Putting public consultation schemes on Cyclescape

We’re asking local group infrastructure reps to load all relevant public consultations and other public schemes to Cyclescape. This is so people from beyond your group, across London – folks who are infrastructure campaigners, folks who live in the area, cycle through it, or just know it well – can easily share their thoughts on a scheme, and provide suggestions or criticisms.

It also means there’s a public record we can look back at in the future of what opinions were around each scheme.

You’ll need a login for yourself and/or your group, then to create the route or area on Cyclescape.org as an “issue” and tag it appropriately (see below).

A group login means you create an area for your borough and you can talk internally among the group on private threads. One good use for this is that you can create private threads to discuss a scheme confidentially amongst approved group members (committee members, infrastructure reps etc.), even discuss potential future schemes or areas or routes in private. It also means anyone who follows the group sees updates on public threads in that area automatically.

Tagging the issue means the route or area appears automatically on LCC’s current consultation map (lcc.org.uk/pages/consultation-map) too. For more detail on how to do this, see below, or blog.cyclescape.org/guide/

  1. Sign up to get a login – set your area of interest once you’re signed in by looking at your profile and drawing an area around locations you’re interested in. Most likely this will be your borough, but you can do all of London and beyond.
  2. Click on issues, do search to see if someone has beaten you to it, then click on “create issue” to create a new consultation topic.
  3. Is it an area or route? If it spans an area, even for instance if it’s just multiple arms of a junction or multiple routes, then draw a border by clicking around the edge of the scheme on the map after clicking “area”. To finish drawing, click back on the start point completing the shape. For a route, just click again on your end point to close the route line.
  4. Tag in “consultation”, the boroughs the scheme is in (this is done all lowercase, with dashes between any words, and should autocomplete as you type – eg “kingston-upon-thames” will appear as you start to type king), if the scheme is run by or has TfL involvement also tag “tfl”, “tfl_consultation”, and if the scheme is one of the following, the appropriate tag: “cycle-superhighway”, “better-junction”, “mini-holland”, “quietway”, “liveable-neighbourhood” etc.
  5. Add a description – easiest is to just copy and paste from the council or TfL’s description of the scheme – with “What the council says” beforehand. Also add the deadline day (with 5pm set as the cut-off if no time is given) and give a link to the consultation site.
  6. Once you’ve added all that, Cyclescape will ask you if you want to copy the description to start a thread. Definitely do something to start a thread straight away, as that’s where the discussion starts, but you don’t have to just repeat the description – you can add your own thoughts, or paste in a link to the plans.
  7. Once you’ve got a thread up and running, you can optionally add a deadline and the link to the consultation as well – both options in making a post on a thread. This means anyone reading the thread has all the info they need to hand. After that, add a post to the thread with your initial, informal thoughts – what you personally think about the scheme on first look. But do be constructive – in case council officers etc. end up reading your comments – remember: Cyclescape is public.

Please note: Cyclescape is generally for schemes that are at public consultation and publicly available. Schemes should not generally be loaded here or shared if they’re not in the public domain yet. If something is not in the public domain then careful use of private group issues can be done, or use something more private. Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack or other online collaborative working tools can let you share plans with a closed, controlled group.

Always be aware of and very careful around issues of confidentiality and do not take risks with relations with officers by breaching their trust.