Author: Andrea

Liveable cities entrepreneur

Island of Death

On 29th October 2019, Lukasz Binkowski was killed, crushed by the wheels of a lorry on the South Circular in Catford.

At the inquest the incident was described in a way that puts all the blame on the victim, who was unable to put forward his version.

Lukasz Binkowski had been cycling on a grey mountain bike to Camberwell, where he worked as a driver at a cleaning products company. Shortly before 6:30am, the lorry had safely overtaken him with “good clearance”, before moving back into the left lane near Ravensbourne Park.

However, as the traffic was brought to a stop for 11 seconds due to a red traffic light near Catford station, Lukasz cycled along the near side of the lorry. Being in the space between the pavement and the vehicle, he appeared to onlookers to have lost his balance after the lorry started to move forward, and fell underneath the rear wheels.

The lorry had warning signs on its rears and although the exact mechanism is uncertain, it was at this point that Mr Binkowski either lost his balance or was caught by the forward movement of the lorry, being caught by the wheels and sustaining his unsurvivable injuries.”

The truth is much more nuanced than that, as anyone who spends fifteen minutes at the junction, can easily understand.

The South Circular is very narrow in many stretches, and this is one of them. Riding West, the road meets a Y-junction with the South Circular veering right.

For someone riding a bike there are only two bad options when the carriage way splits into two lanes:

a. ride on the right lane for 200 meters

b. ride on the left lane and near the junction switch to the right lane

The second option is the one that feels safer at the outset (i.e. when one has to decide); but of course is more dangerous near the junction.

Moreover, if the traffic lights at the junction are red, the rider has a difficult decision of where to wait: there is no Advance Stop Line and there is no space to filter through to wait in front of the first vehicle.

There is a small striped area at the cleave of the Y. The critical issue is that it is quite narrow, and it is often driven over by buses and large vehicles driving left, as below.

The natural response is to wait as right as possible. In other words, to avoid being run over by moving vehicles from behind, one is tempted to stay as close as prudent to stationary vehicles on the right.

This is what Lukasz did and it proved fatal.

The lorry to Lukasz’s right moved and he was dragged under its wheels.

In the dysfunctional system we have, Lukasz’s death is “an unfortunate accident”. No lessons have been learned and nothing will be done to fix this death trap.

Of course the reason is that it is difficult to fix. Mixing lorries and bicycles on narrow arterial roads is completely antithetical to Vision Zero. Probably the best solution is to transfer cycle traffic to an alternative high quality route

In a country where leaders were honest, the Mayor would set up a system which learns from tragedies such as the killing of Lukasz and builds safe infrastructure for active travel. But we don’t live in such a country.

Still treating citizens in Woolwich with disrespect

Thirteen months ago we reported that a diversion on Q14 at Woolwich was disrespectful to people walking and cycling.

Image taken in January 2021

It is sad to report that the only thing that has changed is a new sign, which fittingly for the world capital of bullshit, is a lie.

Image taken in February 2022

The first sign said work would be completed in November 2020; the second one amended it to July 2021. It is now February 2022 and the cycle path is still closed.

Nothing has been done to make the diversion worthy of Sadiq Kahn aspiration of “world class cycling city”. More like Third World standards:

With four lanes of motor traffic, one would have thought that there is space to allocate one lane to cycle traffic, so that cyclists don’t have to share a narrow pavement with pedestrians.

Incidentally, Transport for London charges businesses who carry out work that involve closing carriageways; should they not do the same to those who close cycle tracks or pavements?

Our question to Transport for London: if the developer in Woolwich had blocked a traffic lane for 26 months (and counting), how much would it had to pay?

Key considerations when responding to the Consultation on establishing a Road Collision Investigation Branch

Following the encouraging results from research by the RAC Foundation, the Government is seeking views about whether to establish a Road Collision Investigation Branch and what are the best ways to set it up.

We have written before how the present system is broken and we welcome the intention to set up an independent investigative body with adequate powers.

We therefore urge everyone to respond to the Consultation; deadline is Thursday 9th December.

These are some of the issues to keep in mind when responding:

  1. Given the special nature of the Roads environment, compared to other Transport sectors (large number of types of vehicles, majority of drivers are not professional, large number of serious collisions, sadly), the Government is suggesting the RCIB would conduct thematic investigations.
    • This raises two related issues
      1. How are the themes selected: top down (selection of themes according to some criteria – see point 2) or bottom up (i.e. starting from particular incidents). We suggest that both approaches are valuable and should be adopted
      2. What criteria should the RAIB use to select themes: The Government has suggested the following
        1. Scale – factors impacting a large number of fatal or serious collisions (as opposed to more minor collisions/near misses)
        2. Risk of harm – collisions impacting those who might sustain the greatest risk of harm including children, the elderly, pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians
        3. Emerging risks – new technology or behaviour without an established evidence base
          • We strongly suggest that Risk of harm should be the most important criteria
  2. Near Misses. The Rail Investigator has publicly emphasised how near misses are very important data points in developing recommendations. Rail Operators have a duty to report Near Misses. How are Near Misses on Roads going to be recorded. Presently there is no system set up to do that and the only mention in the consultation document is not encouraging. We therefore recommend you mention this in your response
  3. Vision Zero is not mentioned. We believe that it is a mistake because the Vision Zero core principles (design urban environments that take into consideration the fallibility and fragility of humans; learning from failures, etc.) are important guiding principles for anyone whose remit is to reduce the number of preventable deaths.
  4. Robot Cars We need to be alert to the possibility that the car manufacturers lobby may try to influence legislation to make the introduction of robot cars easier. Their nightmare scenario is cities where robot cars come to a standstill because pedestrians will just step in front of them.
    • Please mention that the freedom of Active Travel should not be curtailed to enable the speedy introduction of Robot Cars
  5. Whistleblowers and Alerts by the Public. Again, the Rail Investigator has set up a robust system that allows whistleblowers in the industry to report unsafe practices. This is an important feature that is not mentioned in the consultation document. Please mention it

To summarise, the establishment of a RCIB is a needed step towards reducing road deaths. It is critcal however that it is set up with the correct overriding criteria: Active travel is at the top of the citizens needs pyramid and road danger reduction needs to be targeted towards interventions that enable Active Travel to flourish

Another Londoner has died because TfL was unwilling to put safety above drivers’convenience

Residents have been complaining for years about the lack of safe crossing of Cheyne Walk at the North end of Battersea Bridge.

Here is the junction. There are no pedestrian signals. Citizens have to contend with heavy traffic, with many vehicles turning at the junction in all directions.

And there are no safe places to cross nearby, in either direction.

In January 2017, the Principal Traffic Engineer at Kensington & Chelsea wrote to TfL asking about the progress in plans to build a safe pedestrian crossing at this junction:

Transport for London responded “The model says no”. However they promised that controlled pedestrian signals would be built within 15 months.

It turned out to be another broken promise. Nothing was done. In the three years after the above exchange at least ten Londoners were injured while walking or cycling at this junction.

In June 2019 K&C’s Chief Policy Officer asked for an update. TfL was still looking at tweaking the design, but the model still said no.

Six months later, still no progress. Transport for London was then using the tried-and-tested diversionary tactic or promising a big scheme for the area, which meant more delay in putting a simple pedestrian signal at the junction.

Two months later London went into lockdown and all major street work was stopped. In November 2020, an internal email at K&C, mentions the hope that “funding for this project be unfrozen”, but it is not clear whether the model had said yes to any design

On 12th January 2021, Jack Ryan was killed by a SUV driver while crossing the southern arm of the junction.

Now Transport for London had a corpse and the model switched to yes.

A month later TfL announced that a pedestrian signal will be installed, but only on the southern arm of the junction (where Jack Ryan was killed).

What about a safe crossing of Cheyne Walk or Beaufort Street, which are just as dangerous as the southern arm? TfL kicked again the can to the long grass:

After the a new crossing over the southern arm of the junction is installed, we propose adding two more pedestrian crossings on Cheyne Walk (the junction’s western arm) and Beaufort Street (the junction’s northern arm).

We will continue to work with Kensington and Chelsea Council and other stakeholders to agree these plans and will hold a full public consultation on them later in 2021.

We will revisit this post at the end of the year, to see if TfL has kept this promise.

I leave you with this quote from Rob McGibbon who had organised a petition that attracted 25,000 signatures

“Whilst the new crossing is good news, it is deeply saddening and wrong that it took Jack Ryan’s tragic death to galvanise action. I did not know him, but it is clear that Jack was a hugely popular man, who was dearly loved by his family and so many friends.”

Institutionally unwilling to learn

Four and half years ago, Lucia Ciccioli was killed by a lorry driver at Lavender Hill. At the Inquest, the Coroner recognised that the junction layout was a contributory factor and asked Transport for London to rectify this death trap.

Last year we wrote how Transport for London failed to design a safe junction layout in the timescale they had promised.

Gareth Powell [Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London], is taking advantage of a broken system. The Coroner issues a request to fix a life-threatening situation but has no power (and/or interest) to follow up; so the relevant authority plays the game: writes a letter with empty promises and then ignores them.

It seems that our blog post has spurred TfL into action: it has been reported that they have finally prepared a design, although it has not been published.

Caroline Pidgeon, London Assembly member asked this pertinent question to the Mayor:

What steps has TfL taken to identify where other similar layouts are in place on TfL’s road network, so that similar improvements can be implemented?

The answer from the Mayor is appalling (but not unexpected from someone who has no understanding of Vision Zero:

The sites in Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Safer Junctions programme are determined using Excess Harm by applying a weighting to casualties based on severity and annual average daily traffic flows to determine total harm per million passenger journeys for each location. Excess harm is the additional harm observed per road segment compared to expected harm.

TfL has mapped the Casualty Harm Rate and Excess Harm data to highlight the most harmful roads and this information is available to the boroughs. Sites have not been identified where there are similarities to those found at the Lavender Hill / Elspeth Road junction because Excess Harm assessment is better for reducing road casualties. Similarly, TfL works closely with boroughs and encourages them to use a similar evidence-based approach to identifying priorities to reduce road danger on roads they manage.

As an answer to a follow up question, the Mayor adds

I understand that this is an experimental methodology and was used in conjunction with an existing framework to prioritise funding for existing schemes.

You can read a short explanation of TfL’s Excess Harm methodology here. This is the key formula:

In other words, TfL calculates the expected casualty rate on the network, allocates it according to road type, and will intervene only if the KSI rate on a stretch of road is higher than the expected one.

This shows that Vision Zero is NOT really one of the Mayor’s policies. Because if it were, the second part of the numerator would be zero and the methodology would become meaningless.

Let’s summarise:

  • Transport for London still equates casualties with danger: if they don’t see a corpse they will not fix it
  • Transport for London refuses to learn from failure and actively encourages other transport authorities in London to abstain from learning from failure
  • Transport for London adopts an experimental methodology that contravenes the most important principles of its core road safety policy and calls it evidence-based approach

Sadiq Khan is not an idiot; he is an arrogant liar who thinks he can fool Londoners; just like his predecessor.

London needs an Independent Road Crash Investigations Board

The present system of road crash investigation is broken, because it is parceled out among different agents who have no incentive to reduce road deaths.

We are calling for the future Mayor to set up an Independent Board, similar to those in charge of investigation in the Air, Rail and Maritime System, with the goal of being a central pillar of the Vision Zero Strategy.

The present system is broken

What happens after a crash which results in a fatality or serious injury

The Police conducts a Criminal Investigation, to determine whether the crash was the consequence of unlawful, careless or dangerous driving. If they deem there are not sufficient evidence to charge someone, they will close the investigation and the file will be passed to the Coroner’s Office. From that moment on, the Police main preoccupation will be to justify their decision not to prosecute; the incentive is to blame the victim, who is often no longer there.

At the same time as the Criminal Investigation, a Traffic Management Officer, from a different branch of the Police, will investigate the scene of the crash to evaluate whether the road layout, or other external elements were contributory factors. The goal of the investigation is to prevent future occurences. In our experience the quality of these investigations can vary considerably. The reports are forwarded to the Coroner, who may or may not disclose them at the hearing; in any case they are not published.

The Coroner, who is not an expert in road safety, being presented the results of the two investigations may decide that the status quo is dangerous and may issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report. That is essentially a request to the relevant Transport Authority to look at the issue and propose remedial action. The Transport Authority has 60 days to respond. Both the request and the response are published here

Once the Transport Authority has responded, the system breaks down. Nobody checks the answers and nobody checks whether the Transport Authority actually carries out the work.

What is Transport for London doing

Investigation of failures is a key pillar of Vision Zero; however Transport for London doesn’t seem to feel that fixing the broken system requires urgency.

In 2018 the Department for Transport gave £500,000 to the Royal Automobile Club to carry out a four year study on the cost-benefit analysis of setting up a Road Crash Investigating Board. It sounds the typical English exercise of kicking the can forward, in order to do nothing.

TfL has asked to do a pilot study within this RAC project.

We have conducted various investigations highlighting dangerous roads, junctions, signals, etc… Transport for London and Local Boroughs have been very slow in adopting changes that would prevent avoidable deaths.

What London needs

London has a very different KSI profile from the rest of the country. Close to 70% of fatalities and serious injuries are experienced by citizens while walking or cycling, a much higher percentage than the rest of the country.

We are asking the future Mayor of London to set up a pilot Investigations Board, in one area of London, as soon as feasible. As well as providing valuable safety lessons, the pilot will also enable the Mayor to structure the Investigations Board so that it suits the characteristics of London.

The Independent Road Crash Investigations Board will be an essential pillar of the Vision Zero Strategy.

Appendix – Advice from Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents

This presentation succintly lists all the benefits from having an Independent Investigator, as well as some advice on how best to adapt the lessons from Rail to Road

  • Insights
    • The site phase is the tip of the iceberg – the issues that lie beneath take much more time.
    • In pure safety terms, you can learn as much from smaller incidents and near misses as a major one – harder to get people to take remedial action though!
    • Many of the accidents investigated by the RAIB were not predicted as credible by any formal techniques applied by designers, maintainers or operators.
    • Most investigations reveal how combinations of factors combined to create a dangerous event – including human factors.
    • Investigations highlight the vulnerability of existing risk mitigation measures and assist the design of new measures.
    • Investigations provide valuable intelligence to those with the responsibility for safety.
    • Investigations demonstrate to those affected and wider society that action is being taken and lessons will be learnt.
  • Characteristics of investigations
    • Independence from industry, also prosecution and law enforcement bodies
    • The purpose of any investigation is limited to the improvement of safety – no blame is attributed, issues of liability are never considered
    • Investigations are undertaken by specialists (with inputs from industry and external experts)
    • Industry is obliged to notify certain types of accidents and incidents to the relevant AIB, and to provide certain types of safety data
    • AIBs have powers of entry and the right to seize evidence
    • AIBs have the right to carry out interviews of those who may be able to provide evidence – those interviewed must answer questions put to them (it is an offence to refuse to answer a question or to mislead an AIB inspector)
    • Witnesses are protected from ‘self-incrimination’ – statements made to AIBs are not shared with other agencies (except by order of a high court)
    • Collaboration, and consultation, with industry and external experts
    • Those involved in accidents are kept informed of progress and key issues
    • Although AIBs play no part in the prosecution process, they will share most technical evidence with others that have a duty to investigate (unless this is legally prohibited)
    • If requested by a coroner AIBs will give evidence at an inquest
    • The outcome of all AIB investigations are published in the form of a report
    • Where appropriate AIBs will make recommendations to improve safety by:
      • reducing the likelihood of a recurrence;
      • reducing the severity of an accident should it occur;
      • improving the emergency response; or
      • addressing any other safety issues
  • Lessons for Road Crashes
    • Top-level principles of independent, no blame and specialist investigation are applicable to any mode.
    • This approach can be applied to the analysis of individual accidents or larger data sets drawn from numerous investigations.
    • A supporting safety system across the industry is needed – to turn learning and recommendations into action (eg RAIB/ORR/RSSB).
    • Challenges
      • Infrastructure and regulation
        • Many infrastructure owners, manufacturers, maintainers, and regulators.
        • Numerous different parties (eg private motorists, highways authorities, commercial organisations).
        • Many rules – that are not necessarily easy to change eg TSRGD, DMRB, Highway code.
        • The sheer number of road accidents = massive data sets.
      • People and vehicles
        • Diverse users of the highway – including vulnerable users – cyclists and pedestrians.
        • Many amateur drivers – with no CPD or ongoing assessment.
        • Newer and faster-changing “rolling stock” and rapid changes in technology.
        • Culture: many road accident investigations (but not all) address questions of blame and liability.
    • Base assumptions:
      • Proportionality
      • Sampling those cases where the potential for safety learning is highest.
      • To be of value, investigations must be:
        • Independent.
        • Supported by suitable legal powers
        • Conducted by specialists/trained investigators.
        • No blame.

Sadiq Khan fails to deliver StreetSpace promises

After European countries went in lockdown in March last year, many cities started to implement measures to promote active travel, from widening pavements to converting lanes on busy roads to cycle lanes.

For many weeks there was silence from London’s City Hall. Then finally on 15th May the StreetSpace initiative was launched with the usual “world-beating” exaggerations

So how much has actually been delivered by Transport for London in the past ten months?

Here is a list of promises made in May:

  • Quickly building a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials and including new routes
  • Some of the largest car-free zones in a capital city in central London.
  • Some streets will be be limited to walking, cycling and buses. This is now planned for streets between:
    • London Bridge and Shoreditch – i.e. Bishopsgate
    • Euston and Waterloo
    • Old Street and Holborn
  • Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge may be restricted to people walking, cycling and buses only

A map was provided at the time of the announcement but it has strangely disappeared from TfL’s website. Instead they point to a map by Sustrans which of course does not show what was promised

Let’s see what has been delivered

  1. Quickly building a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials and including new routes
    • FAIL – No semblance of a network anywhere. a few measures here and there that dump people in dangerous circumstances.
      • Example: protected cycle lane on North side of Euston Road ends suddenly at British Library; no indications telling people how to progress East
  2. Some of the largest car-free zones in a capital city in central London
    • C – Car-free zones in Soho, Covent Garden and the City are welcome. Not enough to make the bombastic claims
  3. Bishopsgate limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • B – The scheme was implemented, but a judge ruled that it was unlawful to ban taxis (under appeal)
  4. Euston and Waterloo limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • No Grade – It is unclear what it was meant, There is already a mediocre quietway through Covent Garden and Bloomsbury.
  5. Clerkenwell Boulevard limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – Absolutely nothing done
  6. Waterloo Bridge limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – The anti-terror barrier have been pushed to where they should have been set in the first place. Nothing has been done at the danger points at entrance and exit of the bridge. Scandalous.
  7. London Bridge limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – as Waterloo Bridge, protected lanes in the middle of the bridge (where danger is least) are rendered useless by no measures at either end. There are clear conflicts between paths of cyclists and buses

We have commented before about the PR (i.e. BS) exercise that was the Park Lane cycle lane.

Dangerous pinchpoint on Theobald’s Road
Clerkenwell Road, at the spot of a fatality and a serious injury. Nothing done
Good luck here, North end of Waterloo Bridge
London Bridge – an “accident” waiting to happen

It is difficult to understand why Sadiq Khan has not been taken to task for such a poor score card.

In our opinion the guy is not to be trusted. Please don’t waste your vote in May; there is a good Green candidate.

Diverting citizens disrespectfully

In Summer 2018 Will Norman opened the Eastern stretch of Quietway 14, which connects the Millennium Dome to the Woolwich Ferry, all along the river.

Then in Autumn 2019, the last two hundred meters had to be closed to allow the construction of a new development.

Some signs were prepared and a diversion set up.

Naturally they couldn’t resist placing their favourite sign.

So Isabelle Clements, founder of Wheels for Wellbeing, and featured in this Department for Transport ad on exactly the same Q14, would not be allowed to use it any longer.

And it gets worse. The diversion follows in parts the four-lanes “murderous Woolwich High Street” (not our words)

There is plenty of space on Woolwich Road / High Street to take a lane out, move the bus stop 100 metres back and create a new temporary cycle lane.

But that was too revolutionary in pre-Covid times.

And so nothing was done and people walking and cycling had to share a cramped pavement.

Then in May 2020 Sadiq Khan announced TfL’s Streetspace programme of reallocating space for active travel. But this is a backwater, not sexy enough for fancy photos like Park Lane. Will Norman has probably forgotten about it and TfL probably does not have a system to mantain the network of Quietways/Cycleways.

And so the active citizens of Woolwich are still confined to a narrow pavement.

The tyranny of space: everyone crammed into 1.5 meters, so that a few can drive at speed.

The building work was expected to end in October 2020, but hey, we know that these are empty promises. The path is still closed.

So, to summarise: lots of time was spent to make fancy videos of the new cycle route, but no money or thought has been spent to ensure that the cycle route is fit for purpose at all time.

This is the consequence of treating citizens with disrespect.

TfL’s lazy approach to remove dangerous signals costs lives

In the past three years, two people have been killed as a direct result of the design fault inherent in Pelican crossings.

Daniela Raczkowska was killed by a lorry driver in Knightsbridge on 18 January 2018, as she was crossing on a green light. Read here how the coroner blamed her for the failures of a broken system.

These pedestrian signals are a symbol of the nastyness of the English class system: pedestrians are considered second class people and a system was designed to ensure that first class people driving vehicles would not be overly inconvenienced by the second class people crossing the street. While the pedestrian is still crossing the street (and indeed has a green signal), the motorist is allowed to drive ahead, by showing him/her flashing amber lights

[Incidentally this is an example of conflict between signals, which we are constantly told by English traffic experts is not allowed in this country, as an excuse for not adapting the universal system of green pedestrian lights in the same direction of green vehicular traffic]

The Pelican design is particularly dangerous on wide roads with two or more lanes in each direction. A pedestrian may be crossing the first lane, where a large vehicle may have stopped to let her cross; this may obstruct the view of the driver of another vehicle on the second lane, who can interpret the flashing amber lights as a signal to proceed, and thus crash into the emerging pedestrian.

The Department for Transport removed pelican crossings from their list of approved designs for signalised crossings in 2016. The last pelican crossing to be installed on TfL’s road network was in January 2012. Some London boroughs continued to choose pelicans as the design for crossings on their roads. The last new pelican site was installed in February 2015 by London Borough of Barnet. Additionally, there are several crossings which had already been programmed before the January 2012 cut off date which is why they have an installation date of after January 2012.

There are still 847 pelican crossings in London, 167 of which are directly managed by Transport for London and the rest by the Boroughs.

Through Caroline Russell, we asked the Mayor how quickly he is planning to remove these death traps. Here is his response:

London has a legacy of pelican crossings which are gradually being replaced through various investment and modernisation programmes. TfL will be upgrading at least 40 in 2020/21, not including those that are part of wider TfL investment projects or borough schemes.
TfL takes a risk-based approach to the prioritisation of investment funding, and its Vision Zero policy places a high priority on improving locations on the road network where risk is highest.

Of course the Mayor, in typical English amateurism, does not explain how he assesses where “risk is highest”. We know that his poodle Will Norman, when he started in his post, wasted a lot of time and money producing a report linking danger with black spots with high KSIs and then packaged this discredited analysis with the name of “evidence based approached”

So we can only assume that Sadiq Khan is waiting for people to be killed before removing pelican crossings. That is NOT a Vision Zero approach.

But we know that #VisionZeroLDN has nothing to do with Vision Zero. It is a hypocritical, amateurish exercise that is failing. Last month Transport for London finally released the KSIs for 2019, which showed a 26% INCREASE in pedestrian fatalities.

Daniela Raczkowska survived Nazi horrors during the Second World War but she was killed by English nastiness and laziness.

UPDATE: A further Question to the Mayor has revealed the future plans by TfL to remove these lethal signals:

  • Question
    • Thank you for your response to my question 2020/1012 on the modernisation of pelican crossings. Given that pelican crossings are no longer approved in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD), how are your prioritising their modernisation, and when will they all be replaced?
  • Answer
    • As set out in my earlier response, Transport for London (TfL) takes a risk-based approach to modernising its traffic infrastructure, prioritising locations that present the highest risk to the public. TfL’s risk criteria includes, but is not exclusive to, the age of the equipment, the obsolescence of the equipment, the critical failure rate and associated risk of the equipment to the general public. As of April this year, TfL has 847 pelican crossings within London, out of around 5,000 sets of traffic signals.
    • Crossings make up 55 per cent of the total number of sites being modernised, of which half are Pelican crossings. As such, replacing Pelican crossings is a high priority for TfL.
    • Given its current financial position and the ‘safe stop’ period during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, TfL has had to reassess the number of sites it can modernise this year.  Initially it planned to upgrade 40 Pelican crossings this year, but has had to revise this to 22 upgrades. Replacing aging and higher risk infrastructure is key to Vision Zero, and TfL expects to replace a further 60 Pelican crossings in the next financial year to ensure the overall programme remains on track.

In other words, TfL plans to remove half of the pelican crossings on its roads by April 2022. No words about the hundreds of pelicans on Councils roads (“It is someone else’s job”)

Everyone has different abilities. Don’t discriminate against some of us.

Cycles provide enhanced mobility to all of us, especially now that most types are available also with electric assist.

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Amsterdam. By @quixoticgeek

The Beyond the Bicycle Coalition has been lobbying transport authorities, both at local and national level to keep in mind the needs of people who use cargo bikes and specially adapted cycles, when designing road infrastructure and incentive schemes.

Too many safe routes become unusable when narrow pinch points are built. This is very important now, as the pressure to build fast may lead people not to think about all the details.

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Courtesy of Ellis Palmer

Sustrans have listened and have embarked on a national programme to remove discriminatory barriers to the National Cycle Network

Coalition member Wheels for Wellbeing has posted a manifesto to ensure transport authorities don’t fall into discriminatory practices. Here are the asks:

We urgently ask for Central Government to:

  1. Engage with Disabled people’s organisations to ensure Disabled people are not locked out of their communities over the long term.
  2. Take measures to tackle the infrastructure barriers to Disabled people’s wheeled mobility:
    • Publish the reviewed national cycle design guidance (to replace LTN02/08)
    • Improve footways safety for all by explicitly allowing the use of mobility scooters in cycle lanes and rename “cycle lanes” as “mobility lanes” or “micro-mobility lanes”.
  3. Take measures to tackle the cost barrier to Disabled people taking up cycling:
    • Extend financial support for electric-cycles, adaptive cycles and cargo-cycles, to Disabled people in self-employment and those who are not in work
    • Support our call for Motability to extend its offer to include adaptive cycles
    • Require (& resource) local authorities to provide cycle training on Electric-cycles/adaptive cycles and inclusive cycle hire centres.
  4. Recognise the fact that cycles are mobility aids for many Disabled people and develop a blue badge for Disabled cyclists
  5. Run a national public education campaign (inspired by RNIB’s call for a Covid Courtesy Code)

Further we ask Local Authorities to:

  1. Involve local Disability organisations in the access-auditing of temporary schemes & in co-production of all permanent schemes.
  2. Prioritise safety and accessibility of all temporary walking and cycling footway widening & temporary Cycling schemes. We recommend the use of TfL’s Temporary Traffic Management Handbook.
  3. Carry out Equality Impact Assessments for all temporary schemes and apply inclusive design principles, referring to our Guide to Inclusive Cycling.
  4. Retain essential car access for pick up, drop-off and Blue Badge parking, including on otherwise car-free streets.
  5. Provide for accessible cycle parking for longer/wider cycles in town centres and on residential streets/estates/developments.