A belated report from last month’s meeting, as I dig into my to-do pile.
We heard about the planned bicycle hire scheme for Zone 1 in London (along the line of Paris’s Velib). Although no contractor has yet been selected, it is planned to begin in May 2010.
There will be 400 sites in all, the majority in Westminster, with 39 in Camden. The main theory is to alleviate Tube congestion.
Camden has 4.24 suqare km in Zone 1, and there is to be 9 docking stations per square kilometre, and a total of 1064 bicycles.
The theory goes that space will not be taken from pedestrians or existing cycle parking, but will be “buildouts” into the road. (Except that we were then told that of the four proposed locations in Somers Town one was on an existing carriageway and three were on footway.)
Two are on St Pancras Road just north of St Pancras station, on either side of the footway, one in Doric Way and one near the top of Eversholt St.
We then heard a briefing about the demographics of Somers Town: 56% of local people are from ethnic minority backgrounds, (compared to 40% London and 13% England). A total of 120 languages are spoken in the ward. 25% of the population is under 16 (17% London, 20% England). 87% are under 65 (85, 67). 64% of men and 48% of women are economically active (London 75/60, England 74/60). 3.6% of people are longterm unemployed (Camden average 2%). 55% of Somers Town children get 5plus good GCSEs (Camden 50.7%).
Male life expectancy is 70.3, the lowest in London – 11 years younger than Hampstead. (Women 78 – London average 81.2).