CCC news update: More Heath Cycle Route Proposals, Royal College Street Cycle Track Unusable

Paul Gasson <paulgasson@...>

Items in this bulletin:
  • More Cycle Route Proposals for Heath
  • Contractors Render Royal College Street Cycle Track Unusable
  • Risk Compensation & Helmet Wearing
  • LCC's 2001 Awards
  • Rethink on road humps
  • Zen & Cycling
  • Cycling in the Local Press

Paul Gasson
Camden Cycling Campaign Co-ordinator
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More Cycle Route Proposals for Heath
Two cyclists (who are not CCC members) have acheived generous coverage in this week's Ham & High (see Cycling in the Press) on their proposals for 3 major cycle track circuits in Hampstead Heath; their routes would more than double the current cycle route length to 6 miles.
These suggested routes have the advantage of making CCC's proposals which were recently consulted on look insignificant in comparison. Thus the Corporation of London might (despite the likely high proportion of negative consultation responses) be more likely to view our more modest suggestions favourably. On the other side of the coin this is bound to whip up even more controversey in the local press.
A large map reproduced from the Ham & High showing the routes can be found on our web site here:

Contractors Render Royal College Street Cycle Track Unusable
The Royal College Street cycle track has been half obstructed for the last few weeks with construction materials, and on some days contractors vehicles have totally blocked the track, rendering it unusable. The problem is being caused by contractors Gabriel, who are undertaking pavement renewal as part of Camden's ambitious Boulevard street environment improvement programme.
Note only are the contractors not providing any alternative facilities or signposted diversions for cyclists (remember that the 2 way track runs along a one way street), but their vehicles are damaging what were the pristine surfaces and beautifully constructed segregating islands.
CCC is not only concerned about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians during these works, but is also worried that  cyclists who have been forced to divert into different routes could take a long time to return.
We have complained to the council on a number of occasions, and are highly disappointed that the council cannot seem to bring about any improvements. Now one of our Committee members has taken a raft of photos which graphically show the damming evidence - see some of them here:
Pictures copyright Lionel Shapiro

Risk Compensation & Helmet Wearing
An exchange on risk compensation & helmet wearing between Diane C. Thompson, Robert S. Thompson, Frederick P. Rivara (internationally acknowledged as the principal exponents of cycle helmet wearing), and Mayer Hillman & John Adams. Published in 'Injury Prevention', June 2001.

LCC's 2001 Awards
Do you have a nomination for any category in LCC's 2001 Awards?
  • Best Cycle Route
  • Best Cycle Facility (e.g. cycle crossing of a main road)
  • Most effective complementary activity (a project which encourages or facilitates cycling without involving engineering work)
Most cycle friendly new building development
Suggestions to CCC by 30th September, or LCC by Friday 5 October 2001.  

Rethink on road humps
Evening Standard 6/8/01
by David Williams, Motoring Editor

The heyday of the road hump may be over. Despite its huge popularity with transport planners and safety campaigners, new research reveals the devices send pollution levels from cars soaring. Humps - also known as speed cushions, sleeping policemen and ramps - were rigorously tested alongside other traffic calming devices to find whether they had an adverse effect on car emission levels.

Scientists found that while the humps do indeed slow motorists down and prevent accidents, they also constitute a health hazard.

The findings have triggered calls from motoring organisations for the devices to be phased out and replaced with more environment friendly calming devices instead.
With an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 humps in London, this could take many years.

Scientists tested vehicle emissions in residential streets across London and the South-East before calming measures were introduced, and then after. Locations included Walton-on-Thames, Sutton, Harrow, Slough, Bracknell, and Sandhurst.

Chicanes, pinch points and mini-roundabouts were all found to cause cars to emit more pollution from their exhausts, but it was the road hump that fared worst of all, sending emissions of carbon monoxide up by 82 per cent and hydrocarbons up by 65 per cent.

Emissions of toxic nitrogen oxide fumes from diesel cars rose by as much as 37 per cent, and particulates - linked with breathing disorders - rose by 30 per cent.
However at a "build-out", where the road is restricted with wider pavements, emissions were just 31 per cent for carbon monoxide and two per cent for hydrocarbons.

The detailed 94-page report by the Transport Research Laboratory, commissioned by the Department of Transport, repeatedly cites the road hump as the most pollution-boosting device of all. While the study found "severe" humps achieve the greatest accident savings because they slow traffic right down, the same effect means car engines have to work even harder to push the car forward again.
The study found that measures involving more moderate speed cushions - smaller "blocks" of asphalt - and horizontal deflections such as pinch points, result in smaller speed reductions and smaller rises in emissions.

It urges local authorities to "adopt a balanced approach" to traffic calming, saying: "In Air Quality Management Areas, where air pollution standards are frequently breached, particular attention would need to be given to the balance between reductions in injury accidents and increases in vehicle emissions."
The study concedes, however, that it is "very unlikely" the effects of traffic calming alone would result in poor local air quality.

It was in March 1990 that the then Transport Secretary Cecil Parkinson gave the go-ahead for councils to install sleeping policemen, signalling what many motorists interpreted as open warfare on their right to drive freely. Few devices have so split local communities or done more to polarise the views of motorists and safety campaigners.

Many householders in London have campaigned for humps in their own roads to slow or deter traffic. An equal number have campaigned against. Even those who welcome them in their own street complain about those in neighbouring roads - the ones they drive through on the way to work.

The scientists also found that at the test sites the speed of cars before traffic calming devices were installed was between 24mph and 33mph. Afterwards it speeds were reduced to between 14mph and 26mph, delivering a clear improvement to road safety.

For safety campaigners the arguments are compelling: the study says that for every one mph drop in speed there is a five per cent drop in injury accidents.

Today, at least one senior local government officer admitted the latest report is now forcing a major rethink. Pat Kent, director of strategic services at Lambeth council, which has installed numerous humps, said: "We will now be looking at how we can achieve a better balance between the need to calm traffic, cut accidents and keep emissions low.
"We now know that the level of emissions is closely linked with road humps following this report and are taking notice."

Another senior London local authority planner said: "There is no doubt this will have a major effect right across London and switch the emphasis away from road humps towards other forms of traffic calming. Authorities have already begun reconsidering - some may even now dig up humps and install more modern systems instead."

Rebecca Rees of the AA said: "To go over a hump, a car has to slow right down to a crawl, change gear and accelerate away. This uses more petrol and creates more fumes. While it won't seriously damage London's air quality overall, it does create more local pollution which is worrying.
"Humps have their place but authorities should use chicanes instead."

Kevin Delaney of the RAC Foundation said: "For years the UK government denied that speed humps added to pollution - now they have commissioned a study which proves it. Local authorities will be forced to radically rethink the way in which they tackle traffic calming."

The Association of London Government, however, is standing by the hump.
A spokesman said: "By reducing the amount of traffic travelling along a road, humps reduce overall pollution. It is a trade-off and there are important safety issues. If you have children rollerblading or cycling in a road then humps make it safer."

Zen & Cycling
From Shawn Gosieski in New Cyclist, Autumn 1988.

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying the sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the first student, "You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!" The teacher commended the second student, "Your eyes are open, and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings." The teacher was pleased, and said to the fourth student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your student!"

Cycling in the Local Press

Cyclists suggest three more paths for Heath
Proposals would create six miles of traffic-free bike routes
Ham & High 10/8/01
Chris Leggett

THREE new circular cycle routes should be set up on Hampstead Heath to encourage more bike riders to enjoy the open space, say two cyclists.
Cycling enthusiasts Rod Burgess and Gerry Bryson have drawn up their own plans to introduce additional cycle paths.
They hope the idea will be considered as part of public consultation on cycling on the Heath.

The first path would loop around West Heath, Sandy Heath and Parliament Hill Fields using the existing Millfield lane as a cross link. The second would go in and around the Kenwood estate - if permission was given by English Heritage which manages the stately home and grounds. The third route would integrate the Hampstead Heath Extension.
If all three options are taken up, the pair claim, it would allow six miles of traffic-free cycling for recreational purposes.

They intend to submit their ideas to the Corporation of London which manages the Heath and is carrying out public consultation on the possibility of increasing cycle routes on it.
The consultation follows a request from Camden Cycling Campaign to link four existing cycle paths to form a single route from the northwest to the south-east of the 791-acre heath.
At present, cyclists are permitted to travel along routes from Nassington Road to Highgate Road, East Heath car park to Millfield Lane, Spaniards Road to Millfield laane, and West Heath Road to North End Way.

Mr Burgess, 56, a university lecturer in urban planning who lives in Finchley Road, West Hampstead, believes that the current cycling provision is woefully inadequate".
He and Mr Bryson, 52, who lives in King Henry's Road, Primrose Hill, believe that cyclists should not be limited just to crossing the Heath.

Mr Burgess said: "More cyclists should be encouraged tonic the Heath for recreational purposes as well as transit. It would not be expensive and it would get people off the roads. At least one of these three paths should be set up as it would get more people using bikes."
Mr Burgess accepts that any attempt to increase cycle paths is likely to be met with opposition from other Heath users including walkers who resent the potential dangers of bike riding.
He said ³We should separate pedestrians and cyclists as much possible to reduce the contact between the two groups. We are not militant cyclists -just ordinary cyclists who want to help solve the problems. The concept of more cycle paths must be accepted as we are trailing so many other major cifies in the world."

The findings of the consultation exercise on cycle routes are due to be presented to the Corporation of London's Hampstead Heath Management Committee and Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee in the autumn.

See a map of the proposals here:

King's Cross cycle hell
Camden New Journal 9/8/01

IN his letter last week (Roadworks are going nowhere) Chris Fagg was right to draw attention to the appalling state of the road works in the King's Cross area. Many of the railed off works areas' are just longterm durnps for rubble and traffic cones. The chaos is worsened by the Boulevard scheme. The segregated cycle path along Royal College Street is being destroyed by contractors. Heavy lorries are damaging the surface and it is now impassible in the mornings because of vehicles parking on it. Cyclists and pedestrians are forced into the road.
It is time the contractors were made to make the areas safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
M R FARRANT Elaine Grove NW5

Curb two-wheel 'terrorists' now
Camden New Journal 9/8/01

CYCLISTS symbolise our self-centred times (Cycle track is no danger to kids, July 26). Indifferent to the rules of the road, contemptuous of red lights, zebra crossings and one-way streets, they permit no one to hinder their progress. Yet these terrorists on two wheels whinge vociferously when victims of their disregard for others complain.
Camden is encouraging these nihilists by prioritising construction of new cycle lanes. But regulation of urban cycling is long overdue. In the interests of safety and civility, we need:
1) To license all cyclists, with prior testing on the Highway Code.
2) To require all cycles to be registered and plated for identification.
3) Compulsory third party insurance.
David George, Judd St, WC1

Life & bikes of paperboy, 69.  Tributes to pensioner who died after crash on the round he had done for 20 years.
Ham & High 10/8/01
Bridget Galton

THE widow of a pensioner who was knocked off his bicycle while delivering newspapers has said she begged him to give up his moihing round.
Laura Howard said that her husband Dennis, 69, had planned to stop doing the gruelling 7am, seven-days-a-week paper round because he was struggling to carry the increasingly heavy weekend supplements. "When he started about 20 years ago he said it would put more tobacco in his pipe," she said. "He wanted to keep fit and active. "Quite some time ago, I said enough is enough and he should stop. He was going to give up but not as early as I would have wished. He would still be alive if he had listened to me."

Mr Howard suffered serious head injuries when he collided with a parked Vauxhall van in Heath Street, Hampstead, at around 7am on July 24. It is believed he was thrown from his bicycle by an open door on the van. He was taken to the Royal Free Hospital, in Hamp
stead, where he died on Tuesday last week without regaining consciousness. Mrs Howard said she was still "in a state of shock" over his death and anxious that any witnesses come forward to help police investigate the accident.

Born in Cologne, Germany, to a German father and an English mother, Mr Howard was raised in Wiltshire and educated at Stowe public school. He had a passion for vintage motorbikes and contnibuted for many years to motorcycle magazines in Britain and Germany as a freelance writer. A former TT rider, he also wrote three books on vintage
machines including The Kaleidoscope of Motorcycles. He owned two classic German Mz bikes, including one which he used to ride with French-born Mrs Howard in the sidecar.

His 69-year-old widow said they met at a hospital bail when she was working as a nurse. "It was love at first sight," she said. "He was a great, brilliant man, a real English gentleman. He had a great sense of humour - there was never a boring hour with him."
They lived for most of their 45-year marriage in Hampstead, moving into the listed Gothic Mansion, Old Conduit House, in Lyndhurst Terrace in 1960.

Naimesh Patel, who runs Hampstead Newsagents in Holly Hill where Mr Howard worked, said: "He was the most amaring bloke ever. Me and my brother never really knew our grandfather so he sort of adopted us. "He would bring his cup of tea up for a chat in the mornmgs and pop in during the day. He used to ride his old mot6rbike up and down Heath Street. Everyone who knew him thought he was a great character."

Mr Howard aiso leaves a sister, Audrey. His funeral will be held at Golders Green crematonum on Tuesday at l0.30am.