An aide memoire of items I’ve noted from the boroughs where I work, rest and play.
It’s September, so the summer holidays are over, and London’s councils restart attempts to make life better for us.
- Full council meets on 13 Sept. Main report focuses on Sustainable Communities, and includes a section on bike hire schemes. The council accepts that dockless bikes (such as Obikes) are here to stay, and work is on-going with Transport for London to establish a code-of-conduct for the schemes’ operators.
- Communities Sub-Ctte meets on 19 Sept. In amongst the usual requests or complaints about parking zones, there’s a couple of papers related to Wandsworth’s relationship with City Hall:
- item 7 is Wandsworth’s proposed response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (response in appendix). In summary, Wandsworth thinks the MTS doesn’t do enough for outer London boroughs;
- item 8 is Wandsworth’s proposed Local Implementation Plan (LIP) submission for 2018/19. Appendix 1 has the 2017/18 LIP, App 2 has the proposed shifts in funding between pots in the 17/18 approved LIP, and App 3 has the proposed spend for 18/19. From a walking and cycling perspective, the proposal isn’t much different for previous year. Indeed, some items – such as contraflow cycle lanes in one way streets – have been in every LIP submission for several years with no actual progress ever being made.
- Business & Transport Ctte on13 Sept. Papers report that there were 12,000 responses to the Oxford Street consultation (with TfL).
- Decision 5 Sept to proceed with re-engineered roads around north end of Berkeley Square, despite concerns from cycling groups re risk of left-hook drivers.
- Environment Ctte on 18 Sept. Cabinet member’s report lists the proposed action days for tackling engine idling across Westminster – approx. 1 day per 2 months, in a different site each time. One might ask: what’s the point?
- Westminster’s Conservative councillors have got Transport for London to re-open the Lambeth Bridge consultation, from 14-20 September. The original consultation ran from June to August, but the councillors claim that local residents were not aware. The councillors oppose TfL’s proposed changes, citing risk of rat-running traffic in nearby streets, and a desire to save the palm tree currently planted in the middle of the roundabout. The councillors do not have an alternative proposal which would prevent deaths and serious injuries to VRUs. A quick scan of the relevant councillors’ Twitter feeds shows they made zero effort to promote the consultation between June and August.
- Health Committee on 20 September (bear with me ..) has a presentation from Westminster’s section of the London Ambulance Service on its performance. There are two slides of interest (i) cites that cycling volumes have risen 54% on the roads where CSHs have been built, and that cycling collisions are down (presumably, this being the number of calls requiring LAS attendance), and (ii) the presence of the CSHs cannot be blamed for issues with LAS attendance times “there are too many variables”. These are useful statements for those responding to CS9 and CS4 consultations, who are dealing with local politicians who are inferring that cycle lanes delay ambulances.
- The neighbourhood committees meet (e.g. South of the Borough) and each has the same paper on the Council’s approach to obtaining Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funds from the Mayor of London/ Transport for London, and an annex with proposed priorities.
- Residents Ctte on 13 Sept. Of niche interest is a paper on a proposed pelican crossing which gives insight into the conflicting demands of traffic flow, bus travel times, cycling design and other road standards, and green light times for pedestrians.
City of London
- Projects Sub-Committee meets on 7 September.
- Item 7 is a proposal to study traffic conditions affecting the roads in & out of the Temple Inns Some residents in the area (mostly lawyers with chambers) have argued for several years that the City’s ‘ring of steel’ and, more recently, the cycle superhighways, have made it harder to drive in and out. This proposed study seeks to establish facts and any needed improvements.
- Item 13 is an update on the Bank Junction initiative, where all motorised vehicles except buses are excluded from Bank between 0700 and 1900. The papers largely focus on the City’s resource needs for the project: there are still more PCNs being issued than expected (although driver compliance is now 90%), there are lots of PR requests (requests for interviews), and the City officers believe more effort will be needed for traffic monitoring and analysis (the implication being that there may be legal challenges from vested interests and so the analysis needs to be watertight). The 3rd annex has some summary stats on driver compliance (90%) and impact on bus travel times (which appear to me to be positive).
- Streets Ctte meets on 5 September.
- Item 5a has a proposal to move the north-south CSH traffic lights on New Bridge Street from their current position at the junction of Bridewell Place approximately 40 metres south to the junction of Tudor Street. (PDF with street plan).
- Item 5c has the same reports on Bank Junction as those provided to the Projects Sub-Ctte above.
- Item 5d is a proposal to further study traffic flows in the Temple Inns area and can be regarded in the same context as the traffic light plans for Tudor Street above.
- Police Committee on 21 Sept. Report from Commissioner has a section on road safety, with some interesting (even, frightening) stats. Between April and June, 2017, of the 353 HGVs stopped for roadside checks (in partnership with other agencies), a total of 595 offences had been committed. Of 1555 taxis and PHVs, 233 taxis and 295 PHVs (and their drivers) were breaking relevant laws. The City Police had also ticketed 131 other drivers for 20 mph offences.
- Cycle forum on 12 September.
- Streets Scrutiny Ctte on 12 Sept. Key item is the call-in of the Fiveways Junction plans by TfL and LB Croydon. Papers include a report, a healthy streets check list, and a powerpoint presentation from TfL. Note the report is different (ie it lacks the same details) and the Exec paper published back in June/ July. Feedback from one of the councillors attending is that the Ctte was unhappy with the proposals, in particular it does not provide segregated space for people cycling north-south.
- Cabinet on 18 Sept. Includes proposed LIP submission for 2018/19, which includes £700k for specific cycling-related initiatives (unspecified), plus other sums for walking and healthy streets.
- Plenary of the full Assembly on 7 September. On the agenda is a motion, effectively running a tracker on mayoral ‘homework’ – things the Mayor said he’s look into but hasn’t yet reported. The first example is the proposed scheme for Croydon’s Fiveways Junction.
- Transport Ctte meets on 12 September. Papers include minutes of the hearings earlier in the summer on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS), ongoing work into outer London junctions, future transport (driverless cars, drones), bus safety, and new leadership at London Travelwatch.
- Mayor’s question time is on 14 Sept. Advance questions include Caroline Russell asking why TfL hasn’t fixed the flooding on the CSH at Blackfriars, Navin Shah asks what happened to making London a “byword for cycling”, and Shaun Bailey asks a series of questions about the “unacceptable behaviour” of some London cyclists, without defining what that is.
Transport for London
- Board meets on 19 Sept. Commissioner’s report includes update on quietway construction progress, now 154km in construction.
- FOI 15/08/17 re cycle lanes and bus stops in E17, Waltham Forest
- FOI 27/7/17 re causes of vehicle versus cyclist KSIs, and the movement of the drivers causing the accidents. Unsurprisingly, its left & right hooks, and dooring, which dominate the grim stats.
- FOI 20/7/17 re design of E-W CSH at Westminster Bridge, and proposed curbs on cyclist behaviours (ie they’re not supposed to be turning left off the CSH onto the bridge, if I understand it correctly).
- FOI 19/7/17 re number of black cabs without a 2nd 6 monthly MOT in 2016 – answer is 1290 which is approx. 6% of the 21,000 cabs in London
- FOI 17/7/17 re number of Santander “Boris Bikes” stolen – remarkably few …
Quiet month as most councils suspend meetings for the summer holidays and allow the people to get on with their lives unhindered.
- Full Council meeting on 12 July.
- In the questions, Q38 references Tours Passage –path parallel to railway near York Road roundabout – about potential improvements later this year such as resurfacing and lighting. Q27 discusses the proposed bridge from Nine Elms to Pimlico (questions PDF). Q43 refers to the TfL consultation on extending bus routes on Thessally Road (on Battersea Park Road/ Nine Elms). This was proposed as one of the through-way pavement changes for cyclists in 2013, but overtaken by TfL’s Nine Elms scheme.
- Executive report (PDF) confirms decisions on quietways from the June Communities Committee meeting
- Some references to decisions made by council officials under delegated authority:
- Delegated decision CS278 reports approval for a consultation with residents on improvements to the Trewint Street bridge on the River Wandle – this is part of Quietway 4.
- Delegated decision CS276 to consult on changing the Cycle Track Order covering the path between Lyford Road and Sandgate Lane on Wandsworth Common from a seg’d path to a shared use path. Changing CTOs in Wandsworth is usually a nightmare. (June 17)
- Delegated decision CS234 to enter a contract with Cyclehoop for on-street bike hangers (Nov 16). The first proposal for on-street hangers was back in 2013, and the first was finally installed in January 2017. Wheels – municipal and cycle – turn slowly in Wandsworth.
- Full council on 18 July – includes more discussions on restrictions to motorised traffic in Surbiton Crescent, as some residents continue to object to the scheme
- Transport Ctte meets on 12 July to review Mayor’s Transport Strategy with expert witnesses (agenda)
- Transport Ctte meets on 18 July to review MTS with senior staff from TfL (agenda)
City of London
- Planning & Transport Committee meets 4 July. Agenda includes a proposal to prioritise the City’s engineering work programme thru to 2019 (proposal) a key reason being that the City can’t recruit and retain enough highways engineers.
- Hampstead Heath Committee on 17 July.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Superintendent report notes at a group to look at shared use pedestrian & cycle paths to meet in Sept 2017. More detail in the Super’s report to this meeting
- Agenda has the same attachments as last month from the Heath Constabulary regarding their work to enforce the Heath’s byelaws and fine recalcitrant cyclists for riding where they shouldn’t.
- Hampstead Heath consultative committee as a separate meeting on 17 July. Heath vision papers (4 in all) with results from recent consultation – main report.
- Planning & Transport Ctte on 24 July
- Items 8c and 8d on freight consolidation. The powerpoint file has interesting stats on modal share within the square mile, particularly rate of cycling growth over the last 18 years. (PDF copy of powerpoint presentation)
- Item 9 has planning document on air quality for the city.
- Cabinet meets on 3 July. Agenda has a budget out-turn paper for 2016/17, which also re-profiles proposed spend in 2017/18, making reference to several transport schemes (long PDF budget paper). Page 48 has the detailed table with proposed, several of which are local cycling-related schemes.
- Full Council meets on 12 July. Papers on air quality note the NOx figures for Colliers Wood, Morden etc which exceed legal limit – all these sites are on Cycle Superhighway CS7 and other popular cycling routes.
- Cycle forum meets on 25 July. Papers include the results of the Teddington High Street quietway consultation. The responses where dominated by 65+ local car drivers who are unhappy about losing 3m of parking space (the only loss in the entire scheme), and therefore are don’t want people cycling in the High Street.
- Cycle forum meets on 4 July. Includes discussion of Croydon’s proposed cycling strategy.
- FOI 23 July with the number of drivers given Fixed Penalty Notices for driving in cycle lanes 2015 to July 2017;
- FOI 23 July for drivers charged with driving without due care and attention in 2016;
- FOI 16 July for number of road vehicle collisions with damage and injury – over 65,000 in 2016
- FOI 25 June for number of KSIs 2011-16 and ages of riders & drivers involved. The request was untidily worded and the Met has done its best to answer with the data available.
- FOI 18 June with speeding tickets in Kensington & Chelsea in 2015-17.
- FOI 4 June with 20mph speeding tickets in Lewisham since October 2016
- FOI 4 June with drivers ticketed for mobile phone use, including driving instructors 2016/17 totalling 30,500 over 15 months
- FOI 4 June with number of heavy goods vehicle drivers ticketed for exceeding the speed limit in 2015/6. There aren’t many, but when they do they do bust the limit