Tuesday 7 November 2023

Ealing's Most Dangerous Junctions Revealed

A new map reveals that the most dangerous junction for cyclists in Ealing is on the Uxbridge Road near Ealing Common. The new map, developed by London Cycling Campaign, shows that five cyclists have been seriously injured and nine slightly injured in the last five years at the Uxbridge Road junction with Wolverton Gardens and Leopold Road. The most common cause of injuries is drivers turning right, into the path of cyclists.

Despite Ealing councillors voting unanimously in 2017 to improve safety on the Uxbridge Road, little has changed. Six of the ten most dangerous junctions in the borough for cyclists lie on the route.  

Shockingly, the map shows that Uxbridge Road also has the worst junction in the whole of London for pedestrian safety. Two pedestrians have been killed in the last five years near the junction of Southall High Street and Avenue Road.

Southall High Street junction with Avenue Road

Ealing Cycling campaign calls on Ealing Council to carry out an urgent safety audit of these two stretches of the Uxbridge Road and take measures to make them safer. These junctions are important not only as part of the A4020 Uxbridge Road which is used by many east-west cyclists, but also as crossing points over the A4020 used by north-south cyclists who are trying to use quieter roads.  Both junctions are included in the proposed future Ealing Cycling Network which ECC are urging the council to improve.

For the first time, LCC's mapping covers all of London, and can be filtered to find the most dangerous junctions for pedestrians as well as those cycling – and by borough. The map uses the latest, recently released 'Stats19' emergency services response data for 2018-2022.

The LCC Dangerous Junctions map is now available at: https://lcc.org.uk/campaigns/dangerous-junctions/

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Friday 3 November 2023

New Cycle Route takes shape

Work is progressing rapidly on the Kensington Road cycle route in Northolt. This is shaping up to be a high quality path, with a smooth riding surface and a width that meets the national guidelines. The new 1 km route will run from Church Road in the north to Ruislip Road in the south. When finished it will provide a safe route for commuters travelling to Northolt Station, pupils cycling to Greenford High school and families visiting Northala Fields. 

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Friday 5 May 2023

Ealing Stations - Where's the Parking?

Ealing is failing cyclists who travel by train and tube. Two years after the new Acton Main Line station opened, there are still no cycle racks in the large area set aside for them; Southall Station has had no cycle parking since it opened two years ago; the council removed the cycle parking at North Acton station five years ago and hasn't replaced it; and the council is now taking away stands from outside Ealing Broadway Station. 

Acton Main Line Station

When Network Rail applied for planning permission for Acton Main Line station, it set aside this large square for cycle parking. 

The planning application showed cycle stands for 106 bikes. 

In 2018 the council's consultation on the station improvements showed 116 spaces in the square.

But since the station opened in 2021, the square has remained empty. The problem appears to be, in part, due to Network Rail. Despite knowing that the area would be used for cycle parking it built the square in a way that hampers the installation of the stands. Poor siting of underground utilities and trespass protection measures have made it difficult to put the stands where they would normally go. Added to that, the station operator, MTR, wants to use about a third of the space for vendors – the area between the red lines below. 

The council was hoping to install parking for 100 bikes, but is amending its plans to fit in with these constraints and will now only install racks for 80 bikes in the square and try to find space for the rest elsewhere. It has already installed a rack of stands on the opposite side of Horn Lane. The council tells us that work on the cycle parking in the square is due to start this month. 

North Acton Station

In 2014 Transport for London gave Ealing £150,000 to install cycle parking for 50 bikes at North Acton Station. The council opened the facility in November that year with much publicity. Just over three years later, in March 2018, when work began on the new station square, it quietly removed the covered cycle parking and reused it in a primary school in Northfields. Five years later, despite plenty of space, there is still no cycle parking at the station. 

We approached councillor Deirdre Costigan about this. She said: "We are looking at options for stands on the square at North Acton. We do need to consider the level of need at each location as we are seeing some evidence that where stands are over provided they are being used as seating and attracting anti social behaviour. However I am confident that working with our community safety team we can ensure we have the optimal number of stands at North Acton station." 

Southall Station

There is better news at Southall Station. The council has developed a plan for cycle parking nearby (artist's impressions above and below). The new facility will be about 90 metres south of the station. It's not perfect – the London Cycling Design Standards say parking should be within the footprint of the station – but it will be useful, particularly for those approaching from the south. About half of the parking will require users to push their bikes up or down a wheeling ramp. 

Ealing Broadway Station

The council plans to start removing the temporary stands from Haven Green this week. The stands on the grass were always going to be temporary as permanent structures are not allowed on common land. The removal will be done in stages. The council has installed some replacement stands outside the Metro Bank, and is assessing other sites. 
A count done by Ealing Cycling Campaign on 26 April this year shows that if all the temporary stands were removed, there would only be reserve capacity for 2 cycles.  (Total capacity 130, total usable 122, demand 120).  The Mayor's Cycle Parking Implementation Plan says that, at stations, cycle parking should be provided to exceed demand by at least 30 per cent, to accommodate growth.

Why Cycle Parking at Stations Matters

The average distance cycled to London Underground stations is almost three times greater than the average distance walked. This means that a station’s cycling catchment area is 6.5 times greater than its walking catchment. Failing to provide adequate cycle parking denies large numbers of people the opportunity to use the most efficient way to make their daily commute.

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Wednesday 3 May 2023

Northolt Active Travel Scheme - "Worse for Cyclists and Pedestrians"

The council's plans to make Church Road and Mandeville Road in Northolt an active travel route could make conditions worse for both cyclists and pedestrians. Instead of providing segregated cycle lanes, most of the route will be shared-use path which will increase conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. 

The scheme is part of the Visions for Northolt proposals funded by a £7.2m grant from the government's levelling up fund. One of the requirements of this funding is that active travel schemes meet DfT standards which state that, “Cycles must be treated as vehicles and not as pedestrians. On urban streets, cyclists must be physically separated from pedestrians and should not share space with pedestrians.”

In its grant application, the council recognised that mixing walking and cycling in the same space was a problem. It said that "Due to safety concerns cyclists use footways, impacting pedestrian safety.” The application also said how this scheme would address the issue: “Road space will be reallocated to create continuous, wider and segregated cycle routes.”  And that this would be achieved by: “Re-allocating road space to cycle and footways along both corridors, in accordance with minimum widths set out in DfT’s Cycling Infrastructure Design Note.” The proposed scheme fails to achieve this.

In places the scheme will make conditions worse for active travel: It will narrow the frontage road of a shopping parade near White Hart roundabout to about 3m between parked vehicles, which won't leave enough space for cyclists to keep safely clear of car doors and pass each other; it opens up two quiet cul-de-sacs to through traffic; it introduces a new right-turn for motor vehicles across a two-way cycle path; and it moves a bus stop from an area which is not shared use to an area with a narrow shared-use path. 

The existing narrow shared path on Church Road

The scheme does have some good sections: the closure of two junctions; the removal of a wall to make room for a cycle path; and new pedestrian and cycle crossings on Church Road. 

Ealing Highways already acknowledges some of the issues and says the design will be amended once all stakeholder comments have been received and reviewed.

Ealing’s draft New Local Plan designates this corridor as a Major Active Travel route, so we hope the reviewed scheme will provide the necessary segregated cycleways. 

The council is consulting on the scheme until  5pm on Monday 8th May 2023. You can respond to the consultation here.

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Sunday 5 March 2023

Women's Freedom Ride

A group from Ealing joined over 1000 women on a ride in central London today to highlight the gender gap in cycling in the city and the lack of provision for women to cycle. The LCC Women's Freedom Ride was a call to make London safe and inclusive enough for women to ride in equal numbers to men. In cycle-friendly cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam more women cycle than men, in London men's cycle journeys outnumber women by 3 to 1. The evidence is clear that women won't cycle until they have protected, safe-feeling routes that suit them, and that when you create the conditions for women to cycle, that unlocks cycling for many others as well - including the elderly, children and people with disabilities. 

The Ealing feeder ride was a collaboration between Ealing Cycling Campaign, West London Breeze and Ealing Joyriders.  

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Tuesday 7 February 2023

Ealing's Local Plan

Local Plan
Ealing Council is consulting on the draft of its new Local Plan, which sets the agenda for the borough for the next 15 years. It lays down what will be built where – from new houses, to office blocks and transport infrastructure. For the first time, the plan shows "Active Travel Routes", and "Green links". This is good news – it shows that the council now includes active travel as part of its planning process. However, we see two big issues: First, the plan doesn't say what an "Active Travel Route" or "Green Link" is. We assume the Active Travel Routes will provide facilities for safer cycling, but there is no definition of the quality of these routes. The second issue is where the routes will run. The council plans to put its major Active Travel Routes along some of the busiest roads in the borough.  This can work where the roads are wide enough to provide segregated, or semi-segregated cycle lanes. However, some of the routes they propose aren't wide enough to provide separate paths for cyclists. Strangely, there is very little overlap between the draft new local plan and Ealing's published cycle network.

Map of proposed 'active travel' routes in Ealing with data on volume of motor traffic and width available.
Map showing the proposed active travel routes and the approximate width available. A minimum width of 15m is required for segregated cycle lanes.

Ealing Cycling Campaign has responded to the consultation requesting that the terms "Active Travel Route" and "Green Link" are defined. We suggest that an “Active Travel Route is defined as "A route for cycling and walking that is classified as ‘suitable for most people’ using the definition in the Department for Transport Local Transport Note 1/20 figure 4.1. This definition will mean that any proposed Active Travel Route on a road carrying more than 5000 vehicles per day will need to have cyclist provision in the form of a separate track, (or mandatory 24/7 cycle lane of the required width and with light segregation), in each direction. Where there is no realistic prospect of this being achievable, the road should not be included as a proposed Active Travel Route and a suitable alternative alignment should be substituted.

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Saturday 11 June 2022

Park your bike for 70p per month


On 18 May, Ealing Council cabinet voted to reduce the price of cycle parking in cycle hangars from £6 per month (£72 per year) to 70p per month (£8.40 per year). It makes Ealing's hangar parking the cheapest in London. The council also pledged to install another 104 hangars to bring the total up to 150.*

If you would like to store your bike in an on-street locker, click here to request a cycle hangar.

For the first time it will be cheaper to park a bicycle on Ealing's roads than a car. It costs £50 per year to park a low-emission car in a controlled parking zone (CPZ). Before the price cut for bikes, a family of four wanting to store four bicycles would have paid £288 a year - over five times the price of parking a car. 

Despite the changes, long-term cycle parking on Ealing's roads still doesn't come close to the convenience of car parking. Car owners can park on the road from the day they buy their car, can park closer to home, and in a more secure location (see table below).

Around 1,000 people are waiting for a space in a bike hangar in Ealing. The promised hangars will provide 624 new parking spaces, so will fail to meet the current demand. In contrast, the mayor of Hackney has committed to deliver and end the waiting list for cycle hangers in Hackney during his Mayoral term, which means providing over 6,000 spaces.*

The main reason there are so few cycle parking spaces in Ealing, is that it costs the council a lot more to install a bike hangar than a car parking space. Costs include preparing technical drawings, carrying out a public consultation, and buying and installing the hangar. These can add up to between £3,000 and £3,500 per hangar.* By reducing the price it charges, Ealing is reducing the income it could invest in new hangars. In the long term, we would like to see a change in the law to make it cheaper and quicker for councils to install bike hangars on the street. We would also like to see the council provide spaces for all-ability cycles and cargo bikes that carry children.


The council's idea is to charge for bicycles based on the space they take up on the road. It's a good idea, however we think the council has got its sums wrong. Its calculations are based on 6 cycles per parking space. That's the number of bikes in a bike hangar. But a bike hangar is 2.578 m long; an Ealing parking bay is 5 m long. So almost twice the length. How many bikes can you get in a 5m  parking bay? The London Cycling Design Standards specify 1 metre between Sheffield stands, so a 5m space will hold 10 bikes.  If bikes were charged at the same rate as cars a cycle space would cost £5 per year. If car parking was charged at an equivalent rate as bikes, the cost of parking a low-emission car would rise from £50 to £84 per year.

Ealing's cycle hangar subsidy seems generous, but is small compared to the amount of money the council is prepared to forego to provide car parking. The market price of the cheapest commercial car parking spaces in Ealing is around £800 per year – see prices at Just Park, Your Parking Space, Park on my Drive etc. For a low-emission vehicle in a CPZ, the council is charging about £50 per year – considerably less than the market rate.


*"Deliver 104 bike hangers to deliver the commitment of at least 150. In addition, the cost of a Bike Hanger permit will reduce from £6 per month to 70 pence per month." Agenda Reports Pack, p.19  https://ealing.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=137&MId=5848&Ver=4 

*"Amazing to hear just now @PhilipGlanville commit to deliver and end the waiting list for cycle hangers in Hackney in his Mayoral term - 6,000 spaces!" https://twitter.com/0jhl/status/1535251524577808384

*"Kingston was awarded £70,000 for works to implement 120 cycle parking spaces of the bike hangar type" (£70,000 / 20 = £3,500) ..."Southwark was awarded £39,200 to deliver 13 cycle hangars on street." (£39,200 / 13 = £3015). https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cycle_parking_funding

*A bike hangar holds 6 bikes and has a width of 2578mm. https://www.cyclehoop.com/product/shelters-canopies/bikehangar/

*An Ealing parking bay is five metres long. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201178/parking/1495/parking_suspension

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