At the Council, October to December 2017

An aide memoire of items I’ve noted from the boroughs where I work, rest and play.

November 2017

Croydon Council

  • Streets Scrutiny Ctte on 6 November: has the minutes from the previous meeting on 12 September which reviewed TfL’s proposals for the Fiveways junction. The committee was pretty scathing about the plans, particularly the absence of north-south safe space for cycling.  The comments made by Thomas Holmes, TfL’s programme sponsor (ie lead) for major road projects, won’t help his relationship with London’s cycling campaigners: he responded to the committee’s concerns by saying that people riding bicycles shouldn’t cycle where they don’t feel safe, and a “balance” was required when there is limited road space.  TfL’s plans for Fiveways, with Croydon Council, require compulsory purchase orders to widen the road (for up to 6 lanes of motorised traffic).
  • Planning Ctte on 14 November is focussed on the redevelopment of the Whitgift shopping centre. There’s nothing committed to active travel, with 1000 additional parking spaces for a total of over 4000 (but only 15 car club spaces), and 300 cycle parking spaces which may be expanded if 90% used.  2/3rds of visitors are assumed to travel from within 5 miles.  Air quality impact is neutral.  Bus journey times on Wellesley Road will be slower.
  • Cabinet on 20 November has a draft of Croydon’s air quality action plan (to 2022) which will go to consultation. Rather academic, given the decisions taken on 14 Nov regarding the Whitgift shopping centre.

Kingston Council

London Assembly

 

Richmond Council

Sutton Council

Transport for London

Wandsworth Council

  • Community Services Ctte on 15 November:
    • Item 12 discusses the proposed Diamond Jubilee pedestrian and cycle bridge between Battersea and Fulham. Proposal is to earmark £10m of CIL funding as seed corn towards the remaining £20-30m of construction costs;
    • Item 11 looks at the growth in electric vehicle volumes, plus an appendix on the need for more charging points, ‘cos it looks like Wandsworth residents ain’t giving up their cars for other modes of transport. ,
    • Item 5 is the periodic progress report, covering a wide portfolio of public realm improvements:
      • Page 5: In Earlsfield’s where the River Wandle path crosses the bridge to Trewint & Summerley Streets, and part of the route of the forthcoming Quietway 4, a total of £225,000 is being spent improving the public realm;
      • Page 12, “cycling contraflows” proposed in 2013, apparently consultations have been completed a report given to the Council’s Cabinet Member. Which is odd, ‘cos Wandsworth’s LIP submission to TfL for 2018/19 has requested funding for further contraflow consultations (for the 5th year);
  • Planning Ctte on 22 November has an application from a private school, Putney High, to expand numbers. Travel plan reports 58% of the junior school children travel by car.  This is consistent with the private Broomwood Upper School, which made a similar expansion request to the planning committee last month (details below).

Westminster Council

 

October 2017

Bromley Council

City of London

Croydon council

Hammersmith & Fulham

 

Kensington & Chelsea

  • Public Realm Scrutiny Ctte on 9 October:
    • Cabinet Member’s report notes that RBKC officials are talking to TfL about traffic modelling for the proposed CS9 cycle superhighway from Brentford to Olympia (none of which, I believe, is in RBKC).
    • Item A9 is the draft response to the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy (MTS). The appendix has the actual response, which gives insight into RBKC thinking.  The borough’s officials believe its network of quietway cycle routes, as existing today, mean that 57% of residents are within 400m of a ‘high quality cycle route’. (Note, one of those cycle quietway routes is the shared-use Exhibition Road, where a mini-cab driver knocked down 11 people on Saturday 7 October).  Further, the response notes that 20mph zones are not having any impact on reducing road casualties as the Metropolitan Police is not enforcing them.  The response claims that engineering measures to reduce speeds would not have helped.
  • Leadership Team (Cabinet) on 18 October, includes papers on proposed 2018/19 budgets. An appendix on capital expenditure has line details, setting out £37k for the central London cycling grid in 2017/18, and zero for 2018/19.   Now, £37k doesn’t get you much more than some tweaks to existing physical infrastructure, or some outline plans and a consultation, so spades in the ground this FY will be rare.  The zero is likely to be a pending figure, awaiting results of the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) submission to TfL for 2018/19.  All of the cycling grid work has (like all London boroughs) been funded through TfL’s LIP budgets.

 

Kingston Council

  • Kingston has published the results of the consultation into the proposed New Malden to Raynes Park quietway, a joint initiative with Merton Council. There’s summary results on the council website, plus a detailed report.  Overall, there’s a 5:1 response in terms of people saying they will use the proposed link at least once per month.  The main concern was anti-social behaviour, and in second place were strong arguments about shared-use path for both pedestrians and cyclists.  As a result, Kingston say the shared-use path will be “reconsidered” and segregation provided instead.  We shall see …

London Assembly

Mayor of London

The Mayor has not (as at 26 October) answered

Richmond Council

Southwark Council

Transport for London

  • Programmes Board meets on 13 October. Papers include:
    • Oxford Street transformation paper suggests it will be delivered in three phases, linked to the opening of Crossrail. Further consultations in late 2017 on the detailed options;
    • Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf link, says both a bridge and a tunnel are being considered. Options to go to consultation, which is pencilled in for November 2017;
    • Air quality investments, asking for £202m for transport investments such as cleaner buses.
  • Freedom of information requests:
    • Minutes of the Healthy Streets Board meetings, and budgets for cycle superhighways, answered 20 Sept.
    • Outputs of the Local Implementation Plan funding for 2015/16, answered on 12 Sept. The XLS spreadsheet has lots of data about cycle training, cycle lanes built, junctions improved, electric charging points etc. One statistic that jumped out is that over 40,000 children were trained to Bikeability levels 1 and 2, but only 600 to level 3.  In fact, the number of adults trained to level 3 (1900) was 3 times higher.
    • Answered an FOI request on 12 October about the location and installation of cycle (cyclist) counters on the N-S and E-W cycle highways.
    • Answered an FOI request on 11 October about the number of cyclists injured in collisions with London’s buses.
    • Answered an FOI request on 10 October about the number of penalty charge notices given to drivers at the junction of Purley Way and Croydon Road (part of the Fiveways junction).
  • In its report to the London Assembly Budget Committee on 18 October, TFL reported that there’s a 151,000 cycle journeys every day in the congestion charge zone, totalling over 460,000km – that’s the highest number ever quoted for a Q1 period since recording started in 2014. Overall cycling numbers were up by over 6% Q1 on Q1 (year on year) with increases seen too in the winter months.  Santander cycle hires were up by 9%, helping to spread the fixed operating costs.
  • Consultation on changes to Streatham’s St. Leonard’s junction. Ends 29 October.
  • Cycle Superhighway 9 consultation ends on 31 October.
  • Cycle Superhighway 4 consultation ends on 19 November.
  • Consultation on improvements to Tanner Street to link Quietway 14 to the proposed CS4. Ends 19 November.

 

Wandsworth Council

  • Slow progress on Quietways 4 & 5 continues, with the London roadworks database now showing the installation of a toucan (signalised pedestrian & cycle) crossing at Bedford Hill joining the two parts of Tooting Common. This will replace the current pedestrian crossing a few metres further south.   Also booked into the database are works to Trewint Street, where the small bridge links Earlsfield to the path along the River Wandle into Merton.  These are scheduled from 23 October for three months!
  • Planning committee on 18 October has an application from Broomwood Upper School to expand its number from 200 to 250 pupils. Nothing remarkable (for Wandsworth) about a private school expanding its numbers.  But what caught my eye was the modal share statistics for how the current 200 or so pupils travel to school: 49% of them make some or all of the journey by car, 44% walk or scooter, and the remainder on public or provided transport.  For comparison, Wandsworth Council published statistics earlier this year showing for its state schools that 22% of pupils travel by car and 54% walk and scooter.  The traffic congestion generated by parents and pupils travelling to schools in Wandsworth is considerable.

Westminster Council

  • Planning & City Development Ctte on 28 September, included feedback on its consultation earlier this summer on the Westminster City Plan. Several London cycling groups, led by Westminster Cycling noted the council’s proposed change to “introduce wording to ensure development does not impede traffic flow and vehicle movement”.  It seems that this generated “a number of responses”, which is municipal-ese for “crikey, the punters didn’t like that”.
  • Cabinet Member for Highways has signed off the council’s walking strategy. There’s lots of good stuff in the strategy, but the Cabinet Member’s sign-off does read like a W1A script “Westminster has successfully encouraged walking as a main mode of transport to enable more people to walk more often.”
  • Council has published the consultation report and revised plans for the Bayswater to Edgware Road quietway. Overall, sections of segregated cycle lane have been dropped and replaced with painted lanes, in response to complaints from residents who can’t walk far to get into taxis …
  • 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.
  • Cabinet has approved the 2nd Oxford Street consultation to run from 6 November to 17 December. (Presumably, this consultation like the first will be on the TFL consultation hub).

Surrey County Council

(Off my usual patch, but I was looking for something and found instead …)

 

 

 

 

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