Wednesday 27 April 2011

Coffee, soft drink and a newspaper?

 I saw this cyclist in Lille (the black frame on the bike is a bus stop behind)
 and saw him a few minutes later set up and trading
 Soft drinks, newspapers and freshly brewed coffee were on offer. The coffee machine is winched up from the base of the trailer, you can just see the winding mechanism on the lower left of the trailer.

Lille racing ahead of Westminster

 Like Westminster the centre of Lille is chock full of one-way streets but, unlike Westminster, there's clearly a major push to introduce contra-flows for cyclists, facilitating their movement, as the sign above shows. In addition much of Lille's centre has motor-vehicle bans. The result is many people walking and cycling (with no hi-vis or helmets to be seen).

 While there doesn't appear to be a B-Bike scheme, you can hire Segways and Electric Bikes at the rail station.

Sunday 10 April 2011

School picnic

It was a privilege a few days ago to take a group of Southwark primary school children off to Hyde Park for a picnic. First stop after braving Lambeth Bridge was outside the UK's European Parliament and Commission building in Smith Square.
 We then passed by Westminster Abbey, where a certain wedding will take place shortly, before heading up Horse Guards Road, pointing out the Treasury, Cabinet War Rooms and the ivy clad Admiralty Citadel.
 We took the cycle path along the Mall to see the Guards outside St James's Palace
 then had to divert off the Cycle Path
 across several traffic lanes
 to cycle along the road
 to Buckingham Palace.
 We took the cycle path through Green Park to Hyde Park Corner, where we went through the Wellington Arch
 and into Hyde Park up to the Serpentine
 for our picnic
 After lunch and an informal game of football we returned, pausing in St James's Park to admire the Pelicans.
 We could take our time to see the sights and were able to stop where we chose. Visiting central London by bicycle beats the coach, bus or underground hands down!

Cycling Facility Evolution

By applying pressure change can be effected, though it may take some time. The sensible but poorly implemented cycle link above, near Tooting Common in Wandsworth, was featured as the January 2008 'Warrington Cycle Facility of the Month'.

A few months later it was removed, thus:

I was pleased to find recently that it has returned, with a usable width and a decent dropped kerb too:

Thursday 7 April 2011

Doin' the Vauxhall Gyratory

While I'd love to amend the title to "Doin' away with the Vauxhall Gyratory", the plans for Cycling Superficial Highway 5 show TfL have no intention to reduce motor traffic use here.

The Cyclists in the City blog is giving the plans for Cycling Superficialhighway 5 a thorough going over - well worth a read.
and more to come this weekend.

Feedback on the plans can be sent to:
Richard Shirley
Senior Communications & Consultation Manager
Cycle Superhighways
Transport for London

Tesco tedium

Following on from my last post, there isn't an email address for Tesco Kennington on Tesco's website so I filled in Tesco Customer Services' online form. Below is the email I received in response requiring me to make contact again, whereas they could have simply forwarded my complaint internally. Now, I wonder where I put those old-fangled envelopes?

I am very sorry to hear that a Tesco lorry was obstructing a cycle lane.

For us to look into this issue and address the matter with the driver concerned, please could I ask you to give our Well Drive line a call on 0800 22 55 33.

With regards to a response from the Store Manager, I am afraid you will have to write to the Store Manager directly. If you could use the address below:

Kennington Lane
SE11 5QU

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding this issue.

Sunday 3 April 2011

Why I bypass shopping at Tesco Kennington

 Today, on my way back from shopping at a rival to Tesco that I prefer to frequent I was forced to a halt because of a Tesco lorry parked on a double yellow line totally obstructing the cycle track in Vauxhall Street. This is one reason I shop elsewhere.

The driver could have found a sensible place to park and Tesco could have called his mobile when the store was ready to receive his load.

Instead Tesco are happy to place cyclists' lives at risk - this is after all part of London Cycle Network Route 3 - a backstreet route intended to be appealing and safe for inexperienced cyclists such as children. Needless to say this is not a one-off incidence but a frequent occurrence at this store.

I'm emailing the store manager to ask why the suggestion I make above is not already in place, and to ensure that it or a similar equivalent will be put in place and the situation never arise again. I'll publish his/her reply.

Friday 1 April 2011

Bike Polo or Chariot Bike Racing?

Bike Polo is a popular free pastime in the Elephant and Castle area, played on the court at the corner of Harper Road and Bath Terrace. But with the Olympics looming it may be passe; chariot bike racing is looking like it's the coming craze if this example seen a couple of days at the E&C is anything to go by.

The above is, of course, all true. For dodgier news articles I refer you to the various posts made on this date at and to