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Stopping the cyclists at More London

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Wednesday 2 August 2006 5.52pm
In 2002 MoreLondon were reported in the South London Press as saying that they didn't want any above ground cycle parking, because it represented a terrorist threat.

There continues to be irrational paranoia in the security world about bicycle bombs... which AFAIK have always been in suspicious looking baskets/panniers rather than sophisticated plastic explosives concealed within the bike frame.

Hansard, House of Commons Debates 8 July 1994 wrote:
Mr. Robathan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions bicycles have been found to contain illegal explosive devices for the use of terrorists, on the mainland of Great Britain.

Mr. Howard : The available records indicate that there have been two explosions in Great Britain involving bicycle bombs : in 1939 an IRA bicycle bomb exploded in Coventry killing five people and in 1979 a bomb exploded in a mailbag on a postman's bicycle in Streatley, Berkshire. Since then there have been three occasions when Irish Republican terrorists are believed to have been responsible for bicycle bomb attacks elsewhere, twice in Northern Ireland and once at a British military installation in Germany.

ALthough given that the IRA's 1939 bomb reputedly injured over 100 people as well as the five it killed, some caution is understandable.
Wednesday 2 August 2006 5.54pm
Emmesse wrote:
How much bicycle parking have More London provided and is it in convenient places or hidden out of peoples view and convenient for bike thieves?

AFAIK there are just a few stands behind City Hall completely out of any line of sight from the GLA's reception.
Wednesday 2 August 2006 6.11pm
Southwark Cyclists has been lobbying the More London estate management to add more bike parking.

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Wednesday 2 August 2006 7.34pm
Thanks James - I note that you have directed some cyclists to look here.

I hope that they are successful, More London is taking a pretty heavy line and it would be nice to see some provision for cyclists (esp. as presumably many of the people working there will cycle!)

Better cycle parking would encourage more cyclists to visit the More London M&S, drink cappucinos in the cafes etc etc...

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Wednesday 2 August 2006 9.40pm
This is an interesting, and somewhat distressing, development. Ever since More London opened a few years ago, the "official" line has been that cycling is not allowed. However, security officials have happily turned a blind eye, and most cyclists are allowed to continue their journey without being told off by some over zealous security guard.

The space is so wide that so long as cyclists are responsible there should be no danger to pedestrians.

It seems there has been a recent change of heart, and cyclists are now being coerced into walking on this stretch. This is a completely, utterly pathetic attitude by More London. Cyclists do not represent a danger to pedestrians on such a wide an open paved area.

If we are to encourage more people to give up their addiction to cars, we should provide incentives... and that means allowing cyclists to share routes with pedestrians... just as most civilised European cities do.
Wednesday 2 August 2006 10.38pm
As a born-again cyclist whose commute includes the South Bank between Tower Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, I'm surprised by all the vitreol expressed by other cyclists who find they have to walk at More London, London Bridge City and the Oxo Tower (not that many of them do actually walk). For one thing, just because we are permitted a right of way across the sites doesn't mean we are exempt from the rules which don't permit cycling (and many, many public rights of way, including many public footpaths and pedestrian alleyways have banned cycling for as far back as I can remember). Secondly, along the South Bank there is a more-than-adequate on-road cycle route (marked on the central London plan on the back of every free TfL Cycle Map). From east to west it runs along Tooley Street, under London Bridge, round Southwark Catherdral, through Clink Street and then behind the Tate Modern. The only major traffic route it shares is Tooley Street between Tower Bridge Road and London Bridge Station, and frankly Tooley Street isn't all that busy due to bus lanes and one-way restrictions. Otherwise the roads used are not so much quiet as deserted. I do the whole section from Tower Bridge to Blackfriars in 5-6 minutes, and I am old, unfit and riding a crappy bike...a fit cyclist with a decent bike would do the section in 4 minutes or so without breaking a sweat.

Where I do sympathise with other posters here is on the subject of parking. The occupants of More London and Ken's Palace have dedicated parking in the underground car park. They are quite entitled to it by the way, as are all of whose empolyers arrange for private bike parking. But those of who are passing through and wouldn't mind stopping off at More London for a coffee or a drink or to blow a fortune in the M&S foodstore are deterred from doing so by the utterly pathetic lack of anywhere to park our bikes (I don't count the back of the GLA Building - psychologically too far and in any event non-secure). The developers of More London might want to take that into account when weighing up where their business is coming from. Car business is irrelevant at that location - no decent visitor parking - so walkers and cyclists are the core visitors. Cutting off one of those two categories (and so I understand, coming across as anti-bike) is bad for business.
Wednesday 2 August 2006 11.08pm
Martin Underwood wrote:
Cyclists do not represent a danger to pedestrians on such a wide an open paved area.
If we are to encourage more people to give up their addiction to cars, we should provide incentives... and that means allowing cyclists to share routes with pedestrians... just as most civilised European cities do.

That's an interesting comment but it falls over, I think, on closer scrutiny. Shared pedestrian/cyclists schemes across Europe are low density techniques, for the simple reason that when shared routes become crowded, each mode spils over into the other's space, with a consequent increase in the risk of collisions. If you want an example of the distinction, compare the More London stretch of South Bank, which is heaving with tourists and other pedestrain users at peak times, with Archangel Street in Rotherhithe or the Thames Path stretch between the Dome and the Thames Barrier. In the latter examples, even on a sunny Sunday, the usage by both modes is sufficiently low that both groups can co-exist with mimimal risk of overspill and collision.

In the case of the Dome/Barrier example, usage is higher than at Archangel Street. Accordingly, at the latter location the pathway is simply shared, with priority being given to pedestrians over cyclists. At the Dome/Barrier location the pathway is split by a white line demarcating a cycle lane (also indicated by different coloured surfacing in places). Which of these schemes woulod you realistically apply at More London? My view is that neither would work well.

Someone else suggested that the whole More London thing didn't gel with the current TfL promotion of cycling. Yes it does! TfL is promoting multi-modal transportation, preferably other than cars. That means cyclists, pedestrians and buses all get a boost - but not any one at the expense of others.
mro
Thursday 3 August 2006 6.31am
Just out of curiosity (and without polemical intent):

what is TFL doing concretely to make life easier for bikers? All I've seen are the ads and the inadequate bike paths.

O.
Thursday 3 August 2006 10.06am
mro wrote:
Just out of curiosity (and without polemical intent):
what is TFL doing concretely to make life easier for bikers? All I've seen are the ads and the inadequate bike paths.

See http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cycles/projects/

In brief, a combination of grants (such as those made to our local group, Southwark Cyclists), investment in the London Cycle Network, initiatives with businesses to encourage cycling to work, and promotion of awareness of cycling (e.g. for road safety).
Thursday 3 August 2006 1.41pm
I agree that it seems heavy handed for More London to force cyclists to walk yet provide no secure parking for bicycles.

Anyone know if any of the gazillions being spent on Potters Fields will be spent on Cycle Parking?
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