At the Council, January & February 2018

An aide memoire of items I’ve noted from the boroughs where I work, rest and play, in case its of use to others.

(Link back to last year’s posts, going backwards from December 2017)

February 2018

City of London

Croydon

Hackney

(Yes, it’s way outside my parish, but this one’s interesting…)

  • Living in Hackney Scrutiny Ctte on 26 February, is looking at segregated cycle lanes. The committee papers include a presentation from TfL with statistics from the N-S segregated cycle lanes on Blackfriars Bridge, showing that the cycle lanes are 5 times more efficient at moving people than the main carriageway. Most London cycle campaigners are familiar with one of Hackney’s Labour councillors, and a member of this committee, Vincent Stops, being unhappy with the cycling infrastructure installed by TfL in other London boroughs.  He believes that segregated cycle lanes are barriers to pedestrians and CSHs impact bus services.  (Cllr Stops is also a policy officer at London Travelwatch, a watchdog for TfL’s services).
  • Ahead of the meeting, it appears that Cllr Stops has already reached his own conclusion that Hackney has nothing to learn from the mini-Holland scheme in Waltham Forest, prompting a thread of tweets that he’s looked at streets yet to be re-engineered.

Hammersmith & Fulham

Kensington & Chelsea

Kingston Council

Lambeth Council

London Assembly

London Fire Brigade

  • Belatedly, some FOIs from London Fire Brigade regarding response times in Waltham Forest since the mini-Holland related road filtering was installed.

London Gazette

London Travelwatch

Merton Council

  • Morden Community Forum 24 January, where London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton, Leonie Cooper, responded to a resident complaining about people riding bicycles and motorcycles – and their impact on pedestrians *and* drivers – by saying that cycling proficiency and then refreshers should be encouraged more and that ensuring people were properly clad and using lights should be encouraged. There is no legal requirement regarding clothing, and lights are mandatory after dusk, so the ‘encouragement’ of both is odd.  In a Twitter exchange, Ms Cooper replied to that she believes refresher training for cyclists, bikers and drivers to be essential, and closes with “Be bright, be seen”.
  • Cabinet on 19 February, has minutes from 15 Jan confirming approval of the air quality strategy (see January’s notes below). Also attached are the minutes from the Sustainable Communities Ctte on 16 Jan, where Conservative councillors proposed increasing charges levied on motorists, and Labour councillors voted against them. All politics is local!

Metropolitan Police

Richmond Council

Royal Parks

  • Opened a consultation re introduction of 20mph limits in several central London parks, plus other tweaks to byelaws such as controls on drones. Feedback by email by 18 April. Website has a downloadable document/ template questionnaire with the proposed byelaw changes.

Sutton Council

Transport for London

Wandsworth Council

Westminster Council

  • Environment Ctte on 5 Feb, has a report on the council’s “Greening Strategy”, i.e. plan for air quality, sustainable travel etc. Appears to have a very rose tinted view on cycling parking within the borough, and says that more bike hangers will be rolled out this spring.
  • Transport Ctte on 8 Feb, several points:
    • Minutes of previous meeting on 15 November includes several paragraphs on pedicabs and the Oxford Street pedestrianisation project. Looks like Westminster Council want to “legislate against” pedicabs.
    • Cabinet member’s report notes that there are 162 on street electric vehicle charging points. (By contrast, Westminster Cycle Campaign believes there is only one public on-street bikehanger – similar problem in Wandsworth).  Also confirms that Westminster Council objected to the 4 gate-closure CS11 cycle highway proposal, and says the council has not been asked formally to comment on a revised scheme. (Tweet)
    • Paper on the road lane charging scheme where utility operators pay TfL to hire roadspace for roadworks – TfL itself pays the most!
    • The committee’s work plan notes that there will be no update from TfL re cycling schemes until after the local elections in May 2018.
  • Cabinet on 19 Feb, focusses on budgets for 2018/19 and onwards. The appendix on capital allocations notes just under £3m was spent by Westminster Council on cycling schemes in 2017/18, and proposes £6m in 2018/19.  All was externally funded, presumably from TfL with LIP funds.

 

January 2018

City of London

Croydon Council

Hammersmith & Fulham

Hounslow Council

  • Published a statement on 11 January regarding Cycle Superhighway 9 (CS9) saying that 5000 responses were received to the consultation but with changes likely to be needed to the scheme in Chiswick High Road, the results and revised design won’t be published until summer 2018. That will be after the local council elections in May.

Kensington & Chelsea

  • Leadership team on 10 January, focusses on budgets. Response to the Grenfell fire rightly gets central focus.  In the capital plans, the transport section shows little as most capital spend is from TfL and the future monies are not shown in scope.  Just £37k for cycling – which buys a few tins of paint for mark out the central London grid – in current 2017/18 FY.
  • Public Realm Ctte on 25 January,

Kingston Council

London Assembly

Merton Council

  • Over Christmas, Merton announced that work would start on its stretch of Beddington Lane (middle of Mitcham Common to the tram stop and boundary with Sutton), starting 8 January. The scheme sounds similar to the common’s east-west shared-use pavement on Croydon Road.  A separate blog post has details, and comments on the lack of council information.
  • Cabinet on 15 January: heavy agenda includes:
    • The paper on Neighbourhood Infrastructure Funding and S106 contributions notes that the Council has £188k for sustainable transport improvements, and £11k specifically for cycling & pedestrian schemes.
    • There’s a 56 page paper on the council’s budget for 2018-2022. PDF pages 20 and 34 show budget movements in 2018/19 for transport related schemes.
      • £74k previously assigned to improve Figges Marsh has been shifted into casualty reduction and schools [road] education,
      • Beddington Lane scheme has gained an additional £40k from TFL for a total of £380k in 2018/19 (on top of the similar 2017/18 budget).
      • £185k for quietways, and I’ll hazard a guess at these being the Raynes Park to New Malden scheme (jointly with Kingston Council), plus the Tooting – Morden – Sutton proposal which is at an earlier stage of planning.
    • The borough’s air quality action plan for 2018-22 has appendices with the “detail” of the plan (which is a bit thin) and a summary of responses to the consultation in 2017;
  • Sustainable Communities Ctte on 16 January: this has the same budget paper as went to Cabinet in December, which doesn’t have the granular listing of capital projects submitted to the 15 January Cabinet above. (Yep, Merton loves to make things simple).  The Air Quality Working Party in its final report says last year’s consultation was broadly positive, although there is debate to follow on whether cycle lanes should come from existing carriageway space.

Richmond Council

Sutton Council

  • New website with details of the Beddington North scheme, with construction work starting later in January 2018. In general, the proposal goes forward much as planned, without any significant change to reflect consultation feedback (e.g. from Sutton Cycling Campaign).  This means that both Sutton and Merton are working on Beddington Lane at the same time this quarter.
  • Talking of Beddington North, TfL has told Sutton Council that it needs to pay for the scheme itself in 2018/19 and it will back-pay the funds in 2019/20. This is part of the LIP settlement (or not) for 2018/19. All is explained in the Environment & Neighbourhood Committee’s papers on 1 February.  The reductions in LIP funding from those indicated earlier in the planning cycle mean that “excess capacity” will need to be removed from the Highways team – a team which is shared by Sutton and Kingston’s councils.

Transport for London

Wandsworth Council

Westminster Council

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