At the Council, April, May & June 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.  With London council elections in May 2018, and the purdah period kicking in for April, this quarter should start with a quiet month.

June 2018

City of London

  • Streets Sub-Ctte on 5 June reviews the first of the City’s updated policies, looking at open/ green spaces.
  • Police Ctte on 29 June: Performance report for April & May says bicycle theft is down 8% YoY (63 to 55). In April & May, CoL with partners such as DVSA stopped 204 HGVs, found 141 to be defective with 281 offences in total.  There’s a note that New Bridge Street (route of CS6 from Blackfriars northwards) is an area for repeated collisions and, whilst accepting there are re-engineering works, TFL should consider a road safety audit.

Croydon Council

London Assembly

Mayor of London questions

Merton Council

  • Sustainable Communities Ctte on 21 June. Nothing of note, unless the 3 cabinet members say something remarkable in their verbal updates.  The scrutiny committee’s work programme for 2018/19 isn’t very inspiring, and includes nothing on active travel.  Implication is that improvements for people walking and cycling across the borough won’t be a council priority.   Free car parking at Christmas, however, gets attention for the umpteenth year running.
  • Cabinet on 25 June, has the 2017/18 budget out-turn paper. This also has the capital allocation for 2018/19 (pdf page 30, numbered 180), including:
    • recommendation to allocate £60k of S106 funds to the Beddington Lane cycle route, in addition to £333k of TfL funds in 2018/19 (an £800k project to build a shared-use pavement from middle of Mitcham Common to the borough with Sutton a the Beddington Lane tram stop);
    • TfL sourced funding of £74k for a “borough wide 20mph limit”;
    • Tfl funding of £180k for “cycling in residential streets”;
    • Deletion of £18.7k of “TfL cycle quietways”, which either means that quietway work shifts into 2019/20, or it is gathered up in the “residential streets” allocation above.
    • TfL funding of £64k for the “Figges Marsh roundabout”, which appears every year (last year was £74k), then gets dropped in the autumn; and
    • TfL funded £37k for “cycle access and parking”.
  • PDF page 36/numbered 186 has the out-turn for cycling related projects in 2017/18. I can understand £166k on quietways (being Q4 on River Wandle to Wimbledon, plus planning of other routes such as Colliers Wood to Morden via Morden Hall Park), and the £407k on Beddington Lane.  But £252k on “cycle access/parking” makes little sense as I see little evidence of it across Merton.
  • PDF page 39/ numbered 189, has capital budget slippages from 2017/18 to 2018/19, with relatively small sums related to active travel.

Metropolitan Police

Sutton Council

Transport for London – Board papers

  • Sustainability Ctte on 20 June has a paper on improving cyclists safety, noting that risk has reduced in all London boroughs except Westminster. Framework of actions under Vision Zero.
  • Looking forward to Programmes & Investment Ctte on 3 July:
    • Healthy Streets budgets for 2018/19 and 2019/20, includes an appendix 2 with 2017/18 outturn spend. Lots of underspend, mainly “rescheduled” sometimes for project logistics reasons (such as land ownership issues affecting Wandsworth gyratory plans), but many for capital cash flow. g. CSHs were allocated £32m, but only £16m was spent.  “Rescheduled” budget rolls forward to future years.
    • Compulsory Purchase Orders for Wandsworth Gyratory to be considered by board late 2018 (digging in 20/21), for Croydon Fiveways in autumn 2019 (digging 21/22?).
    • 2017/18 Q4 programmes report, includes on pdf page 29 a picture of the CS6 extension which, since being photographed, is now being dug up as the kerb stones were regarded as dangerous and needing to be re-laid. The report has rose tinted updates on CSH extensions, central London grid, quietway projects and the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf crossing.
  • TfL Finance Ctte on 4 July.

Transport for London – Freedom of Information Requests

Wandsworth Council

  • Issued an experimental traffic order on 30 May to make Mysore Road no-entry *except cyclists* from Lavender Hill. This blocks a common rat-run for southbound drivers trying to avoid Latchmere Road and Elspbeth Road by nipping up the side of the old Town Hall.  It’s interesting, as this hasn’t required 4 years of consultations, like the plans announced in 2013 to trial cycle contraflows in a handful of existing one-way streets.
  • Press release on 14 June announcing ofo bike dockless bike hire scheme in the borough, initially with max 200 bikes at 50 locations. Note Cllr Jonathon Cook’s usual tone of bicycles-are-a-nuisance that must be controlled.  The claim of “widespread complaints” about O-bikes “dumping bikes” in 2017 is spurious as the council failed to provide evidence of such complaints in several FOI requests.
  • Community Services Scrutiny Ctte on 21 June – main item was a decision to approve, in part, Quietway 21 (Wandsworth Common to Teddington via Richmond Park). With limited TfL funding, £125k will be spent at either end of Danebury Avenue, replacing the mini-roundabout outside Richmond Park on Priory Lane with a T-junctions and zebra crossings, and finishing the Roehampton High Street/ Roe’ Lane junction with the high street contraflow.  More info in a separate post.
  • Finance Scrutiny Ctte 28 June, includes papers on the Nine Elms Vauxhall Strategy Board (pulling together Wandsworth, Lambeth and other public sector bodies). The report lists progress on transport actions, including:
    • Signage for Quietway 5 is reported as complete (which should be in Lambeth);
    • Nine Elms consultation – which got a shoeing from cycling groups – promise of a response and modified scheme from Tfl in “summer 2018”;
    • Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge – a favourite project in Wandsworth, but disliked in Westminster – there will be decision in “summer/autumn 2018” on which sites to go forward for technical work. So that sounds like not much interest or progress.
  • Three consultations closed this month:
    • Bellevue Road streetscape, closes 12 June. Of interest, as it is on the south wide of Wandsworth Common and one of the few routes for cyclists who are unable to dismount on the Cats Bridge Bridge quietway route on the common itself.  Proposes to use Sheffield-like cycle stands instead of bollards on the street corners;
    • Bedford Hill streetscape, closes 15 June, looking at the strip between the Watrose, past Sainsburys to the Bedford pub.
    • George’s Park, Wandsworth, closes 22 June. Second consultation, asking for improvements to the park’s accessibility and amenities.  Interestingly, makes no reference to the existing NCN4 cycle path, or to the proposed Teddington-Wandsworth quietway which would cross the park.  Only mentions cycle route CS8 on the High Street (if the gyratory is ever rebuilt) in passing.

Westminster Council

 

May 2018

City of London

  • Transport & Planning Ctte on 8 May, has the same Bank Junction papers circulated to other City committees in March. The trial is making good progress – the public like the changes (with the exception of taxi drivers), and 150 City businesses and property owners support it too. (See 21 May below for further progress).
  • Transport & Planning Sub-Ctte on 9 May, has a paper on the results of the public survey (back in February) about the City’s proposed 25-year transport strategy. The people want more space for walking & cycling, and healthier streets.  This data is being used to underpin the City’s draft LIP submission for the next few years.
  • Planning & Transport Sub-Ctte 21 May :
    • Updated papers on Bank Junction (which have attracted lots of press comment) – recommendation to make trial scheme permanent. Lots of appendices including assessment of air quality issues, casualties, bus & taxi journey times.
    • Recommendation to extend trials of Ofo bikes and Mobikes for another 12 months. The schemes are popular, they’re well managed and the City administrators have received few-to-no complaints.  (Which makes the Wandsworth situation in 2017 very puzzling ….)
    • Proposal for an ultra-low emission zone in two City streets – allowing access to specific ULEV vehicles would be innovative and require DfT to approve new signage.
  • Police Ctte on 24 May has the City Police’s annual report for the financial year 2017/18. Page 23 has the roads policing statistics: there’s a small improvement in road casualties over previous year, but the number of illegal HGVs and drivers continues to be shocking. Of the 1533 HGVs stopped for checks, 960 had infringements or offences.
  • 29 May, Transport Ctte: has the same papers on dockless bike hire as the sub-ctte on 21 May, and the same papers on the development of the City’s 25 year transport strategy as other committees last month.  Additionally:
    • new papers on proposals for the Tudor Street/ New Bridge Street area. This is the N-S CSH between Blackfriars Bridge and Ludgate Circus.  TfL has approved and costed the plans at £2.3m, but the City wants to defer the changes as it is considering building a combined police station and court in the area, and this development could undo/redo the changes.  Ctte paper and 4mb pdf street plan.
    • Paper on “towards a sustainable future”, business strategy (5mb pdf). Another in the City’s growing collection of greener policy statements.

Kensington & Chelsea via TfL

  • 30 May, TfL published the results of the Brompton Road/ Beauchamp Place consultation. Only 16% of the respondees supported the scheme as designed, the remaining majority largely being cycling advocates who opposed the scheme (68%) in favour of something better.  TfL argue that “opposing” the scheme due to a “desire to see more ambitious changes” isn’t opposition.  The scheme will go ahead as planned …

Kingston Council

  • Kingston Cycling Campaign’s Matt Stephen scored a small victory over BT by forcing it to drop a planning application to install a “phone box” (actually, one of the new spy advertising boards) on a cycle track along the gyratory system (Twitter thread). BT and its agents have proposed others too in Kingston which take pavement space primarily from pedestrians.

London Assembly

Mayor’s Question Time – May

Mayor’s Question Time – March

  • No MQT in April due to local election purdah period.
  • Answers to Keith Prince (Conservative, Member of Transport Ctte)’s questions re pedestrians killed/injured, and motorcyclists killed/injured in collision with cyclists. Note that Keith does not ask about cyclists killed/injured.  AFAICS the answers are STATS19-like data which does not differentiate between pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists who were affected.
  • Answers to Tom Copley (Labour)’s questions about cycle parking at stations, and whether the surveys have been updated since 2015. Not updated, but this is (yet) another area where strategy is being developed.
  • Tom Copley asked when the whole of Cycle Route CS11 will be finished. When TfL says so ….
  • Tom Copley asks how much of the six new cycle routes announced in February will be segregated. When they’ve been designed but: “We expect around 75% of these new routes to be on main roads (substantially segregated) and 25% on quiet backstreets”.
  • Tom Copley (busy lad) asked when Cycle Route CS3 East-West will be extended with a replacement for the Westway proposal. Mayor says the route will use “Bayswater Road, Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park Avenue and Wood Lane” per previous announcements and that “TfL intends to consult on proposals next year”.
  • Caroline Russell (Green, member of Transport Ctte) asks when Cycle Route CS5 will be extended south to Peckham. Answer appears to be – it isn’t, as TfL is focussing on Quietway route Q8.
  • Caroline Russell asks about pavement cycling. Mayor acknowledges many do so because they perceive roads as unsafe.
  • Caroline Russell asks about the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf crossing. Mayor says full reports will be published when the preferred option is announced in Summer 2018.
  • Caroline Pidgeon asks about pedestrian improvements at the A3/ Martin Road/ Bushey Way junction. (Map). Answer is none:  you’re getting the Raynes Park to New Malden greenway scheme nearby, which is of no use if you want to go to the new Next store, Raynes Park school etc.
  • Navin Shah (Labour) asks about investment in cycle routes in outer London boroughs (in his case, Harrow). Standard reply about LIP funds, a quietway and how boroughs can apply for liveable neighbourhood funds.
  • Leonie Cooper (Labour) asks about funding and plans for the Cremorne Bridge scheme, linking Battersea and Fulham with a new pedestrian & cycle bridge. Answer is Mayor continues to support, but nothing is actually happening.

Merton Council

Transport for London – Board Papers

Transport for London – Freedom of Information Requests

Wandsworth Council

  • Following the council election, a new cabinet has been appointed. Cllr Jonathan Cook has been re-appointed to the portfolio that includes transport.  Oh well ….

Westminster Council

 

April 2018

City of London

  • Police Ctte on 12 April, has a report from the City Police – notes Section 35 action taken against groups of youths riding bicycles (apparently, that’s anti-social behaviour), and action against a range of commercial vehicles and their drivers. 24% of taxis and PHVs (and/or drivers) are non-compliant, 2/3rd of commercial vehicles (and drivers) stopped are found to be non-compliant, often with multiple offences.
  • Hampstead Heath Consultative Ctte on 16 Aprilminutes of 21st Feb mtg confirm that any proposals for new cycle paths (or shared use paths) won’t be considered before 2023/24. Existing shared use paths may be resurfaced (super’s report, and appendix).
  • Police Performance Ctte on 26 April: Reflects on March’s crime figures (performance report), Monday is the worst day for bicycle thefts, and most 50% of bicycle thefts are between 1600-2000 across weekdays. There’s KSI stats in the report too, plus justification of the Section 35 notices used to disperse groups of kids riding bicycles in the City during March.

Kingston Council

Merton Council

Metropolitan Police – Freedom of Information Requests

Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests

Westminster Council

 

 

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