London Cycling Campaign in Sutton: 24 January 2018 meeting notes
Location: Lord Nelson, 32 Lower Rd, Sutton SM1 4QP
Present: Gary James (Chair), Marcus Howarth (joint Secretary), John Kinnear (joint Secretary), Charles Martin (Coordinator), Anton Clark, Lucy East, Dominic Hewlett, Toby Fox, John Parker, Neil Webster, Maeve Tomlinson.
This was the first formal meeting of 2018, following on from the November 2017 meeting. These notes have been prepared by Marcus Howarth and Charles Martin. Notes from all the previous Get Sutton Cycling meetings are available here.
1. Welcome, introductions, and apologies for absence (Gary James)
Gary James (Chair) welcomed all present, and introductions followed. Apologies had been received from Ben Rafferty (Treasurer).
2. Actions and matters arising from our last meeting on 22 November 2017 (All)
There were seven actions outstanding from November’s meeting:
- Website: To write-up a blog post relating to the question that Cllr. Mary Burstow had asked at Full Council on 20 November 2017 as a result of email sent to all councillors notifying them of the our first short film ‘Air Pollution in Sutton: how it affects you, and what cycling can do to help‘. Action completed: The post ‘What steps has Sutton taken in the last four years to make cycling in Sutton easier?‘ was published on 31 December.
- Newsletter: To prepare the December 2017 edition of the ‘Borough news and update’, noting that the deadline for copy is 27 November. Action completed: The December 2017 newsletter was submitted to LCC on 27 November for distribution with the Winter 2017/2018 edition of ‘London Cyclist’. (Newsletters can be downloaded from LCC’s Local Group News or from Get Sutton Cycling Newsletters).
- Group finances: Payment to be made to Charles M for hall hire regarding the AGM in September 2017. Still outstanding.
- Video production: John K and Ben R to take lead, and carry out research, in preparation for the next video (Pubic Health). Underway and ongoing.
- Write to councillors/political groups in Sutton (in reference to the emerging Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the Council Elections in May 2018). Outstanding, but essentially superseded (see item 3 ‘My Liveable London’ below).
- Website: To develop a web page detailing cycle rides provided by others, and to provide general information and links. Action completed: A new page Local Cycling Information was launched on 1 January 2018.
- Social Media: To develop our social media presence, and use more effectively. Marcus has been working on the Get Sutton Cycling Facebook page. Action ongoing.
3. My Liveable London
Charles gave an overview of the ‘My Liveable London’ campaign.
‘My Liveable London’ will be a joint campaign between London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets ahead of the council elections on 3 May 2018. Some preliminary information about this campaign had been provided at the LCC Local Groups Forum meeting last week (18 January 2017). Details are still being finalised, so what appears here is only in outline from and is subject to change. Campaign policy details are expected to be published by the end of January, or beginning of February.
Why is ‘My Liveable London’ to be a joint campaign between London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets?
- There is now a Walking and Cycling Commissioner, so there is an existing synergy between walking and cycling.
- The Mayor’s emerging Transport Strategy has a focus on treating walking, cycling and use of public transport as the preferred combination of modes for Londoners when travelling, with a central theme around Healthy Streets and active travel. A joint campaign will, therefore, reflect the spirit of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
What is the aim of the campaign?
- The aim of the campaign will be to is to make sure that all councils across London bid for, and build, the best Liveable Neighbourhoods possible. These are neighbourhoods that will make streets safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians and cyclists, and that will reduce unnecessary motor vehicle use, reducing air pollution and congestion.
- To achieve the aim, all the main party leaders (or potential mayors, if appropriate) will be asked to commit, should they gain office, to submitting a high quality Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme bid. The text could read something like:
- “We commit to submitting a high-quality and safe, Liveable Neighbourhood bid, based in an area with high potential for walking and cycling, that provides big wins for both and that takes major steps to prioritise people walking and cycling over private cars in the area during the course of your term”
What is a Liveable Neighbourhood?
TfL’s new Liveable Neighbourhood programme and funding stream is the updated version of the Mini-Holland programme launched in 2013 by the previous mayor.
Our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme will give boroughs the opportunity to bid for funding for long-term schemes that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. (Liveable Neighbourhoods, TfL, accessed February 2018)
The programme has an emphasis on reducing motor traffic, making neighbourhood streets much safer for walking and cycling, and the attendant benefits in terms of improved air quality and less congestion. The bidding process will ensure that councils start thinking about how they can create healthier, cleaner, happier communities, and use TfL’s new ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ funding streams to transform their boroughs (on an area-wide basis).
What is the definition of a ‘high- quality’ Liveable Neighbourhoods bid?
In regard to the LCC/Living Streets ‘My Liveable London’ campaign, a ‘high-quality’ bid may be defined in terms of several dimensions or metrics. Here are some examples (work in progress):
- TfL’s Healthy Streets Check for Designers must be deployed in the bid and receive a score (in terms of the proportion of people choosing to walk or cycle trips or part-trips) that is in excess of 60%.
- The bid will need to demonstrate that the result will ensure that people from all walks of life will be walking and cycling more.
- Every street with more than 2,000 passenger cars a day should have protected, safe, space for cycling.
TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis (June 2017), and as reported by LCC here, identifies potential corridors and locations where current and future cycling demand could justify future investment, and so offers huge potential as to where the first Liveable Neighbourhood areas could be located. (It should be noted that the SCA map does not highlight two of the busiest roads for cycling in Sutton (derived from our own traffic counts), namely the A24 London Road in the west of the borough and Sutton High Street/Angel Hill close to Sutton town centre – both highlighted as part of the 2014 Space for Cycling campaign. However, the analysis indicates that the next steps will enable TfL, boroughs, local expert groups and others to review the analysis and develop local and strategic plans, so we would wish to be part of this ).
….it is important to plan a longer-term and coherent cycle network across London in a way that will complement walking and public transport priorities. (Strategic Cycling Analysis, TfL (June 2017))
Other points relating to the ‘My Liveable London’ campaign
- The recently completed first round of bids by boroughs for Liveable Neighbourhood funding (deadline 20 October 2017) for between £1 and £10 million funding, resulted in 21 out of 32 London boroughs submitting 28 bids between them (i.e. several put in more than one). This was even though the boroughs only had six weeks to prepare them. Sutton was not one of them. This is was particularly disappointing, given that it appears the area for the bid (now expected to be submitted by October 2018) will be based around Sutton Town Centre, and that so much has already been reported on the Sutton Town Centre Masterplan. See Why didn’t Sutton submit a bid for Liveable Neighbourhoods funding at the first opportunity? for the official response from the council. Seven boroughs went on to win initial funding for their schemes.
- Councils across London will be able to bid over the next four years for funding between £1m-£10m to create an area where people choose to walk and cycle, and where motor traffic is reduced.
- Even though the funding for Liveable Neighbourhoods is to be fairly modest (certainly relative to the Mini-Holland programme) there is still great potential. The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme should be seen as a massive opportunity, the only opportunity that boroughs will get for a while, and a first step towards building hearts and minds.
- The campaign is to be publicly launched on, or around, 19 March. Every borough group asked to organise some kind of local action that commands media attention.
- People will be able to email their local party leaders to ask them to pledge to the ‘My Liveable London’ commitment.
- At the LCC Local Groups forum on 18 January, CM was concerned that the commitment could be watered down – party leaders could question why they needed to pledge to LCC/LS’s high demands (e.g. protected space on roads with more than 2,000 vehicles a day) whereas the metrics outlined in the Healthy Streets Check suggest that up to to 500 vehicles an hour receives a top score (3), with the 0 (critical fail) being applied to only roads with over 1,000 per hour at peak (and cyclists mixed with traffic). A key is the outcomes of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Healthy Streets is a game-changer.
Some items from the discussion on ‘My Liveable London’
- Sutton town centre gyratory – much work needed. We should highlight benefit of making the main roads and access for cycling to centre (east/west and north/south). Link in with plans for the proposed tram?
- Brighton Road – a boulevard? (for background see The Idea of Space for Cycling on Brighton Road gathers support. Action: TF to contact the CEO at the ICR and ask how the new London Cancer Hub will be cycle friendly (or, better still, what infrastruture is proposed that will enable people to easily choose cycling as a means of accessing the site). Suggested action (DH): art work ideas for school children in the area. Action: CM to write to Sutton South ward councillors about the possibility of trial road closures (e.g. Grange Vale) and the impact on traffic flows. All relates to ongoing traffic counts and analysis.
Joint London Cycling Campaign / Living Streets policy briefings are currently being finalised. It is anticipated that these will be made available towards the end of January or the beginning of February.
4. News and updates: general discussion on cycling issues, including:
No bid from Sutton for 2018 Liveable Neighbourhood funding
A few days after our November 2017 group meeting, Transport for London announced that seven London boroughs had been successful in their initial bids for ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ funding in 2018/2019. Twenty one boroughs, plus the City of London, had submitted bids. Sutton, along with ten other boroughs, had not.
For more on this important news, see our posts No bid from Sutton for 2018 Liveable Neighbourhood funding (Get Sutton Cycling, November 2017) and Why didn’t Sutton submit a bid for Liveable Neighbourhoods funding at the first opportunity? (Get Sutton Cycling, January 2018). The former post offers some speculation as to why a bid was not submitted, and the latter includes the official response from Cllr. Jill Whitehead (Chair of the Environment and neighbourhood Committee) as to why the council failed to bid. Our thanks to Cllr. Neil Garratt for asking the question.
A report on the Sutton Cycle Forum held on 9 January (Forum attendees)
A series of six tweets, providing a summary of the 9 January Cycle Forum, were posted shortly after the meeting had taken place. These were:
Tweet 1/6: Today’s Sutton Cycle Forum, mixed outcomes 1/6. Good news: Beddington Lane funding (£3.56m) confirmed. [Had been in November 2017 apparently, but no one told us]. Not so good news: scheme going ahead as originally proposed (so no modification Marlowe Way intersection, as requested in our response to consultation): https://getsuttoncycling.org.uk/2017/07/23/beddington-north-tfl-major-scheme/
Tweet 2/6: 2/6 Beddington Lane now has new dedicated website https://www.sutton.gov.uk/beddingtonmajorscheme which includes link to the consultation hub https://sutton.citizenspace.com/environment/lbs-and-tfl-major-scheme-for-beddington-lane/ and “You said, we did” (well, not quite). Leaflets to residents tomorrow. Works starts on 22 January (Sutton borough).
Tweet 3/6: 3/6 Middleton Road: options from April 2017 were either (a) to repaint existing advisory cycle lanes and continue with paint to Middleton Circle, or (b) widen the road to provide kerb separated cycle lanes between Budge Lane and Middleton Circle. The option selected? Yes, that’s right, option (a) paint. We have objected.
Tweet 4/6: 4/6 Quietway: no further news. We could speculate as to why this is. Instead, we will write to Sutton Central and Sutton North councillors to see if they can throw any light on the subject. https://getsuttoncycling.org.uk/2017/08/27/suttons-proposed-first-quietway-the-conversation-begins/ Action: CM to write to Sutton Central and Sutton North councillors to request an update on the Quietway
Tweet 5/6: 5/6 No improvements have yet been made to the design of Sutton Council’s website to make the reporting of cycling related issues any easier. You can try here: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/info/200447/report_it or here: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/info/200583/travel_and_transport/1450/sustainable_travel/5, but good luck! Will continue to push for improved design.
Tweet 6/6: 6/6 Tharp Road (eighteen months on from residents’ request to convert this street (an established cycle route) to one-way operation – not a good idea) https://getsuttoncycling.org.uk/2017/01/26/no-room-for-bikes-how-tharp-road-could-show-borough-wide-failure-over-cycling/ and still no news on what is happening. That concludes our summary round-up from today’s Cycle Forum.
A fuller report on January’s Cycle Forum will be available in the coming weeks, see Cycle Forum.
The next Cycle Forum is scheduled for 10 April 2018. If you have any suggestions or questions you would like raised at this forum please let Charles know.
One or two ideas were mentioned this evening:
- suggestions of cycle lanes along side tram routes (Yes, if the tram is to return to the streets of Sutton, construction would be an opportunity to facilitate the provision of cycling infrastructure of the highest quality at the same time)
- take engineers/councillors out cycling (DH) (Always a good thing to do. We had a series of cycle tours with our Cycling Champion in 2015/16, plus a visit to Bute Road in the summer of 2017). On our mini cycle tour of Woodcote Road and Park Lane with Tom Brake MP during the early summer of 2016 we were asked what we would like to see happen in the next months. Here is a reminder of what we said (noting that, for all intents and purposes, there has subsequently been no evidence of progress on any of this, with the possible exception being the first item and the Highways Quietways Survey from spring/summer of 2017):
- We would like to see evidence of the conversation, and engagement with the community
- We would like to see close cross-party working
- We would like the borough to be prepared (and so be in a much stronger position to be awarded funding as and when the Mayor of London next announces bids for major cycling schemes)
*Whether by coincidence, or intentionally, ‘Bicycle Race’ by Queen was playing in the background during this discussion. If the latter, our thanks to the clientele for their sense of humour.*
Our next video ‘Public Health in Sutton’ (John and Ben)
Progress is being made on this project to produce a short film on public health, which like our first video (‘Air Pollution in Sutton: how it affects you and how cycling can help’ (October 2017) available on YouTube here), is aimed at councillors. John K has written a first draft plan and script.
In discussion, it was thought that it would be a good idea to consider the possibility of including interviews with, for example, doctors, people whose health has been improved by cycling but perhaps their experiences were limited due to concerns of safety, and teachers.
John K, Ben R and Chas M met with Lucy Saunders, Public Health Specialist working in transport, public realm and planning for Transport for London and the Greater London Authority, yesterday (23 January) to run through some ideas and discuss the project.
The aim to launch the video after the 3 May local council elections.
Construction Logistics and Community Safety
On 30 November 2017 London Cycling Campaign CEO Ashok Sinah wrote to all Council Leaders across London to ask them to champion Construction Logistics and Community Safety in their borough. CLOCS is a voluntary industry association that has developed a set of safety standards. It runs a programme to promote these standards within the construction industry (https://www.clocs.org.uk/). Camden and the City of London have become CLOCS campions.
Borough groups have been asked to reinforce the message and to contact their councillors about this.
On 22 January, CM wrote to Cllr. Jill Whitehead and Cllr. Manuel Abellan, Chair and Vice-chair respectively of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee to let them know about Ashok Sinah’s letter to the Council Leader Ruth Dombey. CM advised that an acknowledgement had yet to be received, and asked whether they could give Cllr. Dombey a gentle reminder about this.
[Update: On 28 January a reply was received from Cllr. Abellan, who advised that Ruth had seen the email and that he was currently in discussions about this with her office. He would keep us posted. As of 10 February, nothing more has been heard about this]
Action: CM to send a copy of the CLOCS letter for activists to all those present this evening.
[Update: CM sent a copy of the CLOCS letter for activists to everyone the day after the meeting, 25 January]
Action: All to consider contatcting their councillors about CLOCS
TfL Direct Vision Standard phase 2a consultation (closes today)
The measures proposed in the latest TfL Direct Vision Standard consultation (closes today, 24 January 2018) form part of the Mayor’s ‘Vision Zero’ – eliminating all road deaths and serious injuries by 2041. Removing the most dangerous vehicles, those with the biggest ‘blind spots’, by 2020, is an integral part of Vision Zero. By way of reminder, lorries are involved in about 50% of cyclist deaths and 20-25% of pedestrian deaths across London. In the last three years HGVs have been involved in 20 per cent of pedestrian fatalities and over 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities, despite only making up four per cent of road miles in London.
CM had sent a reminder of this consultation, with a link to the relevant page, on 22 January.
Local Implementation Plan 2018/2019
Around the time of the publication of latest TfL Business Plan, December 2017, there was an announcement of a reduction in funding to the borough LIPS for the coming year (2018-19). In Sutton’s case, a 6.6% reduction. The implications of this are be discussed at Environment and Neighbourhood Committee on 1 February 2018.
As is the case for the current year 2017-18, a form of interim guidance on LIP funding continues in 2018-19. The good news is that new guidance is to be published (anticipated March/April 2018 at the same time as the Mayor’s Transport Strategy) for 2019-20. It is hoped that this new guidance will require boroughs to submit schemes for funding that reflect the Healthy Streets approach (and that should mean that funding will no longer be provided for schemes that fail to deliver on cycling (for example footway conversion to shared use).
The deadline for the next quarterly newsletter (March 2018) is expected to be around 23 February. Contents, contributions, or offers to edit the newsletter would be welcome. A main requirement for newsletters is to ensure that any items discussed in the previous newsletter are followed up. Essentially, a “what happened next” update from the last one that went out in December 2017. Consequently, therefore, short pieces on Sutton Council’s failure to submit an application for Liveable Neighbourhood funding, the no-news Quietway, and a follow-up to the responses to the Air pollution in Sutton video, are almost certain to appear. Plus, the forthcoming My Liveable London council election campaign, and plans for a joint Sutton and Croydon meeting with Walking and cycling Commissioner Will Norman.
General Data Protection Regulations
New General Data Protection Regulations will come into force in May this year. From then on, any personal data (including email addresses) can only be held by an organisation (e.g. the LCC, including the organisation’s affiliates such as local groups) with the subject’s full documented consent. As part of the process to ensure compliance with the GDPR, our group will need to let LCC know about any personal data we hold, where it came from, and with whom it is shared.
Action: CM to provided LCC with the following information:
- details of any data lists Get Sutton Cycling hold (e.g. borough email list, project participation details, list of LCC members);
- where the data is held (e.g. MailChimp, Excel spreadsheet, paper records);
- where the data came from (e.g. online form, signups at events, not sure, spreadsheet from LCC office);
- who the data is shared with (e.g. nobody, borough group representatives, project owner);
- and how the data is used (e.g. notifying members about AGM, local campaign issues / actions, fundraising).
If you have provided your email address to the LCC at some point in the past, you can expect to contacted by the organisation and asked to confirm that you are happy for them to hold your personal data.
Just one item of Any Other Business, the exciting news that the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman has said he would welcome the opportunity to attend a combined LCC borough event, and that this is currently being planned as a joint event with our neighbours the Croydon Cycling Campaign. At the moment (and this is all subject to change, so please keep an eye on the Next meet-up page), the dates on offer are Tuesday 13 March or Thursday 15 March, to take place during the late afternoon or early evening, at a venue in central Croydon. This meeting will replace the proposed Get Sutton Cycling meeting that was due to take place on 14 March. Once the date, time and venue has been confirmed, the event is likely to be ticketed through Eventbrite.
[Update 11 February: the expected date for this event is now Wednesday, 28 March, 6.15pm. Full details will appear on the Next meet-up page]
Action (all): All to contribute to suggestions for questions for the commissioner, possibly as part of a short presentation; (MH): draft an email for Fran to send to Sutton and Croydon members; prepare press release to local papers?; invite councillors/ council officers
Points discussed and noted:
- Neil suggested circular routes between boroughs important (arterial are relatively OK)
- Getting people to get involved an issue for outer London boroughs
6. Dates of future meetings
The proposed meeting for Wednesday, 14 March 2018 (originally to be at the Presidents’ Lounge, Sutton United Football Club, The Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, SM1 2EY) is to be replaced by the special joint Croydon/Sutton meeting with Will Norman at a central Croydon venue (see AOB above). Details to be confirmed, and published on the Next meet-up page of the website.
UPDATE 19 February 2018: The special joint LCC borough group meeting with Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman has been postponed until the autumn. Consequently, the next meeting will go ahead as originally proposed on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, in the Presidents’ Lounge, at Sutton United Football Club, The Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, SM1 2EY.
v1: 11.02.2018. v2: 19.02.2018