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Agenda item

MINI HOLLAND

Notice of the above Motion was given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.

 

Councillor Matt Davis will move;

Councillor John Moss will second

 

This Council notes the Conservative Mayor of London is giving the Council around £30 million of funding for the “Mini Holland” cycling improvements.

 

The Council also notes that the plans that have come forward so far will:

 

1.            Clearly disadvantage all road users, including bus passengers, other than the small minority of residents who are cyclists, whom a study by Camden NHS and TfL has proven are almost entirely middle class, young, white men.

2.            Will increase the amount of time it takes a bus to travel along Lea Bridge Road by almost 40 minutes.

3.            Will worsen emissions and air quality, which may be why there appears to be no individual climate change impact assessment of each scheme.

4.            Are likely to lead to an increase in road traffic accidents as it did in Islington when speed limits were reduced to a blanket 20MPH borough wide.

5.            Are generating considerable resident and local business opposition which has been made notably worse by an extremely poor consultation process which only allowed residents consulted to vote yes or no for an entire scheme rather than being able to support individual elements of it, or contribute proposals or ideas borne of experience.

Council also notes with incredulity that despite receiving £30 million pounds Cllr Loakes is now attempting to misappropriate £20K into his budget from the L&Q section 106 agreement which was earmarked for the absolutely essential health service improvements caused by the redevelopment of Walthamstow Dog Track.

 

In addition Council notes and queries the accident based evidence record on which the 20MPH schemes are based since in at least one case it is a fact that physical traffic calming is to be imposed upon roads without there being the evidence to support them in clear contravention of the Council’s own policies and previous practice.

 

The Council therefore calls upon the portfolio holder and his officers to:

 

1.            Listen to the views of all borough residents and not just the tiny minority that make up the local cycling campaign.

2.            Only propose or institute speed limit reduction schemes for which there is demonstrable accident based evidence for their need.

3.            Conduct a proper equalities impact assessment in order to ensure that those groups especially likely to be disadvantaged, for example Muslim women, have their needs consulted upon and not just those of  the overwhelmingly white, middle class, male cyclists.

4.            Conduct proper Climate Change Impact assessments for each individual scheme proposed in order that Waltham Forest Council does not make air quality worse in pursuit of Councillor Loakes’ personal agenda.

5.            To ensure that mini Holland is of benefit to, and mostly supported by, the whole of the Borough and not just a very small, but disproportionately noisy, self-selecting portion of it.

Decision:

1.     This Council notes the Conservative Mayor of London awarded Waltham Forest Council around £27 million of funding for our successful 'Mini Holland' bid which forms part of the Mayors ground breaking 'Vision for Cycling' agenda which equates to £913 million over ten years.

2.     That change can be a challenge in itself and recognises the need for exemplar communications in our Mini- Holland programme to ensure even if not agreeing with our programme residents, visitors and businesses understand the ‘why’.

The Council also notes that the plans that have come forward so far will:

1.    Encourage more people to walk and cycle. By prioritising these sustainable modes of transport and improving the safety of those who travel this way. (‘Pedal Cyclist Fatalities in London: Analysis of Police Collision Files (2007-2011)’. By University of Loughborough & UCL 2014 )

2.    Improve the efficiency and safety of Lea Bridge Rd for all road users as from 2000 to 2014 there has been a 16% decrease in cars using and 507% increase in cyclists using this road. By providing a fully segregated cycle super highway, by redesigning Whipps Cross Roundabout, improving the signals along the entire length of the road, secure a right hand turn from Lea Bridge Rd into Hoe St, and by improving the pedestrian experience. 

       Over the past five years there have been a total of 404 collisions along Lea Bridge Road resulting in 2 fatal, 33 serious and 369 slight injury collisions. Just under half of theses collisions have involved vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists amounting to 21 killed and seriously injured (1 fatal and 20 serious injuries) and 157 slight injuries. 

3.    By achieving the target shift to a 10% cycling share and by increasing pedestrian trips especially by reducing some of the daily trips under 3km we will radically reduce vehicle emissions. This would also free up the space on the highway network for those that need to use the car and for bus users. Currently, half of all car journeys in London are less than 3km, (an average 20minute walk), and 70 per cent of car journeys are 5km or less and could be cycled in around 20 minutes.

4.    By introducing the Council policy of 20mph speed limit on all residential roads in Waltham Forest will reduce accidents on our roads especially amongst the most vulnerable. Area wide 20mph are widely supported and championed as best practise by health groups incl. the World Health Organisation, NICE, Association of Directors of Public Health, Faculty of Public Health, UK Public Health Association, Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health and National Children's Bureau.  

5.    The huge leap in Waltham Forest residents learning to ride a bike through our free training programme. School Children up from 824 to 912 and adults and group training up from 249 to 613, an overall increase of 452 for the same period last year.

6.    By March 2016 we will have installed a further 300 bike stands, 30 residents cycle hangars and 3 Cycle hubs across Waltham Forest. We have received over 1000 resident requests for cycle hangers in their roads across the borough.

This Council recognises the positive public health impact of more people walking and cycling in Waltham Forest -

1.    It is estimated that over 14 per cent of children age 11 are overweight and over 23 per cent are obese, while one in five journeys in the borough each morning and afternoon involves a trip to and from school.

2.    Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates. People who cycle on average live two years longer than people who don’t and take 15 per cent fewer days off work through illness, saving the economy £128m a year in reduced absenteeism.

3.    That the current DEFRA consultation on Air Quality recognises the need for more infrastructure and prioritisation of walking and cycling in an attempt to dramatically reduce emissions from motorised vehicles to improve our air quality.

 

This Council welcomes

1.    The support for the Mini-Holland programme from all the main 2016 Mayoral Candidates- incl. Sadiq Khan,Zac Goldsmith, Sian Berry and Caroline Pigeon - who have indicated that they will roll out the programme and associated space for cycling initiatives across London.

2.    The support from Robert Goodwill MP (Cons)-  Minister for Cycling and Walking- for Waltham Forest for the work we are leading on which he declared in his recent visit and his recognition that we need to do more in the UK in an attempt to catch up with the cities like Copenhagen who are 30 years ahead of the U.K.

3.    The inclusion of a 'Walking & Cycling Strategy' in the Governments proposed first UK Infrastructure Plan

4.    Building upon existing engagement with the emergency services in Waltham Forest with the setting up by Waltham Forest Council of a formal 6 weekly liaison meeting with all the local emergency service providers

5.    The substantial engagement and consultation exercises that have been taking place that incl. perception surveys, resident design workshops, meetings with residents, formal consultation and drop in sessions. These activities have been supported by a large number of leaflets, social media interventions and substantial door knocking activities. On top of which the Council has also responded to some 3000 individual emails. 

The Council therefore calls upon the portfolio holder and his officers to:

1.     Continue to build upon and develop the engagement and consultation methodology with residents, businesses and the emergency services around the delivery and implementation of individual Mini-Holland schemes.

2.     Recognising concerns raised; to prepare a new bespoke strategy for improving the engagement and consultation further with those residents with mobility needs and visual impairments and those who provide services to them around the individual schemes and the opportunities of Mini- Holland.    

3.     Continue to consult and roll out the Council Borough wide 20mph policy as adopted by Full Council in April 2012

4.     Continue to prepare Equality Impact Assessments for each scheme and recognise that repeated research shows that if you prioritise the highways space and improve the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians then more incl. those from disadvantaged groups will use these modes of transport.

5.     To measure air quality through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research throughout the programme lifecycle and beyond including the placing of an additional 18 nitrogen dioxide monitoring tubes in locations across the borough.

6.     To work with the TfL Health team to develop monitoring frameworks for a number of indicators by which the success of the project will be measured including air quality implications.