16 September 2011
Donnachadh McCarthy is the founder of
3 Acorns Eco-audits ( www.3acorns.co.uk ) and www.nationalcarbonfootprintday.org
His home in Camberwell was London's first carbon-negative home.
Do Southwark Council’s officers speak an alien language?
Take for example their new cycling policy. It says the council wants to have “road users interacting and only in exceptional circumstances would a provision of a physical barrier between cyclists and other forms of traffic are supported.” They say separate cycle lanes would result in faster speeds and reduce road safety.
What that really means is they want to use the bodies of children, pensioners and adult cyclists to reduce speed of articulated trucks and buses!! They are tearing up plans to install a Southwark cycle routes feeding into the London Mayor’s Cycle Super Highways.
With one of the worst cycle safety records in London, officers forget that the real “interactions” on our streets are fatal accidents when traffic hits cyclists. Bizarrely one of the reasons given for opposing a cycle-lane network like Camden Council has installed, is that Camden’s have become congested, i.e. they were successful and so Southwark feels they should not be installed!
As reported last week, 40% of Southwark’s kids going into senior school are clinically obese. Surveys state 30% of kids want to cycle to school but only a tiny 3% actually do.
Those giving kids cycle training say the reason given by parents was lack of safe cycle lanes. Officers also want to remove existing cycle routes in 20mph zones but then propose to increase cycling levels by 2% by 2025, thus taking 225 years to get to Amsterdam’s 30% level!
However, sanity may be returning. Cllr Hargrove has indicated the council may abandon plans to remove existing 20mph zone cycle lanes and council leader Cllr Peter John has demanded officers justify opposing nearly all new cycle lanes and other cycle policies at the October 18th cabinet meeting, after lobbying by local eco-groups including Southwark Friends of the Earth.
The London Cycle Campaign just voted for Dutch-style cycle lanes to be top priority for the 2012 London elections. You can help by emailing Cllr John (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 17th, asking that Southwark stop officers using our kids’ bodies to slow traffic and follow Camden’s example and urgently provide safe cycle routes for kids and pensioners.
Eco-House Open Day
Donnachadh’s home which was London’s first carbon negative house is open to the public as part of London’s Open House weekend on Sat/Sun 17/18th Sept., 10am-5pm. Solar electric, solar hot water, wind-turbine, clean-air compliant wood-burner, triple glazing, solid-wall insulation, reclaimed flooring, under-floor insulation, rain-harvester and exhibition on green-living. 3 Acorns Retro-Eco House, 2 Coleman Road, Camberwell, SE5 7TG.
1. At 01:32 PM on 20 Sep 2011, James wrote:
Actually, it's often a good idea to "use the bodies of children, pensioners and adult cyclists to reduce speed of articulated trucks and buses". Despite the writer's emotive language, the reality is that well-designed, shared space often does make the roads safer for everyone. There is ample evidence for the benefits of shared space and presumably the council officers know this. Segregating different types of road user repeats the mistakes of 1960s urban planning, from which London is still suffering. Roads become virtual no-go areas for anyone not in a motorised vehicle. Cars drive faster and with less care. Bikes lanes may well re-enforce this sense that bikes don't belong on the roads. There can never be a complete network of separate cycle lanes, so when the different modes of transport come together accident rates increase. In contrast, look at a car driving along a semi-pedestrianised shopping street. They are forced to crawl along, keeping a careful eye out for others road users.
Report this Comment
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale