It seems to have been an oddly quiet week.
Regeneration and Community Safety OSC (well, cycling)
I posted about the meeting the following day, so will not repeat the points. Except, rather smugly, to point out that I cycled to the meeting. I’m rather pleased that I’ve been managing to keep the cycling up – and am finding it an interesting experiment.
Last Monday was the first time I saw some really bad driving. Hitherto I’ve found other road users considerate, much to my surprise. There had been a few annoyances, but nothing major. However on Monday I found myself braking as a car turned left right in front of me and being nudged into the back of the bus by someone who didn’t want to give me any room. Perhaps worst was the driver who ostentatiously pulled into the oncoming lane to pass while pointedly accelerating then swerving rapidly to avoid a head-on collision with cars coming the other way.
My other cycling experiences have all been positive, and I’m going to carry on, but a salutary lesson that it isn’t all good!
Oxford Circus and Balham
It’s mischief and a little childish. But I really enjoyed the whole Oxford Circus and Balham episode. I think what made it sweeter, however, was that Westminster responded. As far as I’m aware the conversation was a few people with Balham connections tweeting about the crossings there. I don’t think anyone was really seriously suggesting Balham and Oxford Circus were the same.
The episode got picked up in a few places. I know the Municipal Journal ran it. The Guardian’s Dave Hill mentioned it and I understand the Local Government Chronicle have also featured my apology blogpost.
Alertbox in Northcote Road
This morning saw a formal launch for AlertBox in Northcote Road. AlertBox is a remarkably simple system that connects retailers and allows them to alert each other to potential problems – for example if they spotted a shoplifter – and to call for help if needed.
The system already runs in Southfields and Tooting where many shopkeepers rave about it.
The installation in Northcote Road was funded by the council and Battersea Crime Prevention Panel, with the technical support coming from the Community Safety Division.
This weekend see two major events. The first is the Battersea Park fireworks on Saturday. The display has always been one of London’s best and I hope the weather holds out to make it another successful year.
The second are the Remembrance Day services on Sunday. The two ‘civic’ services are at St Mary’s in Battersea and St Mary’s Putney. But there are other services taking place across the borough.
Very pleased to hear that a local councillor is cycling regularly. I’ve been a regular cyclist for about four years, and like you have been pleased to find that the majority of drivers are considerate. My experience with bus drivers in particular has usually been positive. On the downside, cycling has alerted me to the dreadful state of many of London’s roads – raised ironworks, badly filled holes, unfilled holes and worn road markings can all make cycling a bit more adventurous than I’d like. If you want to see how bad it can get, cycle down Nine Elms Lane towards Vauxhall and you can see an example of a dreadful road surface and an appalling cycle lane all in one trip!
I think one problem is that cyclists have a much lower tolerance to ‘bad’ road surfaces because our suspension is not as good as a cars, and our seats far less comfortable. I’ve certainly seen problems of which I was totally unaware when travelling the same road by car.
If there is anywhere in particular you think needs fixing let me know, a detailed location (e.g. the nearest address) helps enormously – the council can usually get small repairs done quite quickly. Things do get complicated when it comes to TfL roads or covers though, since we are not allowed to touch those.