Wednesday 20 March 2013

The cycle parking at Clapham Leisure Centre is beyond parody

My congratulations are overdue to Lambeth Council for opening the first new leisure centre in 30 years last February. Given the current economic climate this is no small achievement. At the time of the launch Lambeth said
"The new multi-million pound Clapham Leisure Centre on Clapham Manor Street comes complete with a new six-lane 25-metre swimming pool with movable floor, 100-station fitness gym, four-court sports hall and dance and fitness studio. The highly sustainable building forms part of an £80m, multi-award winning regeneration scheme."
Cathedral Group, the developers of the scheme which includes private and social housing and a new library, equally boast  of the 'brand new sustainable leisure centre designed by specialists LA Architects.'.

How much cycle parking do you think there is for this building in the pro-cycling borough of Lambeth? I'll give you two hints to help you guess:
1. This 'highly sustainable building' is just a stone's throw from Cycling Superhighway 7;
2. The parking is located in a shiny new road next to the Leisure Centre called 'Bicycle Mews'.

What's your guess? Maybe 50 stands? Or, planning for the future, 100 stands? Surely no fewer than 20 stands?

Seriously, the answer is 9 stands although Lambeth's operators state there are only 9 spaces.

And I'm inclined to agree with because several of the stands are wedged so tight together that you can't get your bike in or out without bashing your way past other bikes. Here's how it looked this chilly March afternoon:

 Below is the  Leisure Centre sign just by its front door and you can see the crammed cycle parking just by the far wall. As you can see from the photo at the top of this blog post, there's no cycle parking in front of the building.

You really couldn't make it up, could you?

Did the planners consent to just 18 cycle parking spaces? Do the Architects and Developers really believe that it is acceptable to install the cycle parking so badly, and does providing a nominal 18 cycle parking spaces fall into their definition of 'highly sustainable'?

But above all, when will the parking positioning be improved and the quantity increased to meet the aspirations that the name 'Bicycle Mews' surely implies?

Sunday 10 March 2013

Cycle Parking and Advertising

 There's not a lot of cycle parking outside Streatham Common Railway Station so I hope the Council take this advertiser to the cleaners. Or at least remove his bike.

Meanwhile, the other side of the railway bridge, the local Farmers' Market aims to rile the people who would otherwise be their customers.

 While in Clapham, judging by the rusty chain, this bicycle has been abandoned and can be removed by the council, freeing up parking that is clearly in demand even on a freezing March morning.

Lock your frame and wheels with two good locks

The Mayor of London's draft Policing and Crime Strategy includes 'theft of and from motor vehicles'. I suggested that was amended to 'theft of and from all vehicles'. While we wait for the Mayor's response, here are a few photos from Lambeth today that show why I think it makes sense for people to use two good locks, locking wheels and frame.

Friday 8 March 2013

Waterloo Station through the ages

While I was researching the ride I led for Lambeth Cyclists last week, "Tick Tock, Ding Dong, Keep Calm and Carillon", I found a great blog post showing paintings from one spot over the years - see it for the interesting full details but I've 'borrowed' the photos of the paintings to show here, because 15 cyclists met me under the clock on a chilly February Saturday for the 6 1/2 hour ride and I thought I'd take a snapshot from a vaguely similar perspective to keep the sequence up to date.From the most recent to the oldest:

Waterloo Station 2013

Waterloo Station (Terence Cuneo 1967)

Waterloo Station Peace (Helen McKie 1948)

Waterloo Station - War (Helen McKie 1948)

The ride itself went like clockwork (almost). On the downside we didn't hear 'Oranges and Lemons say the Bells at St Clement's' because the bell-ringers were having a full peal rehearsal. On the upside we heard the Atkinson Carillon (below), the only Carillon in London that a musician can play, which I wasn't expecting as it isn't normally played until after Easter.

Other highlights for me, neither of which I'd popped into prior to the ride, were the Clockmaker's  Museum in the City of London and the clock rooms in the British Museum. Amazingly brilliant work in both of them and I'll be back for a longer look..