London Mayor’s Question Time – November 2011

November’s questions and answers on to the London Mayor on cycling related issues:

Turning Left at Red Lights

Question No: 3414 / 2011

Victoria Borwick

Have you had an opportunity to reconsider your answer to question 2419/2010?

Written response from the Mayor

As I said in response to your question 2419/2011, I would not support any proposal to allow motorised vehicles to turn left at red lights. This is illegal in the UK under national regulations, and would increase the risk of collisions between road traffic and pedestrians.

As you know however, I am keen to explore the potential for cyclists to be permitted to turn left, against red traffic signals.  There have been similar trials of this in Strasbourg and Bordeaux.

Changing the regulations to allow cyclists to turn left against a red signal would require an amendment to Secondary Legislation. TfL would need to demonstrate that it was safe and worthwhile.

TfL is discussing with the DfT whether a trial to allow cyclists to turn left at a red traffic signal could be permitted, in order to inform the evidence DfT would need.

Cycle superhighways

Question No: 3264 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

How many Cycle Superhighways are planned for the next financial year and at what cost? Please list the routes and timescales

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Cycle hire scheme

Question No: 3266 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

A freedom of information request stated that TfL was expecting a total income by March 2012 of £7m for the cycle hire scheme compared with the original estimated annual income of £18m. Why is the difference of figures so stark, and what are you doing to ensure that more income is generated from the scheme?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

King’s Cross Junction (1)

Question No: 3267 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Further to MQ 2489/2010, you stated that “there have been few speed-related collisions” on King’s Cross one-way system roads such as Pentonville Road and that there are therefore “no additional proposals” to reduce speeds for these roads. Do you still hold this opinion following the tragic death of a cyclist in this area on the 3rd October?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

King’s Cross Junction (2)

Question No: 3268 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Three years ago a report titled ‘The TfL PERS and CSA 07/08 Category A Station Audits King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations Final Report’ included a clear recommendation that TfL should “reduce traffic speeds around the [Euston Road/Gray’s Inn Road/Pentonville Road/York Way] junction” in order to improve safety. Can you explain the reasons why you discarded the advice that was presented to you, and what factors you took into account when choosing to do so?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

King’s Cross Junction (3)

Question No: 3269 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Can you further explain why the current TfL proposals for King’s Cross junction improvements were apparently not designed with the objective of reducing speed, but to “enable a larger number of people to move around,” according to the consultation on these schemes?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

King’s Cross Junction (4)

Question No: 3270 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Further to MQ (1875/2011), you said that one-way systems where there is “evidence of poor performance, particularly in terms of safety” and where there is “a strong local consensus for change” are prioritised for removal. You added that schemes to remove gyratories must be feasible in engineering terms and those that have funding from external sources such as redevelopment schemes are prioritised. Do you think the King’s Cross gyratory system is performing well, particularly in terms of safety? If not, what steps will you take to ensure the removal of this gyratory system, in line with your policy?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Longer length lorries on London’s roads

Question No: 3277 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Due to the potential hazards to cyclists, will you commit to ban the proposed longer length lorries from TfL’s roads, announced by the DfT to allow a trial of a number of lorries which are 2.05 metres longer in length?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Cycle accidents

Question No: 3299 / 2011

Caroline Pidgeon

Please state what steps you are taking to mitigate the steep rise in cycle fatalities that has taken place between 2010 and 2011 in London.

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Secure Cycle Parking

Question No: 3342 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Norbiton railway station has the ninth worst cycle theft rate of all London stations, according to the Mayor’s cycle security plan. Will you lobby South West Trains to install a secure restricted access cycle compound at this station to address this problem?

Written response from the Mayor

Since the publication of the Cycle Security Plan, which identified theft hotspots across London, the British Transport Police (BTP) has stepped up its efforts to tackle cycle theft from stations acrossLondon, working closely with Transport for London through the Cycle Security Working Group.

Norbiton station, as you point out, had a relatively high cycle theft rate and was one of a number of stations identified as a priority for action. The BTP has since conducted a number of cycle surgeries at the station, including two this summer, offering security marking of bikes and crime prevention advice.  In addition, the BTP Clapham Junction Neighbourhood Policing Team patrols the station during their operations. I’m pleased to report that there has been a marked reduction in cycle related offences at this station, including theft and vandalism. During 2010/11 there were 9 offences reported, 7 of which related directly to the theft of a cycle, compared to 17 offences in 2009/10.

Improving cycle parking at stations is a priority for me and earlier this year I asked the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) to work with TfL to increase the numbers of secure cycle parking spaces at stations across London, both to meet demand for cycling to stations, and also to reduce incidences of theft. Funding is provided by both TfL and Network Rail to support the TOCs in this work.

South West Trains is required to provide an additional 700 cycle parking spaces on its network as part of the franchise agreement and TfL is already working with it to identify priority stations in Londonfor cycle parking improvements.   Additional facilities for Norbiton station will be considered as part of this process.

Cycle provision on replacement buses

Question No: 3343 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Can you ensure that replacement bus services provided as a result of engineering works on railway lines have provision for carrying non-folding bicycles?

Written response from the Mayor

Unfortunately it is not possible to carry non-folding bikes on rail replacement bus services as there is not enough room for bikes to be safely stowed whilst still allowing for passengers to get by and/or for wheelchair or pushchair users to be accommodated. This policy is consistent with the approach that other train operating companies take regarding rail replacement buses.

Folding bikes can be taken on rail replacement buses, provided there is sufficient space and they are stowed safely.

Cycle expenses allowance

Question No: 3344 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Will you raise the cycle allowance to 40p per mile for journeys by GLA group staff so that it removes the perverse incentive to drive? Currently GLA staff receive 20p per bicycle mile and 45p per car mile, while TfL staff receive 40p per car mile and 12p per bicycle mile.

Written response from the Mayor

TfL’s rate of payment for cyclists is 20p per mile and not 12p per mile as stated in your question.

The mileage allowance payments reimburse employees for expenses when using their own transport for business purposes and it is to help with the wear and tear on the mode of travel.  The car allowance is higher than the cycle allowance because the cost of running and maintaining a car is higher than those for a bicycle. Neither represents an ‘inducement’ and there is no intention based on the above to pay both equally.

The allowances derive from HMRC Government guidelines and the mileage allowance payment for bicycles is in line with HMRC’s tax exempt rate. Any payments made above the 20p per mile will be subject to tax and national insurance.

There are currently no plans to increase the mileage allowance for bicycles.

However, as you know I am committed to increasing cycling in London and therefore GLA Group employees are encouraged to use bikes through favourable benefits scheme such as Cycle2 Work, bike loans, free cycle training and shower facilities.

Pedicabs

Question No: 3345 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Given the repeated failure of attempts to legislate on the issue of Pedicabs, will you ask TfL to take the lead in drawing up a partnership agreement for regulation with Westminster Council and the Pedicab companies?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Superhighway speed limits

Question No: 3346 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Will you designate roads on the Cycle Superhighway route 5 that run through New Cross, Peckham and Camberwell’s town centres as 20mph? I understand that the borough and local pedestrian and cycle safety groups are in favour, mean speeds are low enough to make it workable and that collision statistics along these stretches of road are already unacceptably high.

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycling tour of dangerous roads

Question No: 3347 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Will you join me and other cyclists on a tour of 10 of the most dangerous roads for cyclists in London, including Kings Cross, the Bow Roundabout and Elephant and Castle? This would enable you to explain to the cycling community the reasons for your inaction in dealing with the most concerning issues at these sites.

Written response from the Mayor

As you are aware there has been no “inaction” about cycle safety under my administration and, as I said at the MQT session, I would be most grateful if Members said in their public statements that, despite the tragic recent incidences, cycling is becoming safer in London.

I am a keen cyclist and know well most of the junctions that you have labelled “the most dangerous”.

Tottenham Hale and the Cycle Superhighway (1)

Question No: 3348 / 2011

Jenny Jones

Why is the Tottenham Hale redesign not taking account of the wider redesign of road layouts along your A10 Cycle Superhighway, of which it will be part? Will the two projects join up?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Tottenham Hale and the Cycle Superhighway (2)

Question No: 3349 / 2011

Jenny Jones

What is the projected increase in cycling being used for the modelling of traffic flows when Tottenham Hale is redesigned?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Boris Bikes

Question No: 3438 / 2011

Richard Tracey

Please can you provide an update on the expansion of the Boris Bike scheme to Wandsworth and the progress that has been made since your announcement in July 2011?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme complaints

Question No: 3491 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

How many complaints have been received over the past six months about the cycle hire scheme? Please provide breakdown by month and also in the following categories: a) access to the cycles and b) complaints about the service at the call centre.

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme expansion

Question No: 3492 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

When will the cycle hire scheme be expanded into South London?

Written response from the Mayor

Barclays Cycle Hire currently operates in Central London, including in parts of South London within the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.

As part of Barclays Cycle Hire Phase 2, which will launch in spring 2012, there will be intensification of docking stations within the existing zone and this will include parts of Lambeth and Southwark.

In July 2011, TfL’s Board gave approval to begin site identification for Barclays Cycle Hire Phase 3.  This would potentially be an extension to the west and southwest of the current zone, and would include additional parts of Kensington & Chelsea and Lambeth, as well as going to two new boroughs: Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth.  The site identification process is currently underway within the expansion boroughs and, subject to TfL’s Board approving the full extension, Phase 3 could be operational by summer 2013.

Cycle Safety Bow Flyover

Question No: 3507 / 2011

John Biggs

Will you instruct TfL to consider urgent actions to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety at this junction?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Superhighway 2 (CS2)

Question No: 3514 / 2011

John Biggs

What steps have you, or TfL taken, to ensure the completion of CS2 from Bow to Ilford, in accordance with The London Plan, as soon as possible after the Olympic Games have ended?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

CS2 (1)

Question No: 3523 / 2011

John Biggs

Have you ever cycled along the Bow Road section of CS2 during rush hour?

Written response from the Mayor

As you are aware I am a keen cyclist and, although not during the peak period, I have cycled along the Bow Road section of CS2. Members of TfL’s design team have cycled along all the routes at many different times.

CS2 (2)

Question No: 3524 / 2011

John Biggs

Do you think that the Bow Road section of the CS2 could accommodate a segregated cycle lane, like the one in Cable Street, given that the pavements along Bow Road are very wide?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Traffic Offences (1)

Question No: 3525 / 2011

John Biggs

How many cyclists were penalised for traffic offences in London in the past year?

Written response from the Mayor

In the last financial year there were 11,597 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued to cyclists in London.  8,027 were for cycling on the footway and 3,570 for contravening a red light.

With the number of people travelling by cycle in the Capital increasing, officers from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have been using both education and enforcement to encourage considerate and safe behaviour from all road users and promote sharing the road safely.

TfL recently bolstered the Police numbers in the MPS Cycle Task Force to tackle road user antisocial behaviour. These additional officers are dedicated to reducing conflict between road users, ensuring that everyone abides by the rules of the road, as well as enforcing unsafe driving or cycling practices.

Officers regularly target key locations based on intelligence and local priorities where they focus on road users who disobey traffic signals, encroach on advance stop lines, or cycling on pavements.

Traffic Offences (2)

Question No: 3526 / 2011

John Biggs

How many motorists were penalised for encroaching into cycle lanes in London in the past year?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycling

Question No: 3534 / 2011

Nicky Gavron

How many projects to improve safety for cyclists on London’s roads have been delayed or cancelled since 2008?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

King’s Cross

Question No: 3535 / 2011

Nicky Gavron

Can you outline how many recommendations of the 2008 report commissioned by TfL into safety around King’s Cross have been delivered?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (1)

Question No: 3612 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What revenue did the cycle hire scheme generate from users in its first year of operation?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (2)

Question No: 3613 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What was the total cost of the cycle hire scheme last year?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (3)

Question No: 3614 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What were the anticipated revenues from users for the first year of the cycle hire scheme?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (3)

Question No: 3615 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What were the anticipated revenues from users for the first year of the cycle hire scheme?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (4)

Question No: 3616 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What is the total anticipated cost of the cycle hire scheme over the next a) 1 year b) 2 years c) 4 years d) 5 years e)10 years?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (5)

Question No: 3617 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What proportion of London residents have used the cycle hire scheme a) at all b) once each month c) once each week?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (6)

Question No: 3618 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

When is the cycle hire scheme anticipated to expand to a) Zone 2 b) Zone 3 c) Zone 4 e) Zone 5 and f)Zone 6?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (7)

Question No: 3619 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What proportion of the total anticipated cost of the cycle hire scheme over the next 5 years will be met through the Barclays’ sponsorship deal?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

Cycle Hire Scheme (8)

Question No: 3620 / 2011

Valerie Shawcross

What proportion of London residents live within 400 metres of a cycle hire docking station?

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly

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