Tower Hamlets Wheelers have written to all the Mayoral candidates to ask them the following six important questions in advance of the June election.
- Will you support dedicated space for cycling on borough roads, and champion a good Cycling Level of Service (as illustrated by TfL’s London Cycling Design Standards) on all highway schemes in the borough?
- Will you urge Transport for London to address major issues on Cycle Superhighway 2 for which adequate solutions are still outstanding?
- Will you support making the borough wide 20mph speed limit permanent?
- Will you commit to regular (at least quarterly) meetings with THW to discuss relevant cycling issues?
- Will you support using section 106 money to create/improve cycling infrastructure?
- In addition to creating safe space for cycling, what other measures will you adopt to increase the number of journeys by cycle in the borough?
You can also download a printable version of these questions, in case you'd like to question any party canvassers.
Responses will be posted here as we receive them. Last update 9 June 2015, 8 responses received.
- Yes. Cycling is a great way for people to travel around the borough and we need to make sure that this is as easy and as safe as possible. Any works on highways in the borough should include work to implement the Design Standards so that we improve the current provision in the borough. I am currently working with Caroline Pidgeon from the London Assembly on a campaign for the Brunel Bridge, which would be a pedestrians and cyclists only bridge from the Westferry island in Canary Wharf to the Surrey Quays area of Rotherhithe.
- I've used the CS2 previously, but only once as I didn't feel safe until I was off it and cycling along the canal instead! There have been a number of accidents along this route and it clearly needs significant work so that all road users feel safe on its route. Whilst the upgrade proposals TfL have consulted on are, in some areas, a step in the right direction, I think they still need further work and discussions between all affected parties to make sure we get a suitable solution.
- Liberal Democrats have long been supporters of the 20 is Plenty campaign and we have implemented this in a number of areas where we run Councils. If elected Mayor I will support making this permanent as it has been shown to help with improving the local environment and reducing the number of fatal road accidents.
- I want to make sure the Mayor and the Council are seen to be supporting all residents and community groups, so it would be a pleasure to meet with you all on a regular basis alongside relevant Cabinet members and Council officers.
- Certainly - these agreements can be used to support any infrastructure that the Council and local people think is necessary to support our communities so I would be in favour of taking this approach.
- Encouraging businesses to provide garages where cyclists can safely leave their bikes
- Creating spaces covered by CCTV where cyclists can leave their bikes and know they are covered by security cameras
- Ensure that roads are properly maintained to lessen the amount of potholes, as well as identifying areas with high numbers of accidents and working to reduce potential risks
- Working with local businesses to encourage them to build showers for cyclists
- Work with police to allow people to have their bikes tagged so that if they are stolen they can be identified and returned
- I'm a big supporter of the LCC's Space for Cycling campaign and as the local London Assembly Member I have seen the tragic consequences of poor cycling infrastructure in our borough. I have campaigned hard alongside others including Tower Hamlets Wheelers to force the Mayor to rethink his CS2 design and priortise investment in cycling routes to both protect current cyclists and get more people on their bikes.
As Mayor I'd be happy to commit that any new road schemes should at least meet the good Cycling Level of Service assuming there are no major reasons we cannot. Making roads suitable for cyclists is not a token add on it should be at the heart of road design.
- Cycle Superhighway 2 was a great idea but its introduction was a disaster and left cyclists with little more than a splash of blue paint instead of proper segregated cycle lanes. With the amount of casualties we've seen on CS2 its vital that the route is properly protected for cyclists and that TfL don't cut corners.
The new revamped CS2 will be a great step forward and I'm glad the Mayor of London accepts he got the first one devastatingly wrong.
There are still areas which concern me with the new plan, particularly around Bow roundabout and the Whitechapel area where I'll continue to lobby for better solutions. We'll also need to keep an eye on the performance of CS2 after the changes are finished and settled in and address problems that are thrown up.
- Yes, I support the principle of a permanent 20mph speed limit providing no serious problems emerge from the trial. One area we'd need to look carefully at is the extent of compliance and how it is enforced to make sure it is working properly.
It's worth remembering though that in 2013 two thirds of accidents where people were killed or serious injured took place on TfL controlled roads so whilst 20mph limits are clearly not appropriate on all TfL roads, the A12 being the main example, I will work with council officers to ensure those which would benefit from 20mph zones are raised at City Hall, pressing the Mayor of London to extend the current 20mph zones trial on TfL roads if it is successful.
- I definitely support regular meetings and if for any reason this wasn't possible I would expect the cabinet member with responsibility to stand in. We need to open up the mayoralty and make it more accountable to residents. That means putting transparency and openness at the heart of what we do. I would be happy to regularly meet the Wheelers as well as expecting the appropriate cabinet member to maintain a close relationship with your group.
- Yes, with Government cuts hitting the Council hard making the most of our Section 106 contributions will be more important than ever. There will of course be competing demands for S106 funds but cycling is a priority and I will push for good cycling infrastructure as standard in new developments and using contributions to invest in the surrounding areas. One thing I want to look at is how we can increase the amount of on-street cycle storage in the borough and make streets more bike and pedestrian friendly.
- The new London 'Quietways' are a great opportunity to promote cycling to those who are not already on their bike, particularly given one will run through Tower Hamlets. I want to make the absolute most of the new Cycle Superhighways and Quietways, that means the Council actively promoting cycling, something I would ensure as Mayor. I also think the new 20mph routes need a much bigger public information campaign to get people to comply, thus far this has been entirely lacking, I want to put that right.
There's also work to be done with the Canal and River Trust to improve our vast network of towpaths. Their 'Share the Space' campaign is a good start but there's so much more they could do to improve tow paths making them safer, better lit and more well used routes to travel our borough.
- Yes in principle, but I'd like to be much more better informed about this and would welcome an early meeting. I say in principle because I don't want to just agree to get votes. I am generally very sympathetic to cyclists in TH.
- Yes. I also think TfL needs to be much more accountable and responsive.
- Yes I would wish to positively consider this as an option. I would wish to talk to Southwark and other councils about their experiences. I would also like to review the punitive car parking policies.
It is true that a 20 mph limit is frustrating to motorists, while they get used to it and that the same limit seems entirely reasonable to cyclists and the risks of death from accidents to people on the streets seems clear.
I'd like a more sensible and rational local transport - not killing cyclists, not robbing motorists, not poisoning the air and not spoiling the urban environment. It's not rocket science.
- I will set up forums with voting powers when elected and would propose we discuss whether THW might be one of them. Extending democracy between elections. The mechanisms would have to be worked out but why not a voting cycling forum?
- Yes, on condition that other important priorities are not neglected.
- See above for the need for a rational, humane local transport policy.
- Of course...The Green Party and myself personally have always supported the adoption of cycling and walking as the preferred mode of transport in London.These methods of transit encourage a healthier lifestyle (reducing the pressure on the NHS); reduce emissions by cutting the number of car journeys (and help combat the effect of climate change); and reduce the pressure on the public transport network (reducing overcrowding on the tubes and buses etc.) It's important to offer cyclists and pedestrians space on the roads that is segregated from the main traffic flow. The concepts behind the development of a 'Tube Network for Bikes' that champion the Superhighway, Quietways and the development of Netherlands-style town centres are good initiatives. I'd also point out that the Green Party was the first party in London to give its full support to the London Cycling Campaign 'Space for Cycling' project.
- Yes. We are working with a number of groups in Tower Hamlets that have objections to the impact of the Superhighway in the Borough.
- It is sensible policy, and the Green Party was an early adopter of the idea. Fundamentally in Central London the default speed limit should be 20mph due to the population densities and the close proximity of moving cars and lorries, moving people on bikes and moving people on the pavements. If driving at 20mph can save a few lives and cut 20,000 injuries by 2020 (and they are the cuts I don't mind supporting) its our duty as citizens to drive just that little bit slower if we can.
- Yes. And even if I don't win I would be happy to meet with THW quarterly to support your campaigns, programmes and cycling in our Borough. Just tell me the time and the place and I'll be there.
- As part of an overall transport strategy, cycling is a vital element to the network. It's not just about using developers' contributions to bus stops and tube stations, but for the whole of this transport network. Remember the Mayor of London has leaned incredibly upon local councils to pony up for the 'Boris Bike' revolution by dipping into Section 106 contributions (despite the Mayor ascribing much of the credit for Boris Bikes to corporate sponsors like Barclays, the lion's share was paid for through 106 payments). I would aggressively use 106 contributions to enhance and improve cycling and walking facilities in the Borough.
- I think that it's really important to promote safe cycling and safety has to learned at an early age. I would promote further specialist training for cycling in primary and secondary schools. I would also offer cyclists the ability to improve their skills at any age through a lifelong learning programme - especially regarding their relationships to other road users, notably pedestrians. If people adopt cycling early in their lives it's likely they'll continue as cyclists in later life. I would also enhance the cycling infrastructure by increasing the number of bike stands in the Borough and secure lock-ups at stations and commercial centres. I would lobby to increase the lock-up facilities in Council buildings and estates, housing associations and stipulate for all new developments that provision is made for secure bike lock ups to encourage to get more more people onto bikes.
- Not practical until the police, who are the regulators, agree to enforce such a limit
- Health and Education provision are my priorities in S106 allocations
- Bring cycling to schools - it may even encourage parents to not clog roads with cars whilst dropping off pupils.
My question to you. What about training cyclists - riding hands free looks good at competitions, it is lethal on a traffic filled road. Likewise cycling and texting do not go together. How are the Wheelers going to encourage cyclists to help themselves?!
- Protecting the environment and improving human health are two of Animal Welfare Party key concerns and, as such, we're committed to promoting cycling across the UK. We believe we need a huge increase in the availability, suitability and safety of cycle lanes in our cities. As Mayor I would fully support the creation of dedicated space for cycling on the borough's roads and aim to always work towards creating a good Cycling Level of Service on all highway schemes.
- The deaths of six cyclists on CS2 since 2011 is totally unacceptable and for plans to improve cyclist safety to have been watered down, as they were, is indefensible. Segregation for cyclists on the stretch of CS2 from Aldgate to Bow is a priority and objections from local businesses and traders should not be allowed to take precedence over the need to protect life. Poor design of junctions on this stretch also remains a serious concern as does the need to offer greater protection for cyclists at Bow roundabout junction. As Mayor I would urge TfL in the strongest way to urgently address these outstanding safety issues on CS2.
- As Mayor I would support making the 20mph speed limit permanent and this is in line with changes happening across Europe, in France, Italy and Spain and supported by the European Transport Safety Council. However, it remains to be seen whether a lower speed limit alone is effective in reducing the speed at which vehicles actually travel. There is evidence from Islington and Brighton, to suggest that 20mph speed limits may lower speed less than anticipated, by only 1mph. Depending on data from the Tower Hamlets pilot scheme and the Department for Transport's three-year study, which sees results due in 2017, it may be that additional methods for reducing speed need to be combined with the lower 20mph speed limit.
- As Mayor I would be happy to meet with THW on a quarterly basis to discuss relevant cycling issues.
- As Mayor I would support the use of section 106 funds to create or improve cycling infrastructure so long as the new infrastructure is related to the proposed development, reasonable in scale and kind to the development and offsets negative impacts caused by the construction and development.
- One of the key barriers to cycling in London is the perception of how safe it is and the creation of safe space for cycling would go some way towards addressing this. The issue of driver attitudes to cyclists remains and I think solutions to that have to be taken at national level through, for example, public information campaigns. I would urge the government to take action on that.
Road surfaces are also an issue and we need to make sure potholes in roads in the borough are dealt with swiftly.
Safety aside, bike theft is a major barrier to getting more people cycling with over 20,000 bikes per year reported to the Met police as stolen but some estimates putting the figure closer to 100,000. We know that once that happens, two thirds are unlikely to cycle again. So, to make it more practical for people in Tower Hamlets to cycle, I'd aim to create more secure, covered cycle parking across the borough at stations, on high streets and at council properties. At the same time we need campaigns to promote the benefits to cyclists of registering and marking bikes and of reporting theft to the police.
I'd make sure new social housing provides adequate and safe space for cycle storage that is perceived to be safe and easily accessed by both men and women alike.
I'd encourage business within the borough to make it easier for staff to cycle, run or work by providing lockers, changing facilities and showers and I'd seek to champion those that are leading the way in this regard.
- Yes, and I will work closely with all involved to ensure I get continuous feedback to act on in relation to what cyclists - and pedestrians- want out of our roads.
- Yes, In particular look forward to working with Tower Hamlets Wheelers and the London Cycling Campaign as well as Whitechapel market traders to ensure a solution that all users of Whitechapel High Street are happy with.
- Yes. The number of cyclists that have been injured or killed on the roads is beyond horrific and doing whatever can be done to save lives should be at the top of the list of any mayor's priorities. I have worked with the Save Mile End campaign set up by Queen Mary university students and other local residents in the aftermath of road deaths. I fully support 20mph speed limits to reduce risk, alongside a No Idling Zone to reduce air pollution.
- Yes, I will do all I can to meet with people to address their concerns, and I also invite TH Wheelers to participate in my proposed People's Question and Answer Times which will hold me to account, and Cabinet and Full Council, which will rotate around the borough for accessibility purpose and provide more space for public questions.
- Yes - There is no reason why London should not be a cycling capital for the world, and Tower Hamlets a cycling capital for London. I want to use all S106 money towards building a Tower Hamlets where people want to live and can afford to live. Cycling infrastructure - along with open spaces, GP surgeries, school places and community facilities - are vital parts of that project.
- I will continue to offer and advertise free cycle training for all residents, and introduce group cycling sessions similar to Skyride to encourage people to become more confident at cycling. My plans for pedestrians and drivers - including more parking bays and improved crossings - will also create safer and more effective roads for cyclists. I will support awareness-raising schemes like Cycle to Work Day. I would also hope that local businesses will be able to provide affordable cycling equipment aided by my plan for a Tower Hamlets Card to boost the local economy.
- My answer is Yes and I would wait for more research and advice on it because of safety issue.
- Of course I will but I believe it requires more research and investigation on this project to protect everyone.
- Sorry I cannot promise you at this stage because all depends on what science bring us next. We never know we can find even a better solution in near future through scientific invention. However I would rely on expertise who are working on it for make it safer for everyone.
- Yes I will and I believe it is a good idea to keep in touch with every one.
- Introducing rewards and incentives for regular cyclist. Provide more facilities for the safety and security of the cyclists.
No response received.
No response received.