Westminster Cycling Campaign News - November 2016

Campaigning continues for Cycle Hire expansion

Petition pressure

We are grateful to the 129 people who signed the petition to the Council to “expand Santander Cycles Hire to near Elgin Avenue in Maida Vale by funding a docking station as part of the Council's Dolphin Living Lanark Road development”. ( Link to petition).

This petition by our group Secretary Dominic Fee closed on 14 July 2016 but at the time of writing the Council had not responded.

There was an earlier petition by Councillor Rita Begum to expand Cycle Hire to Maida Vale, which closed on 23 October 2014 with 131 signatures. There has been a more recent petition by Carey Smith to expand Cycle Hire to Queen's Park, which closed on 29 September 2016 with 112 signatures.

Existing coverage

The Cycle Hire scheme is owned by Transport for London (TfL) with sponsorship from Santander (and previously Barclays).

There are no Cycle Hire docking stations in three wards in northwest Westminster: Maida Vale, Harrow Road and Queen's Park. The nearest existing docking stations are at Grove End Road, Warwick Avenue Station or in north Kensington.

TfL aims for docking stations to be around 300m apart and not too far from the existing network. Hence expansion must reach Maida Vale and Harrow Road before Queen's Park.

Planning consents finally in place for expansion

In November 2015 TfL submitted planning applications for a new docking station just south of Maida Vale on Sutherland Avenue (15/11072/FULL) and a new docking station in Maida Vale adjacent to Dundee House (15/11073/FULL). The Sutherland Avenue docking station received planning consent in 15 February 2015. Its traffic island site is pictured below.

Photo of Sutherland Avenue

The Dundee House docking station was deferred from the 15 March 2016 planning committee at the request of local Councillor Jan Prendergast, who commented "It would blight this pleasant stretch of road". It received planning consent six months later at the 27 September 2016 planning committee, when she conceded that "I appreciate that many local residents are asking for the extension of this Bicycle scheme and thus I feel I cannot raise any further objections." We think the petition may have guided her decision, given its timing. Her final comment was "I do ask that it is not a very large one, please." (Source: planning application 15/11073/FULL, Documents, ‘Sub Committee Representations’ document)

Missed the boat for funding

Informally we have heard that these two docking stations were programmed for delivery by TfL in March 2016, but due to the planning application delay, TfL spent that year's budget implementing sites elsewhere in London instead. These two docking stations have moved into the 2017-18 programme, but due to recent budget cuts and changes in funding at TfL, there is a risk that the money is no longer available.