Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Register your concerns now about the City's transport plan. Email template and instructions included below.

Ludgate Circus: Imagine asking your mum to cycle here

The City of London has now published its transport plans for the next three financial years. You can read those documents on the City's website here. They contain plenty about cycling but plenty more is missing. 

Why should this bother you?

In the last transport plan in 2005, the City set a target that 12% of all vehicular journeys should be by bicycle by 2010. Then did very little to achieve that target. And in 2011, guess what: The target is now 10% by 2020.

What's more, spending on cycling will be 0.45% of the transport budget. A whopping less than half a percent.


You can use our template letter below to tell the City what you think.


Or prepare your own response and send it to the same people listed below.  


For further ideas and background, look here and here.

It's time to make a difference. Thank you so much for your support. And, good luck!
Please use the template below to register your concerns about the City of London Local Implementation Plan

Please follow these easy steps:


1.       Your easiest option is to cut and paste the email below. But please ensure you insert your personal details in the second paragraph (name, company, when you cycle in the City etc)

2.       Feel free to amend and personalise the template. Try to be positive if you can.

3.       Please try to send this email from your work address if you have one, rather than a gmail or yahoo account as it will have more clout with the City

4.       The addresses to send to are listed below for you

5.       If you live or work in the Square Mile, then you can also send a copy to your local ward member (councillor). Click on this link here to see which ward you live or work in and then go to this link here, get your ward from the dropdown list and mail all the ward members on that page.

Many thanks

Cyclists in the City

Email to send to the City of London. Please personalise this as much as you can. Or remove bits you don't agree with.

To:

Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee stuart.fraser@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee COL-EB-TC@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Local Implementation Plan official correspondence address lip@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Deputy Chairman, Planning and Transportation Committee christine.cohen@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Deputy Chairman, Streets and Walkways Subcommittee jeremy.simons@cityoflondon.gov.uk
You might also want to cc:

London Assembly Member for City and East London  john.biggs@london.gov.uk
Cyclists in the City cyclistsinthecity@gmail.com (so we can keep in touch with you afterwards)

Dear Sir/Madam


I am writing about the City of London’s draft Local Implementation Plan.


I work as [Insert job title] at [Insert name of organisation] [Note: This information is important - One aspect of this initiative is to establish interest amongst those living in, and working in business in, the City – Businesses are the City's key constituents].  [I live in][I cycle to work [in][through]] the City of London.



There are plenty of encouraging statements in the draft plan. You state that you need to improve conditions for cycling and that you hope to see 62,800 cyclists travelling through the City each day by 2020, up from nearly 25,000 last year.

But your draft plan also contains some worrying points.

The draft plan contemplates cycling receiving less than 0.5% of dedicated budget and even that dedicated budget is compromised by a statement that any cycle facilities will be "designed with the needs of all road users in mind". Furthermore, the plan seemingly contains no coherent vision for cycle provision moving forward.  I am writing to ask that the draft plan is revisited to allow for more dedicated funding to be allocated to cycling and a framework included for the development of a coherent delivery plan for a co-ordinated network of improved cycle facilities.  Whilst I appreciate the importance of motor vehicles to businesses in the City, in places work will be required to address the implicit priority currently given to motor vehicles on the City's roads (something that I note is contrary to TfL's specific guidance on modal resource allocation).  References in the draft plan to a policy of not inconveniencing car drivers indicates that the intention is to continue this passive hierarchy that prioritises motor vehicles over cyclists.

I note, in particular, that improvements required include the creation of a network of continuous, well signposted, safer routes that allow cyclists to negotiate the City more easily without reliance on the congested arterial routes.  This could include:

(i)         the creation of more two-way cycling on one way streets that currently block useful routes;
(ii)        making some through routes (for example, on quieter back streets) cycle and pedestrian priority (or where appropriate motor traffic free);
(iii)       removing barriers that prevent access to streets which would otherwise offer helpful alternative routes for cycling; and
(iv)       reviewing the design of currently dangerous junctions to incorporate facilities to allow cyclists to navigate these junctions more safely (and where necessary away from motor vehicles).

Work is also required on the main arterial routes to improve the safety of cyclists, including wider and mandatory cycle lanes (24 hours or at the very least at peak times), mirrors to assist the drivers of larger vehicles with visibility of cyclists and identifying and, where possible, removing dangerous street designs that create "pinch points" which force cyclists into the path of other vehicles.  I would also be strongly in favour of the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on these routes which would deliver significant benefits to both pedestrians and cyclists in improving safety and reducing pollution.

Many of these changes could be delivered both relatively cheaply (particularly when compared to the capital expenditure necessary in respect of other transport modes), phased in over a period of time and with little impact on the experience of other road users or pedestrians.  A delivery plan is, however, essential to achieving this.  It is a shame that cycling in the City remains the reserve of the confident and some might say foolhardy when this is largely unnecessary.

I am also disappointed to see that whilst, your 2005 Local Implementation Plan committed to raising cycling's modal share to 12% of all vehicular journeys in the City of London (a target the City failed to deliver on) the current plan has revised this down to only 10%.  This is particularly disappointing when competing global centres (most notably New York, Berlin and Paris), and indeed a number of other London boroughs, recently placed cycling at the centre of their transport strategies.  Year on year the City of London falls further and further behind.  These authorities have realised the many benefits cycling has to offer, in terms of sustainability, cost efficient and health and wellbeing.  I cannot see why the City seems so reluctant to tap this potential.

In summary, I would strongly support a revisiting of the current form of the Local Implementation Plan to address the issues identified above and to set out a clear and coherent vision for a step change in cycling provision in the City of London.

Best regards


Other points which you may wish to address in a response:

·         The creation of at least two co-ordinated, continuous and clearly signposted east-west and north-south routes on which cyclists have priority and are not required to compete for road space with motor traffic. These cycle routes should be comprised of obligatory lanes on the main road corridors, i.e. prohibited to motor vehicles. Many of the City’s roads are wide enough to do this and there are plenty of options to create a realistic network to encourage the use of bicycles.
·         The development of a number of continuous east-west and north-south routes on quieter back roads where it may be more sensible to use advisory cycle lanes. There is scope to open many more cycle contraflows on the City’s back streets and to block streets to private motor vehicles and taxis while keeping them open to pedestrians and to people on bicycles.
·         On all City bridges, provision should be made for people on bicycles to cycle separately from fast-moving motor traffic and to navigate safely a right turn at the end of each bridge (currently across several lanes of fast-moving motor traffic).
·         The City should recognise that cycling represents an alternative transport mode for a wide range of journeys, not just commuting to work. The use of bicycles – whether cycle hire cycles or private cycles - should be encouraged for all types of journeys.