Notes from our June 2018 meeting

Get Sutton Cycling – the London Cycling Campaign in Sutton – met on the 6 June 2018 in the upstairs room of the Robin Hood, 52 West St, Sutton SM1 1SH.

The highlight of this meeting (and the reason for choosing the Robin Hood upstairs room as the venue) was a presentation given by our guest Paul Gasson on Waltham Forest mini-Holland (item 9 on the Agenda). To read about this, see part two of these notes ‘Waltham Forest mini-Holland: reducing road danger and growing active travel‘.


Agenda

Welcome, introductions, and apologies for absence

Actions and matters arising from our last meeting on 14 March 2018

Some forthcoming events

4 Presentation: Sutton councillors: from the class of 2014 to the class of 2018

News and updates

6 AOB

7 Review of actions

8 Date of next meeting

9 Guest presentation: Waltham Forest mini-Holland with Paul Gasson


Welcome, introductions, and apologies for absence

Present: Charles Martin (Coordinator), Marcus (Joint secretary), John K (Joint secretary), Ben (Treasurer), Neil Webster (Trustee), Paul Gasson (guest presenter, Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign), Cllr. Patrick McManus (Belmont), Victoria C, Dominic H, John P, Shirley Q, Colin Q, Mike T, Maeve T, Angela S. Apologies: Gary James (Chair), Helen J, Nicola T, Neil Garratt, Cllr. Lily Bande (Conservative, Sutton West), Cllr. Kevin Burke (Liberal Democrat, Sutton West).

Charles welcomed everyone to the Robin Hood, and was delighted that attendees included Angela and Cllr. Patrick McManus (Conservative, Belmont) who were joining us for the first time. A special welcome was given to Paul Gasson, Council Liaison Officer, Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign. We thanked Paul for travelling across London to be with us to give an overview of the award-winning mini-Holland programme in Walthamstow – the main focus of the meeting and something that we were very much looking forward to. But first, some other formal business to attend to…..

2 Actions and matters from our last meeting (14 March 2018):

  • John K to draft follow-up email to local political parties with deadline for their replies. Charles to send it and publish whatever replies are received or not. Background: On 4 March 2018 an email had been sent to the four main political parties in Sutton asking how they would help the mayor deliver on targets set within his Transport Strategy if they were elected to run Sutton Council in May. (The publication of the MTS was imminent at the time, and was subsequently published 13 March). This engagement was part of our input to the LCC/Living Streets ‘My Liveable London’ campaign. No replies as of 14 March; a follow up email is planned. Their replies will appear in a GSC blog post). ACTION COMPLETED: A follow-up email was sent on 20 March 2018. To view this email, and the subsequent replies that were received from the Sutton Green Party, the Sutton Labour Party and Sutton Liberal Democrat Party (noting that there was no response from the Sutton Conservative Party), see Sutton and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (Get Sutton Cycling, 17 April 2018).
  • Charles to respond to Cllr Abellan’s reply to our Air Pollution video. Background: A short film, ‘Air Pollution in Sutton: How it affects you and how cycling can help‘, was published on 5 October 2017 (The video you can’t afford to miss). An email was sent to all Sutton councillors at the end of October 2017 to ensure they were aware of the video. Cllr. Manuel Abellan (Liberal Democrat, Beddington South), the borough’s Cycling Champion, responded formally to this on 28 January 2018. It was felt that his reply, effectively the response from Sutton Council (Liberal Democrat administration), was general rather than specific – a point we made to Manuel in our reply to him on 5 February). Therefore, we needed to respond further and then share Manuel’s response. ACTION COMPLETED (although further dialogue required): Cllr. Abellan happened to reply on 2 April 2018 (in response to the 5 February email), saying he was happy to meet-up after the elections (3 May 2018) to discuss. Charles replied the same day saying it would be good to meet-up after the election to discuss cycling issues and priorities, and informed Manuel that responses received from councillors, in regard to the the air pollution video, were about to be published on the website in two parts. (See Air Pollution video – what happened next? (Part 1) (2 April 2018) – discussing the responses received from eight councillors, and Air Pollution video – what happened next? (Part 2) (6 April 2018) detailing the response from Cllr. Abellan/Sutton Council). Nothing heard, or progressed, since.
  • We should all spread the word about My Liveable London. ACTION COMPLETED: Thanks to everyone who helped promote the pre-election My Liveable London campaign, and wrote to their councillors (either personally, or through the template email provided by LCC/Living Streets). The outcome is success! Re-elected Council Leader, Cllr. Ruth Dombey (Liberal Democrat, Sutton North), is amongst the 55% of newly elected borough leaders committed to a high-quality Liveable Neighbourhood. (More on this in ‘News’ below).
  • We could undertake specific campaigning activity for the local elections, subject to other commitments. ACTION COMPLETED: [1] Sent follow-up emails to the four main local parties in relation to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy on 20 March (see first bullet-point above and Sutton and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy). [2] Submitted the following question to the Sutton Civic Society, ahead of the ‘Local Elections: meet the candidates’ hustings event on 16 April 2018: “Only 3% of journeys that could be cycled in the borough of Sutton actually are, according to Transport for London analyses. What would you and your party do to improve people’s health, and reduce the number of motor vehicles on our roads, by enabling far more short journeys in the borough to be cycled?” (Source: Analysis of Cycling Potential 2016: Policy Analysis Report (Transport for London, March 2017) Table 4.1: potential cycle trips by borough of residence). Sutton Living Streets submitted a question too: “The Mayor of London is inviting ambitious bids for Liveable Neighbourhoods funding, with grants available of up to 10 million pounds. Will your party commit to submitting a high-quality bid for the borough, and what changes would you make in Sutton in order to transform conditions for people walking and cycling?”. Unfortunately, neither question was selected for the panel (Cllr. David Hicks (Conservative, Belmont), Cllr. Tony Shields (Conservative, Sutton South), Peter Friel (Sutton Green Party), Bonnie Craven and Andy Cook (Sutton Labour Party), Cllr. Ruth Dombey (Liberal Democrat, Sutton North), Cllr. Simon Wales (Liberal Democrat, Sutton West), Andrew Beadle (Sutton UKIP)). However, the answers provided to a question on 20mph proved to be interesting. (More on this in a future post).
  • Charles to follow up the lack of local LCC discounts. ACTION RESOLVED. Charles advised that he had not approached LCC about discounts, in part because there was so much other, high-priority, stuff going on! It would be helpful if supporters approached bike shops in the borough directly, to engage with them and make them aware that other outlets do offer discounts to LCC members.  This is something that the LCC requested of members a year ago when relaunching the membership offer.
  • John K to write to local councillor about the lack of consultation about the new Wandle Trail barrier. ACTION COMPLETED (and dialogue ongoing). An email was sent to Cllr. Hanna Zuchowska (Liberal Democrat, Wandle Valley, Chair  – St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley) shortly after our meeting in March. This email has not been acknowledged.
  • We could all post annotated images on Twitter to raise awareness of issues that concern us as people who cycle in the London Borough of Sutton. ACTION COMPLETED. A comprehensive series of ‘My Liveable London’ images were posted through @cyclinginsutton. These included: 18 April 2018; 20 April 2018; 22 April 2018; 23 April 2018; 24 April 2018; 29 April 2018; 1 May 2018.
  • The proposed meeting with Will Norman (Walking and Cycling Commissioner), jointly with other LCC groups, is still in abeyance. Waiting on others to help organise. As, when, and if this progresses, the news will be brought to a future meeting.

3 Some forthcoming events

  • 7 June: Sutton Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 11 June: Cyclism – Annual Wildlife Ride (led by Biodiversity Officer)
  • 12 June: Sustrans – London Councillor Reception: Delivering Streets for People
  • 13 June: LCC – Liveable London Conference (LTN for borough officers)
  • 21 June: Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 26 June: Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 28 June: Environment and Neighbourhood Committee (expect annual review Sustainable Transport Strategy 2015/Cycling Strategy 2015)
  • 5 July: Cheam North and Worcester Park Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 12 July: St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 17 July: Beddington and Wallington Local Committee (Healthy Streets and the new 3rd LIP)
  • 29 July: RideLondon FreeCycle (volunteers required to help marshal led ride to central London from Sutton)
  • 20 September 2018: Environment and Neighbourhood Committee (agree LIP schemes for 2019-2020 that will go on be submitted to TfL by 2 November)
  • ? October 2018: Deadline for second round of Local Neighbourhood bids
  • 2 November 2018: Deadline for the submission of the Local Implementation Plan 3 (2019-2010)

Charles Martin intends to attend the Stop Killing Cyclists protest tomorrow outside Woolwich Town Hall (and he did).

The key thing to note about the upcoming Local Committee meetings is that the agenda for each of the six committee areas across the borough will include a report on the Local Implementation Plan (Traffic Schemes for 2019/20), and that this will be our first glimpse at Sutton Council’s interpretation of the new LIP guidance. The new LIP guidance (published alongside the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (March 2018), but only available online since sometime in May 2018, is available at ‘Guidance for borough officers on developing the Third LIPS‘ at TfL > Local Implementation Plans). Example initiatives taken from the guidance, specifically relating to mode shift traffic reduction in outer London, are shown in the graphic below.

NotesFromOurJune2018Meeting_LIPGuidance

This programme is ambitious, particularly in outer London where there is the greatest need and opportunity to reduce car dependency. The Mayor, through TfL, will work with all London boroughs, transport operators, infrastructure providers, business, community and other stakeholders, and the public to deliver the aims of the strategy. (Mayor’s Transport Strategy, March 2018)

The first Local Committee area to hold a meeting since the May 2018 elections is the Sutton Local Committee (Sutton Central, Sutton North and Sutton West), tomorrow, 7 June 2018, and the LIP report for that committee is now a available (item 7, Sutton Local Committee Agenda for 7 June 2018). Some extracts from that report are provided in the image below.

NotesFromOurJune2018Meeting_SuttonLocalCommittee_20180607_LIP_Extract

To view documentation for associated with all Committee meetings across the borough, see the Browse Meetings page of the council’s website.

The third annual report on the council’s Sustainable Transport Strategy (June 2015), to include the second annual report on the council’s Cycling Strategy (November 2015), is expected to be presented to the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee meeting on 28 June 2018. (See our subsequently published post Sustainable Transport Strategy 2015: a progress report for 2018, 17 June 2018).

4 Presentation: Sutton councillors: from the class of 2014 to the class of 2018

Charles reviewed the council elections results from May 2018, and considered what had happened to the councillors elected in May 2014. How much of a cycling vibe did the ten councillors who stood down before the May 2018 election bring to Sutton while in office? Will any of the ten councillors who lost their seat in the May 2018 election be missed from a cycling perspective? The presentation has subsequently been published as Sutton’s councillors: from the class of 2014 to the class of 2018 (14 June 2018).

NotesFromOurJune2018Meeting_2014-2018Presentation

5 News and updates

a: The BIG NEWS for us in Sutton, as reported in our latest quarterly newsletter (June 2018, available on our Newsletters page), is that the newly re-elected Leader of Sutton council, Cllr. Ruth Dombey, supports My Liveable London (London turns liveable, LCC, 10 May 2018), and the Leader of the Opposition, Cllr. Tim Crowley, supports Streets for People (Streets for People pledge: what we achieved, Sustrans, 15 June 2018). This means that in Sutton there is cross-party consensus to take a big, bold step towards transforming our streets into places where families, friends and communities are put first; where motor traffic, pollution and congestion don’t dominate; and where everyone can live well, breathe easily, walk and cycle safely and happily.

b: The Mayor’s Transport Strategy was published on 13 March 2018 (the day before our March 2018 meeting). See The Mayor’s Transport Strategy 2018 (and also item 3 Forthcoming Events above). It’s not just about transport per se, it is also about delivering on new homes and jobs….

NotesfromOurJune2018Meeting_MTS

…. and it is about creating streets and street networks that encourage walking, cycling and public transport use; about improving health through active travel, and about reducing car dependency. Cue the Quietway….

c: Sutton’s proposed first Quietway. There were over 250 responses to the informal survey during the summer of 2017 of residents in the Benhill Wood Road and Grennell Road area to the north of Sutton town centre. The full details of the survey and findings are awaited, along with the publication of designs ahead of a formal consultation. However, some key findings (released March 2018) are promising:

65% of respondents think there is too much traffic in the area, and that traffic is too fast.

70% of respondents think the borough should be doing more to address air quality.

87% of respondents think the borough should be doing more to encourage walking and cycling to school.

65% of respondents think it is difficult for vulnerable road users to move around the area comfortably.

78% of respondents think that Greenshaw High traffic is high at drop off and pick up times

Meanwhile, some schemes that are being delivered for cycling elsewhere, continue to disappoint. Is this because the designers do not cycle? Or they just see cycling as such a marginalised activity?

c: Beddington Lane – The Merton section of the road has reopened to traffic, with a new glorified shared-use pavement on the east side of the carriageway. Clearly the designers have no expectation for everyone to cycle on the shared-use footway, because an advanced stop line has been included on the carriageway at the intersection with Croydon Road. Then again, why would anyone cycle on the “cycle path”? Nothing has been done at intersections, and no attempt has been made to provide safe junctions. @lastnotlost reports in Merton Council’s rebuilt Beddington Lane: nice pavement, neglected junctions.

d: Review of Infrastructure Officer training (1) Data and mapping (Neil W and John K). Neil W, John K and Marcus are attending some, or all, of the infrastructure training provided by the LCC. The first session on Data and Mapping took place yesterday, 5 June. Three further sessions are scheduled: 12 June Critiquing and optioneering schemes (1); 2 July Critiquing and optioneering schemes (2); 9 July Campaigning and Infrastructure. (No time this evening, unfortunately, to have an update on yesterday’s session).

6: AOB

Discussed after the close of the formal meeting, and after the presentation on Waltham Forest mini-Holland. The group will prepare an email to send to all councillors (class of 2018) to remind them of the Liveable Neighbourhood funding opportunity.

7: Review of actions

Committee members to meet later this month and agree on the text of an email to send to Sutton councillors (see item 6).

8: Date of next meeting

The date of the next public meeting to be confirmed (and will, of course, be posted on our Next Meet-up page when known). A half-day visit to Waltham Forest mini-Holland may be arranged as an alternative to a July/August formal meeting.

9: Guest presentation: Waltham Forest mini-Holland with Paul Gasson

We were delighted to welcome Paul Gasson to Sutton. Paul presented an overview on the award-winning mini-Holland programme in Walthamstow, with a focus on filtered permeability in residential areas and the benefits this brings. We heard about engagement with the council, with communities, and with those who do not initially support some of the transformative proposals put forward. All highly topical, given that designs and consultations for Sutton’s first Quietway are expected soon (see Quietways at Sutton Council for more on this), and plans for a Liveable Neighbourhood are in the process of being prepared (at least, we believe they are (and high-quality too), but nothing yet fully confirmed).

A report on Paul’s presentation can be read in part two of our notes to the June 2018 meeting: ‘Waltham Forest mini-Holland: reducing road danger and growing active travel‘.

v1: 25.06.2018; v1.1 01.07.2018 (links to part two added).

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