Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Local Election Manifestos

LCC's My Liveable London Campaign


Thank you to the leaders of the four parties in Ealing who pledged to install a high quality Liveable Neighbourhood scheme in Ealing. TfL is funding the development of a scheme in West Ealing and this will ensure it will be cycling and pedestrian friendly.

Julian Bell - Labour Party
Gary Malcolm - Liberal Democrat Party
Ealing Green Party
Gregory Stafford - Conservative Party
More details about what this means at: https://lcc.org.uk/pages/my-liveable-london


Ealing 2018 Local Election Manifestos –  How the parties compare on cycling


Here are what the different parties are proposing for cycling in Ealing – parties in alphabetical order:


Conservatives


Promoting cycling

We will work to extend TfL Santander Cycle docks to Acton and Ealing and we will hold a consultation on the need for bike parking spaces or drop off points for increasingly- popular bike sharing services — such as Mobike— to balance the convenience of the new services with the need to keep pavements clear.

We will help to protect bikes from theft by underwriting a borough-wide bicycle insurance scheme. We will work with cycling campaigns to hold more bicycle health-check drop-ins.

We will support the recommendations of the review of the Uxbridge road, to make it safer for cyclists, pedestrians and especially our vulnerable residents.

Cycling infrastructure needs to improve, but it must also be fit for purpose. We will continue to oppose CS9 and back more local cycling quietways instead.


Green Party


The campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists are asking Londoners to write to political leaders and candidates standing in the local elections in May to incorporate eight demands into their manifestos.

They are not all easy to implement and would need careful consideration and consultation with our fellow Ealing residents.

However, each demand is crucial to the health and safety of people living in Ealing, whether they are cyclists or not.

Ealing Council has been making positive movements in the right direction, but needs a Green voice to push the current initiatives further, and drive for new ones like a CSH quality segregated cycleway along Uxbridge Road, and the Mini Holland already specified in our original 2014 Mini Holland bid.

Therefore, the Ealing Green Party will commit to endeavouring to meet these demands, and influencing other parties to implement them, should we be elected to the council in May.

Mini Holland and protected cycleways
Demands 1 and 3 refer to the creation of a ‘Mini-Holland’ and newly protected cycleways.

Ealing Council and Ealing Cycling Campaign have already carried out a lot of analysis and planning for their Mini Holland bid in 2014 and we will update and adapt this existing plan. Uxbridge Road is a prime candidate for a properly protected cycleway. We will insist that the current patchwork of substandard cycle route is upgraded to CSH standards.

Demand 7 refers to the danger of left-hand turns. We would fully support the introduction of protected left-hand turns and T-junction bypasses at traffic lights for cyclists where they don’t currently exist and audit the ones that are currently in place. We will push for the publication of the Uxbridge Road safety audit and ensure that its recommendations are actioned quickly and effectively.

If we are successful at implementing demand 1 and 3, we believe the safe left-hand turns should be addressed at the same time. In areas where we have not yet secured protected cycle lanes, we would want protected left-hand turns and bypasses created as soon as possible in consultation with the local community to better understand where these are most needed.

As part of our commitment to safer cycling, we currently support Cycle Superhighway 9 from Brentford to Kensington Olympia via Chiswick. In consultation with Ealing residents, we would also ask TfL for our own Cycle Superhighway for Ealing along Uxbridge Road.

Speed limits and traffic-free high streets
Demand 4 asks for a 20 mile per hour speed limit throughout the borough and Demand 6 asks for a traffic-free high street with a cycleway through it.

Given much of Ealing is currently under 20mph limits we would work to ensure the 20mph limit is implemented Borough-wide. We would also work with the Police to start to enforce this limit.

Driving in London is extremely frustrating as it is so congested, and drivers often forget that everywhere they go there will be people walking and cycling. With the 20 miles per hour speed limit we would greatly reduce the risk of accidents by vehicle collisions. People in Ealing are taking to walking and cycling at an increasing rate, we hope that safer roads will encourage even more people to do so. We believe this will help decrease the number of cars on the road.

Many high streets in other areas of London and throughout the UK have become pedestrianised successfully. We would support pedestrianisation of Ealing high streets in close consultation with local residents and businesses. Since West Ealing has won the Liveable Neighbourhoods funding we will work to ensure it delivers on its initial promise and provides a safe, liveable active travel area for all ages.

Money
Demand 2 of the 8 for 2018 campaign asks that the equivalent of £20 per person per year is spent on protected cycling infrastructure in the borough from the Council’s budget. Promoting cycling is a high priority for the Ealing Green Party in the view of air pollution reduction, health benefits through exercise, and reduction of risk of traffic accidents. We would, therefore, support this demand and commit at least £20 per person per year is spent on protected cycling infrastructure.

Ealing council vehicles
Demand 5 and 8 refer to the vehicles used by the council itself.

Demand 5 asks that the council encourages its staff to go to and from council business by bicycle instead of motor vehicle, where practical. We strongly support this. With the government’s Cycle Scheme in the workplace and initiatives such as the Santander Bikes and the newly introduced Mobikes, we feel people have genuine access to bicycles and therefore have no substantial reason for getting into a car. Especially with the right infrastructure, cycling to and from meetings will be much more time effective than cars or even public transport for short distances, and following their introduction in other councils, Ebikes for longer journeys.

Demand 8 refers to blind-spot equipment in the HGVs owned by Ealing Council, their contractors and their subcontractors. Ealing Council has already installed Cycle Safety Shield System in all its large vehicles and Ealing Green Party will insist that all HGVs that work within the Borough are equipped with the system or similar.

However, we do believe that HGVs and cyclists should not be sharing the same road space in the first place, so this demand would be implemented in parallel our efforts to create segregated and protected cycle paths. We do not want a false sense of security that blind-spot equipment could potentially provide and we do not want this demand to detract from the need of protected cycle paths.



Labour


We will invest at least £7million in our roads by 2020, fixing potholes and improving safety for all road users. 
We will complete the roll out of our Borough wide 20mph zone, and work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that it is properly enforced. 
We will invest more in making cycling and walking in our Borough safe and easy, including £8.5 million of Liveable Neighbourhoods funding in West Ealing and along the Uxbridge Road. 

We will continue to expand the network of segregated cycling routes, quiet ways and campaign for cycle superhighways within the Borough in order to make cycling a safer and easier way of travelling. 

We will reduce and work towards eliminating the number of dangerous junctions in the Borough, through investing in better road layouts and crossings. 

We will increase the amount of secure bike parking in residential areas to make bike ownership practical for more residents. 

We will audit the provision of cycle parking to ensure that locking bicycles is easy across the Borough, and ensure there are bike hoops outside every shop, public building and leisure facility. 

We will introduce new space standards in our planning policies to ensure large employers provide appropriate cycle parking, changing and shower facilities within large buildings. 

We will expand dockless cycle hire schemes to cover the whole borough so everyone has access to a bicycle wherever they live and encourage their responsible use. 

We will sign up to the Construction Logistics and Community Safety scheme, to ensure that construction companies take seriously their responsibilities around site safety and training for HGV drivers – making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists around the Borough. 

We will look for opportunities to pedestrianise appropriate parts of our town centres, in consultation with residents, starting with Bond Street in central Ealing and support ‘car-free days’ across the Borough. 


We will reduce clutter, unnecessary street furniture and remove railings on our high streets to reduce the number of barriers that make it difficult to walk unimpeded. 
We will work to create places that residents want to live in and low-traffic neighbourhoods that are safe for walking and cycling, by signing up to the ‘Sustrans Streets for People Pledge’. 
We will encourage parents and school children to ditch cars and walk or cycle to school, and pilot closing roads around school entrances at the start and the end of the school day to achieve this. 


Liberal Democrats


Working with the police and the Council to improve road safety

Deliver a borough network of electric car charging points using lampposts, and deliver an Electric Bike scheme. 

Encourage the use of bikes by promoting the use of bike hangers. 

Change local planning policy to allow the building of small bike sheds. 

Support Mobikes (free standing bikes that people hire using an app) as they encourage residents to exercise at a cheap cost. 

Cutting congestion on our roads, by increasing cycling, and improving safety for all including pedestrians and cyclists. 

All Council contractors to introduce safety devices on their vehicles to cut the risk of injury to cyclists. 

Develop a Summer Streets Scheme, similar to New York, temporarily pedestrianising streets so that we are all encouraged to travel on foot. 













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Monday, April 16, 2018

Dockless Bike Hire

In February, Chinese company Mobike, with the agreement of the council, expanded its dockless bike hire scheme to cover the whole of Ealing. There are now 2000 bikes across the borough. But what's it like to use them?
Once you’ve downloaded the app, renting a bicycle is quick. The app shows you available bikes on a map. The first time you rent one it takes about three minutes to enter the payment card details and scan the QR code on the bike. A few seconds later you will hear a click and the lock will open. Once set up, future rentals are a matter of seconds. In Ealing you pay a discounted deposit of £1, then 50p per half hour. Regular users can now buy a Mobike Pass which offers unlimited ‘free’rides. The 30 day pass costs £9.90.
The bicycles are basic – the lack of gears, heavy frame, and airless tyres means pedalling is harder than on a normal bicycle – but they are fine for short distances. This is what they are designed for – the first and final stages of a journey such as between home and a railway station. The height of the seat is adjustable, but taller riders will find the maximum height too low for comfort. A new model is due to fix this. 
Like other dockless hire bikes such as Ofo, Mobikes are not locked to stands. Instead when you park the bike, you simply lock the rear wheel, and three beeps will tell you that you have returned the bike. Users are urged to leave the bicycles where they don’t cause an obstruction. The bike's position is monitored by a solar-powered GPS unit, and users will be penalised if they leave them in an unsuitable place.

You can download the App from the Android or Apple Store.

If you have problems with a Mobike, or wish to report one in an unsuitable location, you can call the contact centre: 0330 131 9789 from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, or email support.uk@mobike.com. You will need the bike number, painted on the side of the bicycle.

Parking Guidance:

DO
·      Do park at a Mobike Hub if there is one available
·      Do park alongside public bicycle racks (ensuring you leave enough room for other bicycles)
·      Do park alongside existing footway obstructions such as trees or a lamp-posts
·      Do consider the needs of pedestrians, especially those who are blind or partially sighted or those using pushchairs or wheelchairs, when leaving bikes on footways.
·      Do park where other Mobikes are present and make a compact row 
DON’T
·      Do not cause an obstruction to pedestrians or traffic (leave 1.8m minimum)
·      Do not park a Mobike in private property
·      Do not park a Mobike in a car park
·      Do not block or partially block any gate or driveway
·      Do not leave bikes at junctions
·      Do not park close to the kerb at bus stops (this space is needed for wheelchairs and pushchairs to get on and off buses)




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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Council vote for safer Uxbridge Road


On 19 December 2017 Ealing Councillors voted to take action to make the Uxbridge Road safer for all users - particularly pedestrians and cyclists. Following the death of Claudia Manera in West Ealing members of Ealing Cycling Campaign and others formed a group called Make Uxbridge Road Safe!. They organised a march and collected over1800 signatures, which triggered a debate of the full council. The campaign was picked up by Conservative Ealing Common councillor Joanna Dabrowska who proposed a motion based on one suggested by Make Uxbridge Road Safe!. Councillors voted unanimously to support the motion which calls for a review of the Uxbridge Road that will identify any sections that fail to meet the London Cycle Design Standards. The council has also committed to bring the road up to the London Cycle Design Standards where possible.

The full wording of the motion is below:

This Council notes that following the tragic death of Claudia Manera on the Uxbridge Road (October 2017), a local group, Make Uxbridge Road Safe, formed with the stated objective to campaign for roads across London – including and especially the Uxbridge Road, to offer protected space for cycling in line with the Mayor’s promise to triple this protected space. 
This comes after the death of 2 cyclists and 2 pedestrians on this stretch of road and 46 more suffering serious injuries in the past 5 years.

In support of this stated objective and to help prevent future tragedies, this Council will:
1) Carry out a review of pedestrian accident “black spots” along the Uxbridge Road. Following the review, carry out work to make the pedestrian “black spots” safer, giving priority to completing the most dangerous sections first. The review and safety measures should give special consideration to wheelchair users, parents with young children, older residents and other vulnerable groups, including motorcyclists.

2) Carry out a Cycle Level of Service (CLoS) audit of the Uxbridge Road, which has already been identified by TfL in its own analysis, as one of the top 25 in London for development. The review will be done in accordance with TfL’s London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) 2014, Chapter 2, to identify the sections that fail to meet LCDS standards. Following the review, carry out improvements where appropriate, so that the Uxbridge Road conforms to LCDS where possible, giving priority to completing the most dangerous sections first. 

3) The Review to include local and independent stakeholders who will work with Ealing Council and Ealing Cycling Commission to deliver improved road safety for all users. 

The Review to be completed by July 2019.

This Council welcomes the good work that has been done by Ealing Council in recent years to encourage greater numbers of residents to take up cycling including initiatives like cycle training, hangars, the distribution of anti-crime devices and improving cycle infrastructure, making cycling easier in Ealing. 
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Make Uxbridge Road Safe!


It has been a sad autumn, with two cyclists killed on Ealing’s roads. On 12 October, Claudia Manera, a 51 year-old fitness instructor was hit with a lorry on the Uxbridge Road at the junction with Northfield Avenue. She died a week later. Then, on 9 November, Darshan Singh Heer, an 86 year-old retired teacher, was hit with a lorry on South Road in Southall while cycling to a local park.

Following the death of Claudia Manera, Ealing Cycling Campaign organized a march calling on Ealing Council to Make the Uxbridge Road Safe. Over 250 people, including Rupa Huq, MP and councilors from all parties, walked from the town hall to the Lido junction in West Ealing where a minute’s silence was held in memory of Claudia. The police did an excellent job marshaling the procession – Claudia had worked for them before setting up as a fitness instructor. After the march, the council invited cyclists to a meeting at the town hall to exchange views on cycling in the borough. About 50 cyclists attended the workshop and contributed ideas. Sadly, two days later, Darshan Singh Heer was killed in Southall. On the evening of 10 November, around 25 cyclists joined his family and friends for a vigil.

In the wake of the march, a new group has formed: Make Uxbridge Road Safe, which is campaigning to make the road safe for all road users. Between 2012 and 2016, three people were killed on the Uxbridge Road and over 300 people injured, 46 of them seriously. Although the Uxbridge Road makes up only 2% of Ealing’s road network, it accounts for 20 percent of pedestrian casualties, and 25% of cycling casualties in the borough. More alarmingly, over a third of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Ealing were injured in collisions on the Uxbridge Road. The new campaign has started a petition calling for Ealing Council to carry out a safety review of the Uxbridge Road. If it achieves its target of 1500 signatures by 27 November, it will trigger a full debate of Ealing council – probably on Tuesday 19th December.

There are several possible sources for funding improvements. Transport for London’s Strategic Cycling Analysis, published earlier this year, identified the Uxbridge Road corridor as one of the top 25 routes in London for potential growth in cycling, and has targeted it for further study.  The council has put in a bid to TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme for 8 million pounds to improve West Ealing. ECC would like to see the scheme include improvements to the Lido junction, a better crossing from the Dean Gardens shared-use path to Mattock Lane and a cycle crossing of the Uxbridge Road to link Broughton Road and Broomfield Road.


Over the past 3 years, HGVs have been involved in over 70% of cyclist deaths in London. LCC has led the calls for a redesign of lorry cabs so drivers have a clear view ahead, and we are now beginning to see the first ‘Direct Vision’ cabs on the road. For details, and information on safe cycling around lorries visit: lorrysafety.lcc.org.uk

The only thing more dangerous than cycling is not cycling.
Notwithstanding the sad events reported on this page, remember that studies have consistently shown that the accident risk of cycling is far outweighed by the general health benefits of cycling.
Cyclists’ life expectancy is above average!
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cyclist Killed in Southall


We are sad to announce that another cyclist has died in Ealing following a collision with a lorry. Darshan Singh Heer, an 86-year-old former teacher and poet, was hit with an HGV on South Road, Southall shortly before 9am on Thursday 9th November as he was on his way to exercise in a local park. An initial report said that he was walking his bicycle on the road, but a police spokesman later said that he was cycling. The lorry driver stopped at the scene and the police are investigating.

On the evening of Friday 10th November, around 25 people cycled from Ealing Town Hall to Southall to join local people, including Virendra Sharma MP, in a vigil for Darshan Singh Heer.


Over the past 3 years, HGVs have been involved in over 70% of cyclist deaths in London. London Cycling Campaign is calling for safer infrastructure on London's streets, and has led the calls for a redesign of lorry cabs so drivers have a clear view of the road ahead. For information on this and cycling around lorries visit lorrysafety.lcc.org.uk


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