Last updated 2 July 2020
Following the unveiling of the London Streetspace plan on 6 May 2020, here we present a roundup of ‘Streetspace for London’ related news items published on the council news feeds for Sutton and a selection of neighbouring London boroughs during the weeks that followed.
This ‘live’ article is a companion to our other ‘live’ posts Streetspace for Sutton: Setting the scene; Streetspace for Sutton: Timeline of implementation, and London local authorities, and Streetspace (June 2020) (which continues where London local authorities, Covid-19 and social distancing left off).
It is hoped that the news feeds will give an indication as to how Sutton Council is responding to the urgent need to assist residents with safe distancing from one another as they go about essential journeys on foot and bicycle (so as to help ease pressure on public transport as the pandemic lockdown is lifted), and provide a comparison with the responses from our immediate neighbours in Croydon, Kingston, and Merton.
Add your suggestions for improvements to streets at Widen My Path
On 3 June 2020, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced “NEW: #StreetSpaceLDN first round of funding goes to ten boroughs to make space for Londoners to walk and cycle while social distancing. The £6m for 136 schemes includes: 19 x low traffic neighbourhoods; 13 x town centres; 8 x school streets; 15km of cycleways”. Also here and here. The following day “Fantastic to see our #StreetspaceLDN plans in action in Pimlico…”. On 8 June 2020: “We’re making low-traffic neighbourhoods a key part of the #StreetSpaceLDN plan. Planters, like these in Hounslow, are a greener way of stopping cars blocking our roads while keeping access for residents. It’s simple: quieter, safer roads enable more Londoners to walk and cycle. ‘Five sustainable ways we’re helping to get London moving‘ (15 May 2020). On 10 June, “We’re making it safer and easier to cycle in London via #StreetSpaceLDN. Today I’m proud to announce that we’re adding 1,700 bikes and 14 new docking stations to the @SantanderCycles network which means Londoners will have access to more bikes across the city”. On 14 June, “… walk or cycle where possible. If you must use public transport, wear a face covering for your entire journey..”. On 18 June 2020, the Mayor announced “We’ve now approved 3 rounds of funding for my #SteetspaceLDN plan to keep our roads free from congestion, supporting 508 projects worth £22m across 24 boroughs”. On 19 June 2020, “We’re rapidly transforming London’s roads to help more Londoners walk and cycle…”, and “Learn more about what we’re doing…”.
1: Sutton and neighbouring boroughs
Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets (22 May 2020). The full text of this article is reproduced in ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Timeline for Implementation‘.
Further to the notes of our meetings on 19 May and 26 May, it was understood at this time that Sutton was preparing a series of medium term (1-3 months) and longer term (3-6 months) measures. These involve the creation of more space in areas outside shops; better cycling and walking access to/from our town centres; the provision of temporary and protected spaces for walking and cycling; the introduction of temporarily reduced speeds on certain roads; and the introduction of temporary barriers to stop rat running in residential roads (see
Sutton Scene – Leader of the Council Column 29/05/2020 (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”.
Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements! (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”.
On 5 June, Councillor Manuel Abellan confirmed that Sutton had submitted ambitious bids for around £2 million as part of the #StreetspaceLDN project [1/2; 2/2]. On 8 June we learned that more details would be shared hopefully by the following week [1/1], and on 10 June Manuel indicated that, as expected, the main areas covered by the bids included Sutton town centre (based on the third round Liveable Neighbourhoods bid) and ongoing north-south Cycleway (between St Helier and Sutton town centre) [1/1].
Sutton open for business (12 June 2020) “Floor stencils will be painted on Sutton High Street and floor markings will be in place in other local high streets over the coming weeks to help you to stay safe and leave the correct space for safe social distancing….. Plan your journey – walk or cycle where possible. If you do need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering. This will be mandatory and a condition of travel from Monday 15 June”. Note that this news item was promoted through the council’s official Twitter feed, unlike the news items posted on 22 May and 3 June and referenced above.
On 16 June, Councillor Abellan confirmed that Sutton Council would be submitting a further funding bid this week to deliver a total of 16 School Streets by September [1/1].
Safer, Active, Greener Streets – Where is your busy spot? (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……”.
On 19 June, Councillor Abellan provided some clarification on the previous day’s announcement that Sutton was to receive £57k of initial funding [1/1]. On 25 June, there was news that Sutton Council has been allocated a further £368K to deliver low-traffic neighbourhoods, temporary cycle lanes, 16 school streets & social distancing measures [1/1].
For more on Streetspace in Sutton (including items that do not appear in the council’s news feed) see Streetspace for Sutton: The timeline of implementation.
Croydon’s Streetspace Improvement Programme (May 2020, with continuing updates)
Croydon Streetspace project creates more space for walking and cycling in seven new areas (22 May 2020) “The Croydon Streetspace project is expanding to seven new locations next week, creating larger spaces for pedestrians and cyclists to use safely as lockdown restrictions are eased”.
Helping you to travel and shop local safely (12 June 2020) “A raft of new initiatives will help residents and visitors stay safe while travelling and supporting local shops in Croydon as more businesses prepare to reopen next week…. In streets and public spaces in the town and district centres, new signage, pavement stencils and one-way systems for pedestrians will support visitors to maintain social distancing while navigating the town and waiting to enter shops. Pavements will be also be widened in busy areas, giving people more room to pass each other. At the same time, new transport schemes are being introduced to help reduce motor traffic and create more space for people to walk and cycle safely. The council is exploring options for new low traffic neighbourhoods and pop-up cycle lanes to support the rapid increase in cycling and walking“.
COVID-19 update: a message from Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council (12 June 2020) “With businesses across Croydon preparing to welcome back customers from Monday, we want to help you support your local shops as safely as possible….. And across the borough, new transport schemes are being introduced to help reduce motor traffic and create more space for people to walk and cycle safely. We’re also exploring low traffic neighbourhoods and pop up cycle lanes, and building on the success of the Streetspace schemes, with more locations planned.”
Croydon Streetspace brings cycle lane to London Road (25 June 2020) “A key route into central Croydon will have a new segregated cycle lane and 20mph limit installed as Croydon’s Streetspace initiative introduces new safety measures to London Road”. Plus… “A new online mapping tool shows all the Croydon Streetspace initiatives across the borough allowing residents to give their feedback and suggest locations for future schemes“.
Kingston prepares for the safe reopening of high streets across the borough (5 June 2020) “Kingston Council is working closely with Kingston First and other partners to prepare for the safe reopening of our town centre, along with other high streets across the borough. Kingston has introduced a number of measures to make public spaces safer, including creating temporary protected walking and cycle lanes, as well as three new school streets. These measures will be delivered as part of the London-wide ‘Streetscape programme’ designed to manage the changes to travel patterns in the capital and help movement as we ease from lockdown. With public transport capacity restricted, these new measures will maximise safe opportunities for people to make journeys by foot or cycle rather than by car, as well as help people maintain social distancing in busy areas….. If you have any suggestions for how we could improve our streets please get in touch…”.
Go Cycle shortlisted three times in CIHT awards (22 June 2020)
Also see COVID-19 (Coronavirus) > Section 11: Getting around Kingston (May 2020 and continuing) for updates on the temporary measures being put in place to support safe movement (including Worcester Park under the railway bridge).
The council’s Transport Strategy page was updated on, or around, 8 May 2020 to announce that an emergency transport response to the Coronavirus pandemic had been prepared in order to aid social distancing in the borough. Also see Merton Council tweets 8 May 2020; 10 May 2020, and the news item published on 11 June 2020 (A guide to safer travel in Merton (see below).
On, or before, 6 June, agenda items for the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020 were released. Item 5 ‘Merton’s Active & Healthy Travel Response to Covid-19‘ report; Appendix A ‘Healthy and Active Travel‘; Appendix B ‘Schemes in delivery by Merton Council‘; Appendix C ‘Schemes prioritised for external funding bids‘; Appendix D ‘List of locations and interventions‘. No change to the Transport Strategy page.
A guide to safer travel in Merton (11 June 2020) “The way we travel has changed. In order to protect ourselves and those around us from Coronavirus, we need to get used to a new way of getting around….”
Support our borough’s businesses and shop local whilst staying safe (12 June 2020) “…….in helping you get around the borough as safely as possible, we’ve started making a range of improvements to roads and pavements. We’ve installed temporary cycle lanes in many places, as well as widened pavements in high-footfall areas. This is not a one off, we will continue rolling out new improvements to every area of Merton over coming weeks and months”.
It is worth noting the Merton consultation concerning a new road bridge at Bishopsford Road (A217). The Bishopsford Road Bridge repair works consultation closed on 1 June 2020. This is a bridge that was closed in June 2019, but for which there appear to be no plans to facilitate cycling as part of the reconstruction (all about aesthetics nothing about functionality). That is not good in the here and now, but it is particularly unfortunate for future generations. Merton Council provides background in Council gives the green light to re-build Bishopsford Bridge.
2: Near-neighbouring boroughs
On 3 June, Conservative Councillor Will Harmer (Bromley Town, and Chair of Bromley’s Environment Committee) provided notification of the first tranche of Streetspace proposals the borough intended to bid to TfL for “c. 180 proposals across the Borough including pop-up cycle lanes, extra crossings and traffic filters to encourage people to walk and cycle” with a link to ‘Funding submission for highway measures to support social distancing during recovery from lockdown‘ (pdf)
Highway measures to support social distancing during recovery (12 June 2020). “The initial work is being funded using the £295k government grant given to local authorities to help town centres return to trading safely”.
Unique new plans for long term social distancing (28 April 2020)
Read Summer 2020’s Lambeth Talk (1 June 2020)
On, or around, the 21 May, Lambeth invited residents to provide feedback on the Oval Triangle temporary low traffic neighbourhood, see ‘Tell us how the temporary scheme is affecting you‘ (Commonplace), plus latest news updates.
It also know that Wandsworth Council bid for eCargo bikes too, and the bid was similarly successful.
Richmond town centre road safety measures now in place (26 May 2020)
Richmond’s First ‘School Streets’ to be in place by June (28 May 2020)
Shop local and support your local high street – local businesses are counting on you! (15 June 2020) “To travel to shops and high streets, boroughs are also asking residents to walk or cycle where possible and avoid using public transport unless necessary. If people do use public transport, wearing a face mask while travelling by bus, train or Tube will be mandatory from June 15 and planning journeys to avoid peak times is highly recommended”.
Council urges residents to watch their speeds as more people travel on foot or bike (16 June 2020) “For those whose car journeys are essential, please do your bit by keeping below the 20mph limits and help to ensure the safety of the increased foot and cycle traffic on the borough’s roads.”
Work to start on urgent measures to make Teddington shopping streets safer (17 June 2020) “A series of rapid temporary measures will be installed on the roads and pavements in Teddington Town Centre to help support social distancing”.
More school streets to be rolled out across the borough (24 June 2020) “More school streets will be rolled out across the borough, thanks to funding secured from Transport for London”.
Kew Road barriers to be upgraded to semi-permanent cycle lanes (25 June 2020) “The recently installed water barriers on Kew Road, put in to ensure the mandatory cycle lane was protected from parking transgressions as Kew Gardens reopened, will be upgraded to a semi-permanent cycle lane, now that Richmond Council has secured funds for the changes from Transport for London (TfL)”. Plus… “The Council has secured over £250,000 of funding to carry out these improvements and works are due to start within weeks”.
Councillor Alexander Ehmann, Chairman of the Transport and Air Quality Committee, said:
“Our plans for transport changes were one of the first priorities for this council as we began to exit lockdown. The fact that Richmond have received one of the largest TfL settlements for new schemes is a testament to our forward-thinking and it will mean that we can begin providing the alternative transport infrastructure that our residents now need.
“The car parking outside Kew Gardens was unsustainable for so many reasons, but crucially because it encouraged visitors to come by car. The double-whammy was that all the parking came at the cost of valuable cycle lane.
“Overall, the changes to the Kew Road have been very well received by residents and I am delighted that TfL recognised the importance of the changes through their funding support.
“The recovery from the coronavirus lockdown gives us an unprecedented opportunity to help people to make transport choices for the better. If we take the right sorts of action we can avoid ever-more congested roads, worsening air quality and compromising road safety.
“The Council await the outcome of our other funding bids. With the necessary resources, Richmond will take further strides with ambitious plans to make our communities cleaner, greener and safer.”
No Streetspace news items found on the council’s website (Southwark Council – Latest News).
On 14 May 2020, Southwark tweeted: ‘Help us combat COVID-19 by suggesting healthier streets‘, which in turn linked to ‘Where do we need measures for social distancing and safe and healthy travel in Southwark?‘ (Commonplace)
Successful bid for e-Cargo bikes (21 May 2020)
Free bikes for NHS workers (27 May 2020)
Green light for five Wandsworth ‘School Streets’ (29 May 2020)
Environmental Impact of 20mph (5 June 2020)
A report presenting a proposal to consider and approve a Transport Action Plan for matters relating to COVID 19 and requirements for social distancing, was an agenda item at the Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, 9 June 2020.
Safety first as Wandsworth town centres open for business (15 June 2020)
Newest low traffic neighbourhood unveiled in Balham (25 June 2020)
Climate Change Meets Smart Growth (1 July 2020)