Still time to have your say on TfL’s proposals for East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways

If you haven’t done so already there’s still plenty of time to have your say on TfL’s proposals for East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways – consultation closes on 9th November. We support the proposals and urge you to do the same.

Details of the East-West Cycle Superhighway are available here, and you can submit comments via this survey. Details of the North-South route are here, and the survey is here. The surveys may look daunting at first, but if you don’t want submit detailed comments you can just scroll down to the end where there is a general comments section.

Alternatively, London Cycling Campaign have made it nice and easy to send on email to TfL in support of the proposals – you can do that here.

Finally, if you’re a business and want to join the likes of Deloitte, Land Securities, Orange and many more in showing your support for the Cycle Superhighways then you can do so using the Cycling Works website.


Street Talks, 2nd September – In with the new: Designing for walking and cycling in new developments

Street Talks with:

  • Nick Searl, Partner, Argent 
  • Maximo Martinez, Associate Director, Space Syntax
  • Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London and Associate Director, Beyond Green

London is a growing and ever evolving city and new development is everywhere – often taking place at a significant scale that essentially creates new pieces of city. New development provides the opportunity to make places where walking and cycling is a pleasure, starting with a relatively blank canvas to create great streets, squares and parks.

We hope you can join us for the next Street Talks when we’ll be considering how to ensure new developments genuinely put the needs of pedestrians and cyclists first. We’ll explore how to improve connectivity for those on foot and bike, learn from the experience of developing King’s Cross – one of the largest and most exciting projects currently underway in London – and learn how the design of neighbourhoods, streets and homes in suburban locations can help break the cycle of car dependency.

6.30pm, Tuesday 2nd September at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ – in partnership with Sustrans London

Nick Searl is a Partner of Argent LLP, having joined the company in January 2008. His main priority is leading the commercial teams at King’s Cross who deal with the definition, strategy, leasing and management of the office and retail components. He is also closely involved with the wider branding and promotion of King’s Cross. At a corporate level, Nick is involved in securing new development opportunities for Argent and is jointly responsible for marketing and promoting the business.

Before joining Argent, Nick worked with Chelsfield and European Land at Paddington Basin where he delivered The Point and Waterside buildings for M&S and Orange respectively and was also the development manager obtaining planning permission for the 1.8 million sq ft Merchant Square development.

Max Martinez is an Associate Director at Space Syntax where he leads interdisciplinary projects that range from the development of design briefs to the strategic design of urban areas and buildings. His particular interest is to provide design solutions that optimise available spatial resources for the benefit of the project and to the wider area. Through a collaborative approach, he brings his extensive project experience into the design process helping partners and clients reduce the inherent risks of design and development.

Max leads the development of the practice’s complex buildings portfolio: cultural, health, education, workplace. His contributions include the redevelopment of the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Arts Centre in London and a visitor circulation strategy for the Natural History Museum in London. His recent masterplanning contributions include the BBC Television Centre and Elizabeth House in London and the Snow Hill Station Interchange Plan in Birmingham. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bartlett, University College London where he lectures regularly on the Spatial Design: Architecture & Cities masters programme.

Bruce McVean is Associate Director of Beyond Green, a consulting and development business that aims to create places where residents, employees and visitors can enjoy a high quality of life while minimising their environmental footprint. He leads Beyond Green’s work on strategic masterplanning, helping design teams and local stakeholders work together to ensure places are designed and run in ways that are truly sustainable.  

Bruce founded Movement for Liveable London in 2011 and is also a Trustee of Living Streets. He was previously Senior Policy Advisor at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) where he was responsible for developing and communicating CABE’s policies on sustainable design and climate change, public buildings, health and public space.

An open letter on Camden’s West End Project – We support Camden’s vision for the West End and we hope you will too

The letter below is signed by people who, despite having different areas of focus – walking campaigning, cycling campaigning, street design, sustainable living, share a strong common interest in making our town and city streets much more attractive places to move in on foot and by bike, and simply to be in.

We support Camden’s vision for the West End and we hope you will too

Last week, Camden Council launched a public consultation on its West End Project, which envisages significant change to the layout and use of Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street, and neighbouring streets and spaces. It’s a project with the ambitious overall objectives of making this part of London much more pleasant to be in, much more attractive to get to/from and around on foot and by bike, and better for access by both bus and train (including from the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station). Details can be found here.

The basis for achieving these objectives is the return of both Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street to two-way working, the exclusion of through motor traffic except buses from Tottenham Court Road during weekdays, significant reductions in traffic flows on the majority of streets in the area, and the reallocation of carriageway space for walking, cycling, trees and public space.

Each of us has different views as to how the current proposals could be improved, and we will be making different representations to Camden accordingly.

However, the reason we’re putting our names to this open letter is that, while our views on the current proposals might differ, we share the view that Camden’s overall vision of streets that are more inclusive of walking and cycling deserves our support. The West End Project presents the real opportunity to show how even the busiest London streets can be reclaimed from motor traffic dominance and made into much more enjoyable places for people. If successful, the project will do much to enable progressive schemes to be implemented elsewhere in this city, and others.

Projects like this are hugely complex, none is ever perfect, and no individual or group is ever likely to have all their needs and aspirations met. That’s one of the reasons we don’t all agree as to how Camden’s proposals should be developed. But we’re determined that our criticism will be constructive, so that the Council is encouraged to build on, not retreat from, its current proposals. We urge you to do likewise.

Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London

John Dales, Director, Urban Movement

Cllr Caroline Russell, Local Transport Spokesperson, The Green Party

Mark Ames, Editor, ibikelondon blog

Street Talks, 24th February – Space for Cycling: creating a mass campaign for the local elections

Street Talks with Mustafa Arif, Chair of Campaigns and Active Membership, London Cycling Campaign – Space for Cycling: creating a mass campaign for the local elections

In April 2012 Boris Johnson promised to meet the three key tests of the London Cycling Campaign ‘Love London, Go Dutch‘ campaign. Two years on there has only been limited change on the ground. Delivery of the Mayor’s ground-breaking vision relies on political leadership and cooperation from the 32 London boroughs, who control the majority of our roads.

For the local elections in May 2014, the London Cycling Campaign is organising on an ambitious, hyper-local, 646-ward basis to call on prospective councillors to promise ‘Space for Cycling‘. We hope you can join us for the next Street Talks when Mustafa Arif will outline the campaign’s rationale objectives, policy platform and operation. In particular he’ll highlight the crucial that local activists and pop-up groups can play.

7pm, Monday 24th February, upstairs at The Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobalds Road, WC1X (upstairs bar open from 6pm for drinks, food available downstairs prior to the talk).

First elected as a London Cycling Campaign Trustee in 2009, Mustafa Arif, was appointed as Chair of a rejuvenated Campaigns & Active Membership Committee in 2011. He has board level responsibility for priority campaigns including Love London, Go Dutch and Space for Cycling and since 2013 has also served as the LCC’s Vice Chair. A computing and electronic engineer by profession, his day job, is a ‘hands-on’ management role in a boutique technology and strategy consultancy. Over the last 5 months he has also been learning to become a new dad.

Street Talks with Phil Jones – Designing for active travel, 8th October

Street Talks with Phil Jones, Managing Director, Phil Jones AssociatesDesigning for Active Travel

As a nation we’re getting fatter and taking less and less exercise, barely a week goes by without obesity making the headlines.

Over 60% of UK adults do not meet recommended minimum amounts of physical activity and few people have the time or inclination for regular visits to the gym; as Liam Donaldson, the then Chief Medical Officer, argued in 2004, “For most people, the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be incorporated into everyday life.” Our streets need to provide a safe and attractive environment that enables people to incorporate physical activity into commutes, journeys to school, trips to the shops or visits to friends.

We hope you can join us and Phil Jones at the next Street Talks when we’ll be exploring what London and the rest of England can learn from the Welsh Assembly’s Active Travel Bill, which requires local authorities to continuously improve facilities and routes for pedestrians and cyclists. How does the Bill work and what’s its relationship to the emerging technical guidelines that Phil is helping to draft. Would the introduction of a similar legislation in England make a difference to the way TfL and London boroughs approach walking and cycling? Or is this just another administrative burden? Would new guidance on active design help ensure the necessary changes to London’s streets are delivered quickly and consistently across the city?

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

Phil Jones is Managing Director of Phil Jones Associates. He specialises in achieving synergy between transport planning and urban design, with the aim of creating places and spaces that meet aesthetic, social and functional aims. He has extensive experience in the planning and design of streets and other infrastructure, with particular expertise in traffic analysis and transport planning.

Phil was part of the team that produced Manual for Streets for the DfT, a comprehensive guide to the design of urban and residential streets published in March 2007. More recently he worked on national policy/guidance on street design for the Scottish Government, published in 2010 as Designing Streets and was joint editor on Manual for Streets 2 for CIHT/DfT/CABE. This document extended the principles of MfS to busier urban streets and was published in September 2010.  Phil has now been appointed by CIHT to help lead the updating of their comprehensive guidance document Transport in the Urban Environment.

His project experience includes acting as technical adviser on the DfT’s Mixed Priority Routes research study; working on the Telford and Kings Lynn Millennium Communities, designing shared space schemes in London and Auckland, and developing transport strategies for major urban extensions in Falkirk, Cheltenham and Leicester. He has led and worked within multi-disciplinary teams on many masterplanning studies for commercial and residential developments and has appeared as expert witness at around forty Public Inquiries.

Bruce McVean to speak at Newcastle Cycling Campaign

If not now, when? Prospects for a cycling revolution in 2012-13

Bruce McVean, one of the founders of Movement for Liveable London will be speaking at Newcastle Cycling Campaign’s quarterly meeting on the evening of 12th June. His presentation will consider whether 2012 will mark a turning point for mass cycling in the UK.

A national media campaign to make our cities fit for cycling, mass protests in London and Edinburgh and (hopefully) Olympic success will make this a big year for cycling. But how can we ensure headlines lead to meaningful change rather than just a flurry of fine words and photo opportunities?

6pm on 12th June at The Cycle Hub, Ouseburn Regeneration Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE6 1BU

Save the date: Transport Question Time, evening of 5th April

Organised by Living Streets – in association with Movement for Liveable London and Campaign for Better Transport – this will be your opportunity to quiz Mayoral candidates on their plans to keep London moving over the next four years and beyond.

All aspects of London transport will be covered, and Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones have all confirmed that they or a senior representative will attend.

Full details of timing, venue and how to register will be available soon. In the meantime please try and keep the evening of Thursday 5th April free.

November’s Street Talk

Richard Hebditch and Richard Bourn, Campaign for Better Transport: Sustaining suburbia – transport solutions for outer London

London is often held up as a good example of reducing car traffic and encouraging more sustainable forms of transport, but this masks a big difference between inner London (where car ownership is lower and public transport, walking and cycling are much higher) and outer London where travel patterns are much closer to those of other UK cities.

Next year’s mayoral elections will see Ken Livingstone looking to win back votes in outer London, Boris Johnson looking to present himself as not just a zone 1 mayor and Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones needing to find ways to mark themselves out from the two main challengers.

At November’s Street Talk Richard Bourn and Richard Hebditch from Campaign for Better Transport will look at why outer London is different, what can be done to change travel patterns and whether Mayoral candidates will be able to set out a convincing vision for sustainable travel in suburban London.

Upstairs at The Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PN at 7pm (bar open 6pm) on 1st November 2011.

Richard Bourn worked for Campaign for Better Transport in the 1990’s as a volunteer, contributing to publications on rail privatisation and other issues. After working for other NGOs he returned in 2001 as London Campaigner and concentrated on supporting the introduction of the congestion charge. His work now focuses on traffic reduction, but also includes transport and social exclusion, and promoting the integration of transport and land-use planning to shorten journeys and allow more walking and cycling.

Richard Hebditch leads Campaign for Better Transport’s work on local transport and promotes links with parliamentarians and political parties while leading the campaign team. Previously he worked for Living Streets, which campaigns on behalf of pedestrians, where he was head of policy and communications. Richard has also served as senior policy adviser in the Cabinet Office’s Office of the Third Sector, where he worked on the Compact agreement to improve relations between local and national government and the voluntary sector.

For nearly 40 years Campaign for Better Transport has fought for better public transport, walking and cycling, for the sake of communities and the environment. An independent charity, they work by providing well-researched, practical solutions to transport problems, pressuring national and local government to adopt them, and empowering ordinary people up and down the country.

September’s Street Talk

London is the most polluted city in the UK and one of the most polluted in Europe. Exposure to dangerous airborne particles is estimated to have caused 4,300 premature deaths in 2008 alone. Air pollution in London averages well over twice World Health Organisation (WHO) maximum recommended levels near many of the capitals busiest roads.

Living near roads travelled by 10,000 or more vehicles per day could be responsible for some 15-30 per cent of all new cases of asthma in children; and of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and coronary heart disease in adults 65 years of age and older. 1,148 schools in London are within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day and a total of 2,270 schools within 400 metres of such roads.

Join us and Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London at September’s Street Talk as we expose one of the biggest public health failings or cover-ups by a Government in modern history. Why is London’s air so polluted and what steps need to be taken to radically improve air quality? Will drastic measures need to be taken to ensure athletes can breathe easily at the 2012 Olympics? Why have our political leaders failed to act, leaving us liable to pay unlimited EU fines for failing to comply with laws that have been in legislation since 1999?

Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London: A breath of fresh air – exposing one of the biggest public health failings or cover-ups by a Government in modern history.

Upstairs at The Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PN at 7pm (bar open 6pm) on 6th September 2011.

Simon Birkett founded Clean Air in London in 2006 and since then has campaigned tirelessly for an urgent and sustainable reduction in pollution to at least WHO recommended standards of air quality throughout London and elsewhere. Last year The Guardian’s John Vidal praised Simon for “almost single-handedly [bringing] the UK government to its knees, begging for more time from Europe to lower pollution levels in London and forcing mayor Boris Johnson to act.”

Clean Air in London won the City of London Corporation’s Sustainable City Award presented for Outstanding Contributions to Enhancing Air Quality 2010/11. Simon Birkett is a Science and Policy Advisor to ClientEarth since and has been a member of Environmental Protection UK’s Air Quality Committee since 2009. He was profiled by the Guardian on 22 February 2011: Former banker’s pollution fight a breath of fresh air.