Last updated 30 June 2020. Note: Not all stages of the development of interventions will be included here (and there can be a delay in posting some of the details).
Assistance with updates for Section 2 this article would be appreciated. You can do this by letting us know of any developments in your part of the borough. Please also get in touch if there is anything that is not included here that you feel should be. You can contact us via twitter or email – details on our About page.
This is the second part of a two-part post relating to the ‘London Streetspace’ programme, and what the programme (full details at Streetspace for London) could mean for our borough.
In part one of this post, ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene‘, some context and background was provided in terms of both the national and regional policy, and in terms of our campaigning activities.
‘Streetspace for London‘
London Streetspace Plan – Interim guidance for boroughs (TfL, May 2020)
London’s Streetspace Plan aims to make it easy and safe for Londoners to choose to walk or cycle as an alternative to public transport use. It has been developed in order to help respond to the immediate Public Health imperatives around:
● enabling social distancing on street;
● encouraging Londoners to avoid unnecessary use of public transport; and
● focusing on strategic movement to prioritise walking and cycling.
However, if devised well, the strategy should also have benefits into the medium term recovery phase and into the longer term benefits of London. This includes:
Support the health and wellbeing of Londoners, by providing space for active travel, good air quality and safe roads, to reduce susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and relieve pressure on the NHS from other conditions and injuries
Seek to improve the public transport offer in ways that last beyond the early recovery stage so the public transport offer remains necessarily strong into the longer term, as capacity can be increased and people become ready to use our bus network again.
Enable London’s economic regeneration by facilitating more walking and cycling to local high streets and town centres, while providing sufficient space for social distancing and supporting local businesses by maintaining freight access and encouraging clean ‘last-mile’ freight solutions
In order to achieve the objectives set out in the LSP, London will need to be ambitious and make change on a significant scale.
In this follow-up post, the focus is on Sutton Council’s response to the plan. Here we will highlight the actions and measures taken across our borough in the weeks and months following the unveiling of the plan on 6 May 2020 and the Transport Secretary’s comments on 9 May that included “Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect”.
When considering this timeline, it is important to be mindful that local authorities have had, and continue to have, many priorities and challenges to contend with in this challenging time. Also, it is accepted that it will take (or would have taken) a certain amount of time for officers time to assimilate the information contained within the Streetspace plan. Furthermore, it would be good to think that there were (and continue to be) many discussions going on behind the scenes that we were/are not aware of. Clearly, too, not everything can be done at once, and the immediate priority for TfL is likely to be central London and the inner London boroughs. That said, of course, there would be some expectation that boroughs would be able to provide some temporary interventions quite quickly. In Sutton’s case, where the ‘soon to be five years old’ Sustainable Transport Strategy has a road user hierarchy that puts the most vulnerable users ahead of all others, arguably we should be pushing at an open door and ready to go. That’s the theory anyway. Let’s see how things pan out….
2: Sutton’s timeline
Our timeline starts on 20 May, the point at which we left ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene‘.
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Some good news.
In a series of tweets, Cllr. Abellan (Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee and, from 18 May, Deputy Leader of the Council with special responsibility for Climate Change and Sustainable Transport), thanked everyone for sharing their ideas, let everyone know that these ideas were being considered and that the council was putting the finishing touches to the first set of measures and that these should be announced very soon.
Message from Cllr. Abellan (20 May 2020) [1/3] [2/3] [3/3]
“Thank you to all the @cyclinginsutton members & others who have shared their #LondonStreetspace ideas with us. We are considering all of these as part of ambitious new plans to make walking & cycling easier and safer by providing more space for residents to keep fit & healthy during lockdown.
The new measures are part of the Council’s response to the #Covid19UK situation & will help ensure social distancing when travelling around the borough as well as reduce rat-running and improve local air quality.
@SuttonCouncil approach will be based on the healthy streets agenda & the concept of low-traffic neighbourhoods. We are putting the finishing touches on the first set of measures that should be announced very soon”.
Friday, 22 May 2020
More good news, with the announcement of the first phase of safer, active streets.
Sutton Council published the news item ‘Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets‘ on its website. Note that this news release was not supported with a post on the council’s official Twitter feed, although it was mentioned in the council’s weekly news and information subscribers email briefing ‘Sutton Scene’ (29 May 2020).
Council launches ambitious plan for safer, active streets
Sutton Council (22 May 2020)
Sutton Council is launching ambitious new plans to make walking and cycling safer at nine key locations during lockdown.
The temporary measures for safer, active streets are part of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 situation and will help ensure social distancing and improve local air quality in advance of more business premises opening in early June.
The plans are based on the Council’s Ambitious for Sutton programme to keep people safe and active and are the first phase of longer-term plans to create low-traffic neighbourhoods in the borough. Residents switching to walking and cycling for short journeys around the borough and record-low traffic levels also present an opportunity to shape Sutton’s response to the climate emergency.
The improvements involve:
● pavement widening in Sutton Town Centre and other district centres, including at entrances to parks
● suspension of some parking bays to widen footpaths/reduce road space
● suspension suspension of some loading bays to widen footpaths/reduce road space
The nine locations have been selected because temporary barriers or traffic cones can be placed on the road without the need for any changes to parking restrictions. Alternative parking places are available nearby for any existing free bays that are suspended.
Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment Committee said:
“These exciting new plans to make walking and cycling easier in our borough are just the latest stage of Sutton’s ambitious plans to keep our residents safe and active.
“Travel patterns across the capital and Sutton are changing rapidly and many residents are looking for new ways to get around that ensures social distancing as a result of coronavirus.
“Travel patterns across the capital and Sutton are changing rapidly and many residents are looking for new ways to get around that ensures social distancing as a result of coronavirus.
The temporary schemes will be reviewed and monitored during the lockdown period and those that prove successful could be considered for permanent implementation when any coronavirus restrictions end. The Council will ask residents and local councillors for ideas on any future, more permanent schemes and locations.
The nine locations for the first phase of safer, active streets are:
● Sutton Town Centre (Throwley Way – Benhill
Road [Avenue] to toucan crossing opposite Lodge Place)
● Sutton Town Centre (Throwley Way – pedestrian crossing south of Greyhound Road up to Manor Park)
● Sutton Town Centre (St Nicholas Way – south of Hill Road (end of red route) to St Nicholas Road)
● Worcester Park (Central Road/Malden Road railway bridge)
● Belmont (Moore Way/Homeland Drive to Overton Park)
● Beddington (Mollison Drive – section by Roundshaw Park/Leisure centre)
● Beddington (Sandy Lane South – from No 2 up to left-turn lane on Stafford Road)
● Hackbridge (London Road/Hackbridge Road outside Sainsbury’s)
● Wallington (Woodcote Road (High Street area) – loading bay outside KFC)
Although this announcement on 22 May fell a little short of what had been hoped for at this time, at least it was a start (a first phase). And, although behind several London boroughs (as is evident from our post ‘London local authorities, COVID-19 and social distancing‘), Sutton is now certainly ahead of many more.
Message from Cllr. Abellan (22 May 2020) [1/2] [2/2]
“Today we’ve announced the first phase of #StreetspaceLDN measures for safer, active streets as part of @SuttonCouncil response to #Covid19UK. These measures are the first phase of our plans to create low-traffic neighbourhoods in the borough
“The next phase will focus on proposals for low-traffic neighbourhoods. The area in and around Sutton Town Centre is the obvious place to start due to our recent Liveable Neighbourhood Bid and the ongoing work on the North/South Quietway. #StreetspaceLDN”.
Thursday, 28 May 2020
Rupert Furness, Deputy Director, Active and Accessible Travel, DfT, wrote to Chief Executives and London Borough Transport Officers and Transport for London to give details of the indicative allocations for the first tranche of the emergency active-travel fund announced on 9 May. The letter was publicised in ‘DfT funding for London: make it fast, make it count‘ (LCC, 29 May 2020). The letter is also available in ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene‘.
Friday, 29 May 2020
Council Leader, Ruth Dombey, writing in ‘Sutton Scene – Leader of the Council Column 29/05/2020‘:
Message from Sutton Council Leader (Sutton Scene | 29 May 2020)
“Over the coming days, we’ll be rolling out temporary measures to make some pavements and roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists around the borough. We’ll be asking you for your views on these schemes and if you have any suggestions for other places around Sutton where we could do something similar in the coming months. Social distancing will be with us for some time so we’re keen to find ways of ensuring that people can get about safely.”
The roll out of the “temporary measures to make some pavements & roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists around the borough” to which the Leader refers, was starting to become evident at, at least, three of the nine locations in the borough on the same day. Extra coned-off space for cycling/walking was installed around this time in Worcester Park (Central Road/Malden Road, A2043, under the railway bridge, on the borough boundary with Kingston).
Meanwhile, in Sutton town centre, it was not quite sure what was to be expected from the parking suspension signs on the gyratory, especially as parking is not permitted in many of the locations anyway.
St Nicholas Way…
… and Throwley Way…
‘Streetspace for Sutton – first phase measures‘: email sent to Cllr. Abellan on 29 May 2020
Earlier this evening I noticed that some ‘Parking suspension, no loading’ signs are now displayed on sections of St Nicholas Way and Throwley Way, in Sutton town centre – see attached photos. Could you please advise as to whether the signs have been installed as part of the new Streetspace plans announced for Sutton on 22 May and, if so, are they a precursor ahead of road space being reduced (lane taken) to provide a dedicated cycling lane please? Or is there another reason? Otherwise I am at a loss to see the purpose of the signs, given that, in most of these locations, parking is not permitted anyway. Clarification would be appreciated.
Many thanks, Charles Martin, Get Sutton Cycling
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Cllr. Abellan indicated that five School Streets were to be launched in Sutton over the next two weeks as part of the Streetspace measures. A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times (schoolstreets.org.uk).
Message from Cllr. Abellan (31 May 2020) [1/1]
Glad to be partnering with @LEOacademies & @ArtsNetworkS as part of our #StreetspaceLDN work to encourage more walking & cycling to school. We’re excited to be launching 5 new school streets in the next couple of weeks. Fantastic work @dougshaw1! @willnorman @SustransLondon
Monday, 1 June 2020
It was noticed today the gate to Overton Park at Moore Way had been fixed open to enable access and egress without the need to touch the structure. This may seem of little consequence, but it is actually a very welcomed improvement! To find out why, and how things could be (or could have been) improved further, see ‘Ideas for boosting Sutton’s cycling aspirations‘ (31 August 2016), and specifically section 2 ‘Recognise that a cycle path through a park does not necessarily make a cycle route’.
Tuesday, 2 June 2020
Further to the report on 29 May, the purpose of the parking suspension signs on the gyratory was becoming clearer with the installation of cones on sections of St Nicholas Way…..
…..and along Throwley Way….
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
Marcus Howarth (coordinator) and Colin Quemby (supporter) joined Cllr. Abellan, and a highways engineer, for a tour of the StreetspaceLDN measures in Sutton town centre.
Sutton Council published the news item ‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘. Note that this news release was not supported with a post on the council’s official Twitter feed, although it was mentioned in the council’s weekly news and information subscribers email briefing ‘Sutton Scene’ (5 June 2020).
Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!
Sutton Council (3 June 2020)
A Sutton artist and the Council have this week launched an innovative way to make walking and cycling more fun for children and parents as the return to school starts.
A Sutton artist and the Council have this week launched an innovative way to make walking and cycling more fun for children and parents as the return to school starts.
A trail of stencils in the streets around four schools in the borough mean that children can spot the ‘animal tokens’ as they walk, cycle or use their scooters to get to and from school in the morning and afternoon.
The six animals – a robin; a fox; a badger; a butterfly; a frog; and a squirrel – have been spray-painted on to the pavements around each school.
The Sutton schools involved in the ‘Creative Pavements’ project are:
● Cheam Common Juniors, Worcester Park
● Cheam Park Farm, North Cheam
● Cheam Fields, Cheam
● Manor Park, Sutton
The Creative Pavements project is complementing other measures being introduced by the Council to make walking/cycling safer and easier, improve local air quality and offer an alternative to cars and public transport by helping to make the journey to school fun. Other initiatives this month include making pavements and cycling space wider and safer at nine key locations around Sutton to ensure social distancing.
Local artist, Doug Shaw, said:
“’I’ve been cutting and spraying stencil art for a few years now. It’s hard work but great fun.
“I love community art – as part of my artistic practice, I’ve been hiding artworks in my neighbourhood of Carshalton and Wallington each week for the last four years for people to find and keep.
“I’m pleased to be a part of the Creative Pavements project and I hope people in the borough enjoy trying to find all the animal designs I’ve made and painted.”
Councillor Marian James, Chair of Sutton Council’s People Committee, said:
“As pupils start to return this week, these Creative Pavements are a great, fun way of encouraging children to think about getting to school on foot, bike or scooter.
“Walking and cycling to school have many benefits: they help with social distancing, as well as keeping children and their parents or carers safe and active.
“It has been really good to work in partnership with talented local artists and the schools to create some surprises for children and help make walking and cycling in Sutton more fun.”
Thursday, 4 June 2020
Cllr. Abellan and Cllr. Andrew announced the opening of the borough’s first ‘School Street‘.
Message from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (4 June 2020) [1/1]
Launched @SuttonCouncil’s first school street at Robin Hood Junior today. Four more school streets starting next Monday. Great work @bandrew92 & @CllrBatt! #StreetspaceLDN
Message from Cllr. Ben Andrew (4 June 2020) [1/1]
Delighted to have been at Sutton’s first school streets scheme today. Thanks to Paul, Ian and all other @SuttonCouncil officers who have worked so hard on this project. We are helping children maintain social distancing, while facilitating safer, greener more active streets.
Friday, 5 June 2020
More good news toady, with the confirmation that Sutton had submitted a bid to TfL under the London Streetspace plan. For more on the Streetspace plan, and the support for the programme from the DfT, see ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene‘.
Message from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (5 June 2020) [1/2] [2/2]
Today @SuttonCouncil has put ambitious bids for around £2 million as part of our #StreetspaceLDN project. Our bids will aim to create new low-traffic neighbourhoods in our borough to make our streets greener, safer and more active.
Sutton has the highest potential in London for walking & cycling so we’re looking forward to creating an environment that will increase active travel. I am also pleased that the @transportgovuk, @MayorofLondon & London boroughs are united on this agenda. #StreetspaceLDN
Sutton has the highest number of potentially cyclable trips per resident (1.2) of any London borough – see TfL Analysis of Cycling Potential 2016, Table 4.1.
Unbeknown to us at the time, Elliot Colburn (MP, Carshalton and Wallington), Paul Scully (MP, Sutton and Cheam), and Tim Crowley (Leader of the Opposition) wrote today to The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government ‘Re: walking and cycling schemes in the London Borough of Sutton’. This came to light on 10 June (and there is more below).
Monday, 7 June 2020
It is believed that four further ‘School Streets’ opened in the borough today (see ‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘ (Sutton Council, 3 June)). Brilliant news, and well done to all involved.
- Cheam Common Junior Academy, Worcester Park (Kingsmead Avenue)
- Cheam Park Farm, North Cheam (Kingston Avenue)
- Cheam Fields, Cheam (Stoughton Avenue)
- Manor Park, Sutton (Warwick Road)
These four schools join Robin Hood Junior School, Sutton (Thorncroft Road), with the School Streets vibe (see 4 June 2020).
Tuesday, 8 June 2020
Agenda item 6 to this evening’s Strategy and Resources Committee meeting, included the report ‘Update on the Council’s Response to COVID-19‘ (8 June 2020). A relevant extract is included here (the bold test is our emphasis):
5.17 Transport for London (TfL) has announced that all Local Implementation Plans (LIP) allocations for 20/21 are suspended. There will be no announcements this year on Liveable Neighbourhoods bids. Instead, TfL have created a £45 million fund for boroughs (for six months) to bid into to deliver projects in line with new TfL ‘Streetspace for London’ guidance, focussed on boosting safety for people walking and cycling and aiding social distancing. Bids need to be submitted by late June.
5.18 Some of this work involves immediate, temporary changes to street layouts to aid social distancing and improve road safety. The initial tranche of this work has already been implemented.. Retrospective bids to TfL will be made for these short term measures with the expectation that funding will be received. If these bids are not supported then any works already undertaken will need to be funded from within existing budgets. All these temporary changes are low cost in nature.
5.19 Medium term proposals for the next six months will be brought to Strategy and Resources Committee in July. Such measures are likely to include lower cost versions of existing LIP or Liveable Neighbourhood proposals, or new proposals that have been developed in light of the Streetspace guidance. Examples will include improved pedestrian and cycle facilities and proposals to create low traffic neighbourhoods. Enforcement of all non-safety related parking restrictions has been suspended for three months until the end of June.
Background to the suspension of Local Implementation Plan allocations for the current year is included in ‘London Streetplan Plan – interim guidance for boroughs, May 2020‘ and ‘Interim Local Implementation Plan ASS sunk costs guidance May 2020 – coronavirus‘, available at Streetspace for London (TfL).
In respect of the text in paragraph 5.19 of the report, noting that the medium term proposals for the next six months would be brought to the committee in July (6 July), Cllr. Abellan responded to our tweet by saying that we could expect to hear more about the next phase sooner than this (and hopefully as soon as next week).
Wednesday, 9 June 2020
Marcus Howarth, group coordinator, met with Councillor Manuel Abellan, for a weekly meeting (see ‘Notes from meetings June 9th 2020‘).
Sutton Guardian published ‘Sutton Council accused of ‘operating in secret‘ (Monica Charsley). Meanwhile, MyLondon reported ‘How Sutton Council has made cycling ‘more dangerous’ right on its own doorstep‘.
Going through a bit of rough water – some personal thoughts on ‘Sutton Council accused of ‘operating in secret”
Charles Martin, Get Sutton Cycling, 9 June 2020
Some of the criticism raised in the Sutton Guardian article is understandable to a point. For example, greater detail around the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the first phase of social distancing proposals announced for Sutton on 22 May would have been welcomed, and some boroughs have reached out and seemingly engaged more readily with residents (just take a look at our post ‘London local authorities, Covid-19, and social distancing‘ for examples of this).
Also, a statement from the council along the lines of “some schemes (e.g. Sutton town centre) are not fully implemented yet, but changes are forthcoming”, would have been good too. Had such a statement been made a week earlier, this may have deflected, or reduced, the current criticism. It is worth noting that a response to my email to Cllr Abellan on 29 May (see above) has not been received. Nevertheless, we know changes are forthcoming, because of recent and ongoing discussions with the council (as detailed in this timeline).
So it would appear that communication is an issue, and that there is room for improvement.
However, the DfT made it quite clear on 9 May that it “…. expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians”. And, importantly, in terms or reallocating road space “Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect”.
Essentially, the message from Government was, and still is, get on with it.
We also know the council has submitted proposals for further measures through the Streetspace for London programme (see 5 June above), and although specific details of these proposals are not known at this time, there is a hint to what the measures are likely to entail in the DfT ‘Emergency Active Travel Funding Indicative Allocations’ letter to boroughs of 28 May (available at ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene‘, 28 May). Furthermore, it is known that details are to be revealed imminently (Cllr. Abellan, 8 June: “You will hear about the next phase much sooner Charles. Hopefully as early as next week”. There will time to discuss specifics, and recognise and make the case for the benefits, soon.
It is hoped that the opposition’s criticism noted in the article is directed at the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the schemes, and not at the ‘why’. The coming days and weeks will be an opportunity for everyone, cross-party, to get together to work towards delivering measures that help avoid overcrowding on public transport and congestion on the roads, that will keep people safe and, importantly “provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport”. To further quote from Grant Shapps, Secretary for Transport (9 May 2020) “Active travel is affordable, delivers significant health benefits, has been shown to improve wellbeing, mitigates congestion, improves air quality and has no carbon emissions at the point of use. Towns and cities based around active travel will have happier and healthier citizens as well as lasting local economic benefits“.
Finally, when it come to operating in secret, or not knowing, or being slightly less transparent, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that the only main party not to respond to our open letter ‘Sutton and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy 2018‘ in April 2018 was the Sutton Conservatives. So, how about it guys?
The gyratory in Sutton town centre on 9 June. Throwley Way….
….. and St Nicholas Way…
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Following on from Sutton Guardian’s tweet yesterday promoting the publication of ‘Sutton Council accused of ‘operating in secret”, it was good to see several replies to our response. London Cycling Campaign’s Infrastructure Campaigner, Simon Munk, noted that there are better ways for MPs to raise concerns, and Cllr. Abellan provided further clarification.
Sutton Guardian [9 June 2020]: [1/1]
.@ElliotColburn and @scullyp accuse Sutton Council of failing to engage on walking and cycling schemes.
Marcus Howarth (Get Sutton Cycling) [9 June 2020]: [1/1]
[We] admit to it being frustrating to work with delays, but the 9 locations publicised as first phase should be in place ASAP https://sutton.gov.uk/news/article/537/council_launches_ambitious_plans_for_safer_active_streets… and it has to be said @Cllr_m_abellan has been reaching out to us at @cyclinginsutton for advice!
Simon Munk (London Cycling Campaign) [10 June 2020]: [1/2] [2/2]
It’s a crisis. Councils have been mandated by government as well as Mayor to move fast & trial stuff to improve safety. If there are specific elements of schemes that need tweaking, I’m sure these MPs & indeed residents can find ways to raise concerns.
But IMO most telling was this line in the piece from the MPs that the council must “ensure [changes] work for all road users, including motorists”. Motorists get top billing in the quote, in a respiratory crisis impacted by air quality, pollution levels. Sigh.
Cllr. Abellan [10 June 2020]: [1/9] [2/9] [3/9] [4/9] [5/9] [6/9] [7/9] [8/9] [9/9]
I wanted to offer some further clarifications as lead Councillor on this project. I am baffled that they felt the need to write to the SoS [Secretary of State] …. but yet failed to raise their concerns directly with myself or the Chief Exec.
When we formally discussed this project at our strategy & resources committee last Monday @SuttonCouncil has not received any funding yet as mentioned in your letter. We have put in bids to the DfT & TfL for around £2 million & are waiting to hear back.
The main areas covered by our bids are around Sutton Town Centre. They are based on our recent Liveable Neighbourhood Bid & ongoing North/South cycleway scheme. These schemes are already in the public domain.
In fact engagement was a crucial requirement of the LN bid. As part of this process we held briefings with all affected Councillors including the opposition. Their feedback was taken on board and some adjustments to the bid were made as a result. Opposition Cllrs supported the principles of the bid. We also held meetings with local schools, housing associations, workshops with local cycling groups, stalls on our High Street & at train stations & a consultation that can be found here https://bit.ly/37i8AlT.
These schemes have also been formally discussed at the Environment & Neighbourhood Committee. I believe that all of this engagement will make it easier to deliver schemes at pace. The findings from the consultation are also clear. Residents support the need to reduce rat-running & the principles of creating low-traffic neighbourhoods.
In the last month, @cyclinginsutton & residents have sent us over 40 proposals for potential street space schemes. Many of these have been incorporated in our bids.
The @SuttonTories group could have submitted their own proposals for consideration but chose not to do so. Once we find out our funding allocation I hope that they will get behind this unique opportunity to deliver safer, greener and more active streets for our residents.
Simon Munk (LCC) [10 June 2020]: [1/1]
Thx for such an excellent, fair and comprehensive response! Looking forward to seeing the next phase.
Friday, 12 June 2020
A visit to one of the four School Streets understood to have come into operation in Sutton this week (see 7 June) found the situation a little wanting. It is early days, though, and it will take time to establish. That is one reason why it is important to keep the trial running for an extended period.
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
News today that the council was to submit a funding bid this week for a further eleven school streets in the borough (to join the five already being announced/trialled – see 7 June 2020).
Message from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (16 June 2020) [1/1]
This week @SuttonCouncil will submit a further bid to deliver 16 new school streets by September. Our ambition is to create streets where all children can safely walk and cycle to school. #StreetspaceLDN
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
The footways were widened on Cheam High Street by relocating parking/loading bays, either today or at some point during the last two days, courtesy of TfL. (This development was seemingly ignored by Sutton Council, but it was promoted by the Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman [1/1] and, in turn, by us too [1/1]). For an update on this (and not a good update), see 22 June.
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Sutton Council published the news item ‘Safer, Active, Greener Streets – Where is your busy spot?‘ on its website. Note that this news release was not supported with a post on the council’s official Twitter feed, although it was mentioned in the council’s weekly news and information subscribers email briefing ‘Sutton Scene’ (19 June 2020).
Safer, Active, Greener Streets – Where is your busy spot?
Sutton Council (18 June 2020)
Sutton Council is calling on residents and businesses to use a new tool to suggest a busy spot where walking and cycling could be made safer and easier.
The move is the latest part of the Council’s plans for Safer, Active, Greener Streets as schools and businesses reopen in the borough after lockdown and for helping with social distancing. The Council wants as many residents, workers and visitors as possible to switch to walking and cycling to keep safe and active, as well as improve local air quality.
The tool – widenmypath.com – is a website that allows you to leave suggestions and comments on a map of Sutton about roads or pavements where social distancing is difficult. The Government and Transport for London have announced that councils should create temporary cycleways and wider pavements to help keep people safe.
Now the Council wants your help to identify where changes are needed most. Residents and visitors can suggest a location or vote for an existing idea. The most popular ideas will be shown most prominently. The Council will then use the information to see where changes should be prioritised and bid for funding from the Government and Transport for London.
Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of Sutton’s Environment Committee, said:
“The Council wants to help people stay safe as our schools and businesses reopen.
“We are widening our pavements at busier locations to make them clear and safe for people walking. We are creating new cycle lanes to make getting about by bike safer and easier, and we are keeping traffic moving for those that need to use their cars. All of these changes will help residents stay safe and support local businesses in Sutton.
“But we know there is much more to do. You know your local area best, so we want to hear your ideas about where walking and cycling could be made safer by widening pavements, introducing temporary cycle lanes or closing streets to stop rat-running.
“Suggest a busy place now using the new widenmypath.com tool. Your ideas will help shape our work on creating Safer, Active, Greener streets in Sutton.”
The Mayor of London had some news….
Friday, 19 June 2020
Following on from yesterday’s announcement from the Mayor of London, regarding the approval of three rounds of funding for London Streetspace plan so far, Laura Laker (writing for road.cc) ‘London: £22m for emergency cycling and walking schemes so far‘ provided some more detail.
Extracts from London: £22m for emergency cycling and walking schemes so far (road.cc, 19 June 2020)
“Transport for London (TfL) has allocated £22.26m to 24 London boroughs for emergency interventions like strategic cycle routes, school streets, low traffic neighbourhoods and pedestrian space in town centres – half of the total money it has to spend on its active travel COVID-19 response……
“This is about half of our funding,” a spokesperson said, adding they are three weeks into the six-week process, and this is funding from weeks one to three. Funding is being allocated in weekly tranches…….
“the remainder of the funding will be allocated in the next three weeks….”
Councillor Abellan provided some clarification, in response to our tweet relaying the news.
Messages from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (19 June 2020) [1/3] [2/3] [3/3]
That covers the first 9 measures. We’re hoping to hear on the rest of the £3,5 million bid next week.
Two pots of money (TfL & DfT). The TfL funding was negotiated as part of their bailout from gvt. We’ve put bids worth £3.5 million. TfL are releasing funds on a weekly basis as you know.
The DfT will give 100k to each borough (still need to submit a bid & meet the criteria) & then release a 2nd tranche of funding later this Summer based on a bidding process. I can explain in more detail next week.
Monday, 22 June 2020
Capitulation on the High Street, Cheam. Streetspace provision in Cheam Village reduced. Many of the barriers installed on the High Street in Cheam only a few days earlier (and to published drawings), have been removed. Reason not known. If businesses were concerned, perhaps over robustness of delivery, why was this not discussed, and alternative arrangements put in place, beforehand? If, on the other hand, the changes were made simply because one or two residents became vocal over the loss of kerb-side parking, what does that tell us about the ability of our borough to deliver?
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
The Sutton town centre gyratory, parts of St Nicholas Way and Throwley Way, looking better…
Thursday, 25 June 2020
There was news of further Streetspace funding for the borough today (£368k, in addition to the £57k announced on 19 June).
Message from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (25 June 2020) [1/1]
Pleased that @SuttonCouncil has been allocated a further £368K to deliver low-traffic neighbourhoods, temporary cycle lanes, 16 school streets & social distancing measures. More details to come. StreetspaceLDN #healthystreets
Monday, 29 June 2020
There was news of further Streetspace funding for the borough today (£100k (DfT emergency measures), presumably in addition to the £57k announced on 19 June and £368k on 25 June). (Just ten days ago, on 19 June, we learned that the bid for the DfT pot of £100k had not been submitted so, as expected from the DfT, a quick decision and turn-around).
Message from Cllr. Manuel Abellan (29 June 2020) [1/1]
Pleased to confirm that the DfT has formally allocated @SuttonCouncil
100K for tranche one of the Emergency Active Travel fund. This gvt funding is aimed at interventions in South Sutton/Belmont area. More details to follow. @cyclinginsutton #StreetspaceLDN
More details relating to this £100k allocation from the DfT were actually forthcoming quite quickly, as later in the day (thanks to the work of @lastnotlost in this tweet), we learned that papers released ahead of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on 6 July (agenda item 6: ‘Safer, Active, Greener Streets) included details of Sutton’s London Streetspace Plan bids. ‘Appendix A Summary of Bids’ notes “Department for Transport Active Travel submission: Bid based on the Liveable Neighbourhood work that includes low traffic zones in south Sutton, comprising 2 main areas, Langley Park Road / South Sutton and Belmont / Overton. Some tailoring of the proposals will be needed as DfT is only allocating £100,000 at this stage”. This latter reference is to Sutton’s submission of £135,000, against an “indicatively allocated a sum of £100,000” (see 28 May letter in ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the Scene‘). This is the first tranche of funding from the DfT.
Strategy and Resources Committee, 6 July 2020 (accessed 30 June 2020)
Safer, Active, Greener Streets (LB Sutton, June 2020) pdf
Appendix A: Summary of Bids (LB of Sutton, June 2020) pdf
Appendix B: School Streets (LB of Sutton, June 2020) pdf
Appendix C: All other proposals (LB of Sutton, June 2020) pdf
Commentator, writer and podcaster Laura Laker posted some details of another funding announcement, apparently tranche 4 of 6: “Update from latest round of #StreetspaceLDN funding – £2.5m allocated last week. Middle column is the new money: ‘London: more cycle funding announced ahead of “looming black hole”‘” (road.cc, 29 June 2020). The middle column of the table, provided as a graphic within the tweet (also see below), details the new, tranche 4, money. From this it can be seen that Sutton secured the largest proportion (£787k) of funding in this round giving a total (third column) of £844,241. This total would appear to be the sum of the today’s £787k and the £57,241 announced 19 June. Quite where the £368k (announced on 25 June) comes into the picture is not clear. The best guess on this is that the £368k is a proportion of the total £787k announced in the today’s fourth tranche.