Westminster Parking Policy Review: traffic “counts” don’t count cyclists

The City of Westminster are currently conducting a review of their parking policies. Deadline for responses is June 23rd.

It is clear that one of the groups most affected by parking and loading policies are cyclists.

blue superhghway van stockwell.jpg

Direct and continuous… into the back of a van or the path of an HGV

When cyclists encounter a parked car, they are often forced to take various risks trying to integrate into a fast-moving lane of motor vehicles. Despite the best efforts of people riding bikes, the possibility remains that drivers may not be anticipating such a manoeuvre, willing to allow the person sufficient space, or even (dare I say it?) devoting their full attention to what is happening on the road in front of them.

Barry Smith, the Operational Director of the City’s Planning Delivery Unit, has submitted a report about the parking review to the council’s Cabinet noting that,

The council has carried out a range of research and consultation exercises… including Automatic Traffic Counts and video traffic counts to monitor traffic levels. (Point 5.1)

This excited me. TfL’s screenline data for 2010 shows that on, for example, Waterloo Bridge during rush hour, cyclists far exceed other modes of transport:

TfL Screenline data for 2010. Waterloo Bridge, northbound, 7-10am.

I was very much looking forward to seeing how this traffic, arriving in Westminster, translates into modal share in other areas of the borough.

The results of the traffic counts undertaken for the parking review can be found (if you look hard enough) in a document entitled, Seven Day Traffic Counts in Westminster, dated April 2011.

Page 6 of that document glibly informs us that:

Please note that Automatic Traffic Counters (ATC) do not record cyclists.

Waterloo Bridge

Zero cyclists crossing Waterloo Bridge

I find it astounding that Westminster are considering how they allocate street space without bothering to count a highly populous and vulnerable groups of road users upon whom any changes will significantly impinge.

The address to email with your views is parkingreview2010@westminster.gov.uk.

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One Response to “Westminster Parking Policy Review: traffic “counts” don’t count cyclists”

  1. Jim Says:

    Hello,

    TfL have automatic traffic counters in Oxford St and possibly elsewhere in Westminster. They have provided some data (only up to 2009) for these counters here: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bicycle_traffic_counts

    There’s also a TfL report from a few years back which refers to DfT traffic counts, again some of which are in Westminster: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/businessandpartners/RNPR-traffic-note-9-cycling.pdf. It may be possible to get updated data for these sites from DfT.

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