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 December 2020’s round-up if you want to rummage backwards.
- Closing 1 Feb’21, Merton Council’s consultation on an updated Local Plan.
- Closing 28 Feb’21 … perversely, the consultations are still open … are Wandsworth Council’s consultations on the low traffic neighbourhoods which were ripped out last autumn (see 28 Feb’s date on the Wandsworth & Richmond consultation hub).
- Closing 1 March, Wandsworth Council’s consultation on an updated Local Plan.
- Closing 15 March, Kent County Council’s consultation on actions to achieve ‘vision zero’ road safety.
City of London
- 5 Jan’21: Planning & Transport Ctte, has a progress report on covid-street changes. There have been big falls in pedestrian numbers (near 80%), and motorised traffic (again, near 80%), although cycling numbers have stayed similar to pre-covid levels and have increased on streets with new segregated lanes. Air quality has improved with the reduction in motorised traffic (NOx down 38%). There’s a map-based feedback site (link), and the City wants more feedback as comment so far are dominated by naysayers from the taxi trade.
- 18 Jan, Epping Forest Ctte, the super’s report notes another 8 deer killed on forest roads Oct/Nov in vehicle collisions.
- 20 Jan, Port Health, has a deep dive on air quality (appendices on agenda). Approx 2/3rds of City satisfied NO2 targets in 2019, and there were further big falls in NO2 during 2020’s lower traffic volumes due to the pandemic. Beech Street’s ULEZ zone has been a success in terms of improving air quality.
4 Jan’21, Traffic Mngt Ctte, moved to 12 Jan, will discuss the Crystal Palace low traffic neighbourhood. There’s a lot of papers: recommendation to replace the temporary LTN with a formal experimental LTN with some tweaks. Consultation responses are described as summarising passions rather than being representative of actual locals, especially in terms of age, ethnicity and car ownership.
- 7 Jan, Scrutiny Ctte, has a call-in review to look (again …) at emission-based car parking charges. Interesting notes in the appendix paper with mode share data for Croydon – cycling is the joint lowest in London, but officers paint the glass-half-full the-only-way-is-up opportunity.
- 18 Jan, Cabinet, continues to deal with its bankrupt status. The capital funds paper (with appendix) explains that CIL receipts are at risk (Westfield shopping centre development won’t make progress any time soon), highways works are underfunded, and TfL LIP grants are suspended.
- 2 Feb, Streets Scrutiny, will have a report on staff changes and other impacts of the council’s bankrupt status.
Government / Department for Transport / Professional bodies
- 20 Jan, blue badge stats up to March 2020, with data tables.
- 23 Jan, updated letter from DfT re Oct’20-Mar’21 settlement with TfL, to now include 2020-21H2 revenue forecasts.
- 25 Jan, speed limit compliance (or not) stats, July-Sept 2020 with pdf report. As has been reported often by authorities including TfL, speeding increased signficiantly during the first lockdown, with increases in risk to vulnerable road users.
- 28 Jan, preliminary road safety stats up to June 2020. Can’t immediately see them on the DfT reports page (although the footnote says the page has been updated), but the data tables have been updated. The press releases and pdf reports are in this page. The reports focus on absolute % changes year-on-year. There’s only one paragraph which notes that despite (or because of?) the lower traffic volumes, fatalities per billion miles travelled actually increased by 14%.
- 28 Jan, National travel attitudes survey, showing that nearly 40% of people are doing more active travel versus pre-pandemic.
- 25 January, Imperial College issues report indicating that actions to improve London’s air quality will increase life-expectancy by six months for kids born since 2013 (with pdf report).
- 27 Sustrans in London have published a manifesto for the 2021 mayoral election with their asks of the candidates e.g. more low traffic neighbourhoods and related investments in active travel (with pdf report).
- Clever architects and civil engineers are touting an idea for a bridge adjacent to the Thames Barrier. Discussions continuing with local authorities. The scheme was first mooted in June 2019 (blog post by Murky Depths).
Hammersmith & Fulham
- 4 Jan, Cabinet – finance report sets out impact of pandemic, with the council losing £11m of parking revenues. The paper later breaks this down – the majority £7m is lost due to fewer penalty charge notices due to lower traffic levels.
- 20 Jan, full council, has lots of questions (complaints) from residents about low traffic neighbourhoods and Hammersmith Bridge.
- 1 Feb, Cabinet council tax for 2021/2, and a four year capital programme, with some tart observations about how council tax payers are expecting to carry the cost burden for Hammersmith Bridge.
Kensington & Chelsea
- 8 Jan, press release by leader of RBKC saying officers have been asked to look again at the decision to remove the Kensington High Street cycle lane, this time without the involvement of the council’s cabinet lead for transport Cllr Thalassites. Officers to report to leadership team in March 2021. It was clear that Cllr Thalassites made a swift decision in December 2020 with little process and little evidence, even disregarding both data and submissions from major employers such as the local NHS, schools, Imperial College and Royal Albert Hall. This is accompanied by an update to the KHS cycle lane page, where the council responds to a letter from BetterStreet’s lawyers, saying “it would be appropriate to reconsider the decision”. Jan 8th was the lawyers’ deadline for the council’s response, and it would appear the council believes it would fail to survive a judicial review of the December decision.
- 13 Jan’21: Leadership team, focuses on finances, which are in a dire state, with proposed charges for parking (above) and other highways fees for approval.
- 27 Jan, Leadership team another motion on EV charging points, and key decisions include the 2 Dec’20 decision to remove the Kensington High Street cycle lane, which will now be reviewed (above).
- Seems that Cllr Cem Kamahli, responsible for the environment portfolio, made a tit of himself and said he opposed all “segregation” including road users. Given he is supposed to have an open mind ahead of the March (re)decision on Kensington High Street’s cycle lane, this opens the council up to a new line of legal challenge.
- The leader of the council, Cllr Campbell, set out the process to make the (re) decision re Kensington High Street in March.
- Cllr Faulkes says the council is aware of social media accounts tracking illegal car parking on Kensington High Street and that officers are supposed to be tackling it.
- Decision re CO2 based parking permits, bouncing since Sept 2019,
not before 15 July, 1 Sept 15 Oct, 12 Nov, 7 Dec, 16 Dec. After 449 days, RBKC finally makes a decision to implement emissions-based parking permits from 1 April 2021. Electric vehicles will be £21/year, others based on C02 e.g. Range Rover hybrid at £89/year. A rare bike hanger space managed by CycleHoop continues to be £72/y. Traffic order for the new charges published 6 January.
- 3 Feb Enviro & Transport, has a cycleway map showing completed and planned routes – still nothing east-west across the borough after ripping out the KHS cycle lane. With a report saying the council still wants cash for round-the-houses schemes that don’t get you anywhere. Plus a paper on e-scooters, their risks, how the London-wide scheme might operate, and the cash suppliers will pay to TfL and the boroughs, plus letter to the co-ordinator for London’s councils. Plus other papers about “greening” and “carbon neutral” which given the council’s deference to anything with four wheels is just greenwash.
- Blogpost from December on how RBKC keeps wasting cash on round-the-houses cycle routes to placate the canape clubs.
- Decision scheduled to participate in London’s e-scooter trial, opened 4 Jan’21, due 17 Feb’21. Related decision to park e-scooters on footways. Same dates.
- 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… 23 April… 21 May… 17 June… 15 July… 1 September… 15 October… 12 November… 7 Dec… 4 Jan 2021… not before 8 February.
- Decision re Holland Park footpath renewals … opened and bouncing since October 2019 …
8 July… 10 August… 14 Sept… 9 October… 12 November… 7 Dec… 4 Jan 2021… not before 8 Feb’21
- Decision scheduled to review streetscape, opened 1 May,
not before 5 June… 8 July… 10 August… 14 Sept… 9 October… 5 November… 7 Dec… 4 Jan 2021… not before 8 Feb’21.
- If you think RBKC’s tardiness regarding the decisions above is bad, try this one: Decision re potential study with Network Rail on a Crossrail/Elizabeth Line station near Kensal canalside, scheduled 22 May 2017 – over 1,350 days ago (31 Jan’21) … not before 4 Jan’21.
- New decision scheduled: pedestrian improvements at traffic lights between Kings Road and Old Brompton Road, opened 25 Jan’21, not before 23 Feb’21.
- 31 Dec, decisions for low traffic neighbourhoods around Tulse Hill and Railton Road. Experimental traffic orders were issued in Jan’21.
- 20 Jan, full Council, has Q&As from cllrs, including low traffic neighbourhood designs.
- 26 Jan, decision to contract consultants for the next phase of the South Bank Spine Route design. The spine is the route along Upper Ground from the old County Hall past the Festival Hall, Coin Street and SB arts complex towards Blackfriars Bridge. Lambeth Council ran a consultation back in December 2019.
- 8 Feb, Cabinet, focuses on budgets for FY21/22 onwards. Parking revenues (permits, charges and PCNs) are budgeted at c.£34m/year. Detail in the charges paper.
London Assembly / Mayor of London
- 21 Jan, Mayor’s Question Time, with questions in a PDF file. Most will get written answers during February. Tory Assembly Member Tony Devenish – who bullied RBKC into removing the cycle lane in Kensington High Street with scant regard for data or process – has his monthly gripe about the CW9 cycle lane in Hammersmith & Fulham, wanting to know if LBHF has collected any data.
- 27 Jan, mayor’s budgets, has the assembly’s comments and recommendations on the 2021/2 GLA budget (3mb pdf), across transport, police, fire and other areas.
- 4 Feb, Plenary, has 2 petitions submitted by a coffee shop on Upper Richmond Road asking for 30 mins free parking on the URR red route to replace the loading bays. The petitions are presented by Wandworth & Merton’s assembly member and Wandsworth Labour councillor Leonie Cooper.
- 6 Jan, traffic order for a new school street, at Singlegate Primary behind Colliers Wood tube station. Effective 18 Jan for 18 months.
- 18 Jan, Cabinet, has a report from Dec’20’s Scrutiny Ctte re emissions-based parking charges, concluding that they should be reviewed after 2 years. There’s also the Nov’20 finance report with the usual hokey-cokey movements of transport funding, mainly eastwards, because the council can’t plan and spend. Car parking revenues are down £7m below budget.
- 19 Jan, Sustainable Communities, has a sustainable travel update. Council has received £390k of Tranche 2 DfT funding, plus some TfL LIP funds, and will install 5 more low traffic areas (filtered streets), some light-touch pedestrian improvements such as zebras and widened pavements, but no further school streets. (School streets suspended during the Spring’21 lockdown anyway). There’s a statement about HGVs on residential streets.
- Consultation for a LTN in Raynes Park Ward, stopping left turns off Coombe Lane into Cambridge road. It’s a limp effort, but like most of Merton’s proposals is likely watered down to satisfy ward councillors, in this case Conservative.
- Council webpage for 4 informal consultations, including Raynes Park, closing 5 or 12 Feb’21. After an initial cock-up, the Raynes Parks’ scheme will close on 28 Feb.
- 3 Feb Council, has the climate change strategy and action plan as the key topic.
- 8 Feb Cabinet, mainly finance papers. The Dec’20 finance report shows the £486k budget for school street ANPR cameras has been shifted into FY21/22, with nothing spent this year.
- Richmond Council’s response to the Royal Park’s movement strategy (see below, consultation closed 10 Jan). Lots about collaborating with TRP, but also lots about the roads in Bushy and Richmond Parks being key routes across the borough, and worries about TRP’s parking plans pushing motorists onto nearby residential streets.
- 14 Jan, Transport & Air Quality, has papers on London’s e-scooter trial, and an e-bike trial with Lime Bike. For some reason, the proposed parking sites for the two schemes are different, and (to me at least) miss some obvious places like the bridges, some stations and borough boundaries. Parking site maps are in appendices on the agenda.
- 7 Jan, Rosehill & Wandle local ctte, has a presentation on Rosehill area renewal which picks out four priority topics approved at ctte back in October 2020 (item 8).
- 28 Jan, Enviro & Transport ctte, has a petition against the Butter Hill LTN/filtered street and updates to/new LTNs and school streets (see agenda for appendices).
- Agenda changed to postpone the LTN items for another 2 weeks, pending feedback from TfL regarding the ‘Bishopsgate’ decision (see TfL below).
- 8 Feb, Strategy & Resources – ie money – has lots of finance papers for FY2021/22. The capital paper says Sutton Council has been told to assume the same level of LIP funding from TfL as previous years (£890k), pending decisions about TfL’s finances (para 69).
Transport for London
- 14 Jan, TfL published plans to upgrade cycle route CS8 between Wandsworth town centre and Chelsea Bridge (web page, cllr briefing pdf, drawings pdf, overview map pdf). Similar to the CS7 upgrade through Balham and Tooting: sections of wanded segregation, longer bus lanes, bigger ASL boxes, and double red lines. Some sections though will remain unprotected. One detail: cllr briefing says there will be no left turn from Battersea Park Road into Latchmere Road (which will trigger controversy) but that is not shown in the drawings.
- 19 Jan, press release re re-engineering of Streatham Hill/A23 corridor. The consultation report was published also on 19 Jan (web page, and pdf report). Needs more design, and subject to funding (another DfT deal, mayoral election …) might get built in 2022.
- 20 January, decision in the judicial review brought by London’s taxi drivers against TfL re Bishopsgate and the StreetSpace programme (decision (DOC), BAILII copy of judgement, BAILII copy of submitted evidence, CabVision blog post, statement by taxi’s QCs, statement by taxis’ lawyers). In early autumn 2020, TfL decided to make sections of A10 Bishopsgate buses and cycles only. The taxi drivers sought a JR on the grounds this was unfair to the trade, and that the impact on disabled people was discriminatory. TfL has indicated it will appeal, and that the changes remain in place.
- 27 Jan, press release highlighting growth in active travel in outer London.
- 3 Feb, TfL Board with papers in a 6mb pdf. Printed page numbers are a nightmare, but the Commissioner’s Report starts on pdf pg 56, and the finance report on pg 81. The Comm’s report includes updates on safety, healthy streets and operations. The finance report includes some headline slides on the Financial Stability Plan requested by DfT.
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- 23 Dec’20, answer re number of Santander hire bikes stolen. Not many … missing bikes usually turn up within a few weeks. Plus info on servicing and replacement costs.
- 29 Dec’20, answer, of sorts, to a request for cycle journey count data. Would appear the requestor is David Tarsh (well know anti-cycle lane campaigner in west London) who petitioned Parliament to withdraw pandemic travel guidance, and was told by the DfT to – in summary – naff off. This separate FOI answered in Nov’20 seems to be the one that Tarsh was unhappy with.
- 20 Jan’21, answer re funding for LTNs with pdf report.
- 21 Jan’21, answer with central London’s 2019 TLRN speeds, before 20mph was introduced in 2020, with pdf map with average speeds. The allegedly “gridlocked” Embankment had useful averages of 20+mph, and Millbank’s averages exceeded 30mph.
- 28 Jan, answer re speed limit file for all London streets. Not answered with a data file, but with a link to the London speed limit map (pdf) which is updated each month.
- Closing 1 March, consultation on a new ‘local plan’ to manage developments. The documents describing Balham and Tooting describe the high levels of traffic, and the need for better support for active travel. Which is a shame, ‘cos local Tories (who run the council) ripped out the low traffic neighbourhood trials last autumn, and are still campaigning to rip out the segregated CS7 cycle lane.
- See TfL above for upgrade to cycle route CS8 from Chelsea Bridge, along Battersea Park and York Roads towards Wandworth town centre.
- 21 Jan, Finance and Climate Change (uh?) ctte, has nothing about Nine Elms. Main papers are on council’s revenue income & expenditure and proposed increases in council tax.
- 2 Feb, Open Spaces, has a biodiversity strategy (with appendix), with a good summary of borough’s baseline, and steering actions. No actual targets, tho.
- 4 Feb, Transport Ctte: Several bits, not all good news:
- Putney High Street, update on works-in-progress, widened pavements and nice paving slabs, and the “City Tree” which might clean the air. Needs more money for next phase. As lots of people make clear in this this Twitter thread started by Tim Lennon, the council’s plans for the Lower Richmond Road/ Putney Bridge/ High Street junction are poor for pedestrians and road users.
- Development of a new 2030 Cycling and walking strategy, to replace the 2016-20 cycling strategy, with lovely aspirations, no budget and no deadlines for action. The appendix reports on the negligible progress delivered between 2016 and 2020. If I’m still p*ssed off enough about this later, I might write a blog post, but for now here’s a Twitter thread where I highlight the gaps in delivery.
- There’s planning frameworks and master plans for the Wandle delta and Wandsworth town centre. See agenda for big appendices. Both include interesting ideas, and a desire to make progress regardless of whether TfL can fund the gyratory removal. But it does feel a bit stable-door-closed as the brewery development is largely complete which was the dominant development in the town centre.
- 6 Jan, light-touch traffic order for the Hyde Park to Fitzrovia/Camden cycleway/ quietway. Seems to match this description of the route that went to consultation in Jan/Feb 2016, and which Westminster cabinet members approved in October 2019. Great to see a council working at pace
- 25 Jan, CIL Ctte, with ctte paper. Includes £62k for a Soho air quality and traffic system/study, over two phases.
- 28 Jan, Budget Task Group looks at revenue, including highways team’s estimate of £96m of highways revenue (presentation pdf).
- 27 Jan, Highways & Enviro, was cancelled, as was the meeting in November 2020. And the ctte is no longer listed .. so I’m left puzzled.
- 29 Jan, Finance Ctte, has efficiency proposals from several departments including highways. Some covid impact is included in the 2021/2 plans, but highways dept is planning £96m revenue.
- 4 Feb, Scrutiny, has a council leader’s statement, which focuses on pandemic response and vaccination progress. There’s a couple of paragraphs on the ‘movement strategy’ noting that many widened pavements were removed in Sept’20, with some remaining on Oxford, Regents and Piccadilly. There are 14 temporary cycle lanes – all painted, none protected – under review.