Street Talks, 22nd January – The quick, the cheap and the temporary

The quick, the cheap and the temporary: Speeding up the transformation of London’s streets and public spaces 

6.30pmWednesday 22nd January at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ - in partnership with Sustrans London

Is it time London learnt to loosen up and lighten up in its approach to the design and delivery of cycle infrastructure and other public realm improvements?

Over the last few years New York has been rapidly reclaiming street space for pedestrians and cyclists using little more than ‘paint and planters.’ Temporary and pilot projects are now being refined, adapted and made permanent. Should London be doing the same?

We hope you can join us for the first Street Talks of 2014 when our panel of speakers will explore the potential for quick, cheap and temporary projects to speed up the transformation of London’s streets and public spaces:

  • Hannah Padgett from Sustrans will explain how the Pocket Places project in Peckham is using temporary and semi-permanent interventions to transform unused spaces along Rye Lane and stimulate debate about the future of this important local high street;
  • Brian Deegan, who pioneered ‘light segregation’ for cycle lanes on Royal College Street, Camden and is one of the authors of Transport for London’s new Cycle Design Standards will consider the importance of adaptability when delivering cycle infrastructure; and
  • Hackney Council’s Ben Kennedy will present a series of case studies at a range of scales – from on-street cycle lockers to a pilot project to test the potential for pedestrianising the Narrow Way on Mare Street.

Street Talks, 5th December – Cycling lessons for London with John Dales

Street Talks with John Dales, Director, Urban MovementCycling lessons for London: Conclusions from TfL’s International Cycle Benchmarking Study

Please note that this talk is being held at Look Mum No Hands, 125 – 127 Mare Street

We hope you can join us and John Dales for our next Street Talks when we’ll be discussing the conclusions from an international study of cycle infrastructure commissioned by Transport for London.

The study, which will inform the updated London Cycling Design Standards, looked at how a number of cities where cycling has been growing strongly in recent years have designed and built new cycling facilities. Cities visited for the study include Berlin, Dublin, Malmo, Minneapolis, Munich, Nantes, New York, Seville, Stockholm and Utrecht.

John will present the study’s findings and consider the lessons for London and the UK. Subject to availability Phil Jones, Managing Director, Phil Jones Associates and Mark Strong from Transport Initiatives, who were also part of the study team, will join John for the discussion.

7pm, Thursday 5th December at Look Mum No Hands, 125–127 Mare St, E8 3RH (Map). Look Mum No Hands will be open as usual beforehand for food and drink.

John Dales is Director of Urban Movement, a consultancy specialising in transport, movement and streets. John is a traffic engineer, transport planner and urban designer with 29 years’ professional experience that spans from strategic transport planning to concept design.

Well known as a champion of better town and city streets, he was Director being responsible for Urban Initiatives’ Movement + Streets portfolio before founding Urban Movement. John is an urban realm design advisor to several UK local authorities, including the City of Edinburgh, the London Borough of Ealing and Southend Borough Council, as well as a Design Review Panellist for Transport for London and Urban Design London. He is a Trustee of Living Streets, was a contributing author to Manual for Streets 2, and is a former Board member of the Transport Planning Society. He’s an experienced trainer of other transport practitioners, a regular conference speaker and chair, and has been author of a monthly article in Local Transport Today on ‘Transport in Urban Design’ since 2005.

January’s Street Talk

Christian Wolmar – From good to great? How to use transport policies to turn London into a liveable city

We hope you can join us for the first Street Talks of 2013 when we’ll be joined by Christian Wolmar, leading commentator and author on transport issues. Christian’s talk will explore how changes in transport policy could help turn London into a more liveable city.

Upstairs at The Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PN at 7pm on Tuesday 8th January (bar open from 6pm).

Christian Wolmar is an award-winning writer and broadcaster specialising in transport and is the author of a series of books on railway history. In the autumn of 2012, he announced he is seeking the Labour candidacy for the 2016 London mayoral election. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events, and regularly appears on TV and radio. In 2011 he was the captain of the Warwick team of graduates in Christmas University Challenge, which reached the final of the competition.

Christian has spent nearly all of his working life as a journalist, and his interest in transport began at The Independent when he was appointed transport correspondent in 1992. Although he mainly concentrates on transport matters, he has covered many other social policy issues and writes regularly for a wide variety of publications including newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian – he has written for every national newspaper except the Star – and numerous magazines. He broadcasts frequently on radio and TV and is a regular pundit on the national news. Among his TV appearances, he has featured on Coast, Julia Bradbury’s Railway Walks and the railway programmes presented by Ian Hislop and Michael Portillo.

Christian is a member of the board of London Cycling Campaign with a special interest in intermodal transport and uses his bicycle as his principal means of transport around London.

A City of 20

A guest article from Tom Platt, London Coordinator, Living Streets

How we might work towards a safer, more liveable London is a topic debated energetically at each month’s Street Talks.  Whether it is the pros and cons of shared space or the practicalities of segregated cycle lanes, the desire is to create a safer London where people feel comfortable to walk, cycle and spend time. Yet the fact remains that last year alone, 65 pedestrians and 16 cyclists were killed on the capital’s streets.  So what can be done?

Living Streets is the national charity working to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets around the UK. In our opinion the single biggest change we can make to creating a more liveable London is to reduce vehicle speeds across the capital.

That’s why this year in the lead up to the London mayoral elections Living Streets, Sustrans and a coalition of 27 other prominent organisations are asking for mayoral candidates to commit to introducing 20mph on parts of the mayoral controlled streets where we live, work and shop in our campaign a City of 20.

Simply put, if you get hit by a car driving at 30 mph you are much more likely to get seriously injured or killed than at 20 mph. If fact a pedestrian struck at 20 mph has a 97% chance of survival whilst at 30 mph the figure is 80%, falling to 50% at 35 mph.

In London, Transport for London (TfL) found 20 mph limits to have cut fatal and serious casualties by almost a half. Applying results from previous TfL research to the four hundred 20 mph zones London has today suggests an equivalent of 192 killed and seriously injured casualties are already being prevented each year.

So far most 20mph campaigning in London has focused on residential streets and near to schools. We strongly support this and are calling for the next Mayor of London to inspire and encourage local authorities to follow Islington’s example by implementing a default 20 mph speed limit on all residential streets.

However we also know that around a third of London’s collisions are happening on those streets controlled by the Mayor (the TLRN) and that’s despite it only making up 5% of the street network.  The reason the City of 20 campaign is focusing on parts of the TLRN where we live, work and shop is simple -that’s where the biggest impact can be made.  By first tackling those streets where the greatest risk of conflict arises we can make the greatest benefit to people’s everyday lives. These are community centres and local high streets – the streets where people live, walk to school and go to their local shops.

Of course 20 mph doesn’t just make our streets safer, it also makes for better streets where people are more likely to walk and cycle. Unsurprisingly, in Europe 30km/h (18mph) speed limits are the foundation of cycling and walking policies in Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Importantly 20 mph can be implemented at low cost, and is easy to do. Portsmouth converted 1,200 streets in the city to 20mph for a cost of just over half a million pounds. Prior to this, they had been planning to spend £2 million on ten targeted 20 mph zones over five years. New government legislation makes it now possible to introduce 20 mph limits without expensive roads calming measures. In fact the cost of road casualties suggests a sound economic argument for 20mph simply with the amount casualties it will prevent, with the DfT estimating that a road fatality costs in the region of £2 million.

There simply is no excuse for the entirety of the TLRN to be exempt from 20 mph. Already other main roads such as the Walworth Road in Southwark have a 20 mph limit. Islington has recently announced plans to expand 20mph from residential to all main roads in the borough.  Getting London to be a truly world class city for walking and cycling is a huge challenge but 20 mph speed limits on the streets where we live, work and shop would be an excellent start. Please join the campaign by writing to the future Mayor of London today.

For any enquiries about the City of 20 campaign, please contact Tom Platt on 020 7377 4900 or email tom.platt@livingstreets.org.uk