Notes from our February 2016 meeting

This month it was all about the forthcoming Sign for Cycling campaign, ahead of the mayoral election on 5 May 2016.

Thanks to Seb, Alex, Gary, Charlotte, Mike, Ben, John, Colin, Shirley, Chris and Charles for pitching in with the ideas at the Cock and Bull in Sutton on Monday, 29 February.

But first, a quick roundup since our January meeting.

1: The borough’s new Cycling Strategy (November 2015) was published online on Friday, 26 February, quietly and without fanfare. This was three months after it was approved and adopted. Without promotion, and discussion, the chances of this strategic document successfully delivering on the actions contained within it are remote.

2: Responses to the consultation on the Sustainable Transport Strategy (March 2015) will shortly be available on our Publications page (update: now done).  Again, little has been heard of this strategic document either. In March it will be a year since it was approved. Has it delivered anything yet?

3: Cycling schemes for TfL roads (i.e. the report ‘Proposed cycle facilities on the TfL Road Network’). No further news on this, beyond that reported in January. It is now known, though, that the St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley Local Committee agreed the minutes of their 8 October 2015 meeting on 28 January 2016. Consequently, the committee has not rescinded on its decision to reject officers’ recommendation on Rosehill roundabout, and so the situation remains that not all recommendations have been agreed. This will have implications for the progress of the report. More should be know about this at the forthcoming Cycle Forum meeting to be hosted by Sutton Council scheduled for 15 March. Ongoing.

4: Space for Cycling ‘ward asks’ review. As reported in January, this is in abatement. Now that progress on the TfL roads may not be taken forward (item 3), it could be time to revisit this important document.

5: Schemes from Sutton Council. Nothing more known since the January report, although the Cheam Park path is now open.

6: March borough news and update was submitted to London Cycling Campaign on 22 February for inclusion with the March edition of the London Cyclist magazine (sent to LCC members in early March). The newsletter will also be available from our Newsletters page. Sign for Cycling, and Sutton 2031 feature.

7: The first round of cycle tours with our Cycling Champion Cllr. Manual Abellan concluded on 6 February in Wallington. A comprehensive report on the November tour in Beddington Village was recently published, see A cycle tour of Beddington Village.

Sign for Cycling: imagine a better London for cycling

NotesFromOurFebruary2016Meeting_IMG_1165_SignForCycling

Ben and Chas had attended the London Cycling Campaign’s local groups forum last Thursday evening, 25 February, to hear all about Sign for Cycling and collect promotional materials. Sign for Cycling is LCC’s campaign ahead of the London Mayoral election on 5 May 2016. The campaign is expected to officially launch during the week beginning Monday 7 March, and there will be a dedicated website at signforcycling.org (to replace the existing temporary page) where everyone can show their support by adding (signing) their name.

 

Why Sign for Cycling? Well, imagine a better London, where cycling is safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. Our next mayor can make this a reality, but only if enough of us Sign for Cycling (www.signforcycling.org). Add your name to our call for London’s next mayor to commit to three key areas:

1: More safe space for cycling. Tripling of protected space (from the current 38 miles (19 miles each direction) to 114 miles of high-quality infrastructure; plus the completion of the remaining “Better Junctions” programme.

2: ‘Mini-Hollands’ in every London borough (within next ten years). Not holding the mayor to a specific figure per borough on this, flexible and will vary. An ambitious ask, but a way of getting money into the boroughs. Considering that Develop Sutton are “pumping £400million” into Sutton town centre at the moment, the equivalent to about 1,100 years-worth of cycle funding (the annual expenditure on cycling through the LIP process in Sutton is around £350,000 a year – or the cost of three second-class stamps per head of population), is this mini-Holland in every borough ask that ambitious? It’s clear that, from now on, substantial, concentrated and sustained investment is required. A short discussion followed on a possible mini-Holland project for our borough. Sutton town centre perhaps? The cycle-friendly town centres theme from the Space for Cycling ‘ward asks’?

3: An end to lorry danger on London’s roads with smarter, safer lorries. Eight to the year term.

Four years ago, in 2012, Love London, Go Dutch transformed the way we look at cycling. There is no going back. However, in reality, there are big challenges ahead. Lack of money, and a certain amount of kick-back against cycling (bike-lash) locally and in social media. Therefore, we cannot assume current trajectory on cycling will continue.

Sign for Cycling is all about maintaining political resolve, and keeping cycling budgets. The ongoing construction of the Cycle Superhighways in central London has been blamed for congestion, but, in reality, protected space will enable more people to cycle and ultimately help to keep London moving. So cycling is the enabler to keeping London moving.

So, our task is to help promote the campaign in Sutton (and promote ourselves and LCC in the process). Leaflets and bike tags are already available. Leaflets will go to bike shops; coffee shops; libraries; leisure centres and so on. Bike tags to bicycle parking locations, including railway stations. On-street flyering to be considered too.

Everyone present took some leaflets and tags, and it was agreed to coordinate through Google docs when and where these would be delivered.

If you would like to help us in the coming weeks, please email getsuttoncycling@gmail.com. Any offer of help would be appreciated!

Current consultations

TfL: A24 Epsom Road Cycle Safety Improvements

Sutton Council: Sutton 2031 Planning for our future (London Plan)

Our next meeting is likely to be in April. Keep an eye on our Next meet-up page for details of this, and any forthcoming pop-up events around the borough.

Finally, please Sign for Cycling, to add your name to our call for London’s next mayor to commit to making more safe space for cycling, mini-Hollands in every borough and an end to lorry danger.

An archive of the notes from all our meetings can be found here.

v2: 08.03.2016

 

 

 

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