March 2020 will be remembered as the month when the impact of the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) really started to take its toll in Europe. It was time when the message ‘stay home and save lives’ began, without knowing when it would end.
It was the start of us riding out a national emergency together.
Despite the difficult and challenging times, we tried to keep some semblance of normality on the campaigning front. Inevitably and understandably, however, the planned Sutton Cycle Forum meeting for 25 March was cancelled, and the hoped-for announcement on the third round of Liveable Neighbourhoods funding bids did not materialise.
There was some progress on the Cycleway (formerly Quietway) development, though, and some new substantial cycle parking stands started to appear around the borough courtesy of Transport for London’s Cycle Parking Implementation Plan. For this, our thanks to council staff, TfL and contractors for their work at this difficult time.
Meanwhile, the future remained at the forefront. In between Sutton Council’s invitation to residents to join the Climate Emergency conversation #ClimateActionSutton (Climate Emergency Survey), and the London Cycling Campaign’s launch of ‘Climate Safe Streets: Delivering Zero Carbon Roads by 2030’ (Climate Safe Streets Report Launch), there was conformation this month that the borough’s Sustainable Transport Strategy, and the borough’s Cycling Strategy, would be reviewed in 2020 (Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, 11 March 2020 | LIP Settlement 20/21).
All of this news was disseminated through a series of tweets, a selection of which appear here, essentially following on from where the February 2020 review left off.
During March 2020, topics by email included:
Writing to Sutton Council officers in regard to:
- Tharp Road cycle contraflow (six-month experimental order from October 2019) and ongoing concerns. Latest on this is that traffic data to be gathered in the spring – see updates in section 2.2.13 to the notes on the Sutton Cycle Forum December 2019.
- Beddington North TfL Major Scheme (HGV restrictions on Beddington Lane, and whether project on schedule). Latest on this is that analysis of traffic data, that had been obtained in the autumn, continues – see updates in section 2.2.11 to the notes on the Sutton Cycle Forum December 2019.
- Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group meeting scheduled for 26 March 2020 (subsequently cancelled 22 March), to confirm that Get Sutton Cycling’s Chair and Coordinator would be attending (4 March 2020), and subsequently providing input to a request for our suggestions in response to the question “What practical and achievable steps can be taken to reduce emissions from road traffic, without restricting the ability of people and goods to get where they need to be?” (15 March 2020)
- Foresters Drive Highway Improvement Programme informal consultation (9 March 2020) – see Our response to “Foresters Drive Highway Improvement Programme”.
- suggested additional topics for the Cycle Forum meeting scheduled for 25 March 2020 (subsequently cancelled 17 March) (15 March 2020 and 18 March 2020)
- the understandable cancellation of the Cycle Forum March 2019 meeting, but nevertheless request that documentation that would normally be made available for Cycle Forum meetings continue to be provided if possible and appropriate (for example, periodic scheme updates). (18 March 2020). Positive response received 31 March 2020 – see updates in sections 2.1.2 and 2.1.3 to the notes on the Sutton Cycle Forum December 2019.
- progress with improvements to the Carshalton Station Approach Road cycle contraflow (31 March 2020) – see Carshalton Station approach road – March 2020 update.
Writing to Cllr. Lily Bande, Cllr. Catherine Gray and Cllr. Kevin Burke (councillors representing Sutton West ward) on the subject of:
Writing to Cllr. Manuel Abellan, (Chair of Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, Cycling Champion), on the subject of:
- Air quality monitoring devices (16 March 2020)
Writing to residents:
- in response to commentary received pertaining to the recently launched Cycleway consultation (phase 2, Sutton area) (2 March 2020)
Writing to Merton Cyclists to:
- to chase-up whether they were able to confirm they had been in touch with ward councillors in relation to the proposed London Road / Goat Road unction scheme (4 March 2020) – see updates in section 2.2.9 to the notes on the Sutton Cycle Forum December 2019.
Discussion with Get Sutton Cycling supporters, which included:
- preparation to attend Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group meeting on 26 March
- Cycleway consultation (Sutton area)
- Carshalton Station approach road cycle contra-flow
- Tharp Road cycle contra-flow
- 3 March 2020: Get Sutton Cycling committee meeting
- 25 March 2020: Sutton Cycle Forum (meeting subsequently cancelled)
- 25 March 2020: London Cycling Campaign Local Groups Forum video conference call
- 26 March 2020: Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group (meeting subsequently cancelled)