Westminster revises draft Cycling Strategy
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:
- 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.'
- 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.
- Opportunities and Challenges. Among other things, this section includes some interesting analyses of attitudes towards cycling and market segmentation.
- Westminster's Vision for Cycling.The high-level objectives are:
- To create safer and more legible routes
- To improve road user interaction, education and enforcement
- To facilitate bicycle ownership/access and parking
- To raise awareness and participation in cycling
- Delivering change.The main areas of activity correspond to the high-level objectives, namely:
- Creating safer and more legible routes
- Improving road user interaction, education and enforcement
- Facilitating bicycle ownership/access and parking
- Raising awareness and participation in cycling
- Implementation Plan. Years beyond 2013-14 are still to be completed.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was edited by Westminster Cycling Campaign at 9:18pm 18 December 2013.