Tuesday 7 November 2006, 7.15pm for 7.30pm, held in the Info Centre.

Graeme Swinburne [Shared post, RBK&C Director of Transportation and Highways, LBHF Assistant Director of Highways], Chris Bainbridge [LBHF Transport Planning Manager], John Griffiths, Rik Andrew, Philip Loy, Jane Knight, Paul Krebs, Pat Tookey, Mike Griffin, Simon Maddison, Gerry Berridge, Brian Assiter, Andy Ellard, Angela Brown, Gwen Cook, Susie Gretz, Julie Askins, Bill Ogden.

Mo Morgan, Roger de Freitas, Udeni Salmon, Zuzana Simcova, Chris Tranchel, Louanne Tranchel, Alan Rowden.

NOTES by John Griffiths, contributed to and possibly improved by Chris Bainbridge and Graeme Swinburne

Gave a short introduction. He said that not all cycle schemes are good, and he has put in many and taken out some. Amongst other points he mentioned a proposed low emission zone, which he did not think would make much difference to air quality and would cost more than the congestion charge to implement. One of the most important things for cyclist safety was when a critical mass of cyclists is achieved.

QUESTIONS: Note: some of the questions had been written in before, and some were impromptu on the day. Due to pressure of time not all written questions were presented.

[MIKE GRIFFIN] What is the present policy regarding the "zero policy" on clamping down on cyclists on pavements, running red lights, or not being visible after dark and why is it not working.

GRAEME: In K&C Police Community Officers are targeting cyclists on the pavement. I am not so sure about the position here. I will check and report back to you.

PAT: I sometimes see police officers waiting, but the people they catch are ones who do not see the police officers, and they may not be the real problem cyclists.

MIKE: I sometimes am pushing my one-year-old in a push chair and it seems to me something like 90% of cyclists are not behaving well. [There followed some dispute as to the percentage of cyclists who were rogue cyclists, but it is accepted that there are quite a few out there]

RIK: In some places where the road width is such that cyclists cannot get through, you can hardly blame cyclists for going onto the pavement.

BILL: It is a question of education. Most of these rogue cyclists have never seen the Highway Code. There should be a massive publicity effort.

JOHN: The roadway should be designed so that cyclists can get through. The Highway planners should consider this when they adjust road widths.

PAT: King Street is about one and half lanes wide, and when you get two lanes of traffic you cannot get through.

Q: [QWEN] I see one way streets as a cause of people cycling on the pavement. Why can we not get rid of them.

GRAEME: They were often put in to increase the amount of parking spaces available. With a one way street you can have parking on both sides. In RBK&C the number of applications for parking permits is way over the number of spaces available and we would not be able to take out many spaces.

We are also considering taking out the gyratory at South Kensington.

Q: [JOHN] I understand LBHF is looking at using the service road at the end of Fulham Palace rd near the Apollo as a slip road. We have been pressing for surface level crossings in this area for a long time.

GRAEME: We received funding from TfL for doing a study in this area, and are now waiting for them to decide whether they will fund the implementation of the scheme . It would also help traffic flows. I consider Hammersmith Broadway the most difficult area in the Borough. All different groups are competing for space here.

RIK: A surface level crossing of the Fulham Palace rd is very important.

Q: [BRIAN] Do you look to see how things are done on the continent? I was there recently and cyclists get a much better deal than they do here.

GRAEME: Yes, one of my engineers from K&C was in Holland recently, and I am very interested in the schemes where traffic lights are removed etc. (Barrier-free junctions).

Q: Transport 2000 has suggested that it would be less expensive to have a blanket 20mph default speed limit, rather than having all these Home Zones.

I personally would not be opposed to that and possibly the politicians wouldn't be opposed either, but it would be for central government to impose .

If it was only to be applied to residential streets there is the problem of defining residential streets. Many main roads have a lot of people living on them.

Q: [JOHN] We have been very unimpressed by the consultation in the CRISP study that was done at Shepherds Bush Green, and the recommendations that have come out of it. We accept that this path on the north side of the green will go ahead, but many of us consider it unnecessary, and there are some problem at either end of it. I hope that in future we will be able to work together better on these schemes.

GRAEME: Cllr Nick Botterill [Deputy for the Environment] is very keen to work with your group. All he asks is that you have consistent approach, consensus from the whole group.

Q: [JOHN] The car parking facilities [4500 spaces?] at the Westfield WhiteCity complex are likely to put further pressure on the A40 and the Holland Park roundabout. Including the complex in the congestion zone would reduce the A40 pressure, but would not reduce any pressure on the southern roundabout with cars coming from K&C and Westminster and points east. Therefore I would suggest that LBHF charges its own levy on top of any parking charges to make travelling there by car less attractive. Any comments?

CHRIS: I believe Boroughs have the right to make their own congestion charge zones, but any scheme would have to be approved by Ken Livingstone. Our main concern is to ensure that the price of car parking at the shopping centre is set at a level that doesn't give an incentive park in local streets. Concerning cycling, at the moment there are plans for two cycle routes through the complex, and plans for parking for 369 cycles. The problem is that there is a lot of competition for space and cycling has little power in these discussions, and there is a danger that cycling priorities may get squeezed out. The developers are working on a cycling strategy.

Q: [RIK] What are you going to do about cross-borough integration? Its supposed to be the LONDON cycle network. Continuity between K&C and H&F is very poor. None of the (several) important E-W routes join up.

GRAEME: Holland Park Ave. Ladbroke Grove? I am trying to get Chris and his opposite number in K&C to work together, both officially and informally.

Q: [HENRIETTA BEWLEY and others] What is the possibility of extending the cycle route from Hyde park through Kensington Gardens into Holland Park etc.

GRAEME: I do not have any influence over Holland Park. However this matter of a cycle route through Holland Park has been brought up before, and I think that it is very unlikely to happen. This cuts out any likelihood of a route where the park would be a link in a route.

RIK: TfL are considering opening up further routes through Kensington Gardens.

Q: [BARNEY COCKERELL] has raised the question of cars parking in the cycle track on Wandsworth Bridge on Tuesday and Friday nights during car auctions. He first contacted council by email over three and a half months ago. So far there has been no satisfactory response. Why should it take so long to deal with a query involving the safety of cyclists?

GRAEME: We do take queries concerning safety of cyclists very seriously. Chris and I have been discussing this. As it is a cycle track on the pavement it is an offence under the Highways Act to park in it. I will speak to Dave Taylor who is head of parking to see what can be done.

Q: Parking wrongly in cycle lanes defeats the purpose of the cycle lanes. What can be done about it?

GRAEME: If you tell us where this is we will send a team done to try and sort it out. I cannot promise this straight away, it depends on resources.

JOHN: We have brought this up before. That is what the Council always says, we tell you and nothing happens. Hammersmith rd is a particularly bad place.

PAT: And the Uxbridge rd. There should be no parking or loading during the peak times for cyclists.

JULIE: What is the point of cycle lanes if you have to keep pulling out into the traffic to get past parked cars.

GRAEME: The parking and loading conditions were probably set over 20 years ago. Perhaps they could be looked at, but there is a need for businesses to load.

Q: Owners of 4x4s and other cars with high emissions in Richmond could see costs of permits rise. Will LBHF follow Richmond on this one?

GRAEME: Not all 4x4s have higher emissions than other cars. K&C will be looking at this. Though if you own a £35k Volvo and have the disposable income common in K&C an increase in the cost of a parking permit may not have much influence. In H&F the idea is to use the carrot to encourage less polluting cars rather than the stick.

JOHN: Graeme, you said you needed to leave at this time. Thank you coming along. It has been a most useful meeting. [Appreciation from all for Graeme and Chris]

The meeting had been very intense and we decided to abandon the rest of the agenda. Other matters will be presented through the email group.

John had expenses of £29.34 for refreshments tonight and a cheque for this amount was issued to him.

Date for next meeting - Tuesday 5 December, 7.15pm for 7.30pm at the info Centre.

John Griffiths [chair / co-ordinator]
020 7371 1290 / 07789 095 748