Thursday, 17 May 2012

Thames Jubilee event at Battersea discourages cycling

The website for the ticketed Thames Diamond Jubilee Festival big event in Battersea Park is quite clear:

GETTING THERE
Nearest Stations: Clapham Junction, Fulham Broadway and Victoria
PARKING
General Parking is not available at Battersea Park. Travel on Public Transport is strongly recommended.
There will not be designated parking for coaches or other methods of private transport.
I'd have thought it would have made sense to encourage people to cycle to the event and to provide a load of cycle stands.

Of course there's a chance that the organisers didn't give a moment's thought about cycling being a means of private transport.

10 comments:

bikemapper said...

One of the problems with encouraging people to ride to a big event such as this is that people are going to be coming from far and wide.

According to TfL research, not knowing where to cycle is as much of an obstacle as a lack of cycle lanes, and a greater obstacle than a fear of being knocked off one's bike.

You say that you'd have thought it would have made sense for the organisers to encourage people to cycle to this event. Wouldn't it also make sense for the cycle lobby to campaign for the development of a strategic cycle network?

Luke said...

Bike mapper, I'm not sure I read the research that way. There's multiple questions that come down to not feeling safe, and all get some response. And "don't know where to cycle" could be read as don't know where to cycle without traffic hurtling past. I don't want some roundabout backstreet route- I want the most direct/fastest, like when I drive.

Charlie Holland said...

Bikemapper, I doubt many people will choose to cycle from far and wide, but people from, say, Kennington might choose to with a spot of encouragement, especially on a day when car travel is being discouraged (except by Westminster Council of course). I note that there's definitely encouragement to cycle to (as near as they'll allow you) the Olympic Games.

As for campaigning for a strategic cycle network, the London Cycling Campaign's 'Go Dutch' campaign surely does this?

bikemapper said...

In 2006, a group of five boroughs, including Lambeth and Wandsworth, sought to study the feasibility of a strategic cycle network. This was rejected by TfL "in light of the views expressed by the London Cycling Campaign".

At the beginning of this year, I contacted LCC, and suggested that they manage / oversee a London-wide study. I requested that any mole-hills which stood in the way of this be kicked to one side, and was ultimately to receive this reply from Ashok Sinha: "I consulted with colleagues regarding the previous discussions you have had with LCC regarding your initiative, i.e. before my arrival. It seems that we had a number of misgivings at the time, which I think would continue to persist." When I asked Ashok to explain what those misgivings were, and why they are still relevant, he replied, somewhat regally, "You have my answer, Simon."

Charlie, you say the LCC's Go Dutch campaign calls for the development of a strategic cycle network. Do you have any evidence to support this? (I mean, any evidence at all - a tiny scrap would suffice).

Another thing you assert is that people are unlikely to cycle in from far and wide. I don't know how you know this, but clearly the organisers expect people to travel in from all over the place, as evidenced by the fact that they direct visitors to the nearest train stations.

Luke, would it be safe for me to assume you are (a) completely unfamiliar with my proposal and (b) a lycra-clad speed merchant? Do you think the authorities should be developing the cycle infrastructure for the benefit of the people in the TfL study, or for the benefit of people like you?

Charlie Holland said...

Bikemapper, you said
"Charlie, you say the LCC's Go Dutch campaign calls for the development of a strategic cycle network. Do you have any evidence to support this? (I mean, any evidence at all - a tiny scrap would suffice)"

Would the Netherlands suffice?

As for your statement, "Another thing you assert is that people are unlikely to cycle in from far and wide. I don't know how you know this". I didn't assert - I said, "I doubt many people will choose to cycle from far and wide". On one occasion I chose to cycle on excellent cycle routes from Rotterdam to the south of Germany to attend a big event. I was not surprised that the vast majority travelling that distance had chosen the train or car. It would seem that you would be surprised.

bikemapper said...

Charlie, let's leave the issue of whether people are going to cycle in from far and wide to one side, shall we? For one thing, it feels like we're interpreting "far and wide" in different ways, and for another thing, it doesn't really matter where they come from.

No, let's get to the meat of this. You asked, would the Netherlands suffice? What does that mean? I asked for evidence that the LCC is actively campaigning for the development of a strategic cycle network. Would the Netherlands suffice means what?

The three key principles of 'Love London, Go Dutch' are what? Prove to me that LCC are prepared to "think in terms of a network".

Charlie Holland said...

This wasn't a blogpost about cycle networks.

The Netherlands has a TOTAL strategic cycle network because you can safely go from your street to any destination by bike.

As I understand it, LCC, in line with its membership's wishes, are working on the voters, politicians and engineers to get London to also have that universal ability, recognising the benefits of separating cyclists and motorists where there is a high volume of fast moving motor traffic and insufficient option to reduce speed and volume. Filtered permeability, 20mph limits and encouraging modal shift (eg through making cycling the quicker option through permitting cycling two-ways on one-way streets for motorists etc. etc.) are ways of reducing speed and volume.

On a personal level, I'd love to see a child and adult friendly cycle route from Battersea to Tate Modern and beyond as part of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea OAPF, the Waterloo development and Bankside and have and continue to put pressure on the planners to provide this.

Encouraging event organisers to welcome cyclists forms part of that pressure. That was the point of the blogpost, where we came in and is probably a good point for us to end on.

bikemapper said...

One of the problems with encouraging people to ride to a big event such as this is that people are going to be coming from far and wide.

According to TfL research, not knowing where to cycle is as much of an obstacle as a lack of cycle lanes, and a greater obstacle than a fear of being knocked off one's bike.

You say that you'd have thought it would have made sense for the organisers to encourage people to cycle to this event. Wouldn't it also make sense for the cycle lobby to campaign for the development of a strategic cycle network?

Luke said...

"Lycra clad speed merchant?" in my dreams. When I say "fastest" I don't mean done at 20mph. I mean takes least time. I can't be bothered to research complicated back street routes. So I'd like a proper cycle lane on the main road which is the direct route. Then I'll fend for myself on the back streets at either end- like in Netherlands

bikemapper said...

Hi Luke,

Okay, so I apologise for any misunderstanding. The point is, firstly, that LCC are not "thinking in terms of a network", and they bloody well should be doing, and secondly, there is nothing very much wrong with back street routes, so long as they are meaningful and direct.

I acknowledge that there is considerable value in incorporating main road routes into a network. I think you would be surprised the extent to which I have already done this.

Why not take the bikemapper challenge? Plot your most often-used journeys and we'll see if the network can provide for them. Having spent about 12,000 hours drawing lines on a map, I'd be very surprised if it couldn't.