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 & February 2021’s round-up if you want to rummage backwards.
- 7 May, City of London’s revised local plan. The City wants respondees to fill in an MS Word form and email it back … retro.
- 10 May, City of London’s consultation on part-pedestrianising Bank junction, with survey link which can be completed on-line.
City of London
- City has opened a consultation on a revised local plan, influencing planning decisions to 2036. Consultation closes 7 May. For some reason, the City has gone retro and wants respondees to fill in and email back – or even post! – a PDF or MS Word document (linked at bottom of page).
- City has opened a consultation on part-pedestrianising Bank junction. Closes 10 May.
- 8 March, Epping Forest Ctte has updated cycling strategy for sign-off, with ctte paper. Not my parish, so I’ll defer to locals, but apparently this has been updated since the Autumn 2020 draft with consultation feedback. Strategy does not look disabled friendly. There’s also papers on car parking charges, and the Super’s report says another two deer were killed in vehicle collisions.
- 30 March, Planning & Transport Ctte, has a paper on short-stay cycle parking. It seems that new developments have installed more long-stay (employee/resident) spaces, and short-changed the City by over 700 short-stay. The City is looking opportunities for making covid-street additions permanent, along with empty retail space and possibly cycle cafes.
- 30 March, West Wickham & Commons Ctte, has the results of a user survey from last year. Lots of support for upgrading the cycle track accessing Spring Park (presumably, the muddy track from NCN21 near Addington Village).
- 8 April, Policy & Resources, has papers allocating £10m for year 1 of the City’s climate change strategy.
- 13 April, Planning & Transport, has lots of papers on the covid streets changes (widened pavements, cycle lanes etc – see item 6). Looks like the City wishes to retain most of them, probably requiring experimental traffic orders to replace the temporary TMOs.
- 14 April, Projects Sub-Ctte, has the same covid streets papers as above, plus an interesting paper on cooler streets with e.g. investments studying sustainable drainage.
- 1 March, Cabinet, focuses on finances (lots of papers). Council is effectively bankrupt, with the failed Brick-by-brick housing company as the major drain, although other budgets have been badly affected by the pandemic. Car parking/penalty revenues are down by >£2m. Capital spending has been curtailed, with the walking & cycling programme gutted in FY20/21 by £775k to just £100k, separate to TfL’s streetspace initiatives.
- 22 March, Cabinet, includes a paper on the “growth zone”, which was centred on the Westfield redevelopment which has stalled. The presentation appendix notes the tension between a car-centred redevelopment (huge new car parks) and a more sustainable plan, with the pandemic hiatus giving opportunity to rethink.
- 30 March, Scrutiny, proposes a new study group to look at town centre redevelopment and report back in October.
- 12 April, Cabinet, has a call-in to review to the decisions re Crystal Palace low traffic neighbourhood.
Government / Department for Transport / Professional bodies
- 9 March, speeding driver stats, with pdf report and data tables, for final quarter of 2020. TLDR: with more people driving, roads got busier and speeds dropped.
- 11 March, 150,000 bike repair vouchers released.
- 15 March, “bus back better” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bus-back-better
- 22 March, agreement to fund Transport for London on existing terms to 18 May, after the May elections.
- 24 March, regular updates on transport use since the start of the pandemic.
- 24 March, quarterly bus usage statistics … which have dropped by 50% during the pandemic in London, and 68% in Wales.
- 24 March, disability and accessibility statistics 2020, including some walking & cycling stats in pdf report.
- 25 March, statement that cycling & walking investment strategy 2 won’t be published soon, and probably next year.
- 30 March, another batch of bike repair vouchers with guidance for repair shops and bike owners.
- 31 March, latest paper on sustainable highways with pdf report. Nice pictures and words about climate change, but the notes about better support active and equestrian travel are hollow considering how many Highways England schemes ignore LTN1/20.
- Academic paper by Sebastian Kraus and Nicolas Koch looking at pop-up cycle lanes in continental european cities in 2020, the increases in cycling, and the potential economic benefits if the volumes were sustained.
Hammersmith & Fulham
- 1 March, Cabinet. Going off piste, there’s an insight into who owns rented housing in this paper about possible HMO licencing.
- 16 March, Enviro – climate change community report.
Kensington & Chelsea
- 3 March, full Council looks at budget papers for FY21/22 onwards. The Budget Working Group paper notes the council’s dependence on car parking & related revenues, and with the number of permits falling, and the council giving EV owners cheap £20 permits, a significant loss in revenue is needed. So the council needs a “5/10 year plan”. The main ctte paper includes appendices on capital plans. Although there’s a carefully written paragraph about supporting safer streets and active travel, there’s nothing in the budget beyond this FY20/21.
- 17 March, Leadership Team has the much anticipated paper on re-installing a cycle lane on Kensington High Street, do something else, or do nothing. The council officers have had 2 months to write these papers, after cllrs withdrew the Thalassites decision following the threat of a judicial review. Despite this extra time, the papers are shambolic.
- Main ctte paper is a cut-and-paste of various anecdotes, and recycles the council’s anti-cycling thinking. It is interesting that actual statistics are provided by 3rd party agencies and transport for London, whereas the anti-argument is full of “it is believed” statements. The map showing cycle routes in the borough clearly shows the absence of an east-west route between the borders with Hammersmith and Westminster councils. Possibly most seriously, the lists of stakeholders for and against the scheme is very partial – significant bodies like Imperial NHS, and the councils Labour and LibDem cllrs are omitted. Yet every crony canape club gets listed.
- Reinstalling the cycle lane will cost about £40,000. If the council doesn’t restore the scheme, it seems likely that TfL will refuse to fund the £211,000 of sunk costs, leaving these to be picked up by RBKC’s residents via the council’s reserves.
- The alternative options paper is a hoot – round-the-houses, magic paint, tidal flows, and my favourite: a cycle lane down the middle of Kensington High Street.
- The letter from TfL demolishes the nonsense spouted by the crony business forums, pointing out that most businesses in KHS were closed due to lockdowns. There’s a comprehensive analysis of bus journey times, pointing out that once other roadworks (water, gas) were finished, bus journey times returned to 2019 times. But after the cycle lane was ripped out, bus journey times slowed due to illegal parking. With the TfL-commissioned independent survey showing that the majority of RBKC residents support the scheme.
- Letter of support from Sustrans London.
- And in shock news (sarc), the council chose option 3, doing nothing for now, and wasting paper at some future point.
- Formal decision re protected cycle lane on Kensington High Street, opened 29 January and implemented 17 March – 47 days, which given the history of RBKC decision making is remarkably fast.
- See TfL below for Will Norman’s letter to Assembly Member Devenish re RBKC’s wastes of money re cycling schemes, and the results of an independent survey commissioned by TfL showing 2/3rds of RBKC’s residents support segregated cycle lanes.
- Decision scheduled to participate in London’s e-scooter trial, opened 4 Jan’21, finalised 25 March with decision report. RBKC’s participation is part of a London-wide project (although not all boroughs have decided to be involved). The effort involved is extraordinary e.g. speed limits, vehicle IDs, geofencing and power-offs if the scooters stray into RBKC’s parks.
- Related decision to park e-scooters on footways
due 17 Feb’21… not before 15 April.
- 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… 8 February… 1 March… not before 1 April.
- 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… 8 February… 1 March… not before 1 April
- 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… 8 February … 1 March… not before 1 April.
- 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… 17 March
- New decision scheduled: pedestrian improvements at traffic lights between Kings Road and Old Brompton Road, opened 25 Jan’21,
not before 23 Feb’21… 1 March… not before 1 April.
- Decision re electric vehicle charging points , opened 23 Feb’21, not before 6 April .
- 4 March, Kingston local ctte, has a TfL LIP funding paper, with appendix listing proposed projects. Planning and prep is important, but a lot of the proposed projects are “feasibility” “review” “investigate” desk-based activities, rather than physical works on the ground.
- 8 March, South of the Borough local ctte, has responses to the latest objections to disabled neighbours getting parking spaces. I’ve never seen a borough where so many selfish carrots hate their neighbours like this, just to preserve their own parking spaces. There’s also a paper asking cllrs to decide what happens with the experimental traffic order for Mansfield Road which created a school street for the Lovelace Primary School. The ETRO expires in April. (Mansfield Road was once proposed to have its own safe cycle space for the kids – locals objected).
- 16 March, Enviro & Other Stuff, makes assumptions about a TfL-funded LIP programme for 2021/22 with ctte paper and appendix with list of possible projects. There’s lots of desk-based feasibility, investigations etc. Plus papers on other street works, and updates to the local plan.
- 3 March, full council, with budgets for FY21/22 onwards. The main ctte paper notes the council see need for different parking revenue strategy, and has studied the number of workplace parking spaces (but report deferred due to pandemic priorities). Capital budgets are stated at summary levels (e.g. £45m/3ys for sustainable travel & public realm) without breakdown.
- 9 March, decision to proceed with the Cornwall Road low traffic neighbourhood following statutory consultation.
- 16 March, decision to proceed with the Ferndale low traffic neighbourhood following statutory consultation. The report notes the support of blue light services, with the only objections coming predictably from taxi drivers.
- 30 March, proposed decision to use £480k of CIL funds to fund officer posts for a variety of projects including, under transport, healthy streets and low traffic neighbourhoods.
- 31 March, proposed decision to replace temporary traffic orders for 20 school streets set up in September and November 2020 with experimental traffic orders, with a statutory consultation.
London Assembly / Mayor of London
- 8 March, Transport Ctte, (on the Assembly YT channel), discusses the Mayor’s Transport Strategy with deputy mayor Heidi Alexander, W&C commissioner Will Norman and TfL Commissioner Andy Byford.
- 18 March, Mayor’s question time, the last before the May 2021 elections. Hundreds of questions listed, a few for oral answers, and the rest will get written replies.
- 19 March, Budget Ctte, has quarterly reports from the GLA functions, including TfL’s Q3 report for Sept-Dec’20 .
- 31 March, list of 20 candidates for London Mayor in May’s election. This means there are 200 residents in the City of London willing to nominate these candidates (10 each), which is something to think about given most are cranks and grifters.
- 3 March, full Council, with budgets for FY21/22 and beyond (big pdfs on agenda). In no particular order, there £60k for new cycle parking at the Civic Centre in the capital plans .. which is twice the £30k allocated for residential cycle parking (which sounds like bike hangers). There’s assumptions about TfL LIP-ish funds (£1.3m/y) and traffic schemes (£150k/y) but no detail. Unlike e.g. Lambeth, this suggests that Merton does not have shovel-ready ideas for when new grants are available.
- Pootling around Merton, I see TfL has rebuilt the junction on the A24 Morden Road and Jubilee Way. But the exit from Jubilee only has an ASL box for the left-turn filter lane, not for the right-turn towards South Wimbledon. A full width ASL was included in the design that went to consultation in March 2019.
- 22 March, Cabinet has the Jan’21 financial monitoring reports, although tracking any budget vs baseline is now hard.
- 2 March, full council, budgets for FY21/22 and beyond. Numbers in the capital paper suggest the council is trying to maintain investment in active travel related projects, given other pressures.
- 18 March, Transport & Air Quality , looks at 20mph across the borough, with ctte paper and appendix with stats showing lower average speeds. However, 85th percentile speeds still exceed 20mph. Plus proposals to make permanent the covid pedestrianised street on Church St in Twickenham with public support (see agenda for consultation reports).
- 9 March, published the results of the movement strategy consultations with lots of pdfs for each park on a reports page. The current restrictions, introduced for the pandemic, will continue for another 12 months. There’s overwhelming support to restrict access for motorised vehicles further – these are supposed to be parks – but TRP believes it needs “more data”.
Surrey County Council
- 1 March, Reigate and Banstead Local Ctte, where the coolest of Surrey’s cats hang out, has a proposal to build toucan crossings and a shared-use pavement along Reigate Road at Burgh Heath. The toucans replace dismount-and-walk pedestrian crossings on NCN22. But the shared-use pavement southwards looks odd, as it is on the wrong side of the road to the Asda supermarket, looks very narrow versus the 3m specified in LTN1/20, and ends at what looks like neglected bridleways and unpaved footpaths.
- 8 March, Elmbridge local ctte, has a petition for a Pegasus crossing on the A244 to link Arbrook to Esher commons. Looks like officers are recommending it, if budgets can be shuffled over the next couple of years.
- 16 March, Cabinet includes a motion whining about the potential Greater London boundary £3.50 charge for drivers entering the GLA area.
- 30 March, Cabinet has an odd, active travel paper with a big appendix suggesting SCC received £6m from DfT for covid active travel stuff, yet the proposed initiatives – largely shared use pavements – appear to contradict DfT’s own guidelines. Twitter thread by Reigate & Redhill cycle campaign explains all.
- 1 March, full council – budgets for FY21/22 and beyond. Next to nothing in the transport capital plan for streets improvement unless TfL starts generating cash.
- 2 March, Beddington Local Ctte. The local project paper says the council intents to install a barrier on the Bridle Path east of Aldwick Road to deter mopeds, which just happens to be the old LCN 75 cycle route (OSM link). (It was mentioned in the Oct’20 ctte papers, as a bullet in a 16mb presentation). As we know, Sutton’s LibDem-controlled council loves installing barriers on cycle routes.
- 11 March, Sutton local ctte, confirms that the Sutton local traffic area was removed in February with a presentation that links to a map in a different file, ‘cos the officers hate people who read this stuff.
- 18 March, Enviro, has more on LTNs and school streets (lots of papers), proposing new consultations. If supported, there might be school streets for September 2021 – a good year after other London boroughs moved to do this to support pandemic street interventions. The timetable for the Butter Hill LTN is slower – consultations will end in March 2022, teeing it up nicely to be a 2022 council election issue. Plus proposed LIP projects if TfL funds materialise (ctte paper and appendix). List includes Foresters Drive where there was a scheme consulted in Feb’20, which has disappeared from the Sutton consultation hub, and no report has yet appeared.
Transport for London
- 1 March, Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman responds to Tory anti-cycling Assembly Member Tony Devenish with a startling letter pointing out that TfL is doing an independent survey in Kensington & Chelsea, and how RBKC has wasted huge sums of TfL money e.g. the Kensington High Street cycle lane.
- 3 March, TfL publishes the results of the independent survey, showing 2/3rd of RBKC’s resident support segregated cycle lanes. With Evening Standard report.
- 3 March, the first Programme & Investment Ctte of 2021 with all the papers in a 7mb pdf. Main report starts on pdf pg 35 (numbered 29) with Healthy Streets reports from pdf pg 54 (num’d 48). Largely restates that we already know: lots of progress in 2020 about school streets, low traffic neighbourhoods, and space for walking and cycling, and that the public largely like them. The authors acknowledge the Bishopsgate judgement, and note that whilst the legality of the streetspace guidance and schemes’ decision making is questioned, the legality of the streetspace projects beyond Bishopsgate was not. There’s a big section on surface assets – roads, bridges, flyovers – starting about pg numbered 100 with lots of stats. Anti-terrorism works on Westminster Bridge should start by Oct’21, which I guess includes the seg’d cycle lanes.
- 16 March, TfL Board with papers in a 6mb pdf. Commissioner’s Report starts on pdf pg 30, numbered 24.
- 22 March, Department for Transprot agreement to fund Transport for London on existing terms to 18 May, after the May elections.
Transport for London – Freedom of Information requests
- 10 March, criteria for moving or adding hire bike sites to the Santander scheme, with accompanying pdf with developer guidance and construction specifications.
- 21 March, request for breakdown of 100km of covid cycleways.
- 30 March, breakdown of the 100km of cycleways delivered across London to February 2021 (per tweet by Will Norman). A long list of bits and pieces made up from existing projects, pandemic streetspace and mini-hollands.
- 31 March, TfL’s casualty harm rate methodology.
- 2 March, St. Mary’s cllr Rodhri Morgan reports that traffic calming works will start on Battersea Church Road. Much needed, and looks useful. The issue, tho, is that these are very different from the designs that went to public consultation in March 2020, which had bus-only gates off Battersea Bridge Road, and no left-turns into BCR off Battersea Square – can’t find a subsequent consultation report. There was a note in the October 2020 finance papers that £180k of CIL funds were assigned to the Battersea Church Road scheme. I’m left wondering if, in the absence of TfL LIP funds and a potential design that looked like a low traffic neighbourhood (now politically anathema to Wandsworth’s Tories), they’ve cooked up something different.
- 3 March, full council, looks at budgets for FY21/22 and beyond. The proposed additions to the capital plan doesn’t show any obviously new active travel schemes. The CIL-funded project list does have £500k for one-way contraflow cycle schemes, and £500k for cycle parking at stations, and £1.5m for Trewint Street improvements (presumably, from the new shared-housing development on the west side of the Wandle).
- 3 March, full council, completing this set of those using full council this month to finalise budgets for FY21/22 and beyond.
- 15 March, Communities, reports include comments on 9 school streets, and unspecified efforts to improve air quality.
- 30 March, planning ctte has applications for a ‘mountain’ visitor attraction at Marble Arch, and lots of new bollards in front of National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The Marble Arch paper has some questionable observations about the islands being a low volume route for pedestrians and cyclists between Hyde Park, Edgware Road and Oxford Street.
- 12 April, CIL disbursements. One of the projects receives £345k for carbon-offsetting construction works on streets projects. Food for though.