Boris Answers Questions on Hounslow Skyride

What lessons have been learnt?

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London Assembly Member Jenny Jones (of the Green Party) asked Boris Johnson the following questions about the Hounslow Skyride

In order to ensure the ongoing success of local bike ride days, will you make sure that in future the routes are always planned in consultation with local residents?

All events staged by my Events for London team are always planned to take account of local issues.  For the Hounslow Skyride, the London Borough of Hounslow devised the route, the planning for which took account of access and accessibility issues, whilst also meeting the requirement to show off the best of the Borough to visitors.

The event and the route were widely publicised some 6-weeks prior to the event, using the existing publication ‘Hounslow Matters’.  This was followed up by 10,000 copies of a letter, which was distributed, to all residents within the affected area, 2-weeks prior to the event.  For those small numbers of residents who face more serious access consideration a follow up letter was then sent (by LB Hounslow) to around 250 properties in the week prior to the event.  Business premises were visited individually by the GLA appointed production company to ensure any business continuity issues were minimised.

What measures were taken to ensure that the route of the Hounslow Skyride did not inconvenience vulnerable people or those with specific access needs?

The planning for the Hounslow Skyride by my Events for London team took account of the needs of vulnerable people and those with special access needs.

Where we either directly or via the LB Hounslow were made aware of such requirements every effort was made either via pre-event communication (refer MQ 2210-2009) or via a pro-active stewarding response on the day, which ensured that such access was accommodated, whilst not to the detriment of the safety of the 11,000 cyclists using the Skyride traffic free route.

When staging major events, particularly ones such as Skyride which are staged over a linear 10km route, some disruption is inevitable, however thanks to the comprehensive event management plan that was developed, we only had a very small number of complaints, either over the weekend (via a dedicated residents phone line) or since in correspondence to the Mayor.

In order to continually improve such local bike ride events, what lessons have been taken from the Houslow Skyride and how will the benefits of the event be measured and compared to what was expected?

The staging of the Hounslow Skyride, was the first time that such an event had been staged in an outer Borough, through what are predominantly residential streets.  As such some minor points will be refined in the event planning process for future years, however by using the same model and processes used in staging major impact events in Central London, my Events for London team are content that the event was well managed and provides a model for the delivery of future events in other Boroughs.

Market research will be undertaken with event participants to gather important feedback on the success of the events alongside a detailed de-brief with the LB Hounslow.

Did Transport for London consult with the London Cycling Campaign and the Cyclists’ Touring Club on transport options for cyclists to get to the Hounslow Skyride in advance of the event?

My Events for London team liaised fully with the London Cycling Campaign to ensure that riders from across the capital could participate in the Hounslow Skyride event.  The LCC were contracted by the GLA to manage and devise 5 led ride routes from Hounslow’s four neighbouring Boroughs and a ride from the Feltham area of Hounslow.  All rides were very popular attracting some 300 riders across the 5-rides.

For those riders coming from further afield transport options, particularly in respect of bike carriage policies on Tubes and Trains were communicated via the event website.  Of those 4,000 participants who pre-registered, a postcode mapping exercise is currently being undertaken to assess where riders travelled from to attend the event.

The Cyclist Touring Club are not directly involved in the organisation of the event, but are considered a key stakeholder and are therefore included within the cycling organisations represented at the event.

Did Transport for London suggest that people attending the Hounslow Skyride could do so by driving to local rail stations?

No.  Car parking information at stations local to the Hounslow route or at stations which served the Hounslow area was not included within the event website.  This was due to a lack of car parking capacity in proximity to the event and the fact that participants are actively encouraged to cycle to the event.

Did the organisers of the Hounslow Skyride engage with public transport operators and cycling groups about coordinating transport options to get participants to the event?

My Events for London team and the London Borough of Hounslow during the event planning process communicated with both TfL London Buses, TfL London Traffic Control Centre, London Underground along with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), Network Rail (in respect of both Waterloo Station and the level crossing on Wood Lane) and the train operating company serving the Hounslow area SW Trains.

This engagement considered both participants traveling to and from the event and minimising the disruption to others not attending the event. 

September 15, 2009

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