campaigning to get through-traffic out of London parks. They have come to a dead end with talking at the moment and that’s why they have to get the campaign out into the public domain.

You may like to support this demo. It’s focused on closing the park to through traffic to improve safety for pedestrians and it is crucial for improving conditions for cyclists.

Parks for People is supported by LCC amongst others.

Read more: https://road.cc/content/news/260908-updated-regents-park-outer-circle-georgian-quango-under-fire-refusal-close-park

Government cycling and walking announcements – July 2020

Cycling and walking plan main points:

  • £2 billion direct investment in cycling and walking across England.
  • “Thousands of miles of protected cycle routes in towns and cities”
  • Far higher national mandatory standards for cycle scheme design
  • Clear priority given to reallocation of roadspace from cars to cycles
  • An e-bike “programme” to help purchasing more expensive electric bikes
  • A pilot program to help GPs prescribe cycling to help reduce obesity including providing bikes
  • One small-medium city to get a pilot zero emissions centre
  • Rollout of cycle training availability for all adults and children
  • More cycle parking including at train stations and secure hangars on residential streets
  • Potential roll-out of ‘Direct Vision’ lorry standards
  • More powers for councils to enforce road rules and recoup fines from motoring offences
  • More control of the strategic road network for the “metro mayors” outside London

Cycle Infrastructure Design summary principles include:

  • Cycle infrastructure should be accessible to everyone from 8 to 80 and beyond
  • Cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic
  • Cycle infrastructure should be designed for significant numbers of cyclists, and for non-standard cycles,
  • Consideration of the opportunities to improve provision for cycling will be an expectation of any future local highway schemes funded by Government
  • All designers of cycle schemes must experience the roads as a cyclist

Highway Code Review main proposals:

  • introducing a hierarchy of road users which ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others – for example, a lorry driver would have a greater responsibility to those driving a car or motorcycle, and people cycling would have a greater responsibility than pedestrians.
  • clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements, to advise that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road
  • providing guidance on cyclist priority at junctions to advise drivers to give priority to cyclists at junctions when travelling straight ahead
  • establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders.

VIDEOS: Sadiq Khan at the Transport Select Committee, Teresa May on Dangerous Driving, and American SUVs

Cycle Lanes coming to the A1000

We are pleased to report that pop-up cycle lanes are coming to the A1000 between The Bishops Avenue and Tally Ho corner.

Pop-up cycle lane on Euston Road

We support this positive move by Barnet Council and suggest members of Barnet Cyclists contact your local councillors to congratulate them on providing their first semi-protected cycle lanes on one of our top priority routes in Barnet. You may like to let them (and us at campaigns@barnetlcc.org) know where you want cycle lanes, low traffic neighbourhoods and school streets in your area – ideas from our campaign team are shown on the Safer Cycling Mapped Out page.

You can see what people want around Barnet, endorse their suggestions and add your own at Widen My Path.

Widen My path lets you suggest Cycleways, Pavement widening and Traffic Filters

Detailed design drawings were provided by traffic engineers at Barnet Council for the first A1000 cycle lanes and we have given our feedback on the temporary scheme and also the improvements needed to provide a permanent design.

Pressure is mounting for the cycle lanes to extend up the A1000 to High Barnet – yes, right up Barnet Hill to Monken Hadley. Barnet Cycling Campaign and LCC were interviewed by The Barnet Society, who have written this informative article.

We welcome all support to help our campaigning for safer cycling in Barnet.

An open letter to the leader of Barnet Council on Covid-19 and Streetspace

Last week, a report in the local Times on the discussion within the Council for a post-Covid recovery included a claim by the Leader that the Borough is ”pro-cycling”.  Unfortunately, the facts on the ground do not bear this out.   [Councillors discuss Barnet’s recovery plan from Covid-19, 19th June]   

On the same day it was revealed that cash-strapped Barnet had failed to receive any of the first tranche of £80m funding from TFL for schemes to improve cycling and walking. 

This money has been set aside for Local Authorities to provide space for pedestrians to safely return to our high streets and allow people to travel to work and school by bike (rather than sit in constant gridlock). 

Other outer London boroughs are taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but Barnet seems to believe that cycling will never be a viable form of transport. In fact, TFL data shows that Barnet has the highest potential for growth in cycling throughout London. Two-thirds of journeys in Barnet are less than 3 miles (a 15-minute ride). Nearly all residents live within a 10-minute ride of their local school, shops, or park and 40% of residents work in the borough.  Today we have written an open letter to Cllr Thomas setting out how many more would choose to cycle if the streets were not so hostile, which would make our roads quieter, the air cleaner and our town centres more appealing:

Streetspace Funding Allocation Article – Barnet Cycling Campaign response

Dear Cllr Thomas,

We are writing to you directly in response to the article in the Barnet Times about the Covid-19 recovery plan and following the publication by TFL of their first funding allocations for Streetspace.

We were disappointed to see that, so far, Barnet has not secured any of the funding that is available and hope the Council will be able to submit a successful bid in the next round so that the borough does not miss out on this much-needed budget.

From discussions with local officers we have been told that a proposal for part of the A1000 is in the works and we want to offer our support to help ensure this bid is successful. Barnet Cycling Campaign, as part of the wider London Cycling Campaign, are well placed to advise on the quality of the scheme to ensure that it stands the best chance of succeeding. With our help, we can all formulate a plan to secure both vital funds and to make sure the scheme is well-used by the community.

However, there is a bigger issue demonstrated by you, and one which shows why the Council will find it hard to get funding for its schemes.

It is clear from your comments in the article, and other correspondence with some councillors, there is a clear lack of understanding about what motivates people to cycle.

Looking at the quotes attributed to you:

You mention that cycling has ‘’barely grown’’.

We agree with this, and the root cause is council policy. It has been well proven both in other parts of London and elsewhere in the world, the one and only barrier is the availability of safe cycling routes and low-traffic neighbourhoods. Hills, weather, age and other perceived obstacles have been shown time and time again to not be so.

Need we remind you that Barnet is consistently one of the worst boroughs when it comes to KSI statistics? By not providing safe routes, the council is essentially opening a shark infested beach and saying, “we can’t remove the sharks because swimming hasn’t grown”.

You said “Not everyone wants to cycle to work, have a shower, and at the end of a hard day’s work cycle back uphill – particularly to High Barnet”

Is this an evidence-based statistic or an opinion? If the former, we would be very interested in seeing the Council’s evidence base. More critically, the same could be applied to any transport method. Not everyone wants to sit in traffic for an hour or owns a car. Not everyone wants to sit on a crowed tube, even before the pandemic. Taking this line is denying those who do wish to cycle the opportunity to do so, it is creating a closed market, denying an alternative because they don’t feel safe enough to cycle. The Council’s job is to provide the infrastructure for all to be safe, not to make judgements on how they perceive people to think.

Your comment also makes two questionable assumptions; That cycling is physically demanding and more time consuming than commuting by Tube, and that the entire topic is about commuters to the centre of town only.

Cycling to central London from Barnet is as quick as the Tube or driving, taking around an hour from High Barnet for an average person at speeds which would not break a sweat for anyone who does it regularly. Additionally, bikes are not as affected by traffic jams, breakdowns and strikes, making it a far more predictable journey than either car or public transport.

The requirement to have safe routes for cycling is far from being only for the distance commuter. Currently, there is a need to help those who commute by tube; however, we need to address getting people back to our high streets. With the need to socially distance on pavements paramount, it is a matter of time before you will have to start looking at taking out high street parking to create space or risk a second wave in Barnet. When you do this, people will need to turn to other modes for their shopping. This is good for a high street, a person doing 3-4 smaller shops by bike will spend as much per month as someone doing a single big shop by car.

We ask you if you modelled how many residents live within a 10-minute sweat-free ride of their local shops, park or school? We can tell you that you have and It’s nearly all of them. Your own Long Term Transport Strategy consultation showed that over 2/3rds of car journeys within Barnet are less than 5km and that nearly every resident is only 10-minute, sweat-free, ride from their nearest shops, school or park. 40% of Barnet residents live and work within the borough and 30% of workers come in from the adjacent boroughs.

These are the types of journeys that many residents would rather cycle. For example, here is a list of journeys from your own ward with an estimate of the time it will take the average (unfit) person, the distance and total ascent

• Hendon Town Hall: 14mins, 3.1km, 30m

• Whetstone: 24mins, 5.6km, 20m

• East Finchley: 13 mins, 3km, 10m

• Golders Green station: 14 mins, 3.5km, 30m

• Burnt Oak Library: 22min, 5.7km, 20m

• Mill Hill Broadway: 20mins, 5km, 30m

We would happily take you on a ride on any of these trips to show you both how easy this could be, and the dangers people currently face.

Contrary to the belief of the Councillors we have spoken to, this is not about getting everyone to walk & cycle but enabling those who want to. Whilst you say you a pro-cycling, and the Long Term Transport Strategy talked a lot about reducing car use and increasing walking and cycling, when presented with the opportunity to do so you push back.

You mention ‘quadrupling’ as if it is some unachievable target that would have no benefit, but have you analysed the TFL propensity for cycling data?

Barnet is the borough which has the highest potential increase, moving from 8,500 trips by bike (2005-8) to 241,200, a staggering 28-fold increase (and yet still only 37% of mechanised trips). Quadrupling should be the absolute minimum achievable for any council in your position.

• Where is the borough’s plan to get more kids cycling to school from September?

• Where is the plan to deliver low-traffic neighbourhoods?

• Where is the plan to connect local town centres with active travel?

• Where is the plan to widen pavements and reduce traffic to revitalise our high streets?

• Have you modelled the increase in traffic from continuing to do nothing?

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver those improvements within months rather than over 15 years. Without you seizing this moment, you will not deliver your Long Term Transport Strategy. As mentioned, we want to work in partnership with you. We have already submitted a wide range of proposed routes and interventions and would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and Cllr Cohen to discuss.

You have a very simple choice to make.

You can carry on your current path, acting under assumptions and misrepresentation, heading towards a traffic heavy, polluted borough which will continue put the lives of its residents at risk daily. Alternatively, you can work with us and other groups to truly free our borough’s economy and secure a legacy as leader of a healthy, vibrant borough with a revitalised high street scene capable of fighting the next pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Barnet Cycling Campaign

Email: campaigns@barnetlcc.org


Barnet Cycling Campaign is the local borough group of London Cycling Campaign (LCC). We represent the interests of cyclists living or working in the Borough of Barnet and aim to expand the opportunities for all to cycle safely in the borough.

The group has over 300 members in Barnet of all ages and abilities, including commuter, utility, sport and leisure cyclists. We encourage more active, healthy forms of travel and help to get people out on their bikes and riding on the roads in Barnet. We campaign to make streets in Barnet healthier, safer and an improved experience for all cyclists, walkers and public transport users.

__________

Update 20/07/2020: A follow up article in The Barnet Times covered this letter and the need for Barnet Council to change its stance on cycling, which is creating a “traffic-heavy, polluted borough” that puts residents’ lives at risk.

Please help with the campaign for emergency Covid-19 infrastructure in Barnet!

If our local politicians don’t do more now the opportunity will be lost.

So if you haven’t done so already, please use both of these email templates to show your Council representatives what people who don’t want to use public transport or have the roads clogged with cars need them to do.

Let them know where you need pop-up cycle lanes, roads closed to motor traffic, school streets, 20mph speed limits, safer junction designs and pavement widening in your area.

For further details please see our post: Emergency Cycle Lanes in Barnet, which is being updated with the latest situation in Barnet. Thank You!