Nick Baker, Head of Stakeholder Relations at London Trams, gave a presentation on current initiatives to improve safety when cycling on or near the tram network.
He explained that on average, there was an incident once or twice every quarter where tram operators have had to apply the brake due to a cycle or cycles ahead on the track and that cyclists needed to ride carefully on or around the tram network.
London Trams have worked closely with Croydon Council on developing the Cycle Highways and improving road junctions and crossings in hotspots such as Wandle Park, Reeves Corner, Wellesley Road and Cherry Orchard Road, so that cyclists meet tram tracks at a 90o angle. The organisation is planning to refresh the cycling safety leaflet produced a couple of years ago and sought panel members' advice on how to improve it. In addition, the organisation is holding briefings at "Junior Citizen" events for school pupils to inculcate good riding habits and an appreciation of the risks riders have to manage on the road.
Cycle Forum members were advised that a review of street track infills had been conducted and that many organisations had been consulted. Unfortunately, the investigation did not lead to any satisfactory conclusions and this issue remains unresolved.
The above-mentioned incident statistics were challenges as a number of incidents involving cyclists on tram tracks in the Addiscombe Road area had been reported to Cycle Forum members. This was corroborated by council officers. The Head of Stakeholder Relations stressed that he was happy to record any incidents which may have been left unreported. It was pointed out that a website had been set up in Edinburgh to enable people to record any incidents on tram tracks in that city.
A Cycle Forum member pointed out that in his experience, what made cyclists fall was an attempt to turn while on the tram tracks.
A Cycle Forum member highlighted the risks to cyclists at the junction between George Street and College Street. Officers stated that they were working on a solution, linked to the plans for the new Dingwall Road Tram Loop.
Nick Baker was thanked for his presentation. He in turn asked for his e-mail address, NickBaker01@tfl.gov.uk , to be circulated to Cycle Forum members.