Mayor’s Question Time – 01/10: On Your Bike

1 comment

Cyclists and roadworks. Cycle racks at Kennington. Cost of the cycle hire scheme.

Now that the additional guidelines ‘providing for cyclists at road works’ have been adopted by Transport for London, will TfL veto any road management plan for temporary roadworks on TfL roads, which does not comply with the guidelines? – Jenny Jones

The new guidelines ‘providing for cyclists at road works’ to which you refer were developed to minimise the disruption to cycling during temporary road works. These guidelines contain agreed good practice, developed and collated by TfL, including the addition of advisory signing to that commonly authorised by DfT. All engineers have a professional duty to consider available good practice – and I have asked Transport for London to ensure that this and other cycling good practice is referenced in all relevant contracts.

How many boroughs have also adopted the additional guidelines ‘providing for cyclists at road works’? – Jenny Jones

The guidelines are yet to be launched. This will be considered as part of the launch of the final version of my London Cycle Safety Plan, which is scheduled to be launched in the coming months.

The Kennington and Oval Forum have contacted me about the need for Cycle Racks at Kennington Cross particularly for local cyclists. An area outside the Dog House on Kennington Road is a suitable place supported by local residents and Lambeth Council. There appears to be a lack of support for the request at TfL. Please can you ensure that TfL engages with this project and supports this request for cycle racks? – Val Shawcross

I am pleased to confirm that Transport for London has engaged with this project, supports this request and that this location is on the action list. A site inspection has taken place with further investigative work required before implementation can proceed. TfL has scheduled the implementation of this scheme to take place in May 2010.

The investment programme report for the second quarter 2009/10 estimates the final cost of the cycle hire scheme at £91.6m. This is a 60% increase in comparison to figures produced in early 2009 when the costs for this project were estimated at £58.9m. Can you explain the reasons behind this huge increase? – Jennette Arnold

It was always the case that costs would not be finalised until procurement of a service provider was complete. TfL followed a competitive procurement process and Serco’s bid was the most economically advantageous.

The figure of £58.9m was an early estimate, prepared prior to completion of the procurement process. Estimating costs for the Cycle Hire scheme at the early stages proved challenging due to the innovative nature of the project compared to other major projects and schemes. This figure was also based on an assumption of implementing 365 docking stations. As a result of further site identification work it was necessary to increase this number to 400, resulting in additional costs.

Following concerns from local residents about cycling on the pavement along New Cross Road can you look at additional enforcement measures here in your role as both Chair of the MPA and Chair of TfL? – Darren Johnson

I know that cycling on pavements is a concern for many residents. It has been raised in the consultation on my draft Transport Strategy and is often raised in safer neighbourhood team panel meetings. I am also aware of the concerns of many cyclists at the impact of others’ behaviour on their safety.

I can assure you that I am determined to deal with the issue of inappropriate behaviour by cyclists. Transport for London and the Metropolitan and City of London Police Services are working together to step up enforcement against cyclists who put themselves or other road users at risk through their behaviour. There will be series of operations this year at problem locations to use education and enforcement to bring about a change in cyclists’ behaviour and to encourage safer, considerate cycling. This will be complementary to other activity that Transport for London may plan under the ‘Share the Road’ initiative that seeks to encourage responsible and respectful behaviour by all road users. In addition, the potential to increase the penalty for cycling on pavements to £60 is being investigated.

I have been dealing with an increasing amount of casework about dangerous cycling on pavements and pedestrian crossings especially on Essex Road and Upper Street in Islington. What do you have to say to my constituents who rightly question whether there is any will at all in your office to do something about this? – Jennette Arnold

I know that cycling on pavements is a concern for many residents. It has been raised in the consultation on my draft Transport Strategy and is often raised in safer neighbourhood team panel meetings. I am also aware of the concerns of many cyclists at the impact of others’ behaviour on their safety.

I can assure you that I am determined to deal with the issue of inappropriate behaviour by cyclists. Transport for London and the Metropolitan and City of London Police Services are working together to step up enforcement against cyclists who put themselves or other road users at risk through their behaviour. There will be series of operations this year at problem locations to use education and enforcement to bring about a change in cyclists’ behaviour and to encourage safer, considerate cycling. This will be complementary to other activity that Transport for London may plan under the ‘Share the Road’ initiative that seeks to encourage responsible and respectful behaviour by all road users. In addition, the potential to increase the penalty for cycling on pavements to £60 is being investigated.

I encourage you to ask the Safer Neighbourhood Team for Essex Road and Upper Street to engage in this activity.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.