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.
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.
- Cycle forum on 26 June: agenda has several updates, but only the minutes of the previous meeting on 20 March.
- Budget Ctte on 12 June looks at TfL’s finances, with several senior TfL staff invited to talk through issues and options.
- Transport Ctte on 13 June has the annual performance report from London TravelWatch.
- Environment Ctte on 14 June has the assembly’s report on electric vehicles, including a recommendation that charging points should be on the carriageway between parking spaces and not on the pavement.
Mayor of London questions
- David Kurten (UKIP) asks if London’s cyclists are too white, male and middle class (related to Will Norman’s comments earlier in June). Usual answer about broadening appeal etc. Kurten has asked related questions about targets and actions. Kurten also asks about TfL Commissioner Mike Brown’s comments on CSHs taking too long to build.
- Andrew Dismore (Conservative) asks a similar question about Mike Brown’s comments, asking if they mean that CS11 should be reconsidered.
- Florence Ashelomi (Labour) asks a similar set of seven questions about cycling diversity, but seeking research evidence.
- Caroline Russell (Green) asks about safer junctions, Camberwell Green plan to cope with more peds & cyclists, CS4 timetable (and link between Greenwich and Woolwich, which sounds like a quietway), several questions about Cycling Level of Service (CLoS) assessments (here, here and here .. seems Healthy Streets checklists are the way forward), CS5-like route from Oval to Camberwell (announcement in 2019), Copenhagen style crossings as a default alongside CSHs, and how many km of segregated cycle lane has the Mayor delivered?
- Fiona Twycross (Labour) asks about walking & cycling in central London, since Westminster Council has rejected the Oxford Street scheme.
- 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.
- Something different: an FOI request asking why the World Naked Bike Ride was not allowed to start in Regents Park (a Royal Park), and how many complaints were received about nudity! Answer due in mid July. Plus a counterpart request to the Royal Parks Agency.
- Remember the K-frame barrier that Sutton installed on the Wandle Trail, part of National Cycle Route 20? The council has belatedly answered an FOI request and admitted it ignored its own transport strategies, the cycling design guidelines and didn’t do an equality assessment. New blogpost explains all.
- Environment & Neighbourhood Ctte on 27 June, has an paper on Sustainable Travel with appendices on sustainable travel actions, progress on the borough’s cycling strategy (including updates on quietways), and KPI targets (where progress looks flat).
- The neighbourhood committees have extracts of the borough’s LIP submissions for 2018/19 onwards (Sutton, Cheam & Belmont, Carshalton).
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
- New request by Paul Gannon for documents regarding TfL Commissioner Mike Brown’s preparation for his LBC interview with Nick Ferrari. Answers due by 28 June. Similar request seeking correspondence between Mike Brown’s office and the TfL media office.
- Answer 5 June to Jim Killock for guidance to contractors on roadworks affecting cycle lanes.
- Answer 4 June regarding a signalised crossing at the junction of Royal Hospital Road and Lower Sloane Street (by the former Chelsea Barracks). TfL’s response is that you can’t have one, as signalising the crossing for pedestrians will create delays and slow down buses. Not very “healthy streets” is it? There’s been a few questions to the Mayor of London on this subject (e.g. this and this), conclusion seems to be buses will get priority amongst blather about Vision Zero for all road users.
- Answer 14 June to request for cycle count data by Alex Ingram. Lots and lots of CSV files.
- Answer 12 June to request for CS3 and CS6 cycle counter data – TfL can’t access the counters remotely and “do not hold any information beyond what is currently displayed on site”. So the @CS3Count and @CS6Count crowd sourced Twitter feeds are the best available!
- 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.
- City Management Scrutiny Ctte on 6 June (which includes environment issues): looks at the committee’s work programme for the next 12 months. Medium priorities include 20mph zones and air quality. Low priorities include review of the walking and cycling strategies.
- Cabinet member’s report has the same updates on CS11, on-street cycle hangers and quietways as before the local election, but mentions a Westminster Cycling Festival event on 17 June at Marble Arch, which has absolutely no publicity anywhere else.
- Scrutiny Ctte on 28 June has a paper from the Chief Executive, Stuart Love, which includes statement that a way forward paper on Oxford Street will go to the City’s cabinet on 7 July.
- Westminster City Council is reorganising the Public Protection and Highways Department, reducing by 29 FTEs.
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 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.
- Transport Ctte meets on 16 May, now chaired by Caroline Pidgeon for 2018/19. The agenda is mainly rubber stamping reports and actions from 2017/18, but it does include the Mayor’s & TfL’s combined response to the Outer London Junctions report (Dec’17), and a handy Red-Amber-Green summary.
- Assembly Plenary Mtg on 21 May, looks at the Mayor’s draft environment strategy (graphics heavy, 27mb pdf), and considers its response.
Mayor’s Question Time – May
- Mayor’s Question Time on 17 May, with written Qs to the Mayor. Most will get written answers
- Caroline Russell’s questions include bus speeds vs healthy streets, the Waterloo roundabout design, and when the CSH cycle counter data will be available online.
- Onkar Sahota asks about “dooring” incidents resulting in 400 people cycling with serious injuries;
- Keith Prince asks about available space at destination Santandar bike hire docks.
- David Kurten (UKIP) wants recent cycle flow data.
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.
- 11 May, gave planning permission for the Raynes Park to New Malden pedestrian & cycle scheme. The majority of the route is in Kingston, which gave permission earlier this year. As noted below in the April notes, the Merton Council planning file has lots of fun detail.
- With minimal publicity, Merton held a consultation in March on electric vehicle charging points. Every charging point will be installed on the pavements. Report here.
Transport for London – Board Papers
- Programmes & Investment Board on 16 May: has a paper summarising the consultation results for the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf crossing, and next steps. Looks like there will be further discussion at the next board meeting in July.
- Full TfL Board on 23 May:
- Commissioner’s report has updated on various construction projects such as the N-S CS6 CSH extension;
- Unusually, neither the Commissioner’s report nor the finance report have any quarterly statistics on cycling & walking in central London, or the use of Santander hire bikes.
- First annual report on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. RAG scores various objectives – those relating to mode shift ain’t starting well.
Transport for London – Freedom of Information Requests
- Budget allocations per borough for quietway schemes, as at 5th April 2018, published 9 May. PDF attachment has details. Thanks to Roger Stocker for asking, and for a twitter thread.
- Borough cycling programme budget assignments for 2014, 2015 and 2016, published 10 May.
- Thanks to Roger Stocker for asking, LIP outputs per London borough for 2016/17, plus Traffic Accident Diary System (TADS) outputs. The LIP outputs (CSV file) cover cycle training, parking cycle lane construction, pedestrian safety schemes etc. The TADS reports compare accident numbers before and after road improvement schemes.
- Thanks to Matt Stephen for asking, cycle lane designs for Waterloo Bridge, and related correspondence between TfL and boroughs. Matt’s twitter thread.
- Thanks to Jim Killock for asking, correspondence between TfL and RBKC re the CS8 junction on the north side of Chelsea Bridge. (This is the junction where Charlotte Landi died in September 2017). To my eye, there’s little new information about the design of the junction itself. But there are details about why RBKC won’t allow cyclists on the outer, wide pedestrian lanes on the bridge, and that the cost of upgrading the NCN4 shared space pavement along the river is very expensive.
- Answer 16 May on the designs of Quietway 4 in Wandsworth’s Magdalen Road, including the Garratt Lane junction outside Earlsfield Station. Interestingly, these have Sustrans logos on the drawings (zip file), rather than Wandsworth Council’s. Does this mean that Sustrans are the designers? The design using shared-space for the Magdalen/ Garratt junction outside Earlsfield Station was heavily criticised in the consultation, and council officers were told to change it. No updated design has been published.
- New request by Alex Ingram for cycle count data across London. Answer due by 11 June.
- New request by Jim Killock for guidance to contractors on roadworks affecting cycle lanes. Answer due by 11 June.
- New requests by “Tom in Balham” for data collected from the cycle superhighways, and availability of data under open data policies. Answers due by 20 June.
- New request by Paul Gannon for documents regarding TfL Commissioner Mike Brown’s preparation for his LBC interview with Nick Ferrari. Answers due by 28 June.
- 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 ….
- Has decided to proceed with Glasshouse Street scheme and, thanks to overwhelming feedback from nine cyclists led by Westminster LCC, will now have a contraflow cycle lane. Yippee!
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 April – minutes 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.
- Development (planning) committee, 19th April, reviews the detailed planning application for the New Malden to Raynes Park cycle & walkway scheme. Committee approved the proposals.
- Planning application for the New Malden to Raynes Park/ Wimbledon cycle and walkway scheme, with an extended deadline of 23 April for comments. The police crime prevention advice seems to be written by a well-cultured art critic. This is the Merton’s section of the scheme, counterpart to Kingston’s above. Note that the planning application was submitted by Kingston Council early in 2018, and Merton Council made no effort to publicise it on its cycling pages.
- The roundabout beside Mitcham Eastfields Station has been replaced by a sequence of stop-line junctions, to give priority to buses (and any other traffic) across the level crossing to/from Tamworth Lane. Typical for Merton, there was no consultation, and the notice sent to local residents about the works contains no details. (The decisions register has nothing about this scheme either). The installed scheme does include a small, 3m section of protected cycle lane for people cycling from Tamworth Lane into Grove Road, plus some advisory lane space for cyclists queueing to cross the level crossing from the ex-roundabout into Locks Lane.
- These two examples reinforce my perception that Merton Council tries to keep anything cycling-related in near secrecy.
Metropolitan Police – Freedom of Information Requests
- 18 April – last time anyone was fined or cautioned for an offence in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel was August 2014.
- 13 April – location of 20mph speed cameras – they’re in Hackney, Islington and Southwark. I didn’t know that fixed speed cameras had been installed.
- 15 March – no data on the number of illegal brakeless fixie bikes (or too expensive to uncover answer).
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- FOI request with ages of London’s black taxis, published 11 April – 40% are 10 years old or older.
- This requestor’s having little luck extracting LIP information from TfL, 29 April.
- .. and has another request asking for 2018/19 quietway funding, answer due by 8 May.
- .. as is this requestor regarding borough cycling funds, who’s discovered a working week in TfL seems to have more than 5 days (i.e. still unanswered) …
- TfL doesn’t – yet – have online access to the CS3 Embankment and CS6 Blackfriars Road cycle counters, published 26 April .
- Request for drawings about the Rotherhithe – Canary Wharf crossing isn’t making much progress, 13 April
- TfL will answer a query at a future date about support from Chiswick’s residents for CS9, 19 April.
- Request for the different designs for cycle lanes on Waterloo Bridge/ IMAX roundabout – answer due by mid-May.
- TfL’s policy (or lack of) regarding de-icing of the cycle highways, published 14 March. But it does specify the treatments to be used – potassium acetate, although it is the most expensive solution, and did de-ice 21km of CSH routes during ‘Beast From The East’ at start of March 2018.
- Request for the factors which influenced design of North-South CSH extension, published 27 March.
- Planning & Transport Ctte 12 April: Cabinet member’s report includes cycling update – bike hanger trial is due to conclude this spring, claim to be awaiting CS11 CSH proposals (from whom, TfL?), and lists several quietway schemes being finished, in progress, or “aspirations”.
- Two-and-a-half years after the Autumn 2015 consultation, cabinet approval (with the consultation reports) for the Edgware Road to Fiztrovia quietway.
- James’ Palace forecourt public realm improvements received cabinet member approval on 9 April.
- Hanover Square public realm improvements received cabinet member approval on 20 April.