The new cycling strategy is really (web page and document) quite good. With commitment to 15% of all trips by bike within ten years, broadening the demographic of people who cycle in the borough, and plans to work more closely with stakeholders, there are good ideas, backed up with some serious thought.
Obviously, funding is going to be a concern, and much is this is contingent on allocating scarce council funds, or persuading Transport for London to pay, but the strategy does recognise that there are things that can be done, and that making cycling better involves real change to our roads and our public space.
So we need you to give the council your qualified support on this one. Sure, there are lots of things we’d like to tweak / improve, and they’re listed below, but you can respond to the council quickly – here’s how:
1. You can email the consultation team with a response firstname.lastname@example.org
2. You can fill in their form here
3. You can drop us a note and we’ll collate your responses: email@example.com
But here are some ideas we’d like to add. Feel free to copy and paste these, add your own bits, etc.!
SIX BIG IDEAS TO MAKE THE STRATEGY EVEN BETTER
Supporting local businesses who want to try cargo bikes.
Like Homebase is trialling: http://www.londongreencycles.co.uk/homebase-trials-cargo-bikes/
Help schools more
All our local schools should have enough bike parking, and should be priority areas for 20mph zones and safe spaces to cycle
The borough could also support schemes like the one in Camden, where children can buy and sell bikes they’re growing out of. (This is hinted at in B4, but when someone says they’ll ‘investigate the feasibility of facilitating’ something, it sounds awfully like it will never happen.)
A good example of an organisation we could work with is http://www.peddlemywheels.com/
Work with businesses
We love this idea, but we’d like active development here to support proper parking at every new business, and access by foot and bicycle to be the number one transport priority for any new business in the area.
This should be a full programme of work, not just a trial. We already use it on dozens of roads around the borough, and many more roads would benefit from less through traffic.
But the big one: segregation
We know that cycling really takes off only when you provide people safe spaces to ride – like on the Embankment, or in Tavistock Place. We’d like to see the cycling strategy actively commit to building more safe space to cycle
Enforcement and Safety
The recent policy change by West Midlands police make real sense to us. Cycling UK describe it as ‘the best cycling road safety initiative ever’. WM Police have said
“If poor driving makes people too scared to cycle, it’s a police matter.”
We want Richmond Council and local police to step up to the crease on this one: it’s not good enough to talk about ‘targeting any road user’ – they need to target the danger. We don’t endorse or support people who break the law when they’re on a bike, but we if more effort is going to be spent on enforcement of the law, it needs to take into account the genuine danger in the offences being looked at: we can’t be moaning about a few cyclists on the pavement when the borough is plagued with people driving cars and vans when they can’t look up from their phones.