Transport for London has outlined the steps being taken to strengthen its staffing and evaluation capabilities to meet mayor Boris Johnson’s cycling vision.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s head of strategy and outcome planning, better routes and places, outlined the activities in a report to last week’s TfL’s finance and policy committee.
“Availability of resources, both within TfL and the boroughs, has been a considerable challenge in developing the cycling vision. However, TfL has undertaken significant staff recruitment and there are now around 270 full time equivalent staff working on cycling projects in TfL.”
Matson added: “During 2014, a dedicated TfL borough cycling team was established and recruited to manage and coordinate the delivery of cycling schemes on borough roads. In addition, the boroughs have recruited more staff. For example, each Mini-Holland borough now has a project team managing their programmes.”
On the delivery of the Quietways programme of cycle routes, Matson said: “The biggest challenge for the Quietways programme is ensuring sufficient cycle design resources are available across Greater London. The appointment of Sustrans as the delivery agent has helped to coordinate this and centralise resources for the boroughs to draw on.”
Turning to the proposed central London grid of cycle routes, Matson said: “The grid is currently over-scoped in terms of routes identified within the available budget. The key challenge for the grid is ensuring the central London boroughs have sufficient capacity to design and deliver routes and schemes by 2016, given the large amount of other construction work taking place in central London in 2015/16.”
Matson highlighted TfL’s cycling policy evaluation tool (CYPET), a spreadsheet that is used to test the impact of proposed cycling investments. “CYPET can now be used to provide a reasonable estimate of the impact of different infrastructure programmes in different locations for which we already have data (e.g. cycle lanes with various degrees of separation, cycle parking, signage, cycle hire etc).
“It can help identify which interventions in which locations will have the greatest impact on the number of cycling trips.” She said CYPET has been used to inform the Quietways business case “by forecasting the potential demand of each route, helping to demonstrate the rationale for the first pilot Quietway routes”.
Matson said TfL was developing its modelling capability for cycling. The Cycle Network Model London (CYNEMON) would enable TfL to predict cyclist route choice.
TfL has also established a working group known as CYDER, the cycle demand evaluation response working group. “CYDER will take some time to mature but will help inform the [cycling] portfolio scale and composition needed to meet the cycling growth target,” said Matson.