Notes from our September 2015 meeting

Our get-together on the fourth Monday in September (28 September) was, as planned, more of a social gathering than a formal meeting. We were also ‘on tour’ (albeit it, only a kilometre or so away from the more regular venue in central Sutton)! The staff at the Lord Nelson in Lower Road looked after us very well. For the ten of us present (and it was great to welcome Seb as a first time attendee), they produced three large platters of complimentary sandwiches (enough to have fed twenty). It is pleasing to report that we nearly managed to do two of the platters justice.

Although the emphasis was on a cordial get-together this month, some formal business was completed. For instance, we adopted the London Cycling Campaign’s Constitution and governing document for local groups, and Ben R was appointed acting Secretary ahead of an AGM next year! We also learned that:

“if Londoners swapped motorised trips that could reasonably be walked and cycled, 60% of them would meet the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity through active travel alone. The population of London would gain over 60,000 years of healthy life every year as a result and this would deliver an economic health benefit of over £2 billion annually”.

Our constitution

The LCC Board had approved a draft Model Constitution for local groups in July 2015 and there was a requirement for all local groups to adopt this Constitution, or submit their current Constitution to LCC for registration and confirmation of their status as an LCC group, by October 2015. The Constitution outlines the key governing aspects for LCC’s local groups, including the Officer roles (up to four Officers: Co-ordinator, Treasurer, Secretary and Chair, all from membership base), and the requirements for organising meetings etc. Membership of the Group is only open to LCC members who live in the borough, but non members can attend meetings and activities of the Group (yes, please come along to our meetings and generally get involved). In addition to the Annual General Meeting, the Group needs to hold at least three meetings every year and these need at least four members to form a quorum. To run the day-to-day management of the Group, a Management Committee, comprising of three Officers and up to seven more members, is required. The duties of the Officers were briefly discussed. Fortunately, there is nothing in the Constitution about how many rounds of sandwiches it is necessary to consume at any one meeting! The full document to be uploaded to our Publications page.
NotesFromOurSeptember2015Meeting_IMG_1912_30pc

Actions from August 2015 meeting: a brief update

‘Ward asks’: almost a year to the day since we attended a meeting with Sutton Council and were told to expect a review of the ‘asks’ “within a month”, and still nothing definitive. However, an apology for the delay had been received in July, as reported in an update to the Notes to our June 2015 meeting, and there was now news on the ‘asks’ relating to TfL roads (and more on this below, and in subsequent blog post Major cycling schemes for TfL roads to be presented to councillors published on 25 October). Space for Cycling petition: Petition had been presented on 23 July. Although we had not received a formal response, we had heard that the Leader of the Council intended to would that final Cycling Strategy; Our response to the Draft Cycling Delivery Strategy ‘Time to make the case and rise to the challenges‘ had been submitted on 7 September (the closing date for the consultation, and thanks everyone for your input). The response had received a good response, and was described as ‘exemplary’ by one member of LCC staff which was really gratifying to hear of course! Cycling tours with Cllr Manuel Abellan – a second ride had taken place on 26 August in Sutton town centre, and third is planned for Cheam in early October (plus Beddington South with Chris R is imminent too). Our thanks to John C for liaising organising with Manuel, to Manuel for his involvement, and for updates on the rides from Ben R; Sutton’s Sustainable Transport Strategy, approved in March, could still not be found on a search of Sutton Council’s website, six months later.

Overview of Cycle Forum meeting (Sutton Council), 16 September

Space for Cycling ‘Ward asks’: Senior Engineer, Lynn Robinson, had been asked to look at the ward asks (for third time), and to put them in some order of priority with the emphasis on TfL roads. The priority given for TfL roads is: A217 then A24 and then A232. These TfL related ‘ward asks’ are to be included in a report sent to all Local Committees over the coming months with the recommendation from the Council officers that councillors agree that these ‘ward asks’ be sent to TfL for consideration.

  • St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley, 8 October 2015
  • Carshalton and Clockhouse, 13 October 2015
  • Beddington and Wallington, 20 October 2015
  • Sutton, 3 November 2015
  • Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont, 19 November 2015
  • Cheam North and Worcester Park, 3 December 2015

The ‘ward asks’ relating to council streets are being looked at to see what are more likely to be politically acceptable and easier to negotiate with residents.

Responses to Cycling Strategy: 163 online responses had been received, and several on paper. A report is to go to Environment and Neighbour Committee for approval.

Royal Marsden Hospital, the Institute of Cancer Research and Brighton Road

Charles Martin reported at the Cycle Forum that a member of staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital had been in touch with Get Sutton Cycling at the end of July to advise that staff a the RMH and Institute of Cancer Research who cycled to work would like to see cycle paths constructed on Brighton Road. Employees found Brighton Road in particular to be quite hazardous, and wondered whether Get Sutton Cycling could help. We were very pleased to, because protected space for cycling between Belmont and Sutton town centre formed our Space for Cycling ‘ward ask’ for the Belmont ward, and said that we would be happy for our email address to be shared with staff. As a result, fourteen members of staff have been in touch with Get Sutton Cycling about this. Officers at Sutton Council asked for further information.

Update on current schemes

Construction of phase two of the North Cheam to Worcester Park path is scheduled to start in March 2016. You can read about phase one in Worcester Park footpath improvements and designation as a cycle route. A date is awaited for the completion of the path in Oaks Park (why do these things take so long?). Meanwhile, a formal consultation on Manor Lane (The Broadway) contraflow is expected soon (how long need this take?). We can expect another path in another park (this time a shared path between Netley Close and the pavilion in Cheam Park which was first noted in our report on Sutton Cycle Funding 2015-16), although a contractor is awaited. “Minor cycling improvements” include Peterborough Road cycle path link, to be completed before the end of March 2016. Interesting, because we were told a year ago that this would be completed prior to the end of March 2015, as reported in an update to Peterborough Road cycle path. Two-way access by bicycle on Stone Place, Worcester Park, is proving to be a tough nut to crack. Safety related proposals for the Malden Road and Stanley Park Road “corridors” are at the design stage, and consultations are expected soon. Zebra crossings are going in on Kingston Avenue, and being taken out (to be replaced by signalised crossing) on the 20 mph designated West Street in Carshalton. The good news on this is that West Street is to be resurfaced during October half-term. On cycle parking, there is some liaison going on between the Council and Cyclehoop for Bike Hangar locations (see our September newsletter for more background on this) – our thanks to John W for getting this moving. The third phase of the footway cycleway on Green Wrythe Lane appears to be going ahead, although phase two has not yet been finished. Vehicles are still permitted to park fully on the footway (opposite Buckhurst Avenue), even though the plans for the scheme indicated parking was to be moved partially on the carriageway. Apparently, the delay is associated with a hedge that needs to be cut back.

Conferences

London Cycling Show 2015 had taken place in Waltham Forest, on the 15 September. Cllr Manuel Abelian had attended, along with Paul Garside (Sutton Council) and Chris Rutland (Get Sutton Cycling). This had been followed nine days later, on 24 September, by the first Haringey Cycling Conference. Cllr Manuel Abelian had attended this too (as had Paul Garside), and Get Sutton Cycling had been represented by Charles Martin.

LCC AGM and Campaigners’ Conference 2015, is taking place on 17 October. This is free to attend, and open to non-members Only members can vote on AGM motions and in the Trustee Election. Motions include: Policy on One Way Streets; Creating LCC’s vision for a cyclised city, and Strict (Presumed) Liability. There are workshops on using the Cycling Level of Service tool and interpreting design drawings, campaigning tactics along with an open space session (where groups of participants create and manage their own agenda to address issues and achieve results quickly).

Campaigner Awards, four main Award Categories:

  • Best Ride Leader
  • Best Local Group Ride or Event
  • Best Local Group Campaign or Initiative
  • ‘Campaigner of the Year’ (Outstanding Contribution to Local Cycling Campaigning by an LCC member)

Nominations are needed by next Monday, 5 October.

We discussed whether we would like to put ourselves forward for any of these categories. It was suggested that our work towards the Space for Cycling petition (including the stall in Wallington, on-street (and in-schools) petition, and the handover of the petition to the Leader of the Council and associated documentation) could be entered for Best Local Group Ride or Event. For the Best Local Group Campaign or Initiative, our response to draft Cycling Delivery Strategy could qualify. (As it transpired, unfortunately, we did to get around to entering for these awards, but our best wishes go to the subsequently announced 2015 Campaign Awards Nominees)!

Cycling grid | Traffic counts | Wallington | Health impact of cars

Chris Rutland told us about a borough-wide cycling grid that he is currently developing. This is working on the principle of a network that will be within 400 metres of all residents, and with links and junctions that are safe enough for all (from 8 years old to 80). He would welcome ideas and suggestions. This is going to be an important and ongoing piece of work, and something that will facilitate use of the Cycling Level of Service assessment tool.

Chris had also recently undertaken some morning peak hour traffic counts on borough roads. The resultant counts were: 1,940 vehicles an hour on Stafford Road (Wallington South/Beddington South); 600/hour on Demesne Road (Beddington North/Wallington South); 744/hour on Sandy Lane South (Beddington South). Quite amazingly high figures.

Chris also reported that he was writing a piece for the website in which would compare Wallington with the town of Waalinden in the Netherlands. ‘Waalinden – If Wallngton were in the Netherlands‘ was published the following day, and featured in the weekly roundup from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain on 5 October: ‘The Great Big Battle of the Mini Hollands Bike Blog Roundup‘.

The recent publication of the ‘Health Impact of Cars in London‘ report from the Greater London Authority was briefly discussed. The proportion of households with access to one or more cars by borough (derived from the TfL London Travel Demand Survey 2013/14) is shown in Figure 2, and reproduced below. Sutton tops the league at 78% (although the average number of car trips per person per day is higher in Hillingdon, Havering and Bromley (see Figure 5 of the report).

The bottom line, though, is this: “if Londoners swapped motorised trips that could reasonably be walked and cycled, 60% of them would meet the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity through active travel alone. The population of London would gain over 60,000 years of healthy life every year as a result and this would deliver an economic health benefit of over £2 billion annually“.

NotesFromOurSeptember2015Meeting_HealthImpacts OIfCarsInLondon_ScreenShot20151025

Our next meeting

We will be back in the Cock and Bull in Sutton High Street on the fourth Monday in October (26 October). No sandwiches this time, but there will be plenty to talk about no doubt!

v1: 25.10.2015; v2 25.10.2015; v3 25.10.2015

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