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.

Footnotes

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.

Sources:

*"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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Sunday, 1 May 2022

Safe Cycleways Need Safe Junctions

Ealing Council leader Peter Mason announced completion of works on a short stretch of the Uxbridge Road cycle tracks on Thursday.

Some fantastic new cycle lanes running along Uxbridge Road in Southall. Still more to come too! 

The included photos showed a re-paved section of the pre-existing bidirectional tracks on the pavement north of Southall Park.  These did not show any of the changes to junction crossings that the council had consulted on.

Roly West reached out to ECC and asked for advice on an improved design to draw over some SpeedPulse drone footage of the junction of Uxbridge Road and Milford Road.  A still of that footage is shown here:

The trouble with junctions like these is that cars can turn left into Milford Road at speed, thanks to the broad corners.  When they do, they approach people cycling across the junction from behind.  This is a dangerous situation not unlike the infamous Ipley Cross junction, which has recently been re-engineered.

The resulting proposed design takes its inspiration from Boston Gardens at Boston Manor Road, where Hounslow Council put a "pocket" so that motorists only need to worry about one type of crossing traffic at any time.  This design ensures that motorists encounter people cycling and walking at right angles, instead of crossing their path from behind.

In addition, the corners would be sharpened, forcing motorists to slow to safe speeds while turning.  This would also create more space to plant greenery along the verge, improving the character of the area.

Councillor Mason confirmed that junction works are still planned, and we hope that there is still an opportunity to bring this track up to the standard set by Hounslow Council right in Ealing's own back yard.

After all, as Tom Scott concluded in his video about Ipley Cross:

...road safety, and anyone's safety, shouldn't require faith in human nature.

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Saturday, 23 April 2022

Local Elections - Party Manifestos

 


As Ealing heads towards local elections on 5 May, here's how the parties shape up on cycling. We've pulled out the relevant sections from their manifestos.





Ealing Green Party*  *(This party has signed up to deliver Climate Safe Streets)

Don't have a manifesto, but made the following statements:

Traffic must be reduced. All transport policies must expressly aim to reduce car use not just make traffic move more smoothly. There must be a connected network of safe routes for cycling, safe and attractive walking routes and joined up public transport. If the council’s net zero target by 2030 is to mean anything, car use will have to fall by at least 1/3 in this term.

Any street that has over 2000 vehicle movements (per day) should have a consultation on how to reduce traffic on the road. This should contribute to a network of filtered and protected routes around the borough.

The Uxbridge Road cycle lane needs to be continuously protected through the borough.

Finally there should be an air quality monitor in each school. Where pollution exceeds recommend limits there should be a consultation on how to reduce it. This would likely lead to a reduction in traffic levels.


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Thursday, 21 April 2022

Climate Safe Streets

A traffic-calmed street in Ealing with people walking in the street

Ealing Cycling Campaign is calling for all candidates in the local elections to sign up to making Ealing's streets 'Climate Safe'. Here's why:

A tree with the caption 190 years
It will take Ealing's trees and grasslands about 190 years to remove all the CO2 we produce in Ealing this year. We are a long way from becoming carbon neutral.¹ So how do we close the gap? 

We think there is something enjoyable we can do that will make a real difference – riding bikes.  The Dutch - who do a lot of it - say they get more joy from a bicycle than a car.² But then they have properly designed cycle routes.

If we are serious about tackling climate change, Ealing needs a proper cycle network so people of all ages, from 8 to 80, can switch from the car to a cycle for local journeys.³ That's why Ealing Cycling Campaign is calling for Ealing's politicians to commit to creating Climate Safe Streets. 


Email your candidates for Climate Safe Streets


Ealing Cycling Campaign  Climate Safe Streets Asks

1.  Define a borough cycle network that forms part of a London-wide cycle recommended network with high quality, inclusive design and protection suitable for cycle users of all ages and abilities.

2.  Remove through motor traffic from all unclassified residential roads in the borough, to enable cycle users of all ages and abilities to access schools, services, and shops locally and to enable residents to make more use of their most immediate outdoor environments.

3.  Produce a comprehensive long-term plan for the road in front of Ealing Broadway station and Haven Green, as part of the current Local Plan review. 

4.   Audit existing traffic calming measures including speed humps, point closures and barriers and upgrade those that do not comply with the London Cycle Design Standards requirements, or in the case of round top speed humps be removed. 

5.  Borough-wide shared mobility hubs/share scheme offering bookable e-cars, e-vans, e-bikes, e-cargo bikes, and e-scooters, to reduce the burden of car ownership on individuals and the local environment.

6.   Final mile deliveries: Encourage use of cycles, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes for final mile deliveries in preference to petrol driven vans and motorcycles.


Sources:

1. Ealing emits 1,091,000 tonnes CO2 per year. Ealing's trees and grasslands absorb 5,605 tonnes of CO2 per year. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Local Authority carbon emissions estimates. 2019 

2. Cycling Facts Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis | KiM, 2018

3.  Concern about road danger is the main reason people give for not cycling in the UK. DfT Walking and Cycling Statistics, England 2019.


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Uxbridge Road Cycle Lanes

A section of the new cycle lane on the Uxbridge Road in Southall
Work has started on a section of the Southall to Hanwell cycle route along the Uxbridge Road. Workers are installing two-metre-wide cycle lanes in both directions on the the section between Southall and Greenford Road. The route will be segregated from motor vehicles with wands, and will include bus-stop bypasses, enabling cyclists to safely pass buses parked at bus stops, instead of having to cycle out into moving traffic. 

The section being installed doesn't include the road through Iron Bridge, which is one of the most intimidating and unpleasant places in Ealing to ride a bike. Because of this, the cycle lanes are unlikely to attract many new cyclists, which is likely to lead to criticism that they aren't being used. ECC has urged the council to complete the whole route as soon as possible. 

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Monday, 7 February 2022

The Highway Code


The Highway Code has been revised (with 8 new rules and 49 updates, to some brouhaha).  Many of the changes are clarifications of existing rules, but it's still worth having a look (especially if you haven't read it since you took your driving test . . . ) since many of these are of interest to cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and other vulnerable road users. The government website gives a rundown of the changes here 

Better Ealing Streets have produced some animated videos to explain the changes here


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Sunday, 31 October 2021

Improvements for Northolt

A Zebra and parallel cycle crossing on Mandeville Road, Northolt
















The government's Levelling Up Fund has allocated Ealing Council £7.2 million to improve the A312  corridor in Northolt. The money is earmarked for landscaping, new signs and pedestrian and cycle crossings of the A312, as well as improvements to the Kensington Road area near Northala Fields. The grant is good news for active travel in the borough. The Department for Transport suspended funding for Ealing after the council's u-turn on low-traffic neighbourhoods, but this money comes from a pot it doesn't completely control. The Levelling Up Fund is managed by the Treasury, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, along with the Department for Transport. 

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