SW & Central London councils: week starting 19 June

Some items of cycling and active lifestyle related papers I’ve noted at London councils for this coming week.

Westminster City Council

The Environment Scrutiny Committee meets on 21 June, with agenda item 8 focussing on Westminster’s proposed active lifestyles strategy through to 2021 titled “An Active City For All”. The committee paper sets the context, with some frightening statistics on childhood obesity and the cost of inactive lifestyles, with the detail in the appendix.

There’s a bold promise in the detailed strategy, most likely related to housing developments and parks under the council’s control:

westminster#1

If approved, the strategy will be implemented from this summer.

 

Corporation/ City of London

The Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee meets on Monday 19 June (agenda).  Item 9 on the agenda is the annual report from the Hampstead Heath Constabulary.  There’s a nice glossy policing plan, which explains the legal framework for this private security service.  The more controversial data is in the report appendices, which lists the number of bye-law tickets they’ve issued and the fines they’ve obtained in magistrates’ courts.

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Those of you who are aware of the derisory fines issued by magistrates’ courts for deaths by careless driving may be angered by the fines solicited by the City of London’s private security force.

 

Merton Council

Planning committee meets on 22 June.  The enforcement report repeats the report that a household in Craven Gardens was instructed to remove a bike shed in the front garden (not a conservation area), and adds another enforcement notice for a household in Merton Hall Road (a conservation area) to remove their bike shed too.

Possibly the most interesting, even contentious, planning application on the agenda is for the redevelopment of the Haslemere Industrial Estate in Wimbledon Park, which borders the River Wandle in the famous ‘missing link’ section in Earlsfield.  This currently diverts National Cycle Route 20 away from the river onto the busy Garratt Lane.  The planning conditions will include public access to a 3.8m wide path on the riverside provided through an S106 agreement, plus a £30k contribution to other improvements on the Wandle Trail.

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Wandsworth Council

The Community Services committee meets on 21 June.  Of interest are:

  • Item 3 reviews the consultation on updated bye-laws for parks and open spaces, based on GLC-type byelaws. In practice, this provides one consistent legal framework for all of Wandsworth’s green spaces (some of which have no legal cover today).  However, it does mean that cycling will only be permitted on designated paths.  My fear is that Wandsworth’s Parks Police (council employed security force, empowered similarly to the Hampstead Heath Constabulary above) will start giving fixed penalty notices to kids learning to ride a bike.  There’s plenty of evidence (e.g. here) to suggest they don’t understand and thus misuse the scope of their legal powers.
  • Item 5 is the periodic progress report summarising state of actions and decisions from previous meetings:
    • P6 Putney Park Lane – is effectively a linear park along what is claimed to be the longest unmade road in London. Previous progress reports have noted consultation with nearby residents on improvements; this report now states work will start this summer to improve conditions for people walking and cycling.
    • P8 Cycling contra-flows – after 3 years, consultations are finally complete, but responses still need to be reviewed and proposal developed. I’ve written about Wandsworth’s glacial progress on these contraflows here.
    • P28 Cycling as a mode of transport fell from 5% to 4%, so flagged RED as a key performance indicator. (Worth comparing to the Sutton Council data below).
    • P46 / 47 – reports on some cycling actions. The Santander Bikes got a 13.7% increase in use in 2016 compared to 2015.   Quietways are in progress (Q4 to Wimbledon and Q5 towards Streatham and Croydon), but the design for Q4 at Earlsfield isn’t clear.
    • P68, in the proposed KPIs for 2017/18, the council proposes to add “number of cycle parking facilities available”, but this needs first to be baselined.

 

Sutton Council

A hat-tip to @chasinzone5 for letting me know that Sutton Council’s Environment & Neighbourhood Committee meets on 22 June. Item 6 is the Sustainable Transport Report which sets out various ways the council is trying to get people out of their cars and onto public transport, their feet, or two wheels.

The committee paper may have muddled the public transport and cycling modal shares, so treat the statistics carefully.  Cycling modal share is circa 2%, so below that of Wandsworth reported above.   Appendix A has lots of actions against the individual objectives, Appendix B is the borough cycling strategy,  Appendix C has statistics for each of the targets.

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