Lambeth cyclists get council to act

Lobbying by local LCC group influences key spending

by Kevin Emery   October 14, 2009  

Lambeth Town Hall.jpg

Some strong lobbing by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) local group in Lambeth has influenced key spending decisions for the zone one Cycle Hire Scheme infrastructure improvements. Lambeth Cyclists presented Lambeth Council with a comprehensive list of potential improvements based on on-the-road investigation.

The list has been adopted and a further £200,000 is being earmarked for extra cycle training to coincide with the introduction of the Cycle Hire Scheme.
Lambeth Cyclists went out in June around the area and took detailed notes on locations they felt were significant for improving the cycling experience around Vauxhall, the Oval and Waterloo.

Lambeth Cyclists' proposals include switching many streets back to two-way for cyclists, and Richard Ambler, Lambeth Council's cycle projects officer, said, "These changes could become a blueprint for similar treatments across the borough."

Luke Evans, spokesperson for Lambeth Cyclists, said: "This is a good step forward, and we look forward to when the Cycle Hire Scheme is extended southwards so the majority of the borough can benefit from it and the associated improvements to our streets."

LCC chief executive Koy Thomson said: "There are some good things happening at the local level, and well done to Lambeth Cyclists, but it's a shame there hasn't been the kind of strategic direction from the mayor that these improvements would benefit from.

"The Cycle Hire Scheme involves nine London boroughs, and there's no-one coordinating on-the-ground improvements across boroughs."

Last month, lobbying by Camden Cycling Campaign, the local LCC group in that borough, helped create a new £500,000 traffic-free 150-metre route in Camden, from the north of the borough to Kings Cross. 

Mr Thomson said: "We're fighting at every level and in every borough for measures like this that'll make our journeys faster and more direct.”

In August the LCC launched a guide on their website that offers insider information and help on how to encourage councils to invest in cycling, after funding for cycling was no longer allocated centrally by the mayor. Each borough set aside a portion of its own transport budget, which places a burden on cyclists and their campaign groups to ensure that councillors have a cycling strategy in place in their area.