Last Wednesday, O’Neill & Brennan took part in TfL’s ‘A cycling experience’ which looks at walking safety, cycling safety, and disability equality around London. The experience, led by Transport for London’s Michael Barratt MBE (Development Impact Assessment Manager), involved cycling through London and stopping a number of times to look at Construction interventions to discuss considerations that were made for them. Along with TfL, O’Neill & Brennan were accompanied by representatives from Skanska and Berkeley Group and each cyclist was given free access to use Santander ‘Boris’ bikes for the route.

The route begun outside Southwark Underground and involved cycling over both Blackfriars and Southwark bridge, before ending up by a construction site near Tate Modern. The route chosen used segregated single or two way tracks only and gave everyone a real insight into what issues cyclists face on the road.

Along the route, Michael outlined considerations that construction sites have to make to ensure the roads are safe to use for pedestrians and cyclists. With the rise of construction in the capital, it is increasingly important that construction methods implemented do not deter people from using sustainable modes of transport such as walking or cycling.

For the final part of the experience, Michael giving a presentation about what construction sites must consider in relation to the local community and ensuring everyone, most notably disabled people, are not negatively affected by the site. Michael went into detail about the impact that different factors of a construction site can have on the community, which included;

  • the colour of the hoardings can trigger anxiety, or effect people with dementia
  • the positioning of drop kerbs can cause blind or visually impaired people problems if they are positioned poorly
  • pathways must be a suitable size so people in wheelchairs have no movability issues
  • ensuring there are no trip hazards on the pathway which could affect those who are visually impaired or not steady on their feet
  • any signs used are completely accurate
  • any diversion is suitable for people with disabilities

Overall it was very insightful and eye opening experience for everyone involved, with a huge amount of useful information shared and discussed. Thank you Tfl for allowing us to take part!