Lewisham Cyclists Meeting Minutes
Dog and Bell Public House
Wednesday 18th October 2011
Present: Katie Collis (KC), Jane Davis (JD), Roger Stocker (RS), Tom Crispin (TC), John Phillips (JP).
No apologies for absence.
Matters Arising:Skyride Money is due from Skyride, and will probably be paid into our account in December, as is usual. Deal’s Gateway. Promised improvements completed. We are sending TfL (cc Len Duvall, Greenwich Cyclists ) an email to say it is an improvement in safety compared to the first redesign, but that it still presents some problems for slower/less experienced cyclists. RS said a sign notifying oncoming traffic of priorities would also have been useful, as would a delay on the green from Greenwich High Road. JD to action this.
CRIM (Cycle route inspection meeting) for Cycle Superhighway 4 was set for a date 2 weeks ago for the section from Lewisham to Deptford. It was cancelled 3 days before it was due to take place. No reason was given for this cancellation. Anthony Austin from Greenwich Cyclists sent a letter of complaint as annual leave was taken by their members and ours to attend this. Still no reason given for the cancellation. A CRIM covering the first half of the CSH 4 from London Bridge to Greenwich Lewisham border was completed previously.) The report of this is now due. Representatives of LCC central office , TfL, attended with Greenwich and Lewisham group representatives. Lewisham Council did not send a representative, even though a large part of this CSH runs through Lewisham. RS to contact Lewisham transport to ask why.
Blackfriars Ride: excellent turnout with a good selection of Lewisham cyclists. We will continue to support action aimed at making TfL aware of inadequacies of their plans for this key river crossing and the far superior alternative designs that LCC has shown are possible. We will encourage LCC to consider further action highlighting other key crossing points. KC to send email to Gerhard Weiss at LCC asking if there is anything further coming out of this.
Coordinators visit to Addison Lee. KC reported back on her visit offered in response to her letter about bad driving endangering cyclists exhibited by Addison Lee drivers. She toured the main offices and sat in on driver training. She remarked that it was heavily biased towards customer service, with less attention paid to establishing a good, working knowledge of, and importance of adherence to, the highway code and on road skills based training. They have accepted these criticisms and undertook
to make changes to driver training which have already been planned. These include online tutorials for their drivers showing bad examples of driver behaviour. We have that showing both good and bad examples might be more effective.
It seems that at the moment each driver has a one off assessment in first week. Then a log is kept of any complaints against driver. 2 complaints results in a meeting to discuss their performance with a team they have specially to deal with these drivers. More than 6 complaints results in a disciplinary.
KC was impressed with the company’s willingness to engage with cyclists as well as their customers. They welcome feedback from all other road users and seem to be willing to learn from it.
KC will write a full report on the visit.
6. Cycle Parking in Lewisham
RS has asked a question under freedom of information about how many cycle parking spaces each SE London borough has. TfL has allocated several thousand pounds for cycle parking in the past. This money still allocated but no longer ring fenced for cycle parking. Lewisham have said they put in over a hundred spaces last year but don’t know
or any later date. Therefore there is money they have been allocated which they cannot account for.
Many of Lewisham’s stations pose particular problems in terms of inadequate cycle parking. RS pointed out the overflowing stands at New Cross Gate. At Lewisham, although new ones put in, other covered ones have been removed and not replaced so still there are not sufficient spaces. Members have had queries about this ignored. At the moment committee members are experiencing great difficulties in even getting acknowledgement of correspondence from Lewisham transport department, which has recently experienced huge cuts in staff. We will begin to contact local councillors about cycle parking in specific areas and if any other members wish to to do this we would encourage them to do so. We envisaged just this scenario when Lewisham lost its dedicated cycling officer, that cycling issues would be forgotten. The council officer at Lewisham with responsibility for cycling is Peter Stunnell, Sustainable Transport Officer, but the cycling aspect of his job is only one small part of his remit.
7. AGM: KC to send message out to the group asking if change of date would encourage more attendees. At the moment it is held every February. Possibly a date in May would encourage more people out, rather than a date on a cold, dark evening.
8. Greenwich Foot tunnel: the latest Greenwich Council Tweet says it will open in the New Year. TC stated that the whole programme has been really badly managed by Greenwich with no real consideration to the large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians who use the tunnels at Woolwich and Greenwich as a necessary part of their travel across the city. The lifts at Greenwich were meant to be completed in August. Cyclists and pedestrians have been left stranded without notice despite assurances this would not happen.
RS will ask Peter Stunnell at Lewisham to ask Greenwich for an update of the status of works at the moment (progress report) as this affects so many Lewisham residents. He will also ask about the carriage of cycles on the DLR at non peak times when tunnel is closed. We have examples of people having to cycle from Erith to Tower Bridge and then to work at the Tate and Lyle factory on an early shift because on occasions, the ferry is not running, and both foot tunnels have been closed.
AOB : General discussion about the website. JP was concerned the Rides and Meetings section was becoming a little difficult to navigate, but the rest of the meeting felt it was fine and the decision was made to leave it as it is.
Meeting ended 8 pm