Westminster revises draft Cycling Strategy

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Cycling Strategy cover

Westminster has now published a revised version of its cycling strategy for public consultation. Complementing the Mayor of London's Vision for Cycling in London, this strategy outlines how the vision will be achieved at a more local level. Link to strategy.

An earlier version published in April 2013 attracted a lot of criticism from cyclists, mainly because it seemed to say more about what Westminster would not do for cycling than what it would do. The latest version addresses this shortcoming by revealing how the council intends to implement the Central London Grid of cycle routes. See separate posting.

The document consists of the following sections:

  1. Introduction. This includes the vision 'to make Westminster a national leader in cycling provision, making it safer and more attractive for a greater number of people, from all backgrounds, to cycle more frequently.'
  2. National, London and Westminster Context. This section highlights recent changes in travel patterns, in particular the growth in cycling at the expense of other modes. It also recognises that walking and cycling have a key role to play in encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles through physical activity and staying more active and independent for longer. And it acknoweldges that encouraging modal shift away from car journeys towards more sustainable options such as walking and cycling can help to improve some of the poorest air quality in the country.
  3. Opportunities and Challenges. Among other things, this section includes some interesting analyses of attitudes towards cycling and market segmentation.
  4. Westminster's Vision for Cycling.The high-level objectives are:
    1. To create safer and more legible routes
    2. To improve road user interaction, education and enforcement
    3. To facilitate bicycle ownership/access and parking
    4. To raise awareness and participation in cycling
  5. Delivering change.The main areas of activity correspond to the high-level objectives, namely:
    1. Creating safer and more legible routes
    2. Improving road user interaction, education and enforcement
    3. Facilitating bicycle ownership/access and parking
    4. Raising awareness and participation in cycling
  6. Implementation Plan. Years beyond 2013-14 are still to be completed.
  7. Targets and Monitoring. These include
    • Increase the percentage of cycling trips originating in Westminster made by Londoners from 3% in 2013/14 to 7% by 2025/26
    • Increase the percentage of cycling trips to work made by residents from 5% in 2013/14 to 7% by 2025/26

As well as inclusion of the Central London Grid, the Strategy has a number of improvements from the earlier version, including:

  • A more explicit target ‘to achieve a 7% modal share for cycling by 2026, for trips originating in Westminster’. This compares with the previous target ‘to exceed the Mayor's target of achieving a 5% modal share for cycling by 2026, for trips originating in Westminster’.
  • Expansion of the criteria for cycle routes to the usual five: direct, legible, coherent, attractive and comfortable to use.
  • A more explicit statement of the types of measure that the council will introduce on the Central London Grid, such as allowing two-way cycling in one-way streets and segregated lanes and junctions, depending on the type of road.
  • A commitment to keep its policy not to impose 20mph limits ‘under active review’.

However, the council still feels itself bound by a number of constraints, such as:

  • Its ‘responsibility to keep the city moving and balance the needs of all road users’
  • Physical constraints posed by many narrow streets
  • Kerbside access (e.g. for buses or servicing)
  • Whether the traffic impact can be accommodated

The council is now inviting comments on the draft cycling strategy. You can take part in this consultation and tell the council what you think by completing an on-line questionnaire. Questionnaires should be completed by no later than Monday 20 January 2014. However, cyclists with more specific comments may be better advised to write to cycling@westminster.gov.uk

Link to strategy »

This post was edited by Westminster Cycling Campaign at 09:18pm 18 Dec 2013.

Replies

There are obviously limits to what an authority can do for cycling without reducing traffic. Westminster seems to be proposing to do what it can within those limits.

In the circumstances, a cycle network based mainly on back streets looks like a feasible option. I was pleased to note that providing space for car parking is no longer cited as a constraint.

Considering the investment in cycle training at schools, the number of schoolchildren cycling is still disappointing. This is probably a reflection on the infrastructure rather than the training.

As ever, getting a council to agree a half-decent strategy is one thing. Getting them to follow it is another!

  • By showes at 07:37pm 16 Dec 2013

This is far from half decent its more of the same old rubish. Training, training and few sign posts. The nonsence they spowt is beyond belief suggesting that as young men are involved in more accidents they need more training.Oh I dont know maybe its as they are the majority of cyclists on the roads and cycling in westminster is not safe so when accidents occure its mostly thouse cycling that get hurt.Maybe if you made the roads safe then this would not be the case. But on gold old westminster concil knows the solution more trainning then when an agressive driver runs you over your training will kick in and you will be able to jump out of the way and avoid being killed or take the lane and deal with the endless abuse. I am sure we all want to cycle in that fun fun VC way. After all its the solution to all the woe of cycling. Best not change the road or do anything of any actual use.

 

Colin are you really dissappointed by the number of children cycling? hell would you want your child or loved one to head out on Westminsters clogged and dangerous roads after taking one of the many bullshit courses. The reality goes a little somthing like this :

Trainer : "Ok little johnny just take the lane and it will all be ok"

Johnny : "But they are driver right at me and hurling abuse its not much fun"

Trainer : "Oh the agressive drivers trying to push you of the road and hurling abuse at you dont worrie about them"

Johnny : " Owch that car hit me as its passed me " 

Trainer : "oh the did a close overtake and you got it! Well its your fault take that lane properly"

Johnny: " Sod this I am getting the bus"

Its a fun little angry rant but its the reality of cycling in westminster. This stragergy is a joke and will ensure that cycling continues to be unsafe and unplesent in Westminster for years to come.

Please join us at our meeting on Monday 06 January 2014 to have your say on the issues that affect you and other cyclists, and inform our response to the draft Westminster Cycling Strategy and Central London Grid.

Westminster Cycling Campaign is the local group of the London Cycling Campaign. Our group is open to any London Cycling Campaign member who lives, works, studies or cycles in the City of Westminster. The majority of our 270 members are Westminster residents. When we write to our local councillors, we are writing to Westminster's councillors.

We meet at 7pm at the rear of the Cleveland Arms, 28 Chilworth Street, W2 6DT. Food, alcoholic and soft drinks are available.

This post was edited by Westminster Cycling Campaign at 09:23pm 18 Dec 2013.

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