At the Council: March & April 2019

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

Here’s a link back to January and February’s 2019 posts, if useful.

April 2019

Quiet month, as most councils’ activities were curtailed by Easter and school holidays.  Somehow, the rest of us managed with minimal governance.

City of London

  • Planning & Transport, 2 April – has
    • minutes of Streets Sub-Ctte on 26 Feb: only surprise is the Sub Ctte’s support for the proposed Car Free Day on 22 Sept’19 (the papers given to ctte were luke-warm).
    • minutes of Local Plans Sub-Ctte on 6 March, where a member suggested e-bikes “required wi-fi access”, I suspect confusing wi-fi with 3G/4G mobile telephony. Lots of discussion of the City’s proposed transport strategy – the Unblock Embankment’s campaign to re-route cycle highway CS3 is rejected.  Sub-Ctte members noted the cycle route is a well-utilised piece of infrastructure.
  • Police Ctte, 4 April – agenda includes community engagement report with a big section on the City Police’s approach to Vision Zero, including re-introduction of a dedicated police cycle team.
  • Open Spaces Ctte 8 April – has a proposal for National Nature Reserve status for the commons around Coulsdon (Farthing, Riddlesdown, Kenley etc.) – item 11.
  • Streets sub-ctte 17 April – has project papers asking for continued funding for Bank Junction and St. Paul’s/ Museum of London gyratory-removal projects.
  • Planning & Transport 30 April: Two papers heavy with detail:

Croydon Council

Hammersmith & Fulham

Kensington & Chelsea

London Assembly

Merton Council

  • Merton’s much delayed LIP3 consultation on its submission to TfL closes 12 April.
  • Sustainable Communities on 30 April has a paper on accessible transport, focussing on stations, referencing the recent LIP3 submission (which didn’t propose any specific improvements).
  • TfL consultation – near South Wimbledon – tweaks to the A24 Morden Road junction with Jubilee Way (access to industrial estate) – with new pedestrian crossings and ASL boxes. Closes 7 May.

Richmond Council

Sutton Council

  • Planning Ctte 24 April: Application for new industrial estate on Beddington Lane, on sites around the water works. Interesting as TfL has objected to large number of car parking spaces (186), and has asked for pedestrian & cycle priority at the entrance/exit to Bedd’ Lane.  Sutton has banned HGVs from the south end of Bedd’ Lane through the village, so proposes planning conditions to divert HGV movements out past Therapia Lane/ IKEA onto Purley Way.  Whether that gets enforced tho’ ….
  • Cheam North Ctte 25 April – has the results of the Windsor Avenue consultation which took place in Feb/March ’19. Proposal was for 20mph limit on streets, and a one-way “plug” at the north-west end of Windsor Avenue with exemption for cyclists. Seems officers treating this as a referendum: 20mph was liked, the one-way restriction opposed, so officers asking to drop the latter.
  • Wandle & Other Places Ctte, 20 May: the recommendations paper mentions welcome tweaks to the cycle lane at Budge Lane (by the Goat Lane/ Middleton Road bridge over the River Wandle), but says the proposed redesign was consulted during Feb/March 2019. Twitter thread here, which includes the proposed design, suggesting the consultation was to local residents only earlier this year.

Transport for London

Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests

Wandsworth Council

Westminster Council

 

March 2019

City of London

  • Port, Health & Enviro Ctte, 5 March, has papers on adding 10 extra public water fountains (bottle filling stations) by August’19, plus a draft of the City’s air quality strategy – 4mb pdf – which (if approved) goes to public consultation this spring. Plus the City’s very supportive response to the Mayor of London’s/TfL’s consultation on direct vision cabs (safer HGVs) which closed in February.
  • Plans (Transport) Sub-Ctte, 6 March, reports feedback from the autumn 2018 consultation on the City’s draft Transport Strategy. Minor tweaks to the strategy – such as bringing the cycle network forward from 2044 to 2035.  Usual objections from the dinosaurs.  Regarding the “Unblock The Embankment” campaign to get rid of cycle route CS3, the City says no.
  • Commons Committee, 11 March – City has responsibility for several open spaces across London, including (chunks of) Epping Forest, and Farthing Downs. In several of the Epping Forest papers, the Superintendents report vehicle vs deer collisions (avg. one killed each week, and 15 killed during Dec/Jan).  Other papers propose introducing car parking charges at Farthings and Riddlesdown, near Croydon (item 19).
  • Policy & Resources Ctte, 14 March, has a paper listing the major events in the City requiring roads to be closed – things like the Marathon, fun runs and Ride London. It notes that the Nocturne cycling event, scheduled for 8 June, is soft as it lacks backers/sponsors.  TfL has approached the City asking for support for a car-free day on 22 Sept – City needs more info.
  • Planning & Transport Ctte, 18 March, latest paper regarding dockless bikes, proposing a trial of new arrangements with Mobike, Lime and other (possible) new entrants. Also references proposed new London-wide bylaws which TfL/boroughs are considering.
  • Projects, 22 March, has the same papers proposing that Beech Street (under the Barbican) be closed to traffic, except peds, ULEV/ buses and cyclists, as went to other committees in February – paper plus appendix. And copies of the commons car parking papers as went to Commons Ctte 11 March above.

Croydon Council

  • Budget Council, 4 March, with lots of number heavy attachments. Enviro & Transport report (1mb pdf) mentions pedestrianisation of the High Street, Sheffield cycle stands and EV charging points.
  • See City of London Commons Ctte, 11 March, above re proposed car parking charges at Farthings and Riddlesdown.
  • Cycle Forum, 19 March, few papers, but agenda includes LIP3, Fiveways Junction scheme, Liveable Neighbourhood bids and the borough’s cycling strategy.
  • Cabinet 25 March, includes (a) parking policy (paper plus appendix), looking to help initiatives on public and active travel, and (b) planning policy/ suburban design (several very heavy pdfs) on policies for housing, and associated transport. Notes too Croydon’s objective for an e-bike scheme, including hubs in the south lumpy bits of the borough like Kenley.
  • Planning Ctte, 27 March – has application from new Coombe Wood secondary school for bigger temporary buildings. Only 2 of the school’s current cycle parking spaces are used, so the number at the proposed bigger site has been reduced from 54 to 40.  Something’s not right about the active travel plan.

Croydon(ish) – Highways England

Kensington & Chelsea

Kingston

  • Scrutiny Panel, 27 March, considering call-in of the borough’s LIP3 submission. Various groups complaining the submission was incomplete, and the consultation didn’t engage enough people.  Council’s papers largely dismiss these concerns.
  • Kingston local committee, 27 March, includes results of consultation on possible changes to King’s Road. Lots of consultation feedback, and the council officers instead recommend a completely new proposal involving on-pavement parking to ease traffic flow.  Cue unhappy reactions (and here) on social media.

Lambeth

London Assembly

Merton Council

Mitcham Conservators

  • Conservators Meeting 13 March, includes the minutes of the previous meeting on 5 Dec’18, which included discussion of Merton Council’s proposals for upgraded pedestrian crossing in the middle of Mitcham Common at the junction of Croydon Road/ Beddington Lane/ Windmill Road. This junction is where the Croydon Road and Beddington Lane shared-use pedestrian and cycle pavements join, but the current crossing was not tackled in the rebuilding works (Openstreetmap link).  Discussion in December resulted in the Conservators agreeing to the proposals (link to the Dec’18 agenda with the drawings).
    • A further note on this is in Merton Council’s draft LIP3 submission (see Merton above) which is open to public consultation until 12 April. Merton’s cycling proposals mention this junction, describing it as a pedestrian improvement where “cyclists will be expected to dismount”.

Richmond Council

  • Announcement on bike hangers: Richmond Council asking residents for locations where there is interest.
  • Budget meeting, 5 March, which like most has lots of number-heavy papers. The high level capital plan includes top line transport numbers.  Tabled questions has a few about recent 20mph consultation – those from Conservative councillors have the more sceptical tone.
  • Cabinet 14 March, has results of the 20mph consultation (which look same as went to Enviro Ctte last month), plus the highways maintenance plan for 2019/20 (streets getting resurfaced roads & pavements).

Sutton Council

Transport for London

  • Programmes & Investment Ctte 6 March, all papers in a single 16mb pdf: most papers relate to Crossrail and Underground. Re active travel, lots of works-in-progress updates, but no new news.
  • Finance Ctte 11 March, the usual 2019 style with a single 4mb pdf with all the papers.
  • Main board, 27 March, 37mb pdf with all the papers.
    • Commissioner’s report says 116km of quietway routes are “constructed” (pdf’s page 54, foot numbered 48, but we know from FOI answers that “constructed” does not equal “completed”) and all cycle routes will be titled “Cycleways”. Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf crossing likely to go to next consultation phase in April’19 (likely to be a bridge, pdf pg 60). TfL piloting pedestrian priority crossings at 7 sites, including Stratford (pdf pg 61).  Regarding the Sutton Link tram-or-bus proposal, 86% supported it in some way, and a report will be published “soon”.
    • Customer service report: Santander cycles continues to achieve record hires (pdf pg 130), mixed news on cycling numbers overall – central London on (super)cycleways is up due to quality, flat elsewhere (pdf pg 131), TfL-funded cycle training exceeded targets (pg 132) with 22k adults and 23k kids.
    • Finance papers: by 2020, 100km of protected cycling infrastructure will be complete … or “in construction” (pdf pg 254). I think this means the Mayor will fail to deliver his “triple” protected cycle routes objective – he’s already scrabbling together all the little bits from mini-Hollands etc (confirmed – he’s failed, and need to include in-construction km – page 274).  In streets KPIs (pdf pg 270), 188k cycle journeys in central London per day in Q3 (Jul-Sep’18).

Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests

Wandsworth Council

  • Consultation: should HGVs be banned from Magdalen Road, route of Quietway Q4?  HGVs are banned (except for access/deliveries) in the grid of streets southwards to Burntwood Lane.  Consultation closes 24 March

Westminster Council

 

 

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