This post is a continuation of ‘London local authorities, Covid-19 and social distancing‘ (April/May 2020), and provides a selection of tweets from the official Twitter accounts of all 33 of London’s local authorities. Here, the tweets that make the grade are those which reflect action and delivery of the London Streetspace plan by the boroughs as published during June 2020.
The conclusions of this review can be found here.
For a summary of specific new items from Sutton (and neighbouring boroughs) see ‘Streetspace for London: Newsfeeds from Sutton and neighbouring boroughs‘.
Last updated 1 July 2020
Monday, 1 June 2020
An interesting comparison for the start of the day… Bexley “If you have to travel to work because you cannot work from home, please avoid public transport – if possible, walk or cycle or go by car“, and Kingston “Please stay mindful and cautious about travel and only make essential journeys. If you need to travel, please walk or cycle whenever possible in order to keep the roads clear for those who need to drive“. Essentially saying the same thing, but a subtle difference. (Also see 22 June).
There was particularly good news today from..
^^^ Westminster “As lockdown easing begins we have been working with residents and businesses to install new cycle lanes and pedestrian walkway to help everyone travel around the city safely. #London #Westminster”, and ‘Westminster prepares…..‘
^^^ Waltham Forest reaching out: “We want to hear from you. We’re welcoming residents to tell us where you think temporary road measures would help you travel safely. It’s important for us to make sure we’re making changes to support you – share your thoughts today“, with a link to ‘How can we support social distancing in Waltham Forest?‘ (powered by Commonplace).
^^^ Tower Hamlets reaching out today too: “As lockdown is eased, we’ll need more space to safely get around the borough and slow the spread of coronavirus. Suggest busy places where we can allocate more space for walking, cycling and wheelchair access for people with disabilities here: ‘Let’s talk Tower Hamlets – Streetspace for Tower Hamlets‘.
^^^ Later, Tower Hamlets announced: “We’re investing more than £2million in making streets in Bethnal Green safer for residents, schools and businesses. Work is set to begin on Friday 12 June in Old Bethnal Green Road to improve road safety, lighting & CCTV. Find out more here: ‘Liveable Streets Bethnal Green‘.
^^^ Camden: “We’ve widened the pavement on Kilburn High Rd & restricted thru-traffic on some residential streets, to make it easier and safer for you to walk, shop & visit your local park…” And reaching out again with “Find out more & nominate other locations… ‘Making travel in Camden safer‘” (Commonplace).
^^^ Islington with another reminder of people-friendly streets “We’re seeing cleaner air, less traffic and more pleasant streets as a result of the health emergency. Please tell us how we can lock-in these benefits by creating people-friendly streets by visiting our website”, (‘People-friendly streets‘) so reaching out. Later, Islington posted “As part of our commitment to making Islington’s streets people-friendly, we’re making it easier for people to socially distance at busy locations. That’s why we have introduced these measures on Green Lanes, and more will follow soon at other locations”. A follow-up from Islington, reaching out again: “To have your say on how we can make streets around where you live safer, greener, healthier and more people friendly, click here:…” and link to ‘Tell us how we can make Islington’s streets more people-friendly‘ (i.e this time direct to Islington Commonplace)!
Greenwich with a reminder that “Only 5 more days until #BikeWeekUK is here!…”
Wandsworth with a reminder from Friday: “Wandsworth urges Mayor to introduce 20mph speed limit on all red routes. Read the full story and letter here – ‘Wandsworth urges Mayor to introduce 20mph speed limit on all red routes‘.
Kingston “If your child is returning to school, please walk or cycle with them to and from school if possible. Check out our network of walking and cycling routes here … ‘Getting around Kingston‘. Greenwich “If you can’t work from home and you have to travel for work, consider cycling or walking. If you need to use public transport, please wear a face covering. See how to make your own face covering here: ‘Coronavirus: How to make your own face mask‘ (BBC). Later, Kingston advised “Our cycling instructors will be providing a Dr Bike service outside Surbiton Health Centre tomorrow, Tuesday 2nd June, carrying out free bike health checks for key workers“. And from Barnet “We are encouraging those who are going back to school this week to avoid using public transport if possible and to walk, cycle or scoot to school instead”.
On parking today, Barnet asked again “Do you have a valid permit to park? We will resume enforcement of parking restrictions on Monday 8 June…..”. Richmond with a reminder again: “To enable those who work in health services or deliver vital community support to more easily park and access people’s homes, we have suspended enforcement of our on-street and car park facilities for NHS and social care staff“. And Bexley, no change with messaging on parking , “We’ve made free parking available in #Bexley for key workers during the pandemic, including those employed by the emergency services, carers; volunteers using their vehicle to help the wider community. Here’s how to apply..”. Then Haringey: “In light of the pandemic, the council has not yet resumed full enforcement of parking bays or controlled parking zones in the borough. Residents will be given adequate notice when plans to reintroduce parking enforcement are expected to commence”.
Meanwhile, Merton with “Today is the day many of us have been waiting for! Now groups of up to six can meet outside“, a theme picked up by Sutton “From today, you are able to meet up in a group of up to 6 in England….”. Bexley and physical well-being again (but, again, nothing about making active travel a more compelling option in the borough).
Merton also with a reminder that the consultation on Bishopsford Road bridge closed today “It’s vital we give residents a chance to give design feedback before we submit a planning application. We’re doing our best to get the bridge reopened quickly….”.
Two tweets late afternoon from Sutton worthy note. Nothing wrong with them, and not a criticism, but just highlighting them in the context that the council has yet to tweet anything about the Streetspace plan (neither reached out to ask for views, or tweeted the news on 22 May “ambitious proposals..”). First: “Stay alert means…“, and then “Have you noticed the steam train artwork on the bridge area of Sutton Station recently?…“. Worth tweeting, and good to cheer people up, but what about the bigger picture?
Tuesday, 2 June 2020
Tower Hamlets reached out again: “As lockdown is eased, we’ll need more space to safely get around and slow the spread of coronavirus. Suggest busy places where we can allocate more space for walking, cycling and access for people with disabilities here: ‘Streetspace for Tower Hamlets‘ #StreetspaceLDN (although link to map not working at the time).
Kingston reached out to businesses: “Are you thinking about reopening? Do you need any help from us to open your business safely? Are there any obstacles outside your business that are making it difficult to arrange social distancing?” (with email address supplied).
Hounslow reached out again: “Is there a street space you feel needs reviewing for #SocialDistancing or that you may have other concerns surrounding it? Give us your views https://is.gd/XuViq8. Thank you in helping us to improve our spaces to ensure the safety for those using our local streets”. Later, “Are you considering cycling into work?“, and a link to some tips for cycling. Then “We’ve become used to quieter roads over recent months but the change in Government guidance means roads are busier than they were. Whether you’re a cyclist, motorist, pedestrian or motorcyclist please #takeextracare on Hounslow’s roads @Road_Safety_GB”
Islington: “We’re determined to ensure that people are able to socially distance as they make essential trips around Islington, which is why we’ve introduced the measures below at Highbury Barn. There will be further announcements soon. Protecting our residents’ health is our top priority”. (Someone did point out that some of the road signs on the approaches were actually in the way, others had constructive comments too).
Wandsworth: “Measures to aid safe distancing rules by widening pavements and offering pedestrians more room introduced in Putney High Street”, link to ‘Measures to aid safe distancing measures introduced in Putney High Street‘. Followed-up with “Guard railings removed to create more space on pavements for #SafeDistancing in #Putney High Street”, and “Taxi rank relocated so pavement can be extended outside Putney Sainsbury’s”. A little later, Wandsworth tweeted with a map showing roads in the borough that are the responsibility of TfL and a link to the full list (‘Wandsworth urges Mayor to introduce 20mph speed limit on all red routes‘ from 29 May). In the evening: “We have a 9-point #backtoschool plan to support local primary schools opening to more pupils from this week, including introducing traffic-free ‘school streets’ at five schools from next Monday – ‘Green light for five Wandsworth ‘School Streets’.
Haringey “Additional pavement widening, temporary cycle routes and low traffic neighbourhoods are all part of the council’s funding bids to aid social distancing. Find out more: ‘Active travel to aid social distancing‘”.
Richmond with a message from Councillor Alexander Ehmann “Hear from @AlexanderEhmann as he talks about the new 24-hour mandatory northbound cycle lane that has been installed using protective barriers on the Kew Road, outside @kewgardens, as part of the Council’s Post-COVID Transport Action Plan http://ow.ly/wEFV50zWE4F”.
And from Sutton, not quite up there with there with the others, but nevertheless good to see: “The Council, @dougshaw1 and @ArtsNetworkS have worked together to create animal walking trails around four local primary schools! Can you and your children find all the animals on your walk to school this week? Give it a try! #creativepavements #saferactivestreets #suttonstepsup”
There were the usual messages around avoiding pubic transport (and driving, walking or cycling instead), featured in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Kingston, about staying two-metres apart ( Sutton, Richmond and Sutton again, Kingston), and parking, and Barnet.
Note that there were some other tweets published today that related to parking enforcement, staying two-metres apart, or avoiding public transport. These have been excluded from today’s review.
Indeed, from this point on, all such tweets are being ditched! Thanks for your patience if you have read any that have gone before! Interestingly, it was around this time that Sutton tweeted the two-metre message regularly for a couple of days.
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
From today just the best make the list! So, tweets similar to “please try to avoid collisions” from Barnet are out, along with tweets that are exclusively about parking, or staying two-meters apart. Please walk and cycle tweets too are being dropped, unless part of the bigger picture Sutton report on it. (There are, after all, only so many hours in the day)!
Waltham Forest “On Saturday there were 2,692 cycle journeys made across Lea Bridge Road, the highest recorded EVER! It’s great to know so many of our residents are choosing sustainable travel at the moment. Find out more here ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Let’s help you get cycling‘. Later on, “From today, we’re going to be reintroducing School Streets, meaning roads around specific schools may be closed during drop off and pick up times. This helps reduce congestion, improve road safety and air quality for residents. Learn more: ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – School Streets‘.
Camden delivering and reaching out: “We’re installing bollards & adding more signs to restrict thru-traffic on some residential streets. Making it easier & safer for you to keep 2m apart when walking, cycling or shopping, Tell us what you think by marking our dedicated map ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘ (Commonplace)”
Wandsworth: “Safe distancing in action #BedfordHill #Balham”, followed by “Measures introduced to keep people safe“. Later “Social distancing measures introduced in #Southfields“, and “Extra space for pedestrians to #sociallydistance in Wimbledon Park Road in #Southfields“. All with accompanying photos.
Greenwich: “We’ve started creating more space for walking & cycling in Eltham. We’re using some footway parking bays on Eltham High Street, to allow people to walk & shop while following social distancing. Later this week we will install cycle lane segregation”. Link to ‘Plans to improve streets to maintain social distancing‘ (14 May 2020).
Merton: “We’re putting in place temporary measures to support #SocialDistancing in Merton by widening pavements & increasing cycle lanes. This will be followed by long term work, improving walking & cycling routes and reducing traffic in residential areas. More > ‘Covid-19 Transport Strategy‘”.
Islington reaching out again: “We want to make it easier for everyone to walk and cycle in Islington while we maintain social distancing. Please tell us how we can make your area safer, greener and healthier by visiting our website … #PeopleFriendlyStreets #streetspaceLND” and link to ‘People friendly Streets‘.
There was from elsewhere today from councillors and the Mayor of London. What this shows, of course, is that just because boroughs do not reach out to residents through their official Twitter accounts about their emergency transport plans, the authorities may be on the case (at least to a certain degree). Quite why many councils don’t pronounce their plans more openly, is something that can be discussed at a future date.
Julian Bell, Labour Leader of Ealing Council, Chair of London Councils
Transport & Environment Ctte, TFL Board Member, announced: “Another new temporary #cycle lane put in today on Greenford Road going north from the Uxbridge Rd junction next to the Iron Bridge. Lots more to come! #StreetspaceLDN #LoveCycling”. This was a follow-up to his tweet on 30 May: “Just been for a quick #cycle to see the new temporary cycle lanes on the Uxbridge Rd near Acton Park east bound and The Vale westbound. A small but significant step! I want to see this right across the Borough so that more people can feel safe cycling!”.
Bromley makes an appearance in this extended post! Will Harmer, Conservative Councillor for Bromley Town and Chair of Bromley’s Environment Committee, tweeted: “On Monday there will be an emergency Environment PDS to agree the measures that @LBofBromley will take to support residents going back to work, school or our shops to maintain social distancing. It also includes the first tranche of proposals we intend to bid TFL for money for”, continuing “The Paper here: https://cds.bromley.gov.uk/documents/s50082088/ES20029.pdf…%5B‘Funding submission for highway measures to support social distancing during recovery from lockdown‘] includes c. 180 proposals across the Borough including pop-up cycle lanes, extra crossings and traffic filters to encourage people to walk and cycle”.
Meanwhile, in Haringey, Kirsten Hearn, Labour Councillor for Stroud Green and Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Sustainability, tweeted: “Make your mark on our interactive map to say where you would like our future cycle routes and low traffic neighbourhoods to be! If you can’t use the map, you can also email suggestions to: email@example.com”. A link to the map ‘Haringey’s COVID -19 Transport Response‘ was provided. So Haringey reaching out.
Some big news of the day came from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “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”. (The ten boroughs were named on 5 June).
Thursday, 4 June 2020
Today, there was some exciting news from Sutton, with the launch the borough’s first ‘School Street‘ (albeit in experimental form), by Robin Hood Junior School, Thorncroft Road [OpenStreetMap], in central Sutton. Four more School Streets are expected next week, one of which is close to Sutton town centre and the other three are in Cheam and environs. These four School Streets are to come complete with Creative Pavements (‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘).
However, there was nothing about this exciting School Streets news on the official Twitter feed of Sutton Council. This was left to Councillor Manuel Abellan, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, who tweeted “Launched @SuttonCouncil’s first school street at Robin Hood Junior today. Four more school streets starting next Monday. Great work @bandrew92 & @CllrBatt! #StreetspaceLDN”. Ben Andrew, Lib Dem Councillor for Wandle Valley and Vice Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, also gave support: “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”.
There were updates today from Hounslow, Enfield, Camden and Wandsworth.
Hounslow: “Hounslow Highways is supporting the Council in creating more #Streetspace for all and aiding social distancing”. Later in the day “Pop-up bike mechanic sessions return to Hounslow with FREE “Dr Bike” in Lampton Park from 10-12 this Saturday…. Sessions will strictly adhere to social distancing rules. More ‘Pop up bike mechanic sessions return to Hounslow‘.
Enfield with “A statement on Enfield Council providing safer and more sustainable modes of transport in response to COVID-19″. The Enfield Streetspace Plan outlining the bids submitted to Transport for London, with a link to ‘Covid-19 Streetspace Plan‘ (and 4 June update).
Camden said “Check out Goods Way. We’ve widened the cycle lane, installed new wands & orcas to make it safer for bikes and pedestrians. To find out more about the travel schemes we’re introducing in response to #COVID19 go-to ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘” (where an email address and telephone number was provided for suggestions, ideas and comments).
Wandsworth announce that a six month pilot scheme is about to begin to deter rat run traffic from residential street in #Putney, and provide a link to the news item ‘Six month pilot scheme aims to tackle rat run traffic in Putney‘. Later there is more, with “Plans to create a new pocket park and cycle contraflow scheme in #Tooting’s Graveney ward set to be brought forward” and a link to ‘New pocket park and cycle contraflow set to be unveiled in Tooting‘.
Friday, 5 June 2020
^^^ No official announcement from Sutton today, but some very good news. Cllr. Abellan tweeted “Sutton Council 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”, followed by “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”.
Interestingly, Newham also announced today proposals to spend over £2 million on sustainable transport schemes to assist a “green recovery” from the Covid-19 crisis, and published details – see below.
^^^ Further to the news from the Mayor of London on 3 June that the first round of funding for #StreetspaceLDN had gone to ten boroughs, Laura Laker published “the breakdown of £6.3m funding for London boroughs for emergency cycling and walking infrastructure”. The ten authorities were:
City of London
^^^ Meanwhile, Southwark published (but did not tweet about) its plans to enable higher levels of walking & cycling as part of response to COVID-19. Thankfully, London Living Streets did, with a link to ‘Covid-19 – Post lockdown highway schemes‘.
Back to the councils official Twitter feeds…
Camden with “….some of the ways we’re making it easier and safer for people to walk & cycle in Camden… Find out more..” ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘ (2 June).
Waltham Forest: “A reminder to let us know your thoughts about our road temporary measures!….”
Redbridge stepped-up with: “Check out this sneaky preview…just some of our plans to give Redbridge more green space and great new walking and cycling routes. It’s good for the environment and both mentally and physically great for us…”, and then “We’ve applied for funding to install infrastructure to support socially distancing as lockdown eases. For now we’re using planters to create new spaces for pedestrians and cyclists”. Later: “Our temporary road closures mean more people can access our excellent local businesses while staying safely apart and we’re helping our traders to socially distance”.
Hounslow: “Pop-up bike mechanic Dr Bike returns to Hounslow this Saturday in Lampton Park from 10am – 12pm..”, and “Air pollution in Hounslow is down 20% due to lockdown, according to data collected from the borough’s monitoring sites. A big reduction in traffic has led to a reduction in emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide”.
Kingston: #NEWS Kingston prepares for the safe reopening of high streets across the borough. Read more: ‘Kingston prepares for the safe reopening of high streets across the borough‘. Later (bigger) news: “Great news that @TfL has confirmed £1.2m towards the Kingston Vale and Ewell Road #GoCycle schemes! More information on Go Cycle can be found here https://kingston.gov.uk/go“.
Kensington and Chelsea publicises the boroughs’ resident newsletter with an image of women cycling in ordinary clothes and wearing a smile..
Wandsworth: “After a successful application for funding 12 e-cargo bikes have been distributed among council departments, charities and local businesses helping the council meet its commitment to tackle climate change”. Later: “Check @MyVirtualNeigh1 for which local shops and traders you can walk or cycle to in Wandsworth this #WorldEnvironmentDay…”. Link to ‘My Virtual Wandsworth‘.
Ealing: “We are working to ensure that measures are in place to make Ealing’s high streets safe for residents when non-essential shops reopen on the 15 June”, and “We’ve been widening the footway on Springbridge Road, Ealing Broadway, today to help give pedestrians a bit more space to social distance and help reduce the spread of #COVID19. #EalingTogether”. Later: “With schools beginning to reopen their doors following easing of COVID-19 restrictions, parents in Ealing are being encouraged to think about cycling, walking or scooting part of the school run“. And a link to ‘Walking or wheeling the school run‘.
^^^ Newham: “Newham Council is proposing to spend over £2 million on sustainable transport schemes in the borough to assist a “green recovery” from the Covid-19 crisis. You can see our full proposals, which will be discussed at #NewhamCabinet on June 11, here: ‘Agenda – Cabinet – Thursday 11th June 2020 5.00 p.m‘.
Islington: “Cllr @RowChampion has written to @TfL’s walking and cycling commissioner @willnorman to ask for support on three schemes to help make Islington’s streets people-friendly, greener, safer and more pleasant for local people. See the letter in full below #PeopleFriendlyStreets”, and then “Thanks to @WillNorman for all the work already done on @TfL’s roads in Islington – we look forward to working together on the ambitious plans for #Streetspace London“.
Tower Hamlets: “With limited space on public transport, cycling is becoming more popular. Get a FREE bike safety check and security marking at Middleton Green E2 on Saturday 13 June. Staff will have hand sanitiser, PPE and social distanced queues in place”.
Finally, for Friday, today was World Environment Day. Fourteen London authorities noted the fact: Brent; Camden; City of London (x2), Croydon (x2); Haringey; Hounslow (x3); Kingston (x4); Lambeth (x2); Merton; Newham; Richmond; Southwark; Tower Hamlets; Wandsworth (x4).
Saturday, 6 June 2020
^^^ Away from the official council feeds, there was news today from Merton (courtesy of @MarkGale): “The #COVIDー19 Transport Plan has been published for Cabinet on Mon 15 June – the 21-page document lists some of the initial plans Council will look at implementing including a couple already executed”, with link to ‘Merton Council – Future Council‘ (pdf), followed by “Schedule of works planned…” and link to ‘Merton’s Active & Healthy Travel Response to Covid-19 – Appendix B‘. Then “Cycling, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets Schemes prioritised for external funding bids“, and link to ‘Merton’s Active & Healthy Travel Response to Covid-19 – Appendix C‘.
Redbridge: “We’re closing the roads around Wanstead market on Sunday (7 June) to support traders put in place social distancing measures. This will help control the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents and customers safe”, and reaching out: “We’re interested in your views on how well the road closures work around Wanstead Market in opening up new cycle and walking routes. Give us your views here: http://orlo.uk/BCaRs” ‘Wanstead Market Road Closures Trial‘.
Islington: “New measures have been introduced outside Angel station to widen footpaths, providing more space for pedestrians, bus and tube passengers to socially distance. This is part of @TfL’s #StreetSpaceLDN initiative, and we continue to work in partnership with them”.
Westminster: “If you’re walking or cycling around Westminster this weekend, check out our list of sites where we’ve installed temporary barriers to increase pedestrian space, plus new pop-up cycle lanes to help you move around safely and at a social distance”, and a link to ‘Westminster reopens‘.
^^^ Ealing: “New measures to make it safer for cyclists to travel around the borough have been announced by Ealing Council”, with a link to ‘More safer cycling plans for Ealing‘. Later, “WATCH Cllr Julian Bell talk about how we are making it safer for cyclists as part of our COVID19 response. There has been a 25% [reduction] in NOx since the lockdown started and we want to help keep our air cleaner as people return to work and school”.
Bike Week was highlighted by Kingston here; Hackney here; Greenwich here, and Waltham Forest with a great video too: “Today is the start of @WeAreCyclingUK National Bike Week #7daysofcycling to keep fit, and boost mental & physical wellbeing. @Labourstone tells us more about some of the ways to take part – activities and resources from #EnjoyWalthamForest here: ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – National Bike Week 6-14 June‘”.
Sunday, 7 June 2020
Redbridge: “Today (7 June) there will be road closures around Wanstead market to support traders put in place social distancing measures. This will help control the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents and customers safe. #COVID19 #roadclosures”, and “We’re interested in your views…”
Westminster: “Barriers have been installed to widen pavements in Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Victoria to encourage social distancing and safer movement. Check out our list of temporary measures to help people walk and cycle around the city”, with a link to ‘Westminster Reopens‘.
Islington: (again) “We’re working with residents to create people-friendly streets that make it easier for cycling and walking while we maintain social distancing. Let us know what ideas you have for your local area so we can create a safer, greener and healthier Islington”, link to ‘People-friendly streets‘. And the reaching out was strongly endorsed by David Saddington (@EnvironmentDave), Head of international nature strategy #COP26: “The citizen response to #COVID19 travel is brilliant. Not just London but around the UK crowd sourced maps like this are emerging on how to keep lockdown benefits to communities. It is local people who know their area the best #StreetspaceLDN @IslingtonBC @TfL”.
Camden: (reaching out again) “How can we make it easier and safer for you to walk & cycle 2m apart in Camden?….”
Waltham Forest (reaching out again): “Think your local area could do with some safe social distancing measures put in place? This could include things like wider footways, suspended parking bays or better cycle streets to help you travel more safely. Let us know what you think..”, with a link to ‘How can we support social distancing in Waltham Forest?‘. Earlier, Waltham Forest had asked: “Did you know over 180 people hired a community bike in 2019 in Waltham Forest? We love getting people cycling in #WalthamForest 👍🏽 so take a look at how we can help! … #NationalBikeWeek #7daysofcycling”, and a link to ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Cycle Hire‘.
Bike Week also received a mention from Kingston: “Discover our #GoCycle route network this #BikeWeekUK…..”.
Monday, 8 June 2020
Camden: “We are making it easier and safer for you to walk and cycle in Camden by…. Widening pavements; Reducing thru-traffic on residential streets’ Improving cycle routes & adding more pop-up cycle lanes”, with link to ‘Coronavirus: Camden responds to COVID-19 pandemic‘.
Newham reaching out: “We want to hear your ideas for making our streets better for social distancing, walking and cycling. Make suggestions on our online map: ‘Coronavirus information and advice for residents – Propose changes to our streets to help with social distancing, walking and cycling’.”
^^^ Merton: “Thanks to your feedback, we’ve updated our #Covid19 emergency transport plan. Works will continue across Merton, creating cycle lanes, widening pavements – supporting #SocialDistancing & the local economy. We’re also bidding for longer-term work funds”, with a link to pdf document ‘Merton’s Active & Healthy Travel Response to Covid-19‘ (Agenda Item 5 to the Cabinet Meeting scheduled for 15 June 2020).
Waltham Forest: “Thinking about the weekend already? Why not get out on your bike? Take a quick peep at Cycle Sisters video that takes you all the way to the Queen Elizabeth Park. A great route to a great location! 7DaysofCycling #NationalBikeWeek #EnjoyWF”. Video: ‘Cycle Sisters Destination of the week Olympic Park‘.
Ealing: “King St, Southall has been adapted for one-way traffic from today, 8 June, to allow for wider pavements, help with social distancing & supporting local businesses – read more about this and other changes”, with link to ‘Wider pavements for shoppers‘ (Ealing News Extra). This was followed up again later “From today, 8 June, King St Southall will be one-way to traffic to allow for wider pavements to help with social distancing – see more about this & other changes (supplying the same link in as above).
Also from Ealing today: “The school run could be the perfect opportunity for children to learn about the local area and gain independence – and with social distancing rules still in place, it is vital we find alternatives to public transport“, with a link to ‘The school run could be better walking or wheeling‘ (Ealing News Extra).
Tower Hamlets: “We’re investing more than £2million in making streets in Bethnal Green safer for residents, schools and businesses. Work is set to begin on Friday 12 June in Old Bethnal Green Road to improve road safety, lighting & CCTV. Find out more here: ‘Liveable Streets Bethnal Green‘”.
Elsewhere, Croydon: “Our citizens’ assembly has reported its recommendations to tackle climate change in #Croydon. Working with
@CrisisCroydon we are creating working groups to take these forward and guide the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission”. Link to ‘Croydon Climate Crisis Commission‘…..
…… and Hounslow with “We’ve become used to quieter roads over recent months but the change in Government guidance means roads will get busier. We would like to remind cyclists to stay alert and take extra care when out on your bike on Hounslow’s roads.”
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Kensington and Chelsea: “Portobello Road is closing the road to traffic on weekdays to help market traders with recovery and to make the area pedestrian friendly. Read more about it on @myldn”. ‘The big changes drivers and shoppers will notice at Portobello Road markets after lockdown‘.
^^^ Camden provided an update on progress and reached out again: “We are improving cycle lanes across the Borough starting with Goods Way. Find out more & suggest your own travel changes…”, with link ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘.
^^^ Similarly, from Southwark. “We’ve announced the first schemes to help make travel safer and healthier in Southwark – but we still need your help to identify other areas in your neighbourhood that may need extra measures to ensure we can all get around together: ‘Where do we need measures for social distancing and safe and healthy travel in Southwark?‘.
^^^ Brent released plans: “Today, we’ve outlined our transport ambitions for Brent to support healthy, active travel. The draft plan includes measures to strengthen walking & cycling infrastructure, as well as new low-traffic neighbourhoods. Read more: ‘Ambitions for green active transport outlined in COVID-19 Transport Recovery Plan‘. @ShamaTatler @kkrupas
Ealing: “Work is underway to widen footways and pavements across the borough to increase the space for shoppers. The measures are part of plans to help businesses and to ensure Ealing’s high streets are safe for residents to visit from 15 June: ‘Wider pavements for shoppers‘ (Ealing News Extra).
Tower Hamlets reached out again: “As lockdown is eased, we’ll need more space to safely get around the borough and stop the spread of coronavirus. Suggest places where we can allocate more space for walking, cycling and access for people with disabilities: ‘Streetspace for Tower Hamlets‘.
Bike Week featured again today. Kingston (“…gives you the chance to explore… ‘The Go Cycle Programme‘); Waltham Forest (“….We want to shout out to all our amazing community groups that help bring cycling to our residents.. including @JoyridersLondon who break down barriers to get women cycling ‘Joyriders London‘ (Facebook)); and Croydon (“it’s great to see more people in #Croydon making #cycling part of a healthy, active lifestyle’… anda short video: 5 Tips Every New Cyclist Should Know to be useful. “Visit our website at http://croydon.gov.uk/cycling to learn more!).
And climate change From Wandsworth, “The next wave of the Wandsworth Local Fund is now open for applications & we’re especially keen to hear about projects that will help us meet our #greenerwandsworth #ClimateChange commitments. Apply by July 20 via your local councillors. ‘Apply now for neighbourhood grants‘”.
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
A quieter day on the Streetspace front.
Haringey wrote to Will Norman: “In a letter to Will Norman, the Mayor of London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, the council has asked for support for our recent bids to enable social distancing and safe and active travel in the borough for our residents”, and Islington with a reminder: “We’re working with residents to pave the way for a safer, greener and healthier borough and help achieve a net zero carbon borough by 2030. Have your say on what needs to be done to create more people-friendly streets. PeopleFriendlyStreets #streetspaceLND“
Climate from Southwark “How can we tackle the climate emergency? Whether you live, work or just have fun in our borough we want your views so that we can work towards a carbon neutral 2030 together”, and from Islington “Vision 2030 is Islington’s plan to be a net-zero carbon borough by 2030. Tell us what you think we should do to tackle the climate change emergency” .
Bike Week from Waltham Forest: “Do you have an outdoor cycle ride that inspires you? We want to hear! Share your favourite routes with us as part of #7DaysofCycling #NationalBikeWeek. We love this one that celebrates Swimmers, Bakers, and Olympic Game Makers”; “Win £25 voucher for a local bike shop of your choice! Bicycle Get on your cycle and snap a quick pose As part of @WeAreCyclingUK #7DaysofCycling, we want to see your best cycling photos! Tag us with #EnjoyYourWheelsWF.Comp closes Friday 7pm, winner announced Monday 15 June”; “Did you know that being active can help us maintain a healthy mind? It’s #NationalBikeWeek so, join in the fun & keep yourself active with our #EnjoyWalthamForest scheme http://orlo.uk/flzYG. Find more support to look after your mental wellbeing at http://orlo.uk/EhZ8x.”. Greenwich: “Check out all the virtual events happening for #BikeWeekUK this week, organised by @WeAreCyclingU There’s plenty to do for adults and kids Head over to the Cycling UK website for the full schedule: https://cyclinguk.org/bikeweek/virtual-events”. Enfield: “The 2020 @CycleEnfield Photo Competition is open! This year’s theme is ‘Stay Safe – Travel Actively’. Enter your photos here http://cycleenfield.co.uk/competition/ to win. #BikeWeek #BikeWeekUK”. and Dr Bike from Bromley: “Get your bicycle back on the road, with our FREE Dr Bike service in Norman Park on Saturday from 9am-12. Available to those living, working or studying in the London Borough of Bromley. A strict social distance queue will be in operation. Full details http://ow.ly/X82Z50A3Oos”, and from Kingston. Try before you buy from: “Do you need a #bike for essential shopping or exercise during #covid-19? You can buy a bike for up to £20 a month with the Try Before You Bike scheme https://kingston.gov.uk/RBKCyclingCOVID @peddlemywheels #BikeWeekUK #7DaysOfCycling”
Cycle parking from Greenwich: “We asked what you thought about our cycle parking proposals and you answered! Read our responses to the comments we received and find out more about the consultation ‘Request cycle parking or suggest new bike storage‘.
20 mph from Westminster: “Westminster City Council is introducing a 20mph speed limit on all its roads, as part of our commitment to making our streets safer, healthier and cleaner for everyone. Find out more on our website: http://westminster.gov.uk/20mph”.
^^^ Elsewhere, away from the councils’ official Twitter feeds, a great thread for Lambeth (and everywhere else) from Lambeth Living Streets: “THREAD: Over the next few weeks you’re bound to hear loads more about low traffic neighbourhoods. But who are the real winners in an LTN?….”.
^^^ There was also this news from the Mayor of London: “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”.
Thursday, 11 June 2020
^^^ The top new story of the day came from the City of London: “Phase Two of our #COVID19 transport recovery plan, designed to ensure the gradual and safe return of people who work, live and visit the Square Mile, has been approved”, with a link to ‘City Corporation steps up its transport recovery plan‘.
^^^ Meanwhile, our neighbours in Kingston had an important announcement too: “We’re pleased to say @TfL has confirmed £750k towards the Kingston River Link and Kingston Hub #GoCycle schemes! More information about Go Cycle here https://kingston.gov.uk/go”.
Southwark reached out again, with “We’ve announced the first schemes to help make travel safer and healthier in Southwark – but we still need your help to identify other areas in your neighbourhood that may need extra measures to ensure we can all get around together https://bit.ly/2yb1r9V”.
As did Camden: “How can we make it easier and safer for you to walk & cycle 2m apart in Camden? …… Let us know by going to http://camdensafetravel.commonplace.is/about”. Two-metres apart and how can we help. Just compare that with this tweet on the same day from Sutton: “When going out of the house please remember to keep at least 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household……”. So, Sutton reminding people to keep two metres apart (a message rarely heard from Sutton, but which everyone has heard over the last ten weeks verbatim), and then Camden subtly proving that message but, at the same time, not washing its hands (excuse the pun) of its responsibility as local highway authority. Chalk and cheese.
Lambeth promoted yesterday’s news about the planned extension of the Santander Cycles network: “Keep a lookout for the new @SantanderCycles being installed in more Lambeth locations, incl. Gauden Road, Clapham, Clapham Common and Victoria Rise, Clapham…”
Later in the day, Cllr. Claire Holland (Lambeth), tweeted “Excited to share that work on @lambeth_council’s 2nd emergency LTN [Local Traffic Neighbourhood] linking Herne Hill & Brixton starts this weekend!”, and these was this from Lambeth too: “The wonderful @FatNatChat
are at it again, helping to create safer greener spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and insects in the borough”.
News from Hammersmith and Fulham: “Working with residents, we’ve developed a pioneering traffic reduction scheme in #Fulham using smart camera technology to halt rat-running by out-of-borough drivers. The scheme goes live mid-July and will significantly reduce traffic across #sw6. Details ‘SW6 traffic reduction plan launching in July‘.
Action in Ealing: “Across the borough we are making changes to help residents social distance and cycle more safely. The latest areas where we’ve widened the pavement for pedestrians include Ealing, Hanwell and Northolt”. Link (again) to ‘Wider pavements for shoppers‘ (Ealing News Extra).
Bike Week (and biking heroes) continued to be heavily promoted by Waltham Forest: “Are you a #WFHero that’s been cycling when making food deliveries to the people in your community? Like Helen here, who hired one of our cargo bikes to get parcels around. More details on how you can hire a cycle http://orlo.uk/F4wni #7DaysofCycling #NationalBikeWeek”; “A reminder to send us your best cycling photo using #EnjoyYourWheelsWFBicycle. We’ve got a £25 local bike shop voucher up for grabs, all you have to do is send us your favourite cycling pic. Comp ends on Monday 15 June #7DaysofCycling #NationalBikeWeek”; “Dr Bike is back for #BikeWeek2020. We’ll be holding a safe socially distant Dr Bike session in #Walthamstow on Saturday 10am-4pm. You must pre book for this event and those that have not made a booking will not be seen. Book here http://orlo.uk/T7DTa”.
^^^ Also from Waltham Forest today: “During lockdown @freebikeuk, @bromptonbicycle and #EnjoyWF have provided free cycles to key workers. So far, key workers using Free Bikes have cycled a whopping 45,000 km. It’s the equivalent of cycling 13 Tour De France tournaments. Well done team and as always THANK YOU”.
Donate a bike from Hounslow: “London Bike Hub have set up a bike bank scheme to refurbish donated bikes & give them to key workers at no extra cost so they can travel safely around Hounslow. Make a donation https://is.gd/tfC8wm. Donate a bike by completing the online formRightwards arrow https://is.gd/tfC8wm”.
^^^ Away from councils’ official Twitter feeds, Richmond Cycling shared some good news from Richmond: “Papers are out for the next Transport Committee in @LBRUT”, with a link to ‘Transport and Air Quality Committee Thursday, 18 June 2020 5:30 pm‘, followed by the start of a thread: “Council has issued papers for the next @LBRUT transport committee. Here are a few observations (thread). Papers here: https://cabnet.richmond.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=803&MId=5003… 1/n”. The thread ended with: “There’s another 70 pages of papers, which we might try to come back to later! But in summary – if we get money for half of the schemes here, you’re looking at a borough that, assuming the schemes are done well, really wants to help people to choose walking and cycling.
^^^ And over in Lewisham, Cllr. Sophie McGeevor, Brockley Labour Councillor and Lewisham Cabinet Member responsible for Environment and Transport, had some exciting news too: “As part of our emergency roll out of measures to support 🚶🏾♀️Bicycle in #Lewisham 6 modal filters (of an initial phase of 30) are being implemented next week!”, with a link to ‘Have Your Say‘. Then a follow-up tweet: “To support social distancing & #Lewisham businesses, we will be creating more space on the pavements near parks & high streets”, this time with a link to ‘Creating more pedestrian space in busy public places‘.
Friday, 12 June 2020
^^^ Islington first up today with “Islington Council is committed to making our streets safer, greener and healthier for everyone. That is why we’re creating the borough’s first people-friendly streets neighbourhood, in St Peter’s. For more information, click here: ‘Islington’s first people-friendly streets will be created in St Peter’s‘. Later, an update on people-friendly streets in Islington from the Leader of the Council: “Council Leader @RichardWatts01 encourages local people to keep following the rules to stay safe, and provides an update on people-friendly streets. Read more here:..”, with a link to ‘Islington Council Leader’s message 12 June 2020‘.
^^^ From Westminster: “As Westminster reopens, we’ve been increasing cycling space and cycling facilities to help people move around the city. Check out our latest list of pop up cycle lanes across Westminster…. #BikeWeek #Cyclewestminster” with a link to ‘Westminster’s cycling revolution‘.
^^^ And from Wandsworth: “New segregated cycle lane introduced on the Lower Richmond Road on its approach to #Putney Bridge”.
Meanwhile, the Leader of Merton Council talks about “the re-opening of high streets in Merton, the need to support local businesses, and staying safe when shopping”. Unfortunately, in the featured video, Cllr. Stephen Alambritis is almost drowned out by the noise of traffic.
In comparison, a video featuring Gareth Roberts, Hampton councillor and Leader of Richmond Council, which has a similar message, is not only much easier to hear but extends the idea of supporting local businesses by walking and cycling to the high street: “With more shops due to open next week, @Gareth_Roberts_ appeals to residents of Richmond upon Thames to support their local high streets. If you can #ShopLocal and always #ShopSafely. #ShopLocalRichmond”. Richard concludes his video message with “… shop locally, do make sure that you are using active travel, either cycling or walking if you can“.
From Hackney news on School Streets: “We’re introducing School Streets at 40 additional primary schools by this September. This is part of our radical plan to aid social distancing, support walking and cycling and protect people from predicted increases in traffic”, plus a link to find out more at ‘Traffic to be banned outside 40 schools as part of emergency plan‘.
^^^ Lewisham: “Building on the increase of walking and cycling seen during the COVID-19 the council is introducing new temporary measures next week to make it safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel”, with a link to ‘Improving walking and cycling in our borough‘.
^^^ An update too from Greenwich: “Update on our walking & cycling plans. It includes details on three strategic cycle routes: Eltham to Greenwich Park; Abbey Wood to Woolwich; North Greenwich to East Greenwich. StreetspaceLDN”, with a link to ‘Plans to improve streets to maintain social distancing‘. Later, this was followed by “Thanks to everyone’s suggestions so far. We’re now going to prioritise creating safe space for cycling on three important routes in the borough: Eltham to Greenwich Park; Abbey Wood to Woolwich; North Greenwich to East Greenwich. StreetspaceLDN”. A map was included (plus a link again to the news article).
^^^ There was some good news from Harrow too (one of the ten London Authorities to receive Streetspace funding in the first round (3 June/5 June)): “More space for walking and cycling thanks to TfL grant. A whopping £495K has been awarded to us to make some of your streets more accessible and safe – allowing you to maintain social distance. Have your say on the plans – ..”, with a link to ‘More space for walking and cycling thanks to almost £500k grant from TfL‘, which in turn led to ‘Harrow Street Spaces‘ (Commonplace). Add your voice, and find out more.
From Hounslow, there was a statement from Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet: Transport: “The Council has issued a statement by @HanifKhan_1 on proposed measures to reduce traffic and reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians in South Chiswick, helping people to socially distance #StreetSpace”, with a link to ‘Statement from Cllr Hanif Khan on proposed reallocation of roadspace measures in South Chiswick‘.
Bromley has put up some signs: “A series of measures, including ‘keep your distance’ signs in town centres, are being installed to support the local recovery phase as high streets across the borough get ready to welcome residents and visitors back”, with a link to ‘Highway measures to support social distancing during recovery‘ (“The initial work is being funded using the £295k government grant given to local authorities to help town centres return to trading safely..”).
Waltham Forest continued the Bike Week vibe with “For #NationalBikeWeek today it’s all about going GREEN. @zedlbwf are our sustainable delivery service, operating with electric powered vehicles to support businesses across the borough. Read their recent blog post all about Life in LockdownRightwards arrow http://orlo.uk/sH4kP”.
Later, Waltham Forest asked “Are you cycling more at the moment? Dr Bike will be in Walthamstow tomorrow where you can get a free cycle health check 👍🏽 You’ll need to pre book and make sure you follow social distancing at all times. Book here http://orlo.uk/XVdp7″. Later, Waltham Forest added: “Choosing sustainable transport in #WalthamForest is easy! Our great local cycle shops have been working throughout lockdown to get our residents cycling, with a HUGE surge in people choosing to cycle. Why not join them? Check out our local shops here ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Cycle Shops‘.
Tower Hamlets also had news of bike safety checks: “If you’re getting on your bike – check the tyres, wheels and brakes before you start your journey. There are free safety checks available this Saturday in Bethnal Green…”, with a link to “…Get a FREE bike safety check and security marking at Middleton Green E2 on Saturday 13 June…” (5 June 2020).
Try before you buy from Kingston: “Want to buy a #bike but don’t know where to start? Kingston residents can ‘Try Before you Bike’ with @peddlemywheels – a no commitment cycle hire scheme where you pay monthly until you own or return the bike. More ‘Cycling during the Covid crisis‘ BikeWeekUK #7DaysOfCycling”, and from Croydon too: “CroydonTogether: Ellee-Aime is trying out an #ElectricCargoBike through the #TryBeforeYouBike scheme. She’s going to use it with her son on trips to the park. She can also leave the car and use it for local shopping! #NationalBikeWeek @peddlemywheels”, and link to ‘Cycling‘.
Later from Kingston: “Not all heroes wear capes, some ride bikes… Meet some of the #UnsungHeroes in our sustainable transport team, who have delivered over 200 prescriptions to residents who are shielding throughout COVID-19. #BikeWeek #KingstonStrongerTogether”
A reminder from Hounslow: “The next Dr Bike session Bicycle is tomorrow (Sat 13 Jun), 2pm in Turnham Green, Chiswick. Experienced mechanics from Bikeworks will check everything on your bike from wheels to the gears. Mechanics have a wealth of knowledge & will fix minor adjustments.” and a lions to ‘Pop up bike mechanic sessions return to Hounslow‘ (4 June).
Southwark with a reminder: “How can we tackle the climate emergency? Whether you live, work or just have fun in our borough we want your views so that we can work towards a carbon neutral 2030 together”, with a link to ‘How can we tackle the climate crisis?‘ (Commonplace).
One of Sutton‘s tweets today “When going out of the house please remember to keep at least 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household. [2 metres] For more details surrounding the #coronavirus, please visit https://buff.ly/2U7p8Yv“.
Saturday, 13 June 2020
Islington with the goal of becoming a zero-carbon borough by 2030, and asking for views at ‘Vision 2030: building a net zero carbon Islington consultation‘. Then a reminder of the plans that were announced yesterday to make streets in St Peter’s safer, greener and healthier for everyone by creating the borough’s first people-friendly streets neighbourhood there, before reaching out… “To have your say on how we can improve streets near you, click here: ….” A link to ‘Tell us how we can make Islington’s streets more people-friendly‘ (Commonplace map).
Ealing with an update: “Our latest work to help people social distance in local neighbourhoods has seen a widened footway at bus stops on South Road, Southall and increased footway space at the M&S at Ealing Broadway..”, and a link to ‘Wider pavements for shoppers‘, which has a link to ‘More space for walking and cycling‘ (although the photo image used in that latter article, with three bollards across a widened path (rather than one), does not give a great deal of confidence in the “we get this” aspect). more on the widened pavements later: “We have been supporting local businesses to help them safely reopen from Monday. This includes providing health and safety guidance, widening footways, and increasing signage on our high streets to make them #covid19 secure for visitors: (link as above to ‘Wider pavements…’).
Croydon also on supporting local non-essential shops as they reopen on Monday: “More local shops are reopening Monday and we’re helping you support them as safely as possible. We’re widening pavements in busy areas to make it easier to social distance and creating space for walking and cycling…#CroydonTogether”, with a link to ‘Helping you to travel and shop local safely‘.
Westminster: “As lockdown measures ease and London’s streets begin to get busier we’ve installed a network of temporary bike lanes across Westminster’s famous streets, encouraging more residents, commuters, and visitors to make their journey via bike. ‘Westminster’s cycling revolution‘ #BikeWeek”.
Tower Hamlets with a reminder of the free bike safety check and security marking at Middleton Green E2 today, followed-up again later (and good to see people making use of the service too), and Kingston with a reminder of Bike Week.
Sunday, 14 June 2020
The day started with Islington reaching out again: “We’re working with residents to pave the way for a safer, greener and healthier borough, to help achieve net zero carbon status by 2030. To find out more about our plans for people-friendly streets across Islington, including in St Peter’s, click here: ‘Tell us how we can make Islington’s streets more people-friendly‘ (Commonplace). Later in the day Islington reached out again: “Pavements have been widened in several areas across Islington to make it safer for you to walk and shop. To nominate a location near you and to make any other suggestions on how we can create safer, greener and healthier transport in Islington, visit…. ‘People friendly streets‘”.
Waltham Forest asked: “Heading out for a long Sunday cycle today? Or taking a leisurely family bike ride around the wetlands? Send us your best cycling picture using #EnjoyYourWheelsWF and be in with a chance to win a £25 local bike shop voucher! Find out more at…” and a link to ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Let’s help you get cycling‘.
^^^ Later Waltham Forest declared that over 2,500 comments had been received on how the council could improve walking and cycling across #WalthamForest and reached out… “but we want to hear more! If you haven’t had a look, why not share your thoughts today? …. #EnjoyWF” ‘How can we support social distancing in Waltham Forest?‘ (Commonplace)
^^^ Camden provided an update, and reached out: “We’ve installed bollards & barriers to reduce thru-traffic on some of our busiest residential streets. Helping make it easier and safer for you to walk & cycle in Camden. Check which streets & suggest other locations here…”. Great photo and a link to ‘Make travel safer in Camden‘.
^^^ News from Richmond that a Space to Shop street was coming to Twickenham: “Church Street in Twickenham will become the borough’s first “Space to Shop” scheme street with the street becoming pedestrianised from Monday June 22 following business approval of the scheme.”, and a link to ‘Businesses and Council agree ‘Space to Shop’ scheme for Church Street‘.
Kingston mentioned Bike Week again, with “Discover our #GoCycle route network this #BikeWeekUK. We have invested heavily in this scheme to help provide safe routes for cyclists across large parts of the borough. Read more:..”, and link to ‘The Go Cycle Programme‘. Later, Kingston asked “Back to school? Please walk or cycle with your children to and from school if possible. Check out our network of walking and cycling routes here…”, with a link to ‘Covid-19 – Getting around Kingston‘.
Sutton tweeted about 2 metres and then went on to publicise the newsfeed item ‘Sutton open for business‘ from Friday 12 June (also see our post ‘Streetspace for London: Newsfeeds from Sutton and neighbouring boroughs‘) with “From tomorrow (Monday), non-essential shops are starting to reopen again. Find out what we’re doing to support our local businesses and keep people safe https://buff.ly/2B4y9uC Stay Alert ► Control The Virus ► Save Lives #StayAlert #KeepYourDistance”. Good that this news item has been publicised through the council’s twitter feed (unlike either ‘Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets‘ (22 May) or ‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘ (3 June). Interesting to compare the ‘Sutton open for business‘ news with a similar news item from Redbridge: “1 day to go. From tomorrow, many more Redbridge shops will be open. Remember to follow social distancing guidelines to #StaySafe while shopping. Find out what you need to do here http://orlo.uk/xH7lb #ShopSafeRedbridge #RedbridgeOpenforBusiness”, with a link to ‘Shop Safe Shop Redbridge‘. At least the Sutton news item notes “Plan your journey – walk or cycle where possible”, whereas Redbridge makes no reference walking and cycling whatsoever. However, neither note what is being done to help with walking and cycling, unlike Croydon, Kingston and Richmond (see ‘Streetspace for London: Newsfeeds from Sutton and neighbouring boroughs‘).
Monday, 15 June 2020
Waltham Forest with a High Street Action Plan video featuring Councillor Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Housing Development: “Businesses in our high streets are finally reopening from today…”
Bromley: “Get your bicycle back on the road, with our FREE Dr Bike service in Norman Park on Wed 17 June from 9am-12. Available to those living, working or studying in the London Borough of Bromley. A strict social distance queue will be in operation. More details…”, with a link to ‘Dr Bike Cycle Maintenance Session‘.
Sutton with advice on shopping safely, and a link to the news post from Friday 12 June ‘Sutton open for business‘. Later in the day, Sutton tweeted: “Our local high streets look forward to welcoming you back today! Please remember to stay safe and keep at least 🚶🏼 2 metres away 🚶🏼from anyone who is not part of your household. For more information, please see: ‘Sutton open for business‘”. Interestingly, the ‘Sutton one for business’ news item (12 June) has now received three promotions through the council’s official feed, compared to zero promotion of either ‘Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets‘ (22 May) or ‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘ (3 June). A little later, Sutton had praise for high street marshals who were on hand to make sure everything was running smoothly, helping residents stay safe and welcoming shoppers back to the high street! No criticism of any of these tweets, but disappointment at what is being left out.
Sutton also had some news on parking today, in a series of three tweets: “Live enforcement, of all restrictions, will begin again from 1 July. For more information, please see: ‘COVID-19 Parking‘”; “From 22 June enforcement across Controlled Parking Zones and Permit Parking Areas will begin with warning notices. Charges in Off-Street Pay & Display car parks will start from 1 July”; “There will be a gradual reintroduction of parking enforcement over the next few weeks as schools and businesses reopen. From today wardens will be visible in town centres as we reinstate restrictions for loading and limited-time bays to help with safe deliveries for businesses”.
^^^>>> Richmond with news of a forthcoming community conversation for Ham, Petersham and Richmond: “Help shape the future of Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside!…, and link to ‘Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Virtual Community Conversation‘ (Eventbrite). Later Richmond had some exciting news: “Following public consultation, a Transport Supplementary Planning Document has been finalised outlining the role new development should play in relation to active travel, public transport, roads and parking in Richmond upon Thames. Find out more: ‘Supplementary Planning Documents and Guidance‘”. In a similar vein, whether by coincidence or not, another fabulous tweet from Richmond followed: “Watch @Hopkins_Arch’s video which highlights some key aspects of their concept design for Twickenham Riverside. For further information and updates on the project please see: ‘Twickenham Riverside Development‘”.
A response to the reopening of non-essential shops from London Councils: “London boroughs are working with retail businesses to enable shops and high streets across the capital to reopen from today, with public health as a top priority #localgov #shoplocal @CllrCoghill @FSBGtrLondon”, with a link to ‘Boroughs support the safe reopening of London’s high streets‘. Later, London Councils added “Great to see @CllrCoghill quoted in @lgcplus round-up of #localgov council work to support reopening of high streets #shoplocal”, with a link to ‘Staff on hand to ensure social distancing as high streets reopen‘ including a photo of people queuing in the middle of the road to shop somewhere in the country.
^^^ Lewisham reported on action being taken: “Temporary barriers and parking suspensions will be introduced from today to create more space in busy public spaces…..” with a link to ‘Improving walking and cycling in our borough‘.
^^^ Islington also had some news on what was happening in the borough, after reaching out with “We’re working with residents to create streets that make it easier to cycle and walk, and have announced our first people-friendly streets neighbourhood in St Peter’s. Let us know how we can make your area safer, greener and healthier. ‘Tell us how we can make Islington’s streets more people-friendly‘ (Commonplace)”. Action: “In response to coronavirus, we’ve introduced new measures outside primary schools to help parents and children safely socially distance. Sacred Heart Primary School is one of the schools to benefit from the pavement widening”, continuing “St Mary’s Primary School and the Hugh Myddelton School have also had new measures installed. Protecting the health of our residents is our top priority, which is why we’re working hard to make our streets safer“.
^^^ Merton had some updates too: “Pop-up cycle lanes & pavement widening schemes are being installed across Merton to help with social distancing, safer travel & support local businesses. Areas include: #Mitcham, #Morden, #Colliers Wood, #SouthWimbledon & #Wimbledon. Read more ‘Oops! That page can’t be found'”. The tweet was posted again a little later with a working link to ‘Merton’s active and healthy travel plan in response to Covid-19‘.
Westminster was busy widening pavements: “As non-essential shops start opening from today, we’ve been busy installing temporary barriers and signage to widen pavements in #OxfordStreet, #RegentStreet and #Piccadilly to encourage social distancing and safer movement around #Westminster @newwestend”.
^^^ Lambeth had a Healthy Route Alert: “Healthy Route Alert. Buzzing to see our second emergency low traffic neighbourhood underway between Brixton and Herne Hill, and efforts to stop rat-running on St Matthews Road in Tulse Hill. Creating safer & healthier streets in #Lambeth”.
Waltham Forest had some stats on a recent Dr Bike session: “Thanks to everyone that attended our Dr Bike session at the weekend! @CycleConfident provided free cycle health checks to over 60 bikes 👏🏻👏🏻 We also heard from these residents that 36% of them are cycling 2-4 days a week during lockdown. Join them ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Let’s help you get cycling‘.
Greenwich proudly displayed it’s new crossings: “Our PRIDE crossings are back! And this year they’re in even more locations! The rainbow colours are used to celebrate inclusivity and shows support for #Pridemonth ‘Return of the Pride crossings‘”.
Brent disappointed with “If you go out, make sure you keep your distance and stay at least 2m away from others at all times”. An important message, but couldn’t it do better than that? Later there was a video message from Brent encouraging residents to shop local and avoid public transport. Nothing about what was being done to make either walking or cycling to the “local” shops a more pleasant or realistic option. “Many #businesses across #Brent reopened their doors for the first time in 12 weeks today. If you didn’t visit your local #HighSt today, hear from Cllr Tatler in this video on what you can expect! #ShopSafeShopLocal. ‘Shop Safe, Shop Local‘”.
^^^ Thankfully, there was better news from Southwark: “The first schemes to help make travel safer and healthier in Southwark are on the way – but we still need your help to identify other areas in your neighbourhood that may need extra measures to ensure we can all get around together ‘Where do we need measures for social distancing and safe and healthy travel in Southwark?‘”.
^^^ And from Hounslow: “#SchoolStreets programme sees 11 Hounslow schools restricting traffic during peak periods and supporting social distancing – creating a safer, healthier and more pleasant environment for school communities. 👉🏿 https://bit.ly/3hylZee”. ‘School Streets programme supporting social distancing at Hounslow schools“.
^^^ The day concluded with this news item on C4 ‘British cities embrace cycling after lockdown‘, understandably promoted by Waltham Forest: “Good to see @Labourstone on @Channel4News tonight taking about benefits of #EnjoyWF 🚴🏻🚴🏿 leading the way in UK. See it here:👉🏽 http://orlo.uk/vQ99w. Find out more http://orlo.uk/z776f ‘About Enjoy Waltham Forest‘”.
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Less on the Streetspace front today. Southwark with “let’s tackle the climate emergency together“, and thanking everyone who has shared ideas already; Enfield asked “Did you know that @CycleEnfield is offering a Fix & Ride Service with @CycleConfident for key workers? Our aim is to get key workers to where they need to be safely on their bikes”; Waltham Forest with a reminder of the High Street Action Plan, and later news from Bike Week (including that over 70,000 cycle journeys were recorded by counters), and then noting that @JoyRiderLondon was providing online coffee mornings + blogs, advice & support to encourage women of all backgrounds to take up cycling. Greenwich asked for support of the #RoyalGreenwich bid for the Future High Streets Fund, and Islington with a reminder that the council wants to make the borough’s streets friendly for all – especially children, young people and the vulnerable, to make it easier to socially distance and create a safer, greener, healthier borough. “Let us know how we can improve streets near you“. Kensington and Chelsea with a video that included a discussion on bike storage.
Hounslow asked “Do you have a bike you no longer use?” If so, you can donate it to a local project! Later Hounslow issued a statement in response to reports of cycling on the pavement. And then it was good to see praise given to the council from a resident of Hounslow for closing a road to through traffic so that he could cycle with his young daughter to Chiswick for lunch (and it was a great experience). Presumably found it not necessary to cycle on the pavement to feel and stay safe.
Richmond with news that “A consultation outlining our proposals on how we will make part of #Twickenham Riverside car free has been launched! Have your say on the proposals or find out more here: ‘Twickenham Riverside is going to be car free – have your say on how it can improve traffic‘”. There was more on this later, with a video presentation from Cllr
^^^ Streetspace did make an appearance from Harrow: “Have your say on our plans to make walking and cycling safer and healthier. We’ve got funding from TfL to make more space for walking and cycling. We love to hear your comments and feedback!” with a link to ‘Harrow Street Spaces‘ (Commonplace).
Croydon: “As more businesses start to open, we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough. We can all do our bit to keep #Croydon’s air clean. Walk and cycle as much as possible to reduce traffic, and save space on public transport for those who need it most. #CroydonTogether”.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Quiet day on the Streetspace front, although Merton started the day with a question ‘Can you cycle instead?‘ – “Many of us are commuting to work this week but the way we travel has changed. We must consider the safest, most contact-free journey, like cycling or walking. We’re working to support this by widening pavements & creating cycle lanes across the borough”, and provided a link to ‘A guide to safer travel in Merton‘ (11 June). Later, Merton asked “Have you got any questions or concerns around health & safety on the high street? Our Regulatory Services officers will be answering residents & businesses in a Twitter Q&A session on Monday (22 June) at 4pm. To submit a question, simply tweet it at us with #ReopeningMerton”.
Richmond with news of a community conversation for residents of Ham, Petersham or Richmond Riverside, and then Richmond had news of a consultation “Help us shape the future of #Twickenham – we are removing cars from the riverside but have your say on how we can improve traffic! Have your say ‘Twickenham Riverside Development – Parking and Servicing Consultation‘” (Citizenspace). Later Richmond gave a timely reminder: “With fewer cars on the road during the #pandemic, we need to keep the high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists in the borough safe. Please stick to the 20mph speed limit when travelling by car. Find out more ‘Council urges residents to watch their speeds as more people travel on foot or bike‘.
Greenwich had a consultation to promote too. “Support our #RoyalGreenwich bid for the Future High Streets Fund. To have your say on the future of Woolwich Town Centre complete the survey: ‘https://consultations.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/kms/elab.aspx?’. For more information on the Future High Streets Fund, visit: ‘Woolwich regeneration‘.
Talking of High Streets, Sutton with “We have been happy to welcome you back to our local high streets…”, keep two-metres distance. Later in the day Sutton reported “You may have spotted our high street marshals out and about recently. If you’re heading out, remember to: use a face covering in enclosed spaces; wash your hands when leaving and returning home; avoid touching your face. We have more advice here: ‘Sutton open for business‘” (the fourth time this news item had been tweeted since publication on 12 June – see comments 15 June). Interestingly, however, Sutton made no mention of the welcomed widened pavements in Cheam that had been recently facilitated by TfL (see ‘Streetspace for Sutton: Timeline for implementation‘).
Haringey had news about footprint stencils for nurseries and schools (which were proudly shown in use); Hackney gave the thumbs up to a newly designed crossing; Islington further promoted the borough’s first people-friendly streets neighbourhood for St Peter’s “and we’re working hard to make streets across the borough safer, greener and healthier. Doing so helps social distancing, and supports our goal for a net carbon zero Islington by 2030. ‘Tell us how we can make Islington’s streets more people-friendly‘ (Commonplace).
Croydon “As more businesses start to open, we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough. We can all do our bit to keep #Croydon’s air clean. Walk and cycle as much as possible to reduce traffic, and save space on public transport for those who need it most. #CroydonTogether”, with a graphic reminding everyone of new measures to make it easier to walk and cycle around the borough. Later Croydon applauded the try before you buy bike scheme.
^^^ Back to the High Street, local shops and businesses, there was a video message from Cllr. Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, ‘Ealing is open for business‘. “In the last few days our non-essential shops have reopened. Everybody queuing with the two-metre social distancing gaps. I want to really emphasise the importance of us supporting our local shops and businesses“. And Cllr. Bell went request that everyone walked and cycled and avoided jumping in the car (especially, perhaps, in reference to the returning school run): “We want to make sure that this is a green, healthy, active travel route out of lockdown. And by cycling and walking we can really make a difference. The air quality was so much better during the lockdown. Nitrogen Dioxide levels reduced by on average 25%. Now car usage is going back up to pre-COVID levels and if things continue as they are it will get even worse. So, let’s not change one extreme problem of COVID to another of just awful air quality which will choke, and we know it prematurely kills 10,000 Londoners each year. So don’t jump in your car, please walk or cycle”. Video ‘Ealing is open for business‘. (Regrettably, no reference to, or mention of, what was being done to help in that regard, but nevertheless a promising message from the Leader of Ealing Council).
Finally, today, Waltham Forest thanked those residents who were choosing sustainable travel at this time as “you’re helping to keep yourself and others safe. Thinking about giving it a go? More info ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest – Let’s help you get cycling‘. (And with such a cute photo, who could resist?).
Thursday, 18 June 2020
This afternoon, the Mayor of London 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:
- 114 low traffic neighbourhoods
- 154 school streets
- 202 town centre changes
- 38 strategic cycling schemes”
… with a link to ‘Five sustainable ways we’re helping to get London moving‘.
The Mayor’s Press Office announced: “Our #StreetspaceLDN plans to create more space for walking & cycling will be at the heart of the capital’s recovery from Covid-19, @WillNorman tells @CNBC. WATCH here: ‘The future of urban mobility after the pandemic‘ (CNBC, 18 June 2020).
From the boroughs’ tweets, the top Streetspace stories today (i.e. those actually taking action) came from….
^^^ Greenwich: “This morning we visited @charltonmanor to meet some of the pupils benefitting from their new #SchoolStreet which is making pick-up & drop-off times safer & healthier for them. Read more about the scheme here: ‘School Streets‘.
… and from…..
^^^ Camden: “Based on your suggestions for how we can make it safer for you to walk & cycle we’re restricting thru-traffic & widening pavements at:
- Prowse Pl
- Construction sign Red Lion St & Dane St
- Woman walking Hampstead High St
- Woman walking Kentish Town Rd
More… ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘
Good news too from Lewisham: “As shops re-open and more children return to schools our streets will be busier. We are introducing measures to make it easier to walk and cycle. Find out more here: ‘Improving walking and cycling in our borough‘ (12 June 2020), and from Richmond: “New temporary measures will be installed on roads and pavements in #Teddington Town Centre to help support social distancing. Find out more here ‘Work to start on urgent measures to make Teddington shopping streets safer‘.
City of London: “We’re encouraging people from across the capital to make a responsible return to the City streets. Around 250 premises are now open to customers across the Square Mile. Read more here ‘Londoners urged to drive recovery by supporting City businesses‘, referencing the City Corporation’s transport plan (11 June 2020). And again a little later.
Kensington and Chelsea announced a Question Time with the Lead Member for Planning and Transport. Safer streets as a topic idea.
Islington with St Peter’s again; unwanted bikes for refurbishment from Hounslow; all-ability cycling sessions from Tower Hamlets; try before you buy from Newham; Southwark still need your help; City of London
Havering “….please don’t use the pavement (for cycling) unless it’s designated as a cycle track indicated by blue signs”, and Barking and Dagenham with “If you haven’t got a bike try walking or driving” closes today’s round-up.
Friday, 19 June 2020
The top boroughs today were…
Lewisham: “Have you recently taken up cycling? Hear from local residents who are enjoying the benefits of ditching four wheels for two. ‘Residents share the benefits of cycling in Lewisham‘ @SophieMcGeevor ……
Kensington and Chelsea: “A new temporary cycling & walking route on Kensington High Street is being explored to help people return safely to our streets. We want everyone to be able to pass through our streets to go for a stroll or shop at a local business. More: ‘Bike-friendly project to help borough bounce back‘. Later Kensington and Chelsea shared a video: “This first question received for Question Time is from 3 residents about our cycling infrastructure. @jthalassites shares what the Council is doing to help improve cycling along our roads. One item is the proposed cycling & walking route on Kensington High St. Watch now! [Video part of tweet].
^^ Harrow: “Have your say on our plans to make walking and cycling safer and healthier. We’ve got funding from TfL to make more space for walking and cycling. We love to hear your comments and feedback! ‘Harrow Street Spaces‘ (Commonplace).
Elsewhere, Richmond on discussing local issues, having say of parking proposals, and supporting highs streets. Waltham Forest with cycle confident and supporting local businesses. Merton asking for questions on health and safety on the high street. Greenwich on with comments on responses to cycle parking proposals (following funding from TfL) ‘Request cycle parking or suggest new bike storage‘, and asking to support a bid to reinvent Woolwich Town Centre! ‘Future High Street Funding for Woolwich‘.
Islington with “some fantastic videos to explain how to be a safe cyclist“; Hillingdon has “plotted out cycling routes, along some of our quieter roads, to help riders travel around the borough”, and a link to ‘Cycling routes‘ using Google maps; Haringey with an Active Communities newsletter.
Tower Hamlets: “With limited public transport, it’s great to see people of all ages enjoying cycling in the borough. For more details of FREE socially distanced cycling sessions for all abilities, visit: ‘TOWER HAMLETS 1-2-1 CYCLE TRAINING‘ (Bikeworks).
Croydon: “we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough“; Ealing: “remember … shop local, to walk or cycle, & avoid public transport”.
Havering trying to help (in a “borough that does not get cycling” sort of way): “As we all get used a new way of using the high streets & town centres with queuing & #social distancing, if you’re on a bicycle in these areas, please don’t use the pavement unless it’s designated as a cycle track indicated by blue signs”
^^^ Some upbeat info from the Mayor of London: “We’re rapidly transforming London’s roads to help more Londoners walk and cycle. Work has already started on new cycle lanes, extra pavement space and changes to residential roads. @WillNorman explains #StreetSpaceLondon on @BBCBreakfast….”
Saturday, 20 June 2020
In Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Johnny Thalassites shared what the Council is doing to make Earl’s Court Road and Holland Park Avenue safer and accessible in a video clip. A link to a playlist series of questions and answers for the council’s Leadership Team on YouTube was also provided.
Camden thanked residents for their feedback so far, and continued to ask for further suggestions as how they can make it easier & safer for people to walk & shop locally.
Haringey with “..Some pavements have been temporarily widened..”, and a reminder that “Our Smarter Travel team have provided social distancing stencils for nurseries and schools around the borough..”; and a reminder from Croydon “…we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough..”. Was Westminster trying to increase the cycling vibe with their message on the hospitality sector and the associated movement strategy?
Talking of Westminster, @RossiBike noted that some kerb-side parking spaces in the borough were becoming wider.
Elsewhere, Merton Residents’ Transport Group announced they were holding a webinar for local Councillors on Monday (22 June). There would be talks by experts on #lowtrafficneighbourhoods, #schoolstreets, Waltham Forest, plus discussions on opportunities and challenges for Merton. “Still waiting for 80% of councillors to reply” though.
Sunday, 21 June 2020
Tower Hamlets got the day off to a good start with details of an amazing @SantanderCycles offer from the ‘Zero Emissions Network‘. Richmond had a reminder of the Community Conversation for residents of Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside, and later asked for people to have their say on parking proposals at Twickenham Riverside. Kensington and Chelsea asked people to send in written or video questions for @jthalassites (Lead member for Planning and Transport), and Lewisham had a reminder that temporary measures were being introduced to make the borough safer and easier for two-wheeled journey, and that “whether you’re a cycling newbie or a seasoned pro, … hear from two local residents about the benefits of cycling: ‘Residents share the benefits of cycling in Lewisham‘.
Camden: “We had over 1,100 comments on our travel safety schemes & as a result will be restricting thru-traffic & widening pavements at: Prowse Pl; Red Lion St & Dane St; Kentish Town Rd; Millfield Ln; Well Wk. Check out the changes and suggest your own: ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘.
Croydon: “As more businesses start to open, we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough. We can all do our bit to keep #Croydon’s air clean. Walk and cycle as much as possible to reduce traffic, and save space on public transport for those who need it most. #CroydonTogether.
Monday, 22 June 2020
Interesting comparison between what is essentially the same message from three boroughs. Kingston: “…walk or cycle were possible to keep the roads clear for those who need to drive…”: ‘Car parks: location, prices and terms and conditions‘; Greenwich: “If you’re heading to the high street… ..walk or cycle there if you can” (complete with short video clip); Sutton: “… Avoid using public transport where possible. Try to walk, cycle or drive instead…”. Later from Sutton a parking reminded to use cashless parking in the borough’s car parks by RINGO online or by phone..”.
Camden: “We want to make it easier and safer for you to walk & cycle, shop on the high st or visit your local park. Let us know where you think changes are needed by commenting on our map. Comments close 28 June: ‘Making travel in Camden safer‘ (Commonplace).
Kingston with a good news story: “The Go Cycle programme has been shortlisted three times in this year’s Chartered Institute Highways & Transportation (CIHT) Awards nominations. Read more” ‘Go Cycle shortlisted three times in CIHT awards‘.
Newham reached out (good graphic included): “Propose changes to our streets to help with social distancing, walking and cycling in Newham on our online map: ‘Propose changes to our streets to help with social distancing, walking and cycling‘.
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Islington advised that @BikeabilityT has some great hints and tips on how to be an effective, safe cyclist: ‘Our cycling courses‘; Hounslow: “… If you have an unwanted bike, you could donate it to @HubBike who will refurbish it for FREE to help NHS staff commute to work safely…”.
Richmond asked for people to have their say on traffic at Twickenham Riverside.
Lewisham: “As the old saying goes ‘you never forget how to ride a bike’. We recently spoke to two residents, Laura and Asha, who both stopped cycling years ago but have recently rediscovered their love of cycling after a long hiatus”: ‘You never forget how to ride a bike‘ (23 June 2020).
Camden: “We want to make it easier and safer for you to walk & cycle, shop on the high st or visit your local park. Let us know where you think changes are needed by commenting on our map. Comments close 28 June: ‘Making travel in Camden safer‘ (Commonplace).
^^^ Kingston: “We are thrilled to have already secured £2m of streetspace funding from @TfL. We have ambitious plans for the borough and have submitted further bids to support a number of important schemes including low traffic neighbourhoods, and more school streets and cycle routes”.
Merton with a COVID-19 travel works update. Pavement widening, and pop-up cycle lanes (Haydons Rd Bridge, and “London Rd, Merton High St, Bushey Rd, Plough Ln” ongoing): ‘Merton’s active and healthy travel plan in response to Covid-19‘ (15 June 2020).
There were also updates from Kensington and Chelsea: “This next question for @jthalassites comes from Nicholas and Joanna about updates on cycle lanes along Holland Park Avenue. Hear his response to the query below. #AskRBKC. View the series: ‘In this video series, the Leadership Team will select the most asked questions to answer on video’ (YouTube).
Meanwhile, away from the official borough Twitter feeds, a councillor in Haringey (Cllr. Kirsten Hearn) shared some London Streetspace Plan news: “I’m delighted to share with you Haringey’s bids to @TfL’s Streetspace and @transportgovuk’s Emergency Cycle funds. ‘Haringey’s Streetspace Plans‘. Two cycle bids have already been approved by TfL. We’re making our streets safe and welcoming for active travel #StreetspaceLDN
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
A top tweet of the day came from Wandsworth: “Highways engineers in Wandsworth set to commence work on a series of road safety schemes worth more than £800,000 with funding secured for 16 school streets, a major cycle corridor and eight low traffic neighbourhoods“. Link to the news item ‘Funding secured for 16 school streets, a major cycle corridor and eight low traffic neighbourhoods‘, and a follow-up tweet “The council has successfully secured an initial allocation of London Streetspace funding to implement a number of temporary projects designed to make travel around the borough safer for pedestrians and cyclists”.
Waltham Forest had news of a new cycling project, ‘Cycle the Lines’. ‘Cycle the Lines’ are instructor led cycle rides from #WalthamForest to Central London to replace tube journeys with a sustainable ride. Pre-book at Cycle Confident.
The climate emergency was on the agenda in Camden: “The Camden Climate Action Plan – is our plan for how we will address the #ClimateCrisis and work together with you to make Camden a zero carbon borough by 2030. Find out more, download & share a copy of the plan here: ‘Camden Climate Action Plan 2020-2025‘”…..
…. and on the mind of London Councils too: “Local government is critical to delivering a #GreenRecovery and tackling the #ClimateEmergency, and we look forward to engaging with Government and other partners to achieve this #LEDNet”.
Lewisham asked residents to consider whether they could walk or cycle instead of using public transport; Camden asked residents to watch their speed when driving – “Remember roads in Camden are 20mph. Breaking the speed limit is dangerous, and puts extra strain on the NHS and other emergency services”. Talking of 20mph, Westminster with a reminder that “We’re introducing a 20mph speed limit on all our roads….”. Meanwhile, Croydon reminded residents that “As more businesses start to open, we are making it easier to #WalkandCycle around our borough…..”, and Hounslow announced Dr Bike would be back this Saturday.
Kingston proudly declared “The pioneering Mini-Holland programme, including Go Cycle in Kingston, has won the Healthy Transport Award in the annual CIHT Awards. Find out more ‘Go Cycle and Mini-Holland programme win CIHT Healthy Transport Award‘.
The Mayor’s Press Office tweeted: “Our world-leading #StreetspaceLDN programme continues to generate international attention. Today @willnorman spoke to @CBSSunday about how our plans will enable millions more journeys to be made on foot or by bike. Read more about our plans here: ‘Streetspace for London‘.
^^^ Lambeth Cyclists had some great news of the completion of a permanent scheme that had commenced well before Streetspace. They asked “What do you think of the upgrade to Baylis Road?” In a word ‘fabulous’. Will Norman was, unsurprisingly, very proud of the development too, saying “Baylis Road looking awesome as it was finished late last night. Thanks to all the construction & design teams”.
Thursday, 25 June 2020
^^^ Lambeth fell in love with Baylis Road; Hounslow with a reminder last chance to have say on Streetspace proposals, (‘COVID-19 Transport Response: Hounslow’s Streetspace‘ (Commonplace)); ^^^ Wandsworth and works starts tomorrow to implement the borough’s newest low traffic neighbourhood in Oakmead Road and Ravenstone Street #Balham; ^^^ Hackney first stage of transformation of Queensbridge Road is complete; ^^^ Croydon new cycle lane, with full news at ‘Croydon Streetspace brings cycle lane to London Road‘; ^^^ Richmond “More school streets are going to be rolled out across the borough, thanks to funding secured from @TfL”, with news story at ‘More school streets to be rolled out across the borough‘ (24 June 2020); ^^^ Haringey “Hear from Cllr Hearn on the success of the council’s funding bids to TfL’s Streetspace Fund, for Cycleway Superhighway 1- funding will support work to extend the existing cycle network and improve the safety of residents in the borough. Learn more: ‘Active travel bids get the green light‘”.
Kensington and Chelsea answered a question about speeding and 20 mph zones in Kensington and Chelsea, and then responded to a question about cycling on pavements; Richmond Community Conversation and parking proposals; Greenwich “if you are heading to the high street walk or cycle there if you can“; Hillingdon with its plotted cycle routes again, ‘Cycling routes‘; Islington shared videos from Bikeability; Lewisham with cycling tips from residents (full story at ‘Explore the borough on your bike‘).
Friday, 26 June 2020
Tower Hamlets shared a video from Sustrans “featuring Tower Hamlets schoolchildren showing the advantages of getting around on two wheels“; ^^^ Wandsworth “Borough’s newest low traffic neighbourhood scheme will mean quieter and safer street in Earlsfield and enhance its existing cycle contraflow” (full story at ‘Low traffic neighbourhood scheme enhances cycle contraflow in Earlsfield‘), and later Cllr. Paul Ellis gave his support to the scheme; ^^^ Hackney “We’ve closed Barnabas Rd to through-traffic to help people walk, cycle and maintain social distancing as traffic levels increase”; ^^^ Richmond with good news about the Kew Road cycle lane (with the full story at ‘Kew Road barriers to be upgraded to semi-permanent cycle lanes‘ (25 June 2020); Waltham Forest “Why not enter our #NameTheZEDBikes competition?“; Kingston “We’re continuing to introduce measures to make public spaces safer & aid social distancing”, and link to ‘Getting around Kingston‘; Newham with news of a new bicycle hire scheme, and later “….. just the start for Brompton Bike Hire for residents, with more new hire docks set to be installed to encourage cycling and promote sustainable transport”.
Camden reaching out again, with a reminder that comments close this Sunday 28 June in respect to how to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle in Camden (‘Making travel safer in Camden‘ (Commonplace).
^^^ Westminster “If you’re out and about in the city this weekend, check out our short video on safely exploring #Westminster by bike or on foot, whilst also supporting local businesses in the area. #WestminsterReopens #ShopLocal #ShopLocalWestminster”.
Southwark reacting out again, with “The first schemes to help make travel safer and healthier in Southwark are on the way – but we still need your help to identify other areas in your neighbourhood that may need extra measures to ensure we can all get around together”, with a link to ‘Where do we need measures for social distancing and safe and healthy travel in Southwark?‘ (Commonplace).
No tweets again this week from Sutton on the Streetspace theme. Today Sutton promoted the welcome news story ‘Walk with pride: new rainbow crossing in town‘ in this tweet (as a follow-up to an earlier tweet). All good, but Sutton has yet to tweet links to any of the three Streetspace related news items ‘Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets‘ (22 May 2020), ‘Making walking and cycling more fun – Creative Pavements!‘ (3 June 2020), or ‘Safer, Active, Greener Streets – Where is your busy spot?‘ (18 June 2020). (The animal walking trails around four local primary schools were promoted in a tweet on 2 June , the day before the publication of the news item). For the record, and to give some context, few of Sutton’s published news stories are ‘tweeted’. The important item ‘Sutton open for business‘ (12 June 2020) was a rare exception, having been understandably promoted on four occasions.
Saturday, 28 June 2020
Westminster promoted a short video: “As Westminster re-opens, we’ve been adapting our streets and roads to ensure you can safely move around the city by cycling or walking – check out our video to see how you can keep yourself and others around you safe….”, and shortly afterwards notification of recent publication of draft proposals in support the reopening of the hospitality sector (including graphic ‘shop local, cycle, stay safe, walk’).
Richmond with background on the borough’s first “Space to Shop” street scheme. Cllr. Alexander Ehmann explains the rationale behind the idea for Church Street, Twickenham, noting the daytime car-free trial commenced on 22 June. A link to find out more: ‘Businesses and Council agree ‘Space to Shop’ scheme for Church Street‘ (10 June 2020). Plus from Richmond today, more on the Community Conversation for Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside, and on parking proposals for Twickenham Riverside.
Elsewhere, Hounslow had details of the Dr Bike session talking place this afternoon.
Today, Sutton was busy tweeting, covering many important topics. A coronavirus mobile testing unit; Pride month (and the new rainbow crossing in Sutton town centre); domestic abuse; fostering; Sutton Volunteer Centre; food hub; and volunteers.
Sunday, 28 June 2020
Westminster promoted its pop-up cycle lanes (“As the shops have started to re-open you can explore Westminster safely….”), and gave a reminder of updated plans on helping the hospitality sector. Hounslow with advice and tips on visiting the high street including trying out new cycle routes and paths. Camden with the reminder that “Comments on our safer travel map close today!” and the link to ‘Making travel in Camden safer‘. Greenwich with an invitation to read the borough’s response to comments received on cycle parking proposals ‘Cycle parking‘.
^^^ Ealing with news of its secured Streetspace funding: “We’ve secured more than £400,000 from @TfL to introduce nine Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in locations across the borough. Find out more here: ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods planned for the borough‘ (Ealing News Extra 26 June 2020).
Elsewhere, Kingston avoid public transport and wear face covering if do use; Waltham Forest and name the ZED bikes; Croydon cycling in parks and making it easier to walk and cycle around the borough as businesses start to open (both with great graphics).
Monday, 29 June 2020
A day of contrasts, and of highs and lows (and that was only by midday).
A contemplative observation from Hackney started the day. Camden had an invitation to Climate Change Action Plan launch event, and Richmond with a reminder of an invitation to a Community Conversation. Hounslow had news of a quick survey as “… keen to hear the views of our residents about the impact of #COVID19 and the Council’s response..”. Waltham Forest with a reminder of its instructor-led commuter rides.
^^^ Hounslow with news on its School Streets: “The best way to start the week is with a #SchoolStreet! Hounslow Heath Juniors is one of 11 schools across the borough to have measures introduced this month, creating a safer and more pleasant environment for all at peak times of the day. Info: ‘School Streets programme supporting social distancing at Hounslow schools‘ (15 June 2020).
Now, turning to the contrasts, first the positives (Kingston and City of London)….
^^^ From Kingston: ” Starting today, Eden Street will become a one-way road to all traffic (including buses). The lane going towards Kingston Station will remain in operation and the other lane will be suspended and used as a temporary pathway, to help keep shoppers safe ‘Getting around Kingston‘.
^^^ And from the City of London: “Streets in the Square Mile are changing to allow more space for people to adhere to #SocialDistancing – have your say on our transport recovery plan by visiting ‘Covid-19: City streets‘.
…. and then, in contrast, the less positive (Streetspace perspective) news from Havering (although, to put a positive spin on this, it could be said that in some ways it’s good to see consistency from a local authority during these unsettlingly, largely unprecedented, times)…
Havering: “Free Sunday parking, a “stop and shop” hour of free parking & a new Havering Heroes free parking permit for NHS & care workers, are among the measures we’ve launched to support our high streets, read more ‘New measures introduced to support high streets and key workers‘.
… then, again, with priorities like this (free parking prioritised above all else) it is hard to understand quite how Havering came to be awarded Liveable Neighbourhoods funding in 2017. Answers on a postcard.
To the highs and lows, starting with a low from Wandsworth….
“A proposal to make trial changes to traffic arrangements in Tooting’s Elmbourne Road/Dr Johnson Avenue have been withdrawn. Aim was to reduce through traffic & improve air quality, but we’ve listed to concerns from local people re impact on neighbouring areas so idea now dropped”. (The trial was due to commence on 1 July, with a consultation from 13 July once people had had a chance to experience the effects of the proposals (see below)).
Earlier, Clare Fraser, Labour Councillor for Bedford Ward, had tweeted “Thanks to everyone who got in touch with me @PutneyFleur and @hectordenfield over the weekend on this important issue. Following these concerns the council has taken the decision this morning withdraw these proposals with immediate effect.”, as a follow-up to her earlier tweet (27 June) “Residents living on Elmbourne Road and nearby have been notified about a Trial Low Traffic Neighbourhood starting on 1 July for 6 months. @PutneyFleur @hectordenfield and I want to hear your thoughts on this as we weren’t consulted. See more here ‘Let us know your thoughts on the proposed Elmbourne Road Area Trial Low Traffic Neighbourhood‘ (Labour in Tooting Bec and Balham, 27 June 2020).
Not all was lost for Wandsworth though. Later in the day the authority tweeted: “The council has persuaded highways chiefs at Transport for London to allow Old York Road to be closed to traffic so its pubs, bars and restaurants can reopen and use the extra road space to set up tables and chairs and safely cater for their customers”, with a follow-up “The council is also hoping for similar success in Battersea’s popular Northcote Road”.
…. and then to the high from Southwark (not the council this time (Southwark Council’s communications on Streetspace appear to be as bad as Sutton’s) but from Southwark Cyclists…
^^^ “A new square for Dulwich Village‘. Subsequently endorsed by London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman: “Making space for people to walk and cycle in Dulwich – #StreetspaceLDN @lb_southwark”.
^^^ Greenwich posted a news item ‘Plans to change streets to ensure safe transport for all post-lockdown‘ (29 June 2020), detailing ‘What we’re up to so far’; ‘What we’re doing’ (referencing TfL’s Temporary Strategic Cycling Analysis); ‘Funding’ and ‘Future engagement’ (see box below), publicised through the tweet: “Find out about our plans to provide safe travel options for all residents post-lockdown, which will accommodate significant increases in cycling and walking”.
“You have been making some great suggestions on social media for things we could do and we have built these into our proposals where possible. Once we know how much funding we will receive, we will develop plans which we will share publicly, with a focus on implementing schemes as quickly as possible. All London Streetspace schemes need to be complete by end of September but we want to deliver the benefits as soon as possible“.
A little later, Greenwich tweeted “If you’re heading to the high street… …walk or cycle there if you can”.
Action on climate featured today. London Councils had an invitation: “Join @londoncouncils this Thursday at 4pm for an online panel, part of London Climate Action Week…”; and Southwark said “Thank you to everyone who has shared ideas so far… We want your views so that we can work towards a carbon neutral 2030 – let’s tackle the climate emergency together”, linked to ‘How can we tackle the climate crisis? (Commonplace)’. Hounslow had news that the Council was launching a taskforce to spark green recovery.
Meanwhile, Hackney, whilst noting that cycle skills activities were still cancelled, provided links to helpful resources showing how you can keep your bike in top condition and safe to ride: ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme – Application Portal‘; ‘Bikeability – Looking after your bike‘; ‘A Bikeability Level 3 Journey – This is my independence‘.
Sutton was again conspicuous by not tweeting the news relayed by Cllr. Abellan “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.”, and, indeed, the news tweeted by us “‘Safer, Active, Greener Streets’ report published ahead of the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on 6 July. Provides details of the borough’s #StreetspaceLDN bids, and the rationale behind them. Proposals all nicely mapped too..”.
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
The official launch of Camden‘s Climate Action Plan is taking place on Thursday, and this was highlighted early in the day with an invitation to register to the event. Later, Camden with another invitation to find out more about new schemes in response to COVID-19, asking “New to cycling? We’ve widened & segregated the cycle lanes on Goods Way to make it safer for you….” ‘Making travel safer in Camden‘.
^^^ Hackney: “We’re closing another 20 roads to through-traffic to support people to walk and cycle as traffic increases post-lockdown. Residents and businesses will be able to have their say on the closures before a decision is made on whether to make them permanent. ‘Emergency road safety measures: Further 20 roads set to close to through-traffic‘ (30 June 2020).
^^^ Wandsworth: “Here’s how we plan to make Old York Road safer for pedestrians and cyclists and also allow its hospitality businesses to reopen and use the extra road space for their customers to maintain safe distancing rules. ‘Old York Road changes improve road safety and offer boost to local businesses‘. A little later, an invitation from Wandsworth, for residents to help with a recovery plan.
Lambeth with news that “cyclists and pedestrians can now visit the Vale Street Recycling Centre by booking a slot via our online Personal computer booking form..”. Islington with a reminder of the borough’s Try Before You Bike scheme.
Merton with tips to shop local, shop safe: “#SocialDistancing means public transport can only take a fraction of its capacity, & increased car use worsens congestion & air quality. Try to shop as locally as possible, by foot or bike & support local businesses. ‘Shop local, shop safe: Six tips for visiting your high street‘ (17 June 2020).
A similar message from Kingston, but with parking added to the mix: “When visiting Kingston Town Centre, please walk or cycle where possible to keep the roads clear for those who need to drive. For those driving, all of our car parks in the town centre offer cashless payment facilities. More info ‘Car parks: location, prices and terms and conditions‘.
On the topic of parking, Havering with “Find out more about our changes to parking in the borough, that includes free Sunday parking & a Havering heroes permit to allow NHS & other key workers to park for free, watch more below..”. Newham “Reminder – Full parking enforcement will resume in Newham on July 1.”; Bexley: “Go cashless when you pay and display and try @RingGo_parking. Due to the pandemic we are all trying to handle less cash to keep people safe. Ringo is a quick and easy app to download….”; Sutton: “Parking reminder. Live enforcement, of all restrictions, will begin again from tomorrow (1 July). For more information, please see: ‘COVID-19 Parking‘.
Following on from Sutton’s rainbow crossing last week, Kingston proudly announced it now has one too: “From Abbey Road to Eden Street! The Fab Four of @RBKMayor, @SamF_H and Liam Rogers and Sam Quinlan from @LGBTKingston try out the newly-painted crossing in #Kingston as part of our #Pride2020 celebrations! @PrideInLondon”.
It is fitting in some ways that, on the day this review closes, Barking and Dagenham published the sort of tweet that it was hoped to see from the outset in mid-April but which has remained extremely elusive ever since (Greenwich being the first borough to reach out on 5 May): “We want to make our streets better for social distancing, walking & cycling, & we want to hear from you! From wider footways & lower traffic streets to better cycle routes, or simply suggesting what you think is already working – share your ideas here: ‘Supporting social distancing with walking and cycling improvements‘ (including an interactive map).
Consequently, Barking and Dagenham has today joined the aforementioned Greenwich (5 May), plus Lambeth (12 May), Camden (13 May), Southwark (14 May), Hounslow (20 May), Islington (29 May) , Waltham Forest (1 June), and Tower Hamlets (1 June) in reaching out to residents through an official borough Twitter feed.
Conclusions to the review
This review of local authorities Twitter feeds began in April 2020 in an attempt to assess the level of concern and importance given by the local authorities in the capital (in their role as the primary highway authority) in relation to easing the stress that could be experienced in the public realm to ensure ‘social distancing’ at the time. Essentially, the original research was about endeavouring to see whether boroughs were using their official Twitter feeds to reach out to residents. As the situation evolved, and TfL launched the London Streetspace Plan (Sadiq Khan, 2 May), and the Government announced an emergency (transport) fund (Grant Shapps, 9 May), the review grew to encompass aspects of action and delivery. The review stopped on 30 June.
So what can be concluded from this review?
Well, firstly of course, it is important to recognise that just because a particular local authority does not ‘tweet’ about a particular ‘topic’ does not mean that the ‘absent issue’ is not being addressed by that authority. Equally, as noted at the outset, account has to be taken of all the many challenges and priorities that boroughs are required to contend with, all of which vie for considerable demands on available, and no doubt, limited, resources. Furthermore, no attempt has been made here to assess how many tweets individual boroughs have published (or the subject matter of tweets), an assessment that would be required to fully evaluate the situation. Also, it was not known to what degree ward councillors across London were directly involved in disseminating information and news on ‘social distancing’ and Streetspace, beyond the fact that many did so (and some of these are referenced in the review, and we thank them for this).
Nevertheless, taking these caveats into account, the review has shown that there were clear discrepancies between the approaches taken by London’s thirty-three local authorities in regard to communicating the ‘social distancing’ message on social media. It could be argued, that not to take full use of social media during unprecedented times in order to engage, inform, and communicate with residents about the important, evolving, issues of the day is equivalent to falling (not necessarily failing) at the first hurdle. ‘Social distancing’ was, and remains, important, and how a local authority was, and is, responding to the related new national and regional government guidelines provided to help address the issue remains important too. People need to be reassured, and informed. Reaching out through social media, in order to garner views from residents, is a recognised and established way of doing this (or, at least, that is the theory). It is now 2020 (and Sutton Council joined Twitter in 2009 (@SuttonCouncil)).
Sutton has not performed particularly well when it comes to tweeting about ‘social distancing’, beyond the occasional reminder for a need to keep two metres apart. Furthermore, at no point did the council use its official Twitter feed to ‘reach out’, to ask the question ‘how can we help?’, or ask for suggestions for locations where improvements could be made. This did not change following the unveiling of the London Streetspace Plan in early May, or following the publication on the council’s website of the news item ‘Council launches ambitious plans for safer, active streets‘ on 22 May or (at last) ‘Safer, Active, Greener Streets – Where is your busy spot?’ on 18 June.
Let’s be clear, there is no criticism of what Sutton did ‘tweet’ about. The feed understandably majored on support for carers, support for local business, and the need for fostering. Rather, this critique relates to what was not tweeted. At the very least, how difficult is it to post a tweet automatically with every publication of a news post on the council’s website? Richmond appears to do this very well, and Croydon and Kingston tend to tweet a follow-up to their news items as well.
All of this leaves us wondering why Sutton has not stepped up to our expectations on reaching out and promoting ‘Streetspace’ on Twitter. Sutton is, after all, a borough that has claimed strong environmental credentials for decades, and social media is one way to gather views, engage, and improving dissemination of information in a timely manner. In light of this review, one of our recommendations would be for Sutton Council to carry out an audit of its communication channels and use of social media.
Perhaps it is fitting to end with a tweet from Sutton today (30 June 2020): “Great to see Sutton Council leader and Deputy Chair of the LGA, Cllr Ruth Dombey on the panel of today’s virtual LGA conference, speaking about the importance of local government … in the recovery after COVID-19 ….. #RethinkLocal”. During the conference, the Local Government Association posted on its official Twitter feed this message: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us rethink our view of local and what it means to our residents. Councils have done in days what takes years“.
When it comes to time, sometimes time is of the essence. Everyone wants a better future for the coming generations, and sometimes we have to stand back a little on that path and consider what really matters. On that, time will tell.