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. Lots of council meetings were cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a link backwards to May and June 2020 if you’re short of stuff to read.
August is always a quiet month.
Government / Department for Transport
- 4 August, HMG’s funding for local enterprise enterprise initiatives – docs linked further down have announcements specific to regions. Capital to coast paper (M23 corridor) includes cycle improvements between A22 Caterham and Godstone as part of a Redhill initiative.
- 5 August, walking & cycling stats for 2019. “Two thirds of adults believe it is too dangerous to cycle on the roads”. Accompanied by the 2019 National Travel Survey and the Travel Attitudes Survey. Lots of interesting tables available on the mode of travel page, including income and socio-economic breakdowns. Purpose of trip
- 12 August, transport during the pandemic statistics.
- 14 August, a transport demand management toolkit, with 6mb pdf. A bit “Janet and John” and possibly a bit late if intended to help local authorities plan transport ahead of schools reopening in September.
- 18 August, proposals to improve the traffic order process, with more e-publishing and flexibility for temporary changes such as utilities’ streetworks, with glossy pdf.
- 26 August, transport users benefits analysis software and user guide, if you’ve got £800 to spare, and pointers to related benefits analysis tools.
- 27 August, lots of road safety data including 2019 provisional statistics, drink driving stats, and a new data extract tool to download simple dumps of STATS19 datag. casualty type by police area by year.
London Assembly / Mayor of London
- London Fire Service response times, in London data store.
- Scruff map of Merton’s low traffic areas (4mb JPEG version 0.2) – many of the filters are decades old, some in Merton Park could be Victorian!
- 26 August, traffic order to support the new low traffic neighbourhoods announced in the committee papers below. Effective 7 Sept.
- 1 Sept, Sustainable Communities Ctte, has:
- ctte paper on transport with updates on projects (cycle lanes on Merton High Street and Plough Lane won’t be finished until end Sept), plus announcements on new low traffic neighbourhoods (point closures in Graveney/Figges Marsh, and other bits which look related to school streets), the June transport paper with lots of fluff surrounding the actual proposals for Covid-strees, a fantastical submission to HMG for growth funding with a rehash of the Wimbledon bit of the failed mini-holland bid, and several appendices with school streets.
- Only verbal updates, per agenda, on the Bishopsford Road bridge replacement, and progress against the climate change strategy.
- Planning application for the replacement Bishopsford Road bridge over the River Wandle south of Mitcham, with the detailed documents. Public consultation until
3 Sept30 Sept, then planning committee later this autumn. Council’s proposal is for a functional (ie cheap as possible) bridge without much ornament that might acknowledge the old historic bridge which collapsed. Rationale for the council’s proposed design is in the papers for the 28 July Design Review Panel.
Metropolitan Police – Freedom of Information Requests
- 2 July, request for mobile phone penalty notices. With answer – nearly 5000 during 2019/20, including a big handful of driving instructors.
- 16 August, Kelly is carpet-bombing the emergency services with requests for their input into Lambeth’s low-traffic neighbourhood schemes. Answers in Sept.
- 3 Sept, Transport and Air Quality Ctte has a paper on Covid-streets actions setting out how the funds from TfL, DfT and elsewhere are being used for a mix of temporary and permanent schemes.
- 20 July, FOI request re effect of vehicle pollution.
- 10 August, statement by Royal Parks on sort of restricting some motorised traffic in some parks.
- 12 August, FOI answer re re-opening Richmond Park to people cycling, and that there are counting bands across roads to monitor numbers and speeds of people cycling.
- 19 August, answer re cycling clubs paying to use Richmond Park.
Transport for London
- Web page with links to LIP, Streetspace and other funds to boroughs, with pdf of Streetspace funds. Not much detail, just the totals per borough.
- New data page with travel volumes, Oyster swipes etc from 1st January, to be updated weekly.
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- 15 August, street space funding to Kingston-upon-Thames.
- 17 August, request for numbers of staff working on Rotherhithe crossing project.
- 22 August, request for Hammersmith Bridge safety report and announcements.
- 11 August, press release with details and map for three low-traffic neighbourhoods in Tooting and either side of the A24. Lots of consultation pages opened for locals (or no-so-locals) to provide feedback.
- 14 August, experimental traffic order mainly focussed on Mitcham Road southwards from Tooting Broadway thru’ Amen Corner to the boundary with Merton: 24 hour bus lanes, advisory and mandatory cycle lanes and banned turns.
- 21 August, experimental order for a cycle lane on Queenstown Road– the wands are being installed.
- 28 August, experimental traffic order for cycle lane on Garratt Lane between Tooting and Wandsworth.
- 28 August, experimental traffic order for the low traffic areas around Tooting published above.
- Consultation on new bike hanger sites . This time, the hangers are Falco designs rather than Cyclehoop. Interesting that nearly all the hangers are proposed for on-pavements rather than replacing car parking. Consultation closes 9 September.
- 19 August, draft traffic order with drawings for re-arranging the Aldwych gyratory. Comments by 9 Sept. CycleScape thread collecting comments by local campaigners.
City of London
- 6 July, Hampstead Heath Ctte, has the Super’s report noting nearby Hampstead councillors and neighbourhood forum’s proposals for better walking & cycling infrastructure in the wider area. Follows the Heath Society’s vociferous objections in late June, when they pin-bombed the commonplace map with NIMBY objections.
- 7 July, Safety Partnership Ctte, has a report from London Fire Service stating their response times during the pandemic have improved by 22 seconds to 4mins 30secs (7.5% faster) due to lower traffic levels.
- 9 July, Policy & Resources, has the Phase 3 Covid streets papers that went to transport committees in June.
- 14 July, Transport & Planning, has a paper summarising commercial e-scooter trial as proposed by DfT, recommending the City participates and uses its dockless bike management framework. Item 18 updates progress on Covid-streets, with maps, week-by-week implementation plans, and some info about TfL’s proposals for Bishopsgate.
- 21 July, Environment & Ports Ctte, has the 2019 air quality report (ctte paper, main pdf with data, appendix with data). AQ continues to improve across the City, with significant improvements around Bank and the Barbican low emission zone. More to do, but some sites are now achieving permitted NO2 levels for the first time. There’s also a paper listing the City’s water bottle fountains with map.
- 29 July, Police Board, has update on the 5-year road danger reduction plan (ctte paper, 2019 activity, on-going actions). Looks like City Police want to put more officers on bicycles. No stats tho.
- 23 June, decision approving street space interventions such as widened pavements and pop-up cycle lanes.
- 8 July, Traffic Advisory Ctte, has a proposal for ten more school streets to be implemented from Sept 2020.
- 20 July, Cabinet, an update on Covid-related activity by the council, including street-space interventions (low traffic neighbourhoods, wider pavements, pop-up cycle lanes, longer bus-lane hours). Finance statement predicts a significant overspend in 2020/21 due to higher costs and lost revenue.
- 22 July, Scrutiny, has papers with council’s Covid response (with detail on the street-space interventions) and financial outturn for 2019/20 with info on impacted 2020/21 budgets. Council is currently forecasting a shortfall of £65m, with little reserves to bridge the gap.
Government / Department for Transport / Professional bodies e.g. Sustrans
- The London Collective (London Park City, CoL, etc.) running commonplace map collecting comments and ideas for London’s green spaces.
- 7 July, DfT funded report on impact of health and disability on transport modes for over 50s. Plus related report on working patterns and transport for over 50s.
- 7 July, DfT funds in 2020/21 for more cycle parking at rail stations, 1180 spaces at £2k each.
- 8 July, DfT consultation closing 31 August for ideas to decarbonise transport. (Cue wailing from trucking and bussing lobby).
- 10 July, DfT invite to local authorities for 2nd tranche of Covid-transport funding. Replied by 7 August. Instruction to be more ambitious than 1st tranche, which might trip-up a few lazy councils.
- Coalition of active travel and sustainability groups publish a Healthy Streets scorecard for London’s boroughs, assessing factors including travel mode shares and low traffic neighbourhoods. I’m not I agree with the some boroughs’ relative positions, but gives food for thought as every authority has more to do.
- 13 July, DfT guidance for eScooter users plus advice to manufacturers of “powered transporters”.
- 13 July, DfT opens roads policing consultation, closes 5 October.
- 14 July, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (and fire stuff) publishes report on roads policing, describing it as “inadequate” in some forces, while citing Met and West Midlands for great leadership. Web page and PDF report, the latter with 13 recommendations covering strategy, leadership, public engagement and officer training.
- 20 July, Sustrans press statement reclassifying large chunks of the national cycle network as “named routes” on roads which no longer satisfy the new NCN criteria and thus better suited to “experienced cyclists”. NCN-proper will be kept as “paths for everyone” (web page with map and a map-only page), where cycle routes are off-road or 20mph. This follows the 2018 review (pdf) which concluded that much of the NCN wasn’t really suitable for all ages and capabilities. On-road signage is expected to be updated over the next year.
- Accompanying Guardian article by Laura Laker, highlighting bits of well-known routes such as LEJOG which are being downgraded from NCN to named routes.
- Ordance Survey have updated its maps, select NCN in the layers in bottom left.
- And a Sustrans map with removed and reclassified bits in different colours.
- 20 July, DfT and TfL joint review of TfL funding with tube automation thrown into to keep the ill-informed happy. Related statement by Sec of State announcing Andrew Gilligan and Claie Moriarty are joining the TfL Board.
- 21 July, Highways England annual report to Parliament, includes claim of 160 cycling schemes.
- 23 July, press release by coalition of advocacy groups and major businesses with survey showing public support for Covid-streets and active travel. PDF with more stats.
- 27 July, long-awaited, LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design with 188 page PDF, which replaces the painted crap from 12 years ago. Lots of dos and don’ts. Accompanied with a walking & cycling policy paper with 52 page PDF.
- 28 July, review of the Highway Code to improve road safety for people walking, cycling or riding horses with PDF document – consultation closes 27 October.
- 28 July, Traffic Commissioners (who regulate truckers and bus operators) annual report 2019/20 (web page and pdf report). Includes tables of licences issues and revoked etc
Hammersmith & Fulham
- 6 July, Cabinet, has ctte paper discussing post-Covid transport in the context of its sustainability strategy, with paragraphs on emissions-based parking charges, work-place parking levy, Covid-streets etc, with an appendix that includes air quality improvements during lockdown, phases of Covid-streets works and a map of potential low traffic neighbourhoods.
- 8 July, an experimental traffic order creating a low traffic neighbourhood around Harwood Terrace. (Previous ETO was suspended after a campaign by out-of-area drivers and local Tories to remove the trial filter).
- 20 July, Enviro Ctte, has paper on pop-up cycle lanes with appendix, which looks similar to those which went to Cabinet earlier in month.
- 23 July, Finance Ctte, has a paper on impact of Covid pandemic on finances. Forecasts shortfall of £27m this year, in part due to loss of £11.8m of parking fees.
Kensington & Chelsea
- Decision re Covid-transport, opened 22 May, not before 22 June … not before 15 July, and published 17 July with decision paper and document listing a limited number of interventions – some school streets, widened pavements and a few wand segregated cycle lanes, the most useful of which being Kensington High Street between the LBHF and WCC boundaries. RBKC is funding the 20mph rollout across the borough from its own (capital? CIL?) funds.
- Decision re TfL’s Holland Park cycle route scheme – opened October 2019, kicked backwards another month to not before 20 Feb … not before 18 March … not before 23 April … not before 21 May … not before 17 June … not before 15 July … not before 1 September.
- Decision scheduled for lamp post EV charging points, opened 24 April, not before 26 May … not before 3 June … not before 8 July … not before 30 July.
- Decision scheduled to review streetscape, opened 1 May, not before 5 June … not before 8 July … not before 10 August.
- Decision re CO2 based parking permits, bouncing since Sept 2019, not before 15 July … not before 1 Sept.
- 1 June, Scrutiny Ctte, has a Covid-impact paper summarising financial impact (council forecasts £44m gross overspend, in part due to £14m loss of car parking revenues), but little info on next steps.
- 6 July, Enviro Ctte, is hardly worth bothering with. The transport report contains just 3 terse paragraphs on the borough’s post-Covid transport proposals, lacking any of the substantive detail provided by other London councils. (The cllr responsible for transport confirmed the council had ditched the proposal for a – singular – low traffic neighbourhood in late June). The update on climate change and air quality largely restates the strategy with no report on progress. For contrast, see the equivalent papers to Hammersmith & Fulham’s 6 July Cabinet, linked above.
- 15 July, Leadership, has papers with the 2019/20 financial outturn and a 2020/21 period 2 finance report with a full-year forecast. The P2 paper is grim: the council is forecasting a net £27m overspend with higher costs and lower revenue due to the pandemic – the biggest items being £13m loss of parking revenue, and big drops so far in council tax (down £9m) and business rate receipts (£6m). Like Westminster Council, RBKC is very dependent on parking revenues, planning fees and developers’ infrastructure levies, and these highly variable receipts will be under-budget for some time to come.
- 29 July, combined Scrutiny Ctte has a Covid-street street-space paper with appendix of bids and funded projects. About £2m to tidy off the Go-Cycle mini-holland projects to a tidy state, and £280k for other smaller projects.
- 30 April, DfT authorisation to TfL to put a 7.5 tonne restriction on the left turn from Clapham Common into Cavendish Road (so bigger vehicles need to go round the island).
- 3 July, experimental traffic order to permit contraflow cycling Bromell’s Road by Clapham Common, filling in a gap in the quietway Q5 cycle route.
- 14 July, decision published to contract 35 additional CCTV cameras to support Covid transport measures (low traffic neighbourhoods), a c£15k per camera.
- 20 July, Cabinet, has finance papers including forecasts of future capital spend – main ctte is very wordy but suggests a shortfall after government grants of £27m, with overall income losses including parking and other fees of £20m. Plus report on council’s Covid related work.
London Assembly / Mayor of London
- 15 June, Mayor’s decision to reintroduce the Congestion Charge, outlining the legal basis for the charge, the increases and the minimal consultation conducted.
- 16 July, Mayor’s Question Time, with 440 questions, most getting written answers during August.
- 22 July, Transport Ctte, with panel discussion including Will Norman re covid and transport in London. Plus a progress report from London Travelwatch and discussion.
- 20 July, Enviro Ctte has discussion with environmental issues relating to Covid, with a paper with some interesting stats on lower waste and lower energy consumption.
- 2 July, draft traffic orders for 20mph zones in “parkside” (loosely, west of Wimbledon Station down to Raynes Park and up to Wimbledon Common), statutory consultation closing 24 July. And should complete 20mph across the borough.
- 7 July, experimental traffic order for London Road, south of Mitcham’s cricket green. Plan is to extend the northbound bus lane further back to start nearer the Morden Road (tram track bridge) junction, and to install a 24 hour mandatory cycle lane southbound. Alas, the actual installation fails to fulfil the promise – the southbound cycle lane is only advisory, the yellow line removed (preventing parking enforcement) and filled with parked cars. Waste of paint.
- 13 July, Cabinet, has finance outturn papers for 2019/20. Jumping to appendix 2 (page 43, I’m good at this), I see the council spent £580,000 on quietway cycle routes, £65k of residential street cycling improvements, and £6k on cycle parking. Nope, I’ve no idea either. Beddington Lane’s shared-use pavement is separate item, so this could be Merton’s tiny bit of cycleway C31 (led by Kingston Council in 2018/19) landing in the following year’s books. Pages 44 onwards have revised capital programme spend for 2020/21 onwards. Separately, the P2 April & May finance report addresses the impact of the Covid pandemic, with the council forecasting an adverse variance of £25m. Cabinet paper also recommends adoption of the borough’s climate change strategy.
- 15 July, Scrutiny, looks at public space protection orders (PSPOs) for public drinking, and a look back at scrutiny work in 2019/20.
- 3 July, (another) consultation with proposals for traffic calming on Burtons Road, after last year’s were rejected by people outside the zone. With council press release. Closes 25 July.
- 7 July, full council, has questions about Kew Road’s pop-up cycle lane (or rather, the parking spaces that have been removed), Hammersmith Bridge, and a motion asking Royal Parks to control motorised access to Richmond and Bushy parks/
Surrey County Council
- There’s the farce of the pop-up cycle lane in Reigate, dismantled after 3 days when the local MP complained.
- Proposal for traffic filtering/ low traffic neighbourhood in Lower Sunbury between Kempton race course and the River Thames (info via local residents association, with pdf map). Oh, the comments! And Surrey Council has folded on this one even before it started.
- Belatedly at the end of July, a commonplace engagement site asking for comments on proposals, some of them already dropped.
Suffolk County Council
- A really good janet-and-john guide to post-Covid transport changes, explaining the types of interventions (widened pavements, modal filters etc), why they’re needed, and where they will be installed. This quality of planning & communication resulted in Suffolk receiving more from the DfT during June 2020 than it requested.
- 6 July, Strategy & Resources, has papers on Covid-transport (ctte paper, list of funding bids, 3mb map with proposed school streets, 3mb map with other proposals). Council is slowly fleshing out ideas, but feels like a collection of point interventions (often progressing stalled projects) rather than network solutions.
Transport for London
- Consultation proposing extending London’s bus lanes to 24 hours, email feedback requested, closes 4 August.
- 1 July, TfL has recycled the consultation hub to set up a street space project page with links to each project on the red route network.
- 10 July, sixth and final (for now) tranche of TfL’s covid-streets street space funding to London’s councils with a cc article by Laura Laker and spreadsheet.
- 20 July, newly scheduled Programmes & Investment Ctte (main papers in 5mb pdf, with appendix on housing developments related to the East London line). Big report on London Streetspace Programme (LSP) includes the grim news about huge reductions to the Healthy Streets budget – £338m scrubbed from 2020/21/22 FYs, leaving £128m for Streetspace initiatives and tidying up loose ends. The air quality paper has current planned dates for LEZ/ULEZ, van scrappage and safer HGV initiatives.
- 29 July, TfL Board with all papers in an 8mb pdf with finance slides with proposed 2 year budget in a separate PDF. The main pack has the first Commissioner’s Report from Andy Byford, and a review of progress against the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) including thoughts on Covid-transport and future scenarios given possible changes in work and travel patterns. There’s also terms-of-reference for an independent financial review of TfL’s business model. The finance slides propose a new budget and include lists of street-space projects completed, projects proposed (including cycle schemes) and transport projects paused due to low priority (Croydon Fiveways, Suttom Tramlink and the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf ferry).
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- 7 July, reply to Jonathon Rothwell with designs for the pop-up cycle lanes on Euston Road.
- 2 July, Finance Ctte’s agenda is more about resource allocation decisions. The Covid-recovery paper covers a lot of ground, including promises of school streets, pop-up bike lanes and on-street bikehangers by September. The climate change & sustainability paper has analysis of borough emissions data and progress against actions – bike hangers will be installed by August. Plus results of a residents survey (most like the cheap council tax) and papers launching a planning zone for central Wandsworth, based on redevelopment of the town hall complex.
- 8 July, press statement re cycle lanes on Queenstown Road and Garratt Lane. Queenstown Road to get a southbound cycle lane (wand protected?), Garratt Lane to get longer timed bus lanes, wider advisory lanes, fewer traffic island pinchpoints. So, steps towards the bigger plans which went to council a few months back.
- 23 July, Planning Ctte has an updated application from Garratt Mills for the site on Trewint Street, which is of interest to those keen on bridging the “Earlsfield Gap” along the River Wandle on NCN4. The original application was approved in July 2019, noting some concerns from TfL and others about how poor the Trewint Street bridge is for any volume of use. This application seeks to extend the building’s footprint but doesn’t appear to risk commitments to the riverside paths.
- 24 July, yet another plan for a low traffic traffic neighbourhood north-west of Tooting Common around Elmbourne Road, with a phase implementation of road closures. Last month’s trial folded before it started.
- 24 June, Conservative MP for Westminster & City of London Nickie Aiken writes to Mayor complaining about pop-up cycle lanes. Alas, her argument is undermined by her first cut-and-pasted complaint about Edgware Road changes being unnecessary as cyclists can be sent around Paddington’s back streets – there is no pop-up cycle lane on Edgware Road, it’s widened pavements for pedestrians.
- 6 July, decision re street lighting design guide for the Westminster, with 70mb of attachments!
- 7 July, decision to install 450 new lamp column electric vehicle chargers.
- 13 July, Cabinet, has finance papers covering the 2019/20 outturn (and reprofiled spent into 2020/21 and beyond) and approach to financial planning given the impact of the Covid pandemic for 2020/21 onwards. The council’s deficit (overspend etc.) could be £50-60m this year.
- 21 July, planning ctte, considers conversion of unused petrol station on Edgware Road into an EV charging point and Aldi supermarket.
- 22 July, traffic order for Savoy Street, with the aim of better linking the CS3 cycle route on Embankment with the Quietway 1 route in Wellington Street via the east end of the Strand.
- 15 July, Audit Ctte, has the P2 April & May finance report, with full year forecast. Council revenues may be impacted by £44m due to the pandemic, of which £20m likely to be loss of parking revenues.