Fox Lane Plans Revealed

Enfield Council has followed its aspiration for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) with detailed proposals for the first of these in the Fox Lane area, close to the Barnet border.

Under the plans, this large network of residential streets between Southgate Green, Bourne Hill and Green Lanes with have 18 road closures (except cycles), 2 of which will be bus gates. The bus gate on Fox Lane will divide the area into two cells, each having just one entry point for motor vehicles.

The local campaign group thinks reducing those car journeys to a few hundred (mainly residents’ vehicles entering/exiting the area) will be transformational. They expect fewer collisions, less speeding, a stronger sense of community, and a big rise in all-age walking and cycling, especially on the school run. Read more…

What are LTNs?

This begs the question on what residents in other outer London boroughs want for their neighbourhoods, especially for us in Barnet.

Enfield Council plans low traffic neighbourhoods

This week Enfield Council announced plans to create “low traffic neighbourhoods” (LTNs) throughout the borough. “The ambition of the Council is to adopt a ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ approach, where ‘through’ motor vehicle traffic is discouraged or removed.”

This is good news for Enfield and something that Barnet should be doing.

We congratulate Better Streets for Enfield, whose top campaign ask is to see a low traffic neighbourhood in every ward, preventing through motor traffic from cutting through residential areas and prioritising active travel and residents’ well being over car journeys.

The Connaught Gardens low traffic neighbourhood will take the whole area into account, including busy through route Hazelwood Lane. See http://cycleenfield.co.uk/quieter-neighbourhoods/

While Enfield’s “Mini Holland” funding from the Mayor has led to miles of new cycle infrastructure, so far not a single road has been closed to through motor traffic. Enfield has experimented with measures like width restrictions, which the council found was ineffective in reducing traffic speed and volume. Meanwhile in the neighbouring Mini Holland borough of Waltham Forest, 40 roads have been closed to rat running drivers since 2014, leading to a significant rise in walking and cycling and a drop in short car journeys and air pollution.

Orford Road, at the heart of Walthamstow’s low traffic neighbourhood, only allows buses and bikes from 10am to 10pm Cyclists on Orford Road

Low traffic neighbourhoods will transform Enfield’s streets. The public health benefits – encouraging more all-age active travel, reducing air pollution and strengthening communities – can’t be overstated. LTNs are also an important tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Which neighbourhoods will be low in traffic?

According to the Cycle Enfield website, the first phase will address three areas: those surrounding Fox Lane N13, Connaught Gardens N13 and Fernleigh Gardens N21. The maps on the website suggest that the areas will be treated as a whole and through traffic kept on surrounding main roads.

A second phase will focus on the Bowes Park area, where Better Streets has long supported a local campaign for a low traffic neighbourhood; and the areas surrounding Bush Hill Road and Firs Lane.

A third phase will look at neighbourhoods east of the A1010/Hertford Road and Fore Street in Edmonton and areas surrounding the Hertford Road north of Ponders End. These larger areas will be divided into smaller sub-areas for LTN treatment.

London Boroughs’ Healthy Streets Scorecard

The first ever (and first of what’s planned to be an annual event) London Boroughs’ Healthy Streets Scorecard launched today. You can see the LCC blog with the media release and download of the full report and spreadsheet here: https://lcc.org.uk/articles/healthy-boroughs. It has also been covered in the Evening Standard.

What is the Scorecard?

The Scorecard aims to track boroughs on nine metrics relating to the Healthy Streets methodology and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims. These nine are broken into four “outputs” – the long-term results of making streets healthier – such as serious collision rates, mode share and car ownership, and four inputs, one of which is a combination of two metrics. These are things every borough can and should be doing to improve streets and will mean all boroughs can affect their scoring and standing on the Scorecard within a year, without huge amounts of funding – such as modal filters installed, km of cycle track, 20mph and CPZ coverage of the borough’s roads.

All of the scores have been designed to not only be sourced from public sources of information (TfL mostly, but also DfT etc.) but also should be replicable on an annual basis. All the metrics have also been normalised – so, for instance, boroughs with more walking and cycling shouldn’t automatically do badly on collisions for vulnerable road users.

What the scorecard means for Barnet

Overall, Barnet comes 28th out of 33 boroughs, above Hillingdon, Bromley, Bexley, Redbridge and Havering.  The areas where investments have the most potential for improving Barnet’s overall score are 20 mph zones and provision of protected cycle tracks, followed by Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and CPZs.

The eight Healthy Streets indicators used for the 33 London Boroughs are:

Indicator Measure Barnet’s position – out of 33 Boroughs
1. Modeshare: Sustainable Modes (PT+W+C) Trip-based mode share for active, efficient and sustainable modes (Walk, Cycle & Public Transport), by borough of residence, LTDS 3 year average, 2015/16-2017/18. 23rd
2A. Active Travel-Walking % of adults who walk 5+ times a week 25th
2B. Active Travel-Cycling % of adults who cycle 5+ times a week 32nd
3. Casualties (Tot % P&C) Average Annual Pedestrian and Cyclist Serious and Fatal Casualties (2015 to 2017)/1,000 daily walking and cycling stages (Stages per day, 3 year average 2014/15-2016/17) 4th
4. Cars per Household Number of cars per household (2018) 25th
5. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (Modal filters) Number of modal filters (Source: TfL CID. Data collected 2017-summer 2018)/km of road length (DfT – 2017) 26th
6. 20mph Proportion of borough managed roads (by length) with a 20mph limit (TfL) 32nd
7. CPZ Coverage Length of roads covered by Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) (Source: Appy Parking) 21st
8. Provision of Protected Cycle Track Total length (kms) of protected cycle track (covers – Segregated (on- and off -carriageway), Stepped Lane/Track and Partially/light segregated (on- and off-carriageway)per km of road length (DfT – 2017) 32nd

The scorecard is certainly not comprehensive or perfect – but it’s a really good start we think, and the aim is to improve it, so please let us know your feedback.

Waltham Forest – a paradise for pedestrians

and people of all ages feel safer cycling

Last Friday, a group of Enfield residents went on a tour of Waltham Forest’s low traffic neighbourhoods, to see what they could learn for their own area. What they found, on a lovely sunny June day, was a paradise for pedestrians, on a network of streets full of greenery where walkers have priority over traffic.

With them were four Enfield councillors and their tour guides were Walthamstow residents Paul Gasson and Dan Kelly, who have worked closely with Waltham Forest council to shape their ‘Mini Holland’ scheme.

Read more…

Why electric cars won’t save us:

There are not enough resources to build them

British scientists do the maths and find that we come up short for cobalt, lithium and copper.

The UK Committee on Climate Change report received criticism that it was too much business as usual, particularly with its suggestion that electric cars could replace all the ICE (internal combustion engine) powered cars in the UK, and its lack of interest in alternatives.

Now, a letter from the Natural History Museum’s head of Earth Sciences, Professor Richard Herrington, along with other experts, points out the scale of the problem of building so many electric cars. They calculate that, even with the most efficient batteries available, full electrification of the auto fleet by 2035 would need a lot more mining.

The worldwide impact: If this analysis is extrapolated to the currently projected estimate of two billion cars worldwide, based on 2018 figures, annual production would have to increase for neodymium and dysprosium by 70%, copper output would need to more than double and cobalt output would need to increase at least three and a half times for the entire period from now until 2050 to satisfy the demand.

Separating cobalt from mud and rocks in DR Congo

It would also take a lot of energy to make these cars:

Energy costs for cobalt production are estimated at 7000-8000 kWh for every tonne of metal produced and for copper 9000 kWh/t. The rare-earth energy costs are at least 3350 kWh/t, so for the target of all 31.5 million cars that requires 22.5 TWh of power to produce the new metals for the UK fleet, amounting to 6% of the UK’s current annual electrical usage. Extrapolated to 2 billion cars worldwide, the energy demand for extracting and processing the metals is almost 4 times the total annual UK electrical output.

And then, of course, there is the electricity required to power all these electric vehicles. Building wind farms to generate that much would require more copper and more dysprosium, and building solar farms requires yet more high purity silicon, indium, tellurium, gallium. Professor Herrington notes:

“The urgent need to cut CO2 emissions to secure the future of our planet is clear, but there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged.”

We have to stop talking about how electric cars will save us; it takes too much stuff to make them all, puts out too much upfront carbon, and nobody is going to make enough of them fast enough. All that copper and lithium and nickel and aluminum and steel has to come from somewhere. We have to look at getting people out of cars, at making it easier for people to use e-bikes and cargo bikes, transit and feet.

e-bikes for mail delivery

What is the best tool for the job? Cars are convenient for some, but we can’t just build electric powered two and three ton boxes moving one person a few miles. We have to look at alternatives that use less stuff more efficiently. Electric cars won’t save us.

Based on this original article

Reminder – Have Your Say @ Barnet Station Consultations

Public exhibitions at the station on 13 June 2pm-9pm; 14 June 2pm-8pm; 15 June 10am-4pm.

Don’t forget to visit this exhibition today, tomorrow and Saturday this week.

It is the launch of their consultations for the site, and is the first of a number of events being held over the coming months to gauge the views of the community and how the proposals can benefit the local area.

An interesting part of the proposals is a ‘bike hub’ with a cycle shop, better cycle storage, charge points for e-bikes, etc.  Cycling is a key part of the proposals and driven by TfL’s wider brief to switch more people to cycling.

So why not cycle there and give them your 2 cents worth of suggestions and endorsements?  Also get your free cup of coffee!

High Barnet Station Consultation

Don’t Complain – Go There and Have Your Say!

Public exhibitions at the station on 13 June 2pm-9pm; 14 June 2pm-8pm; 15 June 10am-4pm.

Plans are at very early stages, but will include new public space, new affordable homes and new space for businesses plus changes at the station itself.

This exhibition will mark the launch of their consultation for the site, and is the first of a number of events being held over the coming months to gauge the views of the community and how the proposals can benefit the local area.

Jon C has reminded us that it could be an opportunity to ask for decent, covered cycle storage at the station.

So get on your bike and get down there!

MEETING REMINDER

Thursday 25th April

Monthly Meeting: AGM followed by talk on the ‘M25 Ride’

The AGM should be relatively swift and painless – once you have volunteered to help! See notice elsewhere in the newsletter. After the coffee break we will have an illustrated talk from Doug Nevell about his cycle route that mirrors the M25 round London. Doug has led groups on this ride several times, including one from Barnet Cyclists, and without cycling on the hard shoulder! All welcome.

Meet: 8pm Carey Hall, Trinity Church Centre, Nether Street, North Finchley N12

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – the time has come

Has the concept of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood reached a turning point that will see it going from a fringe idea to a national or international movement?  Will 90 years of car-oriented development now begin to be rolled back?  The 100 strong turn-out at the excellent UDG-London Living Streets event on 31 Jan 2019, attended by Peter Hale and Charles Harvey, would seem to suggest that the moment has come.

Chris Martin from Urban Movement opened the event by illustrating two diametrically different approaches to urban design, firstly, a road traffic interchange in Huston, Texas, and secondly the entire urban core of Florence, which would fit comfortably within it.   Points that he covered included the need to work with local people to identify and agree traffic cells, the connecting quiet streets, which streets will form the main traffic routes and which of these will need to be improved to become boulevards.   Providing safe crossings where the link streets cross main traffic routes was essential.

Feryal Demirci Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks, Hackney talked about the challenges and progress being made in the borough.  Hackney was experiencing rapid population expansion, very poor air quality, congestion, obesity especially in young people, and yet it had low car ownership and over 15 percent of residents cycled to work.    Some streets in the borough had high cycle flows, with Goldsmith Road recording 6000 cyclists per day.  The borough was repurposing kerbside space, with cycle hangers and parklets.  Footways were being prioritised with both cycle hangers and electric vehicle charging points going in the carriageway not on the footway.  School Streets were being promoted, involving timed traffic restrictions around schools, backed by cameras and signs.  Traffic flows were typically half previous levels.   The borough was also introducing restrictions on all but ultra low emission vehicles.  As to low traffic neighbourhoods, over 100 streets had now been filtered.  She gave the impression that while there could be opposition from vehicle users from outside the area, local communities were strongly behind the introduction of schemes.  Play streets had been made much easier and less costly to introduce following creative use of the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847

Fran Graham from the London Cycling Campaign, argued that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were an effective response to the impact of Satnav, Google maps, Waze etc which has led to increased through-traffic disrupting residential areas in the search for quicker, congestion free routes.  Turning to cycling, she indicated that traffic levels as low as 2000, 1500, or 1000 PCU per day were preferred to enable safe cycling  (PCU – Passenger Car Unit ) This is on a par with  Manual for Streets which cites 100 vehicles per hour peak flow as a threshold level below which pedestrians will share highway space with motorists, and above which they will tend to treat the general path taken by motor vehicles as a ‘road’ to be crossed rather than as a space to occupy.

Laurie Johnston, from the Dulwich Safe Routes to school campaign, observed that regrettably, responsibility for safety is placed on children, not on drivers. (NB research shows that children do not have the cognitive abilities to take responsibility, the law also recognises that they do not have the same capacity as adults). One street is not enough, she said, what is needed is a network of safe door to door routes

Rachel Aldred, for the University of Westminster discussed the research available to date.  The Mini Holland schemes had been assessed comparing areas with interventions with control areas where no changes had been made.  The results were positive with a notable increase in active travel in year 1, which continued into year 2 where there was a recorded reduction in car use. A scheme in Hounslow which involved no more than 2 planters had led new pedestrian and cycle journeys being made, amounting to a £500,000 health benefit.   There were Equality Act reasons for considering low traffic neighbourhoods.  The statistics showed that disabled pedestrians suffered  4-5 times more injuries from motor vehicles per kilometre than the general population.

In the discussion issues that came up included:

·         Traffic Evaporation or Traffic Displacement

·         Using ped-sheds to get a far more accurate view of walkability than just drawing a circle around a point.

·         Local community roadwatch groups to control speeding

·         Involve schools – at least one member of staff to be advocate

·         School streets are valuable but more is needed – children do more than just go to school.

·         Funding of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – S106 funds can be a useful source

Further reading

Guide to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

https://londonlivingstreets.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/lcc021-low-traffic-neighbourhoods-detail-v9.pdf

This publication provides plenty of detailed information on the physical measures that can be applied, as well as a series of steps to follow to take a scheme from an idea to a safer, cleaner, healthier and more social environment.