Tuesday, 04 August 2020 15:39

Pressure for new A1000 cycle lanes to reach High Barnet

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Separate cycle lanes up and down Barnet Hill - an ambition ridiculed for so long by Barnet councillors - may have become a step closer as a result of the government's decision to pump £2 billion into schemes to encourage cycling and walking as a way of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Transport for London’s aim is to establish “pop-up social distancing” cycle lanes the entire length of the A1000.
Work is to start immediately installing cycle lanes along the 3.2 km section of the A1000 between the junction with Bishops Avenue at East Finchley and Tally Ho corner in North Finchley.
Space will be made for the twin cycle lanes by reducing the A1000 to one-lane traffic flow in each direction; by suspending 120 or more parking bays; and by reducing or removing built-out footways.

Barnet Council has been awarded a grant of £318,000 to complete the installation of East Finchley to North Finchley cycle lanes by the end of September.
Funding to continue the cycle lanes north from Tally Ho corner – through to Whetstone, then up to High Barnet and on to Monken Hadley – was unexpectedly rejected by TFL and the Department for Transport.
However, plans are still under consideration and future approval is now a possibility for the second phase of the project, depending on the use and success of the first section.

Decades of hostility towards cyclists by Barnet councillors are blamed by Barnet Cycling Campaign for the council’s failure to secure the extra money immediately for the cycling lanes to continue north up the A1000, from North Finchley to Monken Hadley.
Ashley Grossman, a leading member of the 300-strong Barnet campaign, said there had been an “abject failure” borough wide by the council to introduce any significant schemes to encourage cycling or to safeguard cyclists.

“We are delighted Barnet is going to get its first meaningful, safe cycle route along one of its main thoroughfares.
“We are trying to work with the council to ensure the details in the design will make the route really succeed.

"We are also eager for the council to resubmit their bid to extend the cycle lanes all the way to Monkey Hadley."

Plans for the A1000 cycle lanes north from the boundary with Haringey, close to Bishops Avenue, show they would vary in width from a minimum of 2 metres up to 3.7 metres, depending on the available space and whether it was possible to integrate them with bus lanes.
In addition to reducing the traffic flow to one lane, the cycle lanes will displace numerous parking bays for pay and display, permit holders, motorcycles and for loading and unloading, which will all be suspended.
The cycle lanes themselves will be protected either with a raised kerb or plastic poles – known as wands – which will separate cyclists from cars, lorries, and other traffic.

In a statement on its failure to secure funding for the entire length of the A1000, Barnet Council said it was investigating why this had happened and was still “very much committed” to the over-all project.
“We hope the cycle lanes will encourage many more people to cycle to and from work and we will be monitoring its effect to gain a ‘before and after’ comparison.
“This will give us a great opportunity to boost cycling provision across the borough.”
Barnet’s “new-found” support for cyclists remained a matter of concern for the London Cycling Campaign which has condemned Barnet for having one of the worst records on cycling provision among the London boroughs.
“We must shift the balance away from cars and re-allocate space to cyclists even if that means losing traffic lanes and parking spaces.
“We will be waiting to see whether the A1000 cycle lanes are in place by the end of September given Barnet’s long-standing hostility to cyclists,” said the LCC’s Simon Munk ( www.lcc.org.uk )

Other London borough which had a good record on delivering cycling projects had obtained far more money than Barnet from the coronavirus funding for cycling and walking projects.
Enfield had been awarded £2.06 million and Haringey £1.14 million. Barnet’s funding of £341,186 was one of the sixth lowest allocations among the 32 London boroughs.

In view of its record, cycling campaigners say that Barnet is effectively on trial and that both TFL and the Department of Transport will be monitoring what happens. The challenge is for Barnet to meet TFL's target of delivering the A1000 cycline lanes by the end of September. 

Mr Munk’s scepticism was shared by Derek Dishman – the Barnet blogger ‘Mr Mustard’ – who has spent lockdown cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats helping to raise money for the North London Hospice.
“Having just ridden nearly 2,000 miles and seen what other local authorities do for cyclists, I know how pathetic Barnet Council has been.
“We have a leader of the council who even likes to joke that you can’t expect High Barnet residents to cycle home from the City of London when they would be faced with having to cycle up Barnet Hill.
“But hundreds of cyclists ride up and down Barnet Hill all the time and instead of treating cycling as a joke, it is time Barnet Council got its act together, not least because it probably has more road mileage than many other boroughs because of its size.”

Mr Dishman’s strictures were shared by Ashley Grossman who rides up and down Barnet Hill several times a week and says he is never the only cyclist on the road.
Mr Grossman and his wife Jenni are at the forefront of the campaign to persuade the council to demand that the installation of new cycle lanes and safety should be a condition for granting planning permission for the Victoria Quarter housing development in New Barnet where 652 flats have been proposed.
Barnet Cycling Campaign (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is also calling on the council to ban street parking along Station Road (A110) to create space for dedicated bus and cycle lanes to link up with the A1000 at the Everyman cinema and the possible installation of segregated cycles ways up and down Barnet Hill.

 

 

6 comments

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 05 August 2020 15:24 posted by Roger L Aitken

    A well written and researched article regarding the situation around cycle lanes in the London Borough of Barnet being extended - and stretching now potentially to High Barnet and Monken Hadley all being well. Glad too to see comments sought from Barnet blogger, 'Mr Mustard' (aka Derek Dishman), just after his marathon ride from Land's End to John O'Groats (covered c.1,200 miles using the Sustrans cycle network).

  • Comment Link Friday, 07 August 2020 00:46 posted by Jeremy F. Parker

    I ride up Barnet Hill quite slowly - I will be 80 years old in just under a year. On the other hand I might go downhill quite quickly. The bike lanes must not be such as to prevent cyclists from overtaking each other.

  • Comment Link Friday, 07 August 2020 02:01 posted by Jeremy F. Parker

    High Barnet is so named for a reason. The traffic lights where the Meadway meets the High Street are about 150 feet higher than the tube station. For cycling a 50' high hill is about equal to one extra horizontal mile. I think it was Leeds University that first gathered this info'. They know about hills there.
    Thus it might make sense for a cyclist from High Barnet or Monken Hadley to park their bike at the top of the hill, and walk down the slope to the tube station, thus saving the equivalent of three miles riding to get back to their bike when they return. This of course requires somewhere to park a bike, preferably on the south-east corner of the intersection of Barnet Hill and the Meadway, where a pathway goes down to the station.
    Doubters might claim this to be totally impossible, it's a sheer drop.
    But it isn't impossible. Once there was something there, long unused when I first moved to Barnet. It was then an abandoned oil merchant's shop/office, and presumably a coal merchant's office back in the days when what is now a carpark was a freight yard for the delivery of coal freight via the connection that is now the Parkland Walk.
    Presumably the office's platform was monted on posts. What was once an office could be replaced by a platform with a bike rack on it, with railings at the drops for these safety concious days.
    What was once an office on posts could become a bike parking platform on posts. Maybe TfL, as the tube train manager, could supply part of the money if Barnet was feeling stingy (or vice-versa)

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 12 August 2020 19:43 posted by Gremlin Barnet

    the platform to meadway climb is approx 50ft, (18 meters) not the claimed 150. however, from the bridge at underhill to the church - about 1km is a 39meter (128ft) climb. the steepest part being 1in20 thanks to telford and mcadam.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 15 August 2020 11:59 posted by C Jennings

    Enjoyed reading this article which helps to highlight what is planned and happening in Barnet regarding cycle lanes. The Council appears to be leaning more towards extending safer cycling lanes in Barnet and I understand there are a number of Council members who are cyclists themselves and are looking at neighbouring boroughs (eg Enfield) to see what works well there. I hope all of the interest and actions won't diminish during the colder months and longer after the end of the pandemic

  • Comment Link Monday, 24 August 2020 23:04 posted by Chris

    This is good news. Why not also enhance the use of Dollis Valley Green Walk for cycling? Some of this route already includes a cycle path and it runs pretty much parallel to the A1000 from West Finchley to High Barnet. It just needs to be extended a bit more.

    A similar scheme could be applied to the Pymmes Brook trail from East Barnet, through Arnos Park and onto Green Lanes. It could also link up with New Barnet Station Road via York Road. Much of the cycling route is already in place through Oak Hill Park and beyond, it just needs pavement demarcation to help cyclists and pedestrians.

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