Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Community partnership meetings in the City - residents hate people on bicycles

I'll let this one speak for itself. Pasted below, are the minutes of the local community partnership meeting for north City, including the Barbican. This is where the residents of the area set the priorities for local policing for the next six months. As you can see, it makes for fairly nasty reading. Cyclists are fairly universally hated, according to the minutes.

In fact, there are only two policing priorities for this area:

  • " Address poor road user behaviour at Beech Street/Aldersgate Street and South Place/Moorgate                                                      

  • Address anti-social behaviour in and around Gold Lane Estate and the Barbican"           

Note that the priority is to police poor road user behaviour. And then note how many times a road user other than a cycling road user comes up in the minutes below.

I think this one speaks for itself, frankly:

Minutes of Community Partnership Meeting
Monday 12th October - 1930 hours

5.Update on the priorities set at the last meeting

Inconsiderate road use

Christine Phillips provided details of actions taken by City of London Police and TFL tackling traffic offences.  It was stated that since the last meeting there had been a continued effort to have more uniformed officers and junctions.  Education was underlined with OP Atrium where tickets were issued for cycling offences and rescinded if offenders attended road shows designed to highlight dangers on the road.

Questions and comments made by residents

1) Has the Barclays ‘bike scheme ‘ impacted on the number of traffic offences within the city? 

Stuart Sanger stated that only a handful of cyclist using these specific pedal cycles were caught riding on the pavement but on the whole most are compliant within the boundaries of the law.

2)  Police Officers should be positioned better as he has witnessed pedal cyclists committing offences along Beech Street tunnel with officers present and no action taken.  He said that he passes through the junction twice a day and has only seen officers there once in the last three months.   Westminster is more effective at tackling these issues and the Cycle Squad have little impact. As this is one of our main priorities, the City of London Police should be more prepared for meetings with statistics, as he believes nothing is being done in regards to this priority and stated these were requested at the last meeting.  

Christine Phillips and Stuart Sanger said they would make enquiries to obtain tickets for that specific junction. 

PC Adams introduced himself and gave an in depth overview of traffic statistics compiled over the last three months in the TFL operation.
  • Between 19-29 July - 323 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued to pedal cyclist within the city of London.

On the 30th of July 186 people attended Op Atrium with 155 tickets rescinded.

  • Between the 2nd –11th of August 147 penalty tickets were issued for contravening red lights and 1 was issued for cycling on the footpath.
  • On the 6th of October 8 penalty tickets were issued

3) Happy with location of meeting and attended after seeing the priorities which were set at the last meeting, he put forward the question ‘ how do we measure if we are succeeding in our priorities?

Christine Phillips stated that she would get in contact with TFL to obtain a breakdown of when and where offences are taking place.
Iain Simmons, Local Transportation Planning Manager, Guildhall provided details of work that has been undertaken by the Corporation at the junction over the years to improve the flow of traffic and safety of all road users and pedestrians and how this has impacted on the way cyclists and drivers behave at the junction.  He also provided details of the efforts, initiatives, successes and safety in the city compared with other areas in London and answered questions about the Beech Street/Aldersgate Street junction and the timing of traffic lights.

4) Have seen more uniformed officers at the Beech street junction however not many at the Moorfields.  PS Keith Redman-Henry stated that this location is under review by the Corporation as they have had a number of complaints from cyclists regarding the issuing of tickets in this particular area where the cycle path runs through the walkway.

5) A member of the meeting gave the following statistics:

 One thousand pedestrians had been injured within the city of London in the past nine years.

 6% were injured by motorised cycles
 Taxis injured 11%
 Pedal cyclists injured 28%

5) A point was made that the signage at the Moorfields junction should be clearer. Gordon Griffiths stated that this is not a police matter but a corporation matter.

6) Police officers have a responsibility to safeguard roads and more importantly pavements.  This is due to people as when they get older they are more reluctant to use pavements, as they are full of risks and trying to access all the hazards that are on the pavements (Beech street). Also a member of the meeting witnessed police officers dismissing an offence, which a pedal cyclist had made.

PS Keith Redman-Henry stated that awareness is being circulated by officers going into businesses and providing education and residents may not be aware of behind the scenes activities.

7) Bethnal Green police have made cyclists more aware of safety issues handing out ‘jingles’ so that pedestrians are aware when cyclists are within the vicinity.