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“Please help me persuade Network Rail to confirm cycle access to Stratford International & Westfield (Rail & road issues)” – Dave H

Description

Dave H

Until 30 August the only way to & from Stratford International for passengers using the trains there was using a free shuttle bus service. This was to only vehicle which was allowed to enter the secured cordon around the Olympic site. Cycles were carried on the buses, with the drivers helpfully suggesting the use of the 2-door vehicles in this 'scratch' fleet of 1 and 2-door Mini-Dart vehicles provided by Go-Ahead.

As far as I'm aware the number of bikes carried and traffic flows were never monitored, and this would have been an excellent opportunity for TfL to actually assess the issue for an official protocol on cycle carriage (it does happen - I have a picture of a cyclist and her bike on a 73 heading out of Euston late one night - a brilliant solution to getting home when you have a problem riding the bike)

On 20th September the bus service contract is ending, the walking route is through the privatised streets of Westfield Stratford (shouldn't it be Eastfield to avoid confusion?), and attempting to walk through with a bike (allowed in a few civilised shopping malls like Broad Marsh in Nottingham) appears to provide the security staff useful work to justify their employment, and at busy times may well prove a problem. So how is one to get between Stratford and its 'International' Station with a bike?

TfL, you have a week to sort this out and prove that you really do include cycling in your surface transport planning.

PS given the numbers, and the frequency of DLR services between Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations, one option, until the route to cycle in is completed, would be to offer a free travel voucher option only valid between those 2 stations, and possibly using the rear car of the set. You've proved it works (London Triathalon) and a trial for this link might also mitigate the much criticised management of the Greenwich Tunnel refurbishment where pedestrians and cyclists have turned up to find the route closed by an impromptu locking up by the contractor. Cycles carried between Mud Chute and Greenwich would provide a further permeability for important cycle routes across the Thames, East of Tower Bridge

PPS The cycle routes recently unveiled with Westfield (East) are dangerous and dire. One photo taken where the road and path run parallel to the LOROL platforms (N side of Stratford Regional Station) has the 2-way cycle path on a footway with a no-escape 6 ft wall on one side, and a no escape 6" drop onto the carriageway on the other and a road sign has been erected with the 2 support poles planted dead centre in the marked cycle 'lanes' running in opposing directions, not even with any highlighting- so the grey poles merge into the background - especially for those with poor sight. This creates a potential risk of a cyclist striking one of the posts and being deflected into the traffic on the carriageway, with the hazard (debateably) enhanced by having the cycle traffic arranged to have the cyclists cycling towards the motor traffic at the outside edge rather than against the wall. Personally I reckon it will be safer riding on the roads

Images and media

Problem History

  • 1 Dave H reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 13:07 16 Sep 2011
  • 2 Dave H wrote to Network Rail close 13:07 16 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Dave H wrote.

    Maintaining access to Stratford International for cyclists

    Until 30 August the only way to & from Stratford International for passengers using the trains there was using a free shuttle bus service. This was to only vehicle which was allowed to enter the secured cordon around the Olympic site. Cycles were carried on the buses, with the drivers helpfully suggesting the use of the 2-door vehicles in this 'scratch' fleet of 1 and 2-door Mini-Dart vehicles provided by Go-Ahead.

    As far as I'm aware the number of bikes carried and traffic flows were never monitored, and this would have been an excellent opportunity for TfL to actually assess the issue for an official protocol on cycle carriage (it does happen - I have a picture of a cyclist and her bike on a 73 heading out of Euston late one night - a brilliant solution to getting home when you have a problem riding the bike)

    On 20th September the bus service contract is ending, the walking route is through the privatised streets of Westfield Stratford (shouldn't it be Eastfield to avoid confusion?), and attempting to walk through with a bike (allowed in a few civilised shopping malls like Broad Marsh in Nottingham) appears to provide the security staff useful work to justify their employment, and at busy times may well prove a problem. So how is one to get between Stratford and its 'International' Station with a bike?

    TfL, you have a week to sort this out and prove that you really do include cycling in your surface transport planning.

    PS given the numbers, and the frequency of DLR services between Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations, one option, until the route to cycle in is completed, would be to offer a free travel voucher option only valid between those 2 stations, and possibly using the rear car of the set. You've proved it works (London Triathalon) and a trial for this link might also mitigate the much criticised management of the Greenwich Tunnel refurbishment where pedestrians and cyclists have turned up to find the route closed by an impromptu locking up by the contractor. Cycles carried between Mud Chute and Greenwich would provide a further permeability for important cycle routes across the Thames, East of Tower Bridge

  • 3 Dave H commented close 13:24 16 Sep 2011

    NB I think that Stratford International, like St Pancras, and Ebbsfleet is owned by CTRL (L&CProperty) not Network Rail* and although St Pancras is managed by NR on contract the other stations are not. * I have to admit I have lost track of the money swaps on paper and changes of 'ownership' of title/lease over the years.

    As pointed out when I raised this issue the parties who need to answer this are:
    TfL - for failing to show how cyclists can continue to access Stratford International. Perhaps by permitting cyclists to use DLR between these 2 stops
    London 2012 - to provide a route to the station avoiding the cordon - if this is possible, as a solution.
    Westfield Centre management - to adopt a sensible policy for access with cycles - noting that some disabled people will be using their cycles as a Class 1 Invalid Carriage, and thus in a position to demand access under PRM legislation. Another possible solution.

    Amazingly I recall somewhere seeing a picture of the cycle parking, already installed at Stratford International, many years ago!

  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 14:04 16 Sep 2011

    Thanks for the heads-up, Dave: we'll get this issue rerouted to the correct contact.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Dave H commented close 13:38 18 Sep 2011

    Added pictures of rather poorly conceived cycle facilities at Stratford International.

  • 6 Louise Crow commented close 11:23 19 Sep 2011

    Hi Dave,

    I've resent your problem report to TfL now.

    Cheers

    Louise

    anorak
    admin
  • 7 [email address] responded to Dave H close 11:23 19 Sep 2011
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 8 Ian Jackson commented close 14:52 22 Sep 2011

    I just phoned Southeastern trains to ask about this situation. (Since I thought the TOC who runs the actual trains might at least have someone I could get through to talk to.)

    They said that yes, it would be possible to leave the station with a bike. They weren't entirely sure about how it would work, but they said that staff at the station would know, and would probably direct me down the private roads. I pressed them, saying I didn't want to arrive there and be stuck and have to take another train to somewhere else, and they said yes it would definitely be possible.

    I don't know when I'll get the chance to try this. If someone else does it would be nice if they would report back.

  • 9 Ian Jackson commented close 14:53 22 Sep 2011

    Also, to the person who changed the subject/topic/title of this report: please change it to something that is sensible and summarises the issue, such as "cycling access to Stratford International". If you search for reports/campaigns on fixmytransport at the moment, you get a stupid "this is not a Network Rail issue" message as if that were the problem being complained about.

  • 10 [email address] responded to Dave H close 13:21 13 Oct 2011
    Our Ref:         1009525129/EB

    Date:              13.10.2011

    Mr D H

    [confirm cycle access to Stratford International & Westfield (Rail & road issues) email]

    Dear Mr H

    Thank you for your email regarding cycle carriage and access in
    Stratford.

    I forwarded your query on to our Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
    and Buses teams for their input.  DLR confirmed that Bicycles
    cannot be carried on the railway for safety reasons. If in an
    emergency, such as fire, and a train needs to be evacuated
    quickly, a bicycle would become an obstruction that may obstruct
    an escape route, and hence endanger life. Such an emergency
    could occur anywhere where escape routes are limited, not just
    underground; for example on a viaduct.

    It is also impossible to predict the likeliness of a train being
    empty or crowded during the whole course of its journey; that it
    is lightly loaded at one station does not guarantee it is
    lightly loaded during the entire course of its journey. 
    Therefore, for safety's sake, bicycles cannot be carried
    anywhere at anytime on DLR trains, unless they can be folded and
    carried in a case. With this in mind, pictorial signs with "No
    Bicycles" legends are posted on all of our ticket machines. 

    It is true that other areas of TfL do allow bikes on their
    trains. This is done on a risk assessment basis and there are a
    couple of key factors which differentiate the DLR from London
    Underground (LU) in this matter. Firstly, LU stations are
    staffed where DLR stations are not, this means that there will
    be staff available to give advice, enforce peak time
    restrictions and assist with an evacuation of a train at a
    station. Secondly LU trains have inter-car doors, this provides
    an additional means of exit from a train if the gangway is
    blocked. These are only examples of the issues that have been
    considered in the risk assessment process which has determined
    that bicycles should not be carried on the DLR.

    Due to the low numbers of staff on the DLR it would not be able
    to enforce any deviations from this requirement and as such we
    could not guarantee the bikes were not blocking gangways or
    exits and potentially causing a safety risk, therefore a blanket
    ban has been imposed across the network.

    The bikes were permitted on the DLR for the Triathlon as those
    were special services for the event and were staffed
    accordingly.

    Our buses team also confirmed we do not allow non-folded
    bicycles on London bus services because there is no place to
    store them safely; any non-folding bicycle brought on board
    would have to be placed  in the gangway, presenting a hazard to
    other passengers.  If you wish to provide details, ie date and
    time of the instance in which you saw the passenger with a
    non-folding bike on the bus then I will pass this on to the
    team.

    As you stated in your correspondence the free shuttle bus
    service was provided by Go Ahead.  Therefore, Transport for
    London (TfL) are unable to comment on this and would ask you to
    contact Go Ahead directly with any queries you have.

    [1]www.go-ahead.com

    TfL have been informed that Westfield are looking at how cycling
    information and provision can be updated and improved.  The
    Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has funded 8 walking and
    cycling routes, of which 4 serve Stratford.  There is also an
    Active Travel Programme which will be launched in late October
    which will detail suitable routes into and around the Olympic
    Park and Stratford.  These will be available both through the
    TfL and ODA websites.

    Thank you once again for your correspondence and I do hope the
    above information is helpful to you.  If you require any other
    assistance please feel free to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Emma Burn

    Customer Service Advisor

    DO NOT DELETE.............................
    {ticketno:[2078923]}
    DO NOT DELETE.............................

    Original Text

    From: [email address]
    To: [email address] <[email address]>
    CC: [email address] <[email address]>
    Sent: 19.09.11 11:23:06
    Subject: Problem Report: Maintaining access to Stratford
    International for cyclists

    Dear Transport for London,

    The problem report below has been sent to you via the website
    FixMyTransport.com.

    It refers to a problem at Stratford International Rail Station

    -----------------

    From: Dave H, <[confirm cycle access to Stratford International & Westfield (Rail & road issues) email]>

    Subject: Maintaining access to Stratford International for
    cyclists

    Details:

    Until 30 August the only way to & from Stratford International
    for
    passengers using the trains there was using a free shuttle bus
    service. This was to only vehicle which was allowed to enter the
    secured cordon around the Olympic site. Cycles were carried on
    the
    buses, with the drivers helpfully suggesting the use of the
    2-door
    vehicles in this 'scratch' fleet of 1 and 2-door Mini-Dart
    vehicles
    provided by Go-Ahead.

    As far as I'm aware the number of bikes carried and traffic
    flows
    were never monitored, and this would have been an excellent
    opportunity for TfL to actually assess the issue for an official
    protocol on cycle carriage (it does happen - I have a picture of
    a
    cyclist and her bike on a 73 heading out of Euston late one
    night -
    a brilliant solution to getting home when you have a problem
    riding
    the bike)

    On 20th September the bus service contract is ending, the
    walking
    route is through the privatised streets of Westfield Stratford
    (shouldn't it be Eastfield to avoid confusion?), and attempting
    to
    walk through with a bike (allowed in a few civilised shopping
    malls
    like Broad Marsh in Nottingham) appears to provide the security
    staff useful work to justify their employment, and at busy times
    may well prove a problem. So how is one to get between Stratford
    and its 'International' Station with a bike?

    TfL, you have a week to sort this out and prove that you really
    do
    include cycling in your surface transport planning.

    PS given the numbers, and the frequency of DLR services between
    Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations, one
    option, until the route to cycle in is completed, would be to
    offer
    a free travel voucher option only valid between those 2
    stations,
    and possibly using the rear car of the set. You've proved it
    works
    (London Triathalon) and a trial for this link might also
    mitigate
    the much criticised management of the Greenwich Tunnel
    refurbishment where pedestrians and cyclists have turned up to
    find
    the route closed by an impromptu locking up by the contractor.
    Cycles carried between Mud Chute and Greenwich would provide a
    further permeability for important cycle routes across the
    Thames,
    East of Tower Bridge

    ------------------

    THE FOLLOWING DETAILS ARE INCLUDED BY FIXMYTRANSPORT TO HELP YOU
    MANAGE THIS PROBLEM

    Location name: Stratford International Rail Station

    Easting: 538175.0

    Northing: 184760.0

    ----------

    ABOUT THIS PROBLEM REPORT

    Sender: [confirm cycle access to Stratford International & Westfield (Rail & road issues) email]

    PLEASE NOTE: Your replies to this problem report WILL BE
    PUBLISHED
    ONLINE

    To view a map of the precise location of this issue, or to
    provide
    an update on the problem, please visit the following link:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...

    Thanks,

    FixMyTransport

    [ This message was sent via FixMyTransport.com - a
    not-for-profit
    service dedicated to helping people get public transport
    problems
    resolved. If there is a more appropriate email address for
    messages
    about this type of problem, please let us know by visiting
    <http://www.fixmytransport.com/feedback>. This will help improve
    the service for people travelling. We also welcome any other
    feedback you may have. ]

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.go-ahead.com/
  • 11 Dave H commented close 19:29 13 Oct 2011

    Well thanks TfL (DLR and buses) but still no clear answer to me or Ian to the fundamental question. Perhaps if I restate the issue and we send it to Peter Hendy's office (the top man to ask in TfL)

    Prior to the formal opening of the DLR link to Stratford International, a bus service run through the cordon around the London 2012 site as the ONLY way to get to this station - no access for cars, pedestrians or cyclists. Because of this pedestrians and cyclists were all carried in and out on the bus.

    With the opening of the DLR the bus service is withdrawn and if the cordon is still in operation, the only way to reach Stratford International will be using DLR.

    So, as TfL is supposed to be an integrated management regime for transport in London would it be that difficult for the DLR and bus folk who previously provided a bike carrying service, be able to find out from their co-workers responsible for cycling whether a reasonable equivalent to using the bus is now available to get to & from Stratford International Station. It is only joined up transport after all.

    PS bikes can easily be accommodated on buses, and this is a default condition of all bus contracts in the Western Isles. Prior to the introduction of accessible (sic) buses in Scotland we were able to take up to 4 bikes on most rural bus routes, but with the introduction of accessible buses this facility was (officially at least) removed. It has now in part been restored by First Bus, and Stagecoach has continued to carry bikes on their rural routes. In London the Stratford shuttle service proved that this is no problem (bikes us buggy/tip up seat areas) and cycle carriage would have been a journey boosting feature on the now discontinued 395 and should be introduced on the 108/N108 as soon as possible as a valuable link in London's cycling infrastructure. Note also TfL that Kings Ferry, Oxford Tube and Oxford Espress (additional operators anyone?) all carry bikes making these far more useful for a wide range of commuters.

  • 12 Kathryn Daniels commented close 10:59 27 Jan 2012

    Can't this issue be closed now that the cycle routes through the shopping centre access roads are now open?

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  • started 16 September 2011
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Stratford International Rail Station in Stratford operated by Network Rail
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