At the Council, January to March 2017

An aide-memoire of items of I’ve noted from borough council’s where I work, rest and play.

March 2017

London Assembly

  • Transport Committee on 2 March. TravelWatch needs a new chair.  The new Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, to do a Q&A at 19 April meeting.

City of London

Kensington & Chelsea

  • Full Council on 8 March with a focus on 2017/18 budget.
    • Budget appendix confirms year’s spend on £1.2m on the borough cycle grid.
    • Page 78 of the same appendix sets out spend of £325k on sports changing facilities for RBKC who “run & cycle to work”.
  • Public Realm Committee on 27 March,
    • transport update: response rate to the Sloane Street consultation was good, and a report on borough quietways
      RBKC 1703 Quietways
    • The Environment report reminds me that the recycling challenges in RBKC are different to those in my south London borough.
      RBKC 1703 Nespresso

Kingston-upon-Thames

Merton Council

  • Full Council on 1st March, focusing on the proposed budget for 2017/18. Lots of heavy numerical detail. Transport-wise, the budget looks broadly flat and focused on maintenance.  Any capital investment is very dependent on Transport for London handouts (which is common for most London boroughs).
  • The Sustainable Communities Panel on 15 March reviewed the diesel surcharge levy. Several appendices in the meeting agenda

Richmond-upon-Thames

Wandsworth Council

  • Full Council on 8 March.
    • First set of Questions included ones on air quality (focussing on Putney and Tooting), and the surface proposed for Quietway 5 on Tooting Common.
    • Second set of questions includes Q43 (page 12) about why residents in Smallwood Road have had no response to a petition submitted a year earlier for traffic and parking controls. Answer is that petitions are dealt with in chronological order. (One to bear in mind, remembering the speed of approval for the riverside planters back in 2014).
    • The Executive Report confirms the decisions taken by the Communities Board on 16 February regarding the Active Wandsworth Strategy, the Quietways strategy, and application of GLC –based bylaws in Wandsworth’s parks.
  • The Neighbourhood Safety Board on 28 March has its regular report from the Metropolitan Police. There is nothing about road safety in the statistics: the vehicle crimes that are reported here are for thefts either of or from vehicles.

Westminster City Council

  • Transport Committee on 21 March. Prior meeting was in November 2016.
    • Minutes of the November meeting Has notes on the East-West cycle superhighway, and the proposal to use the elevated Westway.   Some concern about conflict between pedestrians and cyclists outside the White Swan pub in Vauxhall Bridge Road on the cycle superhighway.  (From memory, this is where the CSH briefly mounts the pavement).
    • Also includes a note on “Air Force” marshalls, who are using a mix of education and PCNs to tackle engine idling. No stats in the minutes (need to look at November papers).
    • The March 2017 transport report notes that 30 streets have been selected for a 20mph trial, including roads around 40 schools.

Metropolitan Police

  • FOI asking what action has been taken to ticket motorists using cycle superhighway cycle lanes.  Answer: none by the Met, as it’s a local authority responsibility.   (This seems odd, as the Metcyclecops do spend some of their time on this sort of work …)
  • FOI asking how many pedal cyclists were killed in the Met area in 2016 (answer 9), how many drivers were arrested (3), and how many were coach drivers (zero).

February 2017

London Assembly

City of London

Kensington & Chelsea

Kingston-upon-Thames

Merton Council

  • The Sustainable Communities Panel on 22 February includes an update on the parking contract. Interesting snippet about pavement parking: since Merton (or rather its contractors) started enforcing the pavement parking laws in April 2016, hundreds of tickets have been issued, and unsurprisingly, drivers’ behaviour has improved.
    1702 Merton pavement parking

Richmond-upon-Thames

Wandsworth Council

  • Full Council on 1st February: Questions (Q25) includes one about the Thames Riverside – lots of backslapping on it being tremendous achievement.
  • Community Services Committee on 16 February.  Several interesting items on this agenda:
    • Item 6 : Quietways – updates on the 2nd consultation for Quietways 4 and 5, as funded by TfL. The feedback wasn’t universally positive, and Wandsworth Council’s engineers have more work to do.  They’ve asked (and received) delegated authority to proceed so that works can complete during 2017 to meet a TfL funding deadline.  What they’re actually going to build, especially at Earlsfied, isn’t clear – probably what was in the second consultation and disliked by respondees.
    • Item 8 Bylaws – proposes to extend GLC-type bylaws to all Wandsworth parks. In principle, that makes sense as it establishes a consistent legal framework for all the borough’s green spaces.  But of note is that cycling will only be legal on designated cycle paths.  Technically, if you teach your kids to ride a bike on a normal pathway, you’ll be breaking the bylaws.
    • Item 16 Putney High Street – admission that the air quality situation is dire. Proposal to consult on a series of radical options e.g. banning lorries entirely.

Westminster City Council

  • Cabinet on 20 February focusses on budget for 2017/18. The capital papers outline the cycling-related investments planned for the next few years with up to £12m of investment, with £2.9m from TfL.  Interesting, the appendix appears to include funds for the elevated Westway, although TfL have dropped that route for the EW CSH.

Metropolitan Police

  • FOI asking for Met’s approach to policing pavement cycling.  Answer: following Home Office (Paul Boateng’s) guidance.  If lots of cyclists are using pavement, then Met says it works with local authorities to understand why with aim of improving local infrastructure.
  • FOI asking how many cyclists have been caught red light jumping.  The answer also includes number of motorists red light jumping.  Guess why one is bigger!
  • FOI asking for pedal cycle and motoring offences in London Borough of Bromley. Answer also includes figures for Met area wide.
  • FOI asking for numbers of motorists tickets for using mobile phones in Hillingdon & Harrow.

 

January 2017

London Assembly

City of London

Kensington & Chelsea

Kingston-upon-Thames

  • Nothing yet to note

Merton Council

Richmond-upon-Thames

Wandsworth Council

  • Nothing yet to note.

Metropolitan Police

  • FOI asking which cameras generating most revenue. Answer is the number of motorists ticketed.
  • FOI asking what steps Met is taking to police 20mph zones in Haringey. Answer: not a lot.
  • FOI asking for numbers of motorists ticketed for speeding in Lewisham in 2014/15. Answer: 6300.
  • FOI asking Met to clarity STATS19 data regarding cyclists’ deaths, specifically how many were due to natural causes. Answer: one, in the prior 4 years.

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