Sutton’s third Local Implementation Plan receives approval

Overview

Sutton’s third Local Implementation Plan (LIP), which sets out the borough’s aspirations for transport over the next twenty years and provides an investment programme for the next three, received approval from the Mayor of London on 12 April 2019 (see Box 1).

Box 1: Text from Sutton Transport Plans, LB Sutton (accessed 17 June 2019)
The Local Implementation Plan (LIP) is a requirement of the Greater London Authority Act (1999) and sets out how the council will implement the Mayor’s Transport Strategy at a borough level. The plan outlines how the council’s transport policies comply with the Mayors Transport Strategy (MTS), the South London Sub-Regional Transport Plan and elements of the London Plan.
Following the publication of the most recent MTS in March 2018, boroughs were required to produce a new (third) LIP to cover the period from 1 April 2019 to March 2041. A draft was released for public consultation in November and December 2018, and approved by the Mayor of London on 12 April 2019. The new document is available below:
Third Local Implementation Plan
The LIP also sets out an investment programme for the three years from 2019-2021, listing the transport schemes that the council intended to implement over this period as well as outlining future schemes and ambitions that the council will deliver as funding opportunities arise. Separately, an annual LIP funding bid is submitted to Transport for London every October setting out the council’s transport scheme programme for the following financial year. This forms the basis of the annual LIP grant to the council from TfL.

The final approved version of Sutton’s third LIP (April 2019) is essentially the same as the draft for mayoral approval version (February 2019), a follow-up to the draft for consultation version (November 2018), but includes some minor changes and updates to the Delivery and Investment Plan and to the Performance Monitoring Plan.

The borough’s third Local Implementation Plan replaces the Local Implementation Plan 2011/12 to 2013/14 (LB of Sutton, July 2011). The second LIP included detailed transport proposals for the three financial years from 2011/12 to 2013/14 and set out the longer term transport programme up to 2031.

The borough’s third LIP has been approved despite the fact that the document declares that the borough does not have a traffic reduction strategy (page 27). Borough traffic reduction strategies are key to achieving the overarching aim of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (80 per cent of all trips in London to be made by foot, by cycle or by public transport by 2041) and Vision Zero (see Box 2).

Box 2: Extract from ‘Guidance for Borough Officers on Developing the Third Local Implementation Plan’ – Page 2, Foreword (TfL, March 2018)
Fundamental to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is the overarching aim for 80 per cent of all trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041.
 This aim is essential for the health, sustainability, attractiveness and efficient functioning of the city, and every London local authority will need to contribute towards it. In parallel, the Mayor’s Transport Strategy enshrines the ambition of Vision Zero where ultimately no one is killed or seriously injured on London’s roads. Borough traffic reduction strategies will be a key step towards achieving both of these aims and we hope local leadership will see the transformative effect that the Healthy Streets Approach can have on your area.

In our assessment of the draft third LIP, which focussed on determining the key borough traffic reduction objectives, we anticipated that the draft would not meet with mayoral approval in its current format. Clearly, we have been proved wrong.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that the omission of a borough traffic reduction strategy will not prevent the borough from delivering on its target to increase the proportion of residents’ trips made by active, efficient and sustainable modes from the current 45 or 46 per cent to 56 per cent by 2025 and 63 per cent by 2041. Unfortunately, though, many of the schemes the council intend to implement by 2021, as detailed in the third LIP, do not give a great deal of confidence that very much is changing in the short term.

For further commentary on Sutton’s third LIP see What are Sutton’s key borough traffic reduction objectives? (May 2019). For our response the draft third LIP consultation, see Our response to Sutton’s draft LIP3 consultation (December 2018). Details of the current, 2019/20, LIP schemes can be found in First sight of ‘Healthy Streets’ proposals for Sutton (September 2018), with updates in Cycle Forum posts.

Introduction

This review of Sutton’ third LIP considers:

  • The borough targets set to help achieve the overarching aim of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (by 2041, 80 per cent of trips across London to be made by active, efficient and sustainable modes – public transport, walking and cycling)
  • Some historical and current data on previously targets set for Sutton, in the context of the overarching aim of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy
  • The borough targets for ‘Healthy Streets and Healthy People’ outcomes (percentage of residents doing a healthy level of activity through travel; percentage of residents living within 400 metres of the strategic cycle network)
  • The twenty-three projects and programmes currently proposed for delivered in the short-term, and their linkages with the MTS outcomes
  • Funding the LIP

Sutton’s targets for active travel

The headline priority of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (March 2018) is for 80 per cent of trips across London to be made by active, efficient and sustainable modes – public transport, walking and cycling – by 2041. The MTS notes that the current figure is around 63 per cent.

Sutton’s third LIP sets a borough target for 63 per cent of trips to be made active, efficient and sustainable mode share by 2041 (with the current level around 45 or 46 per cent). This means, of course, that some other boroughs will have to achieve considerably more than 80 per cent in their area, to deliver 80 per cent London-wide.

The third LIP restates the medium-term target for this metric, as established in the Sustainable Transport Strategy (June 2015) of 56 per cent by 2025 (see Table 1). Interestingly, the Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011) set a target of 50.5 percent, for cycling, walking and public transport combined, by 2025-26; rising to 55 per cent by 2030-31. This indicates that the ambition was higher in 2015 than in 2011 (although it looks as though 50.5 per cent by 2025 (as set in 2011) is more likely to be met than 56 per cent by 2025 (as set in 2015, and restated in the third LIP) – again, see Table 1. 

In the short-term, the borough’s target for active, efficient and sustainable mode share by 2021, as set by the third LIP, is 48 per cent. Interestingly, the target for this metric, as set in the Sustainable Transport Strategy in 2015, was 49.4 per cnet by 2017 (2.2% cycling; 29.6% walking; 17.6% public transport). Given the 48 per cent target for 2021 in the third LIP, then it can be assumed that the 49.4 per cent target for 2017 was not met (with 45 per cent being the latest reported figure from the third annual update of the STS in June 2018). This poses the question, what is going to be different going forward?

Table 1 endeavours to collate historical and current data available for Sutton, in the context of the central aim of the MTS (2018) for 80 per cent of all trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041.

Table 1: Sutton’s overarching mode share aim – changing the transport mix
Objective: Londoners’ trips to be on foot, by cycle or by public transport
Metric: Active, efficient and sustainable (walking, cycling and public transport) mode share (by borough resident) based on average daily trips.

By 2041: Pan-London 80%; Sutton 63%

Target Year

OR

[Mode share Period]

Year in which the target was established Target

OR

[Observed historical mode share]

Source
[2006/07 to 2008/09 average] n/a [42%] Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
[2009/10 to 2011/12 average] n/a [45%] Sustainable Transport Strategy (June 2015)
[2010-11] n/a [42.3%] Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
2011-12 2011 42.85% Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
2012-13 2011 43.4% Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
[2012/13 to 2014/15 average] n/a [46%] First annual update to STS (June 2016)
[2013/14 to 2015/16 average] n/a [43%] Second annual update to STS (June 2017)
2013-14 2011 43.95% Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
[2014/15 to 2016/17 average] n/a [45%] Third annual update to STS (June 2018)
[2015/16 to 2017/18 average] n/a Awaited Fourth annual update to STA (June 2019) – awaited
2017 2015 49.4% Sustainable Transport Strategy (June 2015)
2021 2018/2019 48% Third LIP (April 2019)
2025 2015 56% Sustainable Transport Strategy (June 2015) (restated in Third LIP)
2025-26 2011 50.5% Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
2030-31 2011 55% Sutton Transport Plan (July 2011)
2041 2018/2019 63% Third LIP (April 2041

In addition to the 80 per cent central aim, the MTS also details nine outcomes to reflect the key policies and proposals (MTS pp306-309; Third LIP Guidance pp81-136). Sutton’s third LIP succinctly refers to these nine outcomes as ‘active’, ‘safe’, efficient’, ‘clean and green’, ‘connected’, accessible’, ‘quality’, ‘sustainable growth’ and ‘unlocking’ in a table detailing twenty-three projects for the borough programmed for the next three years (see Table ST01, pages 51 and 52).

The MTS groups the first four of these nine outcomes under ‘Healthy Streets and Healthy People’, with another three outcomes expected to deliver ‘A good public transport experience’, and a further two outcomes related to ‘New homes and jobs’.

Healthy Streets and Healthy People

From the most recent figures available (2013 to 2017), only 28% of Sutton’s residents currently spend at least two ten-minute periods walking or cycling each day. The ambition is to see this increase to 36% by 2021, and to 70% by 2041. The 2041 target for London as a whole is also 70%. Currently only 34 per cent of adult Londoners report having walked or cycled for two ten-minute periods on the previous day (MTS, page 44).

The aspiration of the MTS is that by 2041, 70 per cent of Londoners will live within 400 metres of the London-wide strategic cycle network. According to the LIP, by 2041, 37 per cent of Sutton’s residents will live within 400 metres of the strategic cycle network. In the short-term, the 2021 target is 24 per cent (a figure that will not be reported on until around 2024 due to the three-year averaging). Currently, and quite rightly, Sutton’s third LIP declares that the percentage of residents living within 400 metres of a strategic cycle network is zero per cent. From the Borough Cycle Route Network map provided in the LIP (Figure 4, page 16, and reproduced below), it could be argued that something like 70% of Sutton’s residents already live with 400 metres of a poorly signed, low-quality, disjointed network.

SuttonsThirdLocalImplementationPlanReceivesApproval_ThirdLIP_Final_April2019_Page016_Figure4_BoroughCycleRouteNetwork

Sutton Borough Cycle Route Network as presented in Third Local Implementation Plan April 2019 (London Borough of Sutton). The scale is approximately 9 kilometres west to east, and 8 kilometres north to south

Some example initiatives aimed at helping achieve the 2041 target for the four ‘Healthy Streets and Healthy People’ outcomes (‘active’, ‘safe’, efficient’, ‘clean and green’) are provided in the MTS (pp82-86) and include:

  • Improvements against the ten healthy streets indicators
  • Traffic management schemes and speed reduction
  • Redesigning streets to shift priority to active modes and public transport
  • Public realm schemes
  • Implementation of a car parking reduction strategy

The ‘traffic management schemes’ phrase, as an example initiative that will help deliver the MTS outcomes, could be interpreted as a ‘catch-all’ clause. Its inclusion probably explains why all twenty-three schemes listed in the LIP projects list for Sutton (Table ST01, pages 51 and 52, and reproduced in the table below) have all four of the ‘Healthy Streets and Healthy People’ outcomes ticked. (A more extensive selection of example initiatives, matched to all nine outcomes, are provided in the Third LIP Guidance (pp81-136).

Sutton’s proposed projects for 2020 and their linkages with the MTS

Figure 8 in the Third LIP (‘Locations of Schemes listed in Table ST01’, page 53), is reproduced below. As well as depicting the location within the borough of the twenty-three identified schemes, the graphic also categorises them in one of three colour groups.

  • Light green: Walking, cycling and sustainable travel measures
  • Red: Safety and traffic reduction measures
  • Dark green: General highway improvement schemes
SuttonsThirdLocalImplementationPlanReceivesApproval_ThirdLIP_Final_April2019_Page053_Figure8_LocationOfSchemesListedInTableST01

Location of schemes as listed in Table ST01 as presented in Third Local Implementation Plan April 2019 (London Borough of Sutton). The scale is approximately 9 kilometres west to east, and 8 kilometres north to south

The schemes detailed here align with those in First sight of ‘Healthy Streets’ proposals for Sutton (Get Sutton Cycling, September 2018). More information will emerge when the schemes are presented to the borough’s six Local Committees during June, July and September 2019:

Key to Table ST01

MTS outcomes (MTS pages 306 to 309):

  1. Active: London’s streets will be healthy and more Londoners will travel actively
  2. Safe: London’s streets will be safe and secure
  3. Efficient: London’s streets will be used more efficiently and have less traffic on them
  4. Clean and green: London’s streets will be clean and green
  5. Connected: The public transport network will meet the needs of a growing London
  6. Accessible: Public transport will be safe, affordable and accessible to all
  7. Quality: Journeys by public transport will be pleasant, fast and reliable
  8. Sustainable growth: Active, efficient and sustainable travel will be the best option in new developments
  9. Unlocking: Transport investment will unlock the delivery of new homes and jobs
Table STO1

Linkages between LIP projects and Programmes and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy outcomes

MTS Outcomes
Project / Programme MTS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8/9
1 Foresters Drive Corridor – safer pedestrian crossing points, improvements for cycling, including parallel routes. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
2 Manor Road North/London Road area – improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
3 Clyde Road/Ross Road area – reduce car dominance, and improve pedestrian accessibility to nearby public transport modes. Y Y Y Y Y
4 Onslow Gardens/Blenheim Gardens area. A 20mph scheme is in place, but the car is still the dominant feature in the area, and the scheme will focus on improving the pedestrian environment, improving crossing points and routes Y Y Y Y Y
5 Central Road Worcester Park – Phase 2. Implement measures to improve the flow of traffic to help improve bus journey times on Central Road, and also improve the public realm to enhance conditions for pedestrians. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
6 Windsor Avenue area – Phase 2. Proposals are being investigated to encourage walking, cycling or using the bus for active journeys in the area in 2018/19 and measures implemented in 2019/20. Y Y Y Y Y
7 Kimpton Industrial Park – Funding has been made available for the Industrial Park in recent years to continue to monitor and introduce measures to keep the traffic moving in the Park. recessed parking bays in grass verge areas can be installed to provide parking spaces, and keep the carriageway wide enough for HGVs Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
8 Sparrow Farm Road Area – Officers have received requests from residents and parents for a zebra crossing on Sparrow Farm Road outside Meadow Primary School and concerns about the speed and volume of traffic using Kingsmead Avenue Y Y Y Y Y
9 Woodstock Avenue area – Officers have received concerns from residents about the speed and volume of traffic using Woodstock Avenue as a cut through to the A24 London Road. Y Y Y Y Y
10 Pedestrian improvement and safer crossing points on Brighton Road and Langley Park Road, extending the existing 20mph zone. Y Y Y Y Y
11 Cheam Railway Station area, improve access and routes for pedestrians and cyclists. Safer crossing point on Station Way on route to the station and local schools Y Y Y Y Y
12 Chiltern Road will be generating more journeys to and from the area with new school, working with the school and local residents, measures to encourage walking, cycling and public transport. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
13 Brookfield Avenue/Wrythe Lane/West Street (to Railway bridge) pedestrian and cycle improvement, with safer crossing points for those accessing local schools and public transport Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
14 Local area improvements in the area between Kings Lane/ Fairview Road/Harrow Road and Cambridge Road/Wales Road. Accessibility and improved pedestrian routes. Y Y Y Y Y
15 Beeches Avenue/Stanley Park Road – continuation scheme delivering pedestrian improvements and assessing accessibility to bus stops Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
16 Wrythe Lane – between Welbeck Road and St Helier Hospital – investigate a cluster of personal injury accidents along Wrythe Lane. Y Y Y Y Y
17 London Road/Goat Road – completion of scheme currently under design/consultation Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
18 Stavordale Road area – speed reduction measures, potential 20mph. Y Y Y Y Y
19 Area improvement scheme dealing with speeding and safety issues – area bounded by Wrythe Lane, Tweeddale Road and Winchcombe Road. Y Y Y Y Y
20 Collingwood Road (A217 to Bushey Road) – speed reduction measures, safer route to Westbourne Primary School, improved pedestrian facilities. Y Y Y Y Y
21 Frederick Road and Alberta Avenue (A217 and Gander Green Lane) – speed reduction measures, junction treatments, traffic calming and improved pedestrian facilities. Y Y Y Y Y
22 High Street/Oakhill Road junction – safety assessment as pocket of slight collisions identified. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
23 Gander Green Lane area (A217 and A232) – speed reduction and traffic calming measures, improved crossing facilities and pedestrian environment. Public transport infrastructure improvements. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

How aspirational are these schemes? Are these schemes an improvement over schemes that have gone before?

Sutton’s third LIP (page 50, the Delivery and Investment Plan), notes that the schemes listed in Table ST01 were identified by officers. “They have been suggested after looking at the personal injury collision statistics for the borough, areas suitable for 20mph zones and other ‘Healthy Streets’ measures, to encourage people to walk, cycle or take public transport for their local journeys”.

The ‘Guidance for Borough Officers on Developing the Third Local Implementation Plan’ (pages 81 to 135) includes many examples of the initiatives boroughs can include to deliver the Mayor’s Transport Strategy outcomes, policies and proposals. From a review of these initiatives, it is not particularly easy to see how all twenty-three proposed schemes qualify as meeting the threshold for the Mayor’s overarching aim or the four ‘Healthy Streets and healthy people’ outcome criteria.

For example, quite how the introduction of measures to keep the traffic moving in the Kimpton Industrial Park (scheme 7), through providing “recessed parking bays in grass verge areas…. installed to provide parking spaces, and keep the carriageway wide enough for HGVs” will result in more Londoners travelling actively, or ensure that streets will be used more efficiently and have less traffic on them, is not clear.

Scheme 17, London Road/ Goat Road is very welcome but should have been completed years ago (more on this in the notes to Sutton Cycle Forum April 2018).

Scheme 20, Collingwood Road, and scheme 22, Sutton High Street junction with Oakhill Road, are both areas that have featured in the past. Clearly the interventions  carried out previously (the introduction of 20 mph in 2012/2013 for part of Collingwood Road; and traffic calming at the Oakhill Road, High Street junction around the same time) were not robust enough. High levels of traffic is the real issue. And that is somewhere Sutton’s third LIP does not want to go.

Nevertheless, Sutton’s third LIP has been signed off. All we can do now, is watch with interest.

Finally, a word on funding…

Funding

The funding that TfL will provide to Sutton for the LIP programme, over the next three years, is expected to be £2.2 million per annum. Based on a borough population of 200,000, £2.2 million is equivalent to about £10 per resident per year. In addition, the borough will also receive around £100,000 annually as the ‘Local Transport Fund’ allocation (effectively a subset of the LIP, money which can be spent on smaller transport schemes at the local authority’s discretion). The LTF element equates to about 50p per head, taking the total to £10.50. Such a sum would currently buy four large Americanos (at £2.40 each) and a cookie or two in Costa Coffee[1].

The ‘big money’, for the next two or three years, is being made available through the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme and, to a lesser extent, Quietways/Cycleways. It is anticipated that Sutton will be submitting a Liveable Neighbourhoods bid (potentially worth up to £10 million) towards the end of the 2019. As for Quietways/Cycleways, there has been a suggestion that Sutton and Merton will be awarded around £1.4 million to deliver a high-quality, low-traffic, route between Sutton and Colliers Wood. Additional funding could also be awarded to Sutton if the case can be made for the delivery of a Cycleway between Worcester Park and Sutton that conforms to new cycle route quality criteria.

To put this funding and expenditure in some context, it is worth noting that physical inactivity costs the NHS in the UK around £1 billion per year, which rises to £7.4 billion if wider costs to society are included[2]. In addition, the annual health costs to society of the impacts of air pollution in the UK is estimated to be roughly £15 billion[3]

Based on a population of 66 million, the combined annual costs associated with inactivity and air pollution of £22.4 billon equates to about £339 per head of the UK population.

[1]Source: Costa Coffee https://uk.menuwithprice.com/costa-coffee-menu/ (accessed 21.06.2019)

[2]Source: National Institute for Care and Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng90/chapter/Context (accessed 21.06.2019)

[3]Defra. Air Pollution: action in a changing climate (March 2010) (and cited in Sutton’s Air Quality Action Plan 2019-2023)

Related posts:

What are Sutton’s key borough traffic reduction objectives? (May 2019).

Our response to Sutton’s draft LIP3 consultation (December 2018).

First sight of ‘Healthy Streets’ proposals for Sutton (September 2018).

v1: 27.06.2019; v1.1 (minor additions) 28.06.2019

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