Our Placeshaping Director, Jack Skillen, proposes a cycling forum to improve conditions and the environment for local cyclists. If you'd like to hear more, please send your name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org: additional information/ comments welcome.
Call-out to the cyclists of London Bridge
by Jack Skillen, Placeshaping Director, Team London Bridge
This morning I tried a new cycling route to work, purely because my meeting was slightly nearer to Tower Bridge than my office. In switching bridges, I avoided a lot of my habitual frustration – not to mention the pollution - by steering clear of the traffic on Bishopsgate in the City. My cycling app tells me that I was a full 3 minutes quicker despite cycling an extra half mile. I also know where to find the public cycle parking racks by Potters Fields Park – so a good trip all round.
It shows how a simple change – almost accidental – can change something that is part of everyday life. I wonder how many people out there tried cycling (or walking) for the first time due to the recent train strikes – and if that has encouraged you to try again?
Part of Team London Bridge’s placeshaping ambition is to create a world class urban environment that encourages walking and cycling. We haven’t done much work to encourage cycling in the past, so I am keen to reach out to regular cyclists - and people that are keen to cycle more - to help me make cycling better for people who work in, live in and visit London Bridge.
Team London Bridge want to improve cycling in a number of ways:
1. Cycle parking
While there are a number of private secure spaces for staff of some offices, there is less public cycle parking provision for visitors, students or patients at the King's and Guy's campus. However, there is not a lot of room either as we have narrow busy streets. We are currently auditing this cycle parking provision, so it would be useful to have your own experiences of cycle parking in the area.
2. Safe cycle routes
We are creating better streets for walking and cycling, and look forward to Quietway 14 being delivered in the late spring, linking Canada Water to Blackfriars, and coming along Newcomen Street in the London Bridge area. We also look forward to Cycle Superhighway 4 being a major infrastructure addition, linking Deptford to the City, and coming along Tooley Street. Ideally we want it sooner rather than later.
3. Training, promotions and safety
There are a number of ways we can encourage new people to cycle, and to improve the cycling experience for existing cyclists – whether through challenges, safety training, bike servicing, bike purchase or pooling schemes, and promoting the best routes to get around (I’ve just discovered how to get to London Bridge from Westminster using the superb new ‘East-West Cycle Superhighway’ along the Embankment – yet there is no signage to help me on this route*).
We will be supporting the Southwark Cyclists to promote ‘Cycle to Work Day’ on 26th April. We’ll particularly try and reach new or unconfident cyclists in the hope that experienced cyclists can support us through their passion and knowledge; helping to support others make that first pedal.
Team London Bridge would like to form a steering group to take this work forward, perhaps informally at first. Please get in touch with me if you are interested, or send me your experiences of cycling in the London Bridge area so I can build a better picture.
Email me at email@example.com
Please share with fellow cyclists.
*Get to the Embankment as soon as you can, then enjoy a virtual traffic and traffic-light-free journey, then slip off the route via Monument Street after going under London Bridge.