SW & Central London councils: post-election purdah business resumes

The purdah period imposed by the General Election is over, so what passes for normal business resumes in the local councils in central and south west London.  Instead of posting a long Twitter thread, here’s a round-up of things scheduled in week starting 12 June.

Westminster City Council

Westminster’s Transport Committee meets on Monday 12 June. Of (possible!) interest in the papers includes:

  • The minutes of the previous meeting on 8 May include discussion of the controversial two-way Baker Street proposals, with the desire to start works in July 2017, with the works taking 18 months.
  • A similar update is included in the Business Report, plus high level information on Hanover Square proposals.

 

Croydon Council

Croydon’s Street’s Sub-Committee meets on Tuesday 13 June, and item 8 on the agenda proposes a new cycling strategy for the borough.

There are six papers attached to the agenda. Of note are:

  • The draft cycling strategy is the key paper, reporting that only 1% of Croydon’s population cycle for 30 mins x 5 times per week, lower than the London average of 3%. Less than 1% of Croydon households have a bicycle.
  • Map of proposed cycling routes (7mb PDF), which is a bit difficult to read as all other roads (e.g. Purley Way) have been greyed out. This recycles the mini-Holland proposals, with a ‘cycle highway’ from Coulsdon to Purley being highlighted, with degrees of full or semi-segregation.  That’s great, other than once at Purley, you’ll be left with painted advisory lanes on Brighton Road to get anywhere near Croydon.
  • The covering committee report makes the usual arguments, but admits that any progress is heavily dependent on a mix of TfL LIP funding and CIL/s106 contributions.

Safety is recognised as a major barrier to cycling in Croydon.  However, (in my opinion) the draft strategy does little to address it – the strategy seems to rely on 20mph zones, and cycle training.  It’s frustrating to see that the only road users whose behaviour needs development are cyclists – there’s little to nothing targeting other road users such as HGV drivers, other than desire for fleet operators to be FORS members.  And if you ever cycle around the current 20 mph streets around e.g. Norbury, you’ll know they’re treated as motorised race tracks with no enforcement of the speed limit.

To me, the big omission is that the strategy does little to recognise key journeys, such as to stations, town centres and schools.  Instead of drawing green lines through parks, a targeted programme of improving road infrastructure to schools and stations would do more to address real and perceived issues with road safety, and make journeys by bike a more attractive alternative to four wheels.

 

Kingston-upon-Thames

Kingston’s Residents Committee meets on Wednesday 14 June, with several agenda items catching my eye.

  • Item 6 focuses on the Traffic Management Orders for Surbiton Crescent. The paper and 3 separate annexes ask the Committee to decide on next steps, given the 19 formal objections (see annex 3).  The volume of traffic has halved, and average speed has dropped to below 20mph, arguably making the road safer for VRUs.
  • Item 7 has the results of the consultations on the Go Cycle routes from Kingston to Kingston Vale (towards Robin Hood roundabout) and to Tolworth.
  • Both consultation reports have the detailed comments provided by respondees. Players of bikelash bingo will fill in their cards quickly!
  • If approved, and if TfL releases the funds, then construction should be complete in 2019.
  • One interesting snippet in the reports is the inter-generational differences in attitudes towards the proposed cycle lanes. It is clear that older residents, many of whom are car owners, are against them but younger and young people want them.  In the context of the general election results, this raises interesting challenges and opportunities for London’s local council elections next year:

GoCycle#4

London Assembly

The Transport Committee meets on Wednesday 14 June.

Item 8 on the agenda has the Mayor’s response to the recommendations in the Committee’s report on London’s congestion published in January 2017.   There’s also content free responses from the association of London councils and the UK Government’s Department for Transport.

The response from Lord Ahmed for the Department of Transport is a wonderful thing, in that he states he is the minister responsible for transport in London, then states that transport is devolved to the Mayor so as the minister he has no opinion.

Councils#2

 

City of London

The City’s Transport Committee meets on Tuesday 13 June.

  • Item 9g repeats the papers from 16 May regarding zebra crossings – they don’t cause congestion.
  • Item 11 focuses on engine idling and reports that 700 drivers have been warned, and 70+ organisations & businesses written to. Beyond that, the actions are minimal.

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