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 July & August 2020 if you’re short of stuff to read.
City of London
- 7 Sept, Resource Allocation has the final version of the City’s climate change strategy for decision (which is also going to every other committee this month) with ctte paper, appendix with the strategy, and action paper.
- 8 Sept, Planning & Transport, has:
- climate change papers (above);
- progress reports on the three phases of Covid-streets (including small amount of inconsequential feedback);
- progress notes on the road danger reduction strategy;
- progress reports on the city’s transport strategy – the second appendix sets out plans for 2020/21 but notes the impact of reduced TfL funding.
- Subsequently published minutes note Aldermen’s support for Covid-streets, climate change and other papers, but also notes that Islington Council and TfL are pausing the Old Street/Clerkenwell Road proposals.
- 21 Sept, Cabinet, with finance papers to follow. Papers include update on sustainability strategy, including progress with Covid-streets and related interventions such as low traffic neighbourhoods. Notes that work on Fiveways, Lombard roundabout and other (dangerous) junctions is suspended due to TfL’s financial situation. (In TfL’s board papers last month, TfL said that work on Fiveways was suspended, in part due to finances, and in part due to related developments such as Whitgift regeneration not making progress).
- 22 Sept, Cycle Forum, will discuss LTNs and Croydon town centre’s cycle network.
- 7 Oct, Finance ctte, has a Q1 outturn paper which reports the council overspent by £49m in the first quarter, including a £6m loss of parking income (an astonishing figure when compared with central London councils which are projecting £10-12m loss of parking income for the year).
Government / Department for Transport / Professional bodies
- 31 August, press release regarding pavement parking consultation, which closes 22 November.
- 2 Sept, local authorities can bid before 14 October for a share of £2m for air quality improvements. At the bottom of this page are the grants given in March 2020 in a previous round.
- 14 Sept, e-scooter trial user guidance, includes list of trial areas. And on 22 Sept, more guidance for operators.
- 15 Sept, lots of vehicle numbers data for 2019 – with reports pack – petrol car numbers continue to increase, lots of electric, diesel down. Overall, net increase of 360,000 cars on UK roads in 2019. Joins the data issued on 10 Sept with quarterly vehicle mileage estimates.
- 16 Sept, travel time measures for A roads (strategic road network) – journeys were quicker when people stopped driving during lockdown.
- 25 Sept, info on how to access roadworks data using an API.
- 30 Sept, 2019’s road safety stats with PDF report – numbers of casualties continue to flatline rather than fall. Page with data tables.
- 30 Sept, transport use by mode statistics since the start of the pandemic.
- The University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy leads a group of journalists, road safety campaigners and journalists with a Consultation about best practice guidelines for reporting road collisions, which must be good because the Daily Mail is really pissed off.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council
- 7 Sept, Cabinet, has capital programme papers with spend to date and budget movements.
- 28 Sept, Planning Ctte has application to rebuild St. Paul’s girls school, NE of Hammersmith u/g station. School has a roll of about 800 students. (Ctte paper, planning file, STARS travel plan with mode share stats, and transport plan which states the school will benefit from the CW9 cycle route nearby).
- 5 Oct, Finance, includes paper on consequences of Covid pandemic on council finances, confirming an expected loss of £11.9m of parking revenues.
Kensington & Chelsea Council
- 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.
- 9 Sept, press release saying that work to install a wand protected cycle lane along Kensington High Street will start on 28 September (the July decision papers said it would be installed by end August, subject to design). Implementation in two phases, with TfL doing the harder remodelling of junctions over the winter. More narrative info and FAQs in a separate webpage, but no pictures or plans. Council has also sent a letter to local residents and businesses, stating it wants to attract people on bicycles to the high street.
- 16 Sept, Leadership, has a 2020/21 finance paper highlighting impact of Covid pandemic on council budgets. Council is projecting a £38m deficit (in part due to £12m loss of parking revenues), and huge changes to the capital programmes with projects dropped or deferred.
- Looking at scheduled decisions which continue to slip, highlighting either the council’s poor project management or cabinet members’ indecisiveness:
- Decision re CO2 based parking permits, bouncing since Sept 2019,
not before 15 July… not before 1 Sept… not before 15 October.
- 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… not before 15 October.
- Decision re Holland Park footpath renewals … opened and bouncing since October 2019 …
not before 8 July… not before 10 August… not before 14 Sept… not before 9 October.
- Decision scheduled to review streetscape, opened 1 May,
not before 5 June… not before 8 July… not before 10 August… not before 14 Sept… not before 9 October.
- Decision re CO2 based parking permits, bouncing since Sept 2019,
- 15 Sept, Maldens & Coombe local ctte, has papers on proposed cycle hangers following recent consultation – usual mix of nonsense objections alongside support.
- 17 Sept, Surbiton local ctte, also with cycle hangers, also with the usual nonsense including claims they hide muggers, presumably shorter than 4ft6. The whole agenda is dealing with grumpy NIMBYs objecting to bike hangers, yellow lines and EV charging points.
- 23 Sept, proposed decision to roll out another 60 cycle hangers at cost of £222k.
London Assembly / Mayor of London
- London Fire Service response times, in London data store.
- 17 Sept, Mayor’s questions, with 132 pages of questions to the Mayor (c680 questions). Some poor sod, dragged back from furlough, will prepare written answers. The list of mayoral decisions includes £750k to fund the Breath London network of air quality monitors through to 2023/24. The Mayor’s September 20 report includes stats about the 10 year old Santander-sponsored hire bike scheme – the daily hire record has been broken 13 times in the last seven weeks.
- 22 Sept, GLA Budgets Ctte, has a stack of budget papers from LCDC, fire services and others, including TfL’s quarter 4 report with road traffic and cycling volumes on pdf page 13 – the absence of traffic in the last 2 weeks of March due to the Covid lockdown was enough to reduce the annual traffic volumes by 1%.
- 24 Sept, answer by Mayor to Caroline Russell re streetspace project funding to London boroughs in phases 4-6, with data tables.
- 1 Oct, Budget & Performance Ctte, looks at TfL with panel discussion (deputy mayor, CFO) and a copy of the Q1 finance report highlighting the massive drop in TfL revenue due to the pandemic.
- 8 Oct, Transport Ctte, has panel discussion with new TfL Commissioner Andy Byford, and a discussion with London TravelWatch’s leadership.
- 1 Sept, Decision re little bits of disjointed wand protected cycle lane on Merton High Street between the CS7 cycle route at Colliers Wood and Haydons Road. Corresponding traffic order in Gazette confirming that loading bays continue to operate. IMO useless.
- 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 re the Bishopsford Road bridge replacement, and progress against the climate change strategy.
- 7 Sept, Cabinet, discusses procurement process for the Bishopsford Road bridge over the River Wandle (contractor to be appointed by end Sept, a month before planning permission is granted), and the June and July financial outturns, and the Covid outbreak control plan for Merton. The June report re-profiles spend on the Morden town centre over future years. The July report notes that car parking and penalty charge revenues are forecast to be down by nearly £7m.
- Planning application for the replacement Bishopsford Road bridge over the River Wandle south of Mitcham, with the detailed documents. Public consultation until 3 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.
- 15 Sept, Scrutiny Ctte has 2019/20 finance outturn (pdf pg51, numbered 55 has the revised capital programme budgets thru to 2024) and the 2020/21 Q1 finance outturn. The Q1 paper moves some capital budgets moving east into 2021/22 onwards. Due to Covid pressures, council is forecasting a £7.5m reduction in parking and related transport income.
- 16 Sept, full council – public questions indicate council’s application for TfL Covid funds to create a low traffic neighbourhood by Haydons Road.
Metropolitan Police / Emergency Services – Freedom of Information Requests
- 16 August, Kelly is carpet-bombing the emergency service with requests for their input into Lambeth’s low-traffic neighbourhood schemes. Answers in Sept.
- 1 Sept, request for speeds recorded on roads in Bushy Park and Richmond Park.
- 6 Sept, request to London Ambulance for LTN correspondence with Croydon Council. Similar request to London Fire Service re Crystal Palace filters “at this time no concerns have been raised”.
- 8 Sept, request to London Fire Service for A24 Tooting/Merton response times and similar to London Ambulance Service.
- 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.
- 17 Sept, Enviro, has a climate change progress report – the interesting bit is the air quality improvements during lockdown, consistent with those seen by other councils.
- 22 Sept, Council … various councillors failing to understanding sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Act 1984 regarding the consultation phase of experimental traffic orders.
- 14 Sept, Strategy & Resources, has papers on council’s Covid response (lots of ground covered, but can’t see anything about transport), and the medium-term financial strategy (like most councils, Sutton’s finances are under serious pressure e.g. parking income will be down by £2m).
- 1 Oct, Enviro & Transport, proposes a draft Sustainable Transport Strategy (huge 29mb PDF doc, with ctte paper ) to go to public consultation. The doc pulls together lots of stats on existing travel mode shares and related data such as obesity, and opportunities. Sadly, the council continues to pretend that old London Cycle Network routes from the 1990s constitute a network fit for the 2020s – dabs of paint on 30mph red routes no longer cut it. Also on agenda is a stack of papers relating to the council’s progress against its climate change strategy (ctte paper, see agenda for appendices).
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.
- Consultation hub page with links to all the Streetspace projects. Looking at SW London:
- A24 Phases 1 & 2 through Merton and Tooting, updated with TfL’s notes about travel times rebutting the bullshit from Wandsworth’s Tories.
- New data page with travel volumes, Oyster swipes etc from 1st January on buses and tubes, to be updated weekly, with simple filter to look at tube station usage.
- London’s Road safety stats, with 2019’s report with data tables.
- 9 Sept, Safety & Sustainability Board with all papers in a 3mb pdf. The steep falls in travel in London during the Covid lockdown were not matched by the falls in road collisions – in fact, the risks for people walking and cycling actually rose, in part because too many drivers were speeding. Same bundle of papers has stats on Streetspace projects, with wider pavements, pop-up cycle lanes, low traffic neighbourhoods etc.
- 11 Sept, Audit & Assurance ctte, with 24mb of papers in a huge pdf.
- 30 Sept, Finance Board with agenda and main papers, plus a supplementary pack. The main pack paints grim numbers due to fare loss thanks to the pandemic. The supplementary pack proposes a new spending review & budget, focussing on a ‘green recovery’ with investment in active travel and public transport to prevent a car-lead recovery.
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- 14 Sept, request for reviews of Wands BC’s LTNs in the Tooting area.
- Wandsworth’s Tories are campaigning to rip out the wand segregated cycle lane on the A24, which TfL and Wandsworth Council (run by the Tories) spent several months planning. See TfL’s A24 Phases 1 & 2 project page for info, including data which rebuts the Tories’ bullshit.
- 22 Sept, Transport, has:
- “covid and the urban realm” is a polite title to explain why it ditched the low traffic neighbourhood trials before the first month’s data had been collected. The paper makes various claims about complaints from blue light services, congestion etc. all of which provides very use detail for FOI requests to test the competence of the decision.
- Burntwood Lane analysis outlines the problems between Trinity Road and Garratt Lane (with a 7mb appendix and a 13mb appendix of drawings and traffic analysis). But the proposal – a bi-directional cycle lane – although nice, lacks any project plan or funding. It does feel half-baked “quick, find something nice to announce” rather than a well-shaped plan.
- Plan to assist TfL with ULEZ expansion (with appendix of existing LEZ stats). The council is acting to support an approved policy … but London’s Conservatives including the mayoral candidate are campaining against it.
- Performance indicators paper has some snippets: apparently, there’s now a “healthy streets forum” which met in Nov’19 and March’20. New Santander hire bike stations for Nine Elms with S106 funds transferred to TfL. 20mph limits now implemented on council’s remaining A/B roads (Northcote, Bollingbroke etc.).
- 23 Sept, Open Spaces Ctte, looks at PSPOs for drunks and dog-walkers. And recycling.
- 1 Oct, Finance and Climate Change includes:
- local funds/CIL distribution payments, which interestingly include some transport projects which might have been funded by TfL in pre-Covid times, e.g. the Battersea Church Road filtering scheme, which will restrict motorised traffic between Battersea Square and Battersea Bridge. (Original plan for Battersea Church Road went to ctte in Feb 2020, with ctte paper).
- The Medium Term Financial Strategy models a 52% increase next year in council tax, unless the council can slash over £30m (from £220m) in further savings, or gets other bungs from HMG.
- The capital programmes paper sets out rephrasing of spend e.g. Wandsworth gyratory project likely to slip due to TfL funding gaps (possibly mitigated by DfT funding from roads programme), and other pressures on CIL receipts and HMG funds.
- 25 August, decision to collaborate with other inner London boroughs and fund a business accommodation strategy, due to low office vacancies. It feels very pre-Covid pandemic, and may not reflect the short-medium term desire for home and distributed working. One to watch.
- 19 August, draft traffic order with drawings for re-arranging the Aldwych gyratory. Comments by 9 Sept. CycleScape thread collecting comments by local campaigners.
- 5 Oct, Cabinet CIL, recommended distributions include £225k for “Westminster Wheels” project that aims to train workless residents as bike mechanics.
- 7 Oct, Enviro, Highways and other stuff ctte will have verbal updates from cabinet members.