Emergency Cycle Lanes in Barnet

A radical change for Active Travel

The Government’s response to Covid-19 has led to a radical change in expectations on Local Authorities for traffic management in the form of statutory guidance. It recognises all of the advantages of active travel we have been advocating for years and states: “The government therefore expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians.”

The implications are profound. For the first time ever, there is a statutory duty on councils to provide safe cycle routes and encourage active travel. That means more than simply providing cycle parking and training. Allocation of Government funding for highways may depend on councils meeting these new obligations.

What’s happening in Barnet?

Barnet Council officers have the go-ahead from Councillors for temporary ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes on the A1000 from Tally-Ho to the border with Haringey. It’s a good start, but much less than what we have called for.

With problems using public transport, we are concerned that the roads could become even busier than before the pandemic.

Please would you email the council leader Cllr Daniel Thomas using https://membership.lcc.org.uk/help-london-stop-tide-motor-traffic-returning to reinforce the message that action is needed now.

You can also use the Cycling UK campaign: https://action.cyclinguk.org/page/59646/action/1 This lets you send an email to your local councillors in addition to the council leader. It also lets you do a follow up email to thank them for any measures and suggest others.

Government expectations

Here is the statutory guidance on reallocating road space:

Reallocating road space: measures

Local authorities in areas with high levels of public transport use should take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart (social distancing in this context primarily refers to the need for people to stay 2 metres apart where possible when outdoors). Local authorities where public transport use is low should be considering all possible measures.

Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect.

None of these measures are new – they are interventions that are a standard part of the traffic management toolkit, but a step-change in their roll-out is needed to ensure a green restart. They include:

  • Installing ‘pop-up’ cycle facilities with a minimum level of physical separation from volume traffic; for example, mandatory cycle lanes, using light segregation features such as flexible plastic wands; or quickly converting traffic lanes into temporary cycle lanes (suspending parking bays where necessary); widening existing cycle lanes to enable cyclists to maintain distancing. Facilities should be segregated as far as possible, i.e. with physical measures separating cyclists and other traffic. Lanes indicated by road markings only are very unlikely to be sufficient to deliver the level of change needed, especially in the longer term.
  • Using cones and barriers: to widen footways along lengths of road, particularly outside shops and transport hubs; to provide more space at bus stops to allow people to queue and socially distance; to widen pedestrian refuges and crossings (both formal and informal) to enable people to cross roads safely and at a distance.
  • Encouraging walking and cycling to school, for example through the introduction of more ‘school streets’. Pioneered in London, these are areas around schools where motor traffic is restricted at pick-up and drop-off times, during term-time. They can be effective in encouraging more walking and cycling, particularly where good facilities exist on routes to the school and where the parents, children and school are involved as part of the scheme development.
  • Reducing speed limits: 20mph speed limits are being more widely adopted as an appropriate speed limit for residential roads, and many through streets in built-up areas. 20mph limits alone will not be sufficient to meet the needs of active travel, but in association with other measures, reducing the speed limit can provide a more attractive and safer environment for walking and cycling.
  • Introducing pedestrian and cycle zones: restricting access for motor vehicles at certain times (or at all times) to specific streets, or networks of streets, particularly town centres and high streets. This will enable active travel but also social distancing in places where people are likely to gather.
  • Modal filters (also known as filtered permeability); closing roads to motor traffic, for example by using planters or large barriers. Often used in residential areas, this can create neighbourhoods that are low-traffic or traffic free, creating a more pleasant environment that encourages people to walk and cycle, and improving safety.
  • Providing additional cycle parking facilities at key locations, such as outside stations and in high streets, to accommodate an increase in cycling, for example by repurposing parking bays to accommodate cycle racks.
  • Changes to junction design to accommodate more cyclists – for example, extending Advanced Stop Lines at traffic lights to the maximum permitted depth of 7.5 metres where possible.
  • ‘Whole-route’ approaches to create corridors for buses, cycles and access only on key routes into town and city centres.
  • Identifying and bringing forward permanent schemes already planned, for example under Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, and that can be constructed relatively quickly.

Our call for temporary emergency cycle lanes and widened pavements

Update 21/05/2020This map shows our 1st, 2nd and 3rd priority routes for #StreetspaceLDN in Barnet.

This is our open letter to Barnet Council urging action to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians during the Coronavirus emergency.

To : Ilias Ioannaou (Cycling Officer)

Cc: Geoff Mee (Executive Director, Environment), Cllr. Dean Cohen (Chair of Environment Committee), Cllr. Alan Schneiderman (Opposition Spokesperson on Environment)

29/4/20

Dear Ilias

During the coronavirus emergency, there has been a radical change in transport patterns within London and this situation is likely to continue for some time.

Around Barnet, more key workers are cycling to work whilst large numbers of residents are cycling and walking for exercise or shopping more locally. On the negative side, quieter roads have led to an upsurge in speeding.

In other Boroughs, such as Lewisham and Lambeth, plans are being formed to put in temporary emergency cycle lanes and widened pavements to make it safer to cycle and to ensure people have plenty of space to queue outside shops and get around safely (see attached photos).

They are also considering how transport patterns will change as the lockdown eases so that people can continue to get around safely.

This link details Lambeth’s policy: https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=6585

See also this guide on what local authorities can do during the current emergency.

What is Barnet planning? Has the Borough considered any similar measures? Are you planning to consult with residents and stakeholders, or work with the Mayor and TFL? How will you identify streets and areas for action?

Some specific ideas might include-

  • Temporary low traffic neighbourhoods under Experimental Traffic Orders to reduce through traffic so that streets are safer for residents to walk and cycle.
  • Create temporary cycle lanes on main corridors using cones and barriers. Roads like the A1000 from High Barnet to East Finchley, the A598 through Temple Fortune and Finchley, the A502 through Golders Green and Hendon and the A5 on the western edge of the borough are all wide roads with space to accommodate cycle lanes.
  • Widening pavements in town centres with temporary suspension of street parking.

We look forward to hearing from you and supporting your plans,

Regards

Charles Harvey

campaigns@barnetlcc.org


What you can do:

Contact your local councillors to suggest places in your ward needing extra space for cycling & walking: https://e-activist.com/page/59487/action/1 [Please copy your ideas to campaigns@barnetlcc.org]

Further reading:

TfL Streetspace for London page, including outline plans for emergency cycle routes and guidance for Boroughs.

This excellent article is quite long but well worth reading: How do you build a city for a pandemic.

Coronavirus in Scotland: Pop-up paths and cycle lanes to boost social distancing.

Milan announces ambitious scheme to reduce car use after lockdown.

Victoria Quarter development in New Barnet

Fairview Homes are planning to build 652 residential units in 14 blocks of up to 10 storeys with 392 car parking spaces on the former British Gas Works in New Barnet. This is almost double the size of the former plans agreed by the Council.

https://publicaccess.barnet.gov.uk/online-applications/ Reference: 20/1719/FUL
Direct link: https://tinyurl.com/vqappapr2020

Proposals to improve active travel are minimal and we have objections on grounds of highway safety and traffic generation. Disabled persons’ access in the area is also problematic.

You can view our response here and may wish to respond personally if you know the area.

Coverage in The Barnet Society News has highlighted some key points, including the need for:

  • traffic calming measures at the hazardous road junctions either side of the railway bridge, at the junction of Station Road, Station Approach and Lytton Road and the junction of East Barnet Road and Victoria Road;
  • cycling routes to New Barnet main line station and safe cycling routes to both High Barnet and Cockfosters tube stations;
  • a new level footway and cycle way along the northern boundary of the Victoria Quarter site linking to an improved tunnel under the main line to provide access to schools in the area.

If you would like to help with cycle campaigning in Barnet please contact Charles Harvey (Email: campaigns@barnetlcc.org).

Update 03/09/2020 – Councillors slam 652-home scheme planned for New Barnet

Our response to the draft Transport Strategy for Barnet

The consultation is published here https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/Draft-Transport-Strategy and closes on Friday 24 April.

Between 2020 and 2041 Barnet’s population is predicted to grow by 14% to 450,000 and this strategy seeks to define how their needs for transport will be met over that period.  It is linked closely to Barnet’s Local Plan on which we responded in March.

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It is not viable simply to change the fuel used in motor vehicles or to hope that people use public transport instead. We argue for a much greater emphasis on sustainable and shared mobility solutions and a more ambitious roll out of a cycle network and low traffic neighbourhoods.

You can view our response here.

If you would like to help with cycle campaigning in Barnet please contact Charles Harvey (Email: campaigns@barnetlcc.org).

Barnet Cyclists’ events

In the light of official guidelines concerning Covid-19, and the emphasis they have put on social distancing, it is necessary for us to cancel events in the near future.

We are cancelling rides and indoor meetings from immediate effect until further notice. Once it is safe, we will post details of rides and events on this website.

Sensible cycling on your own is still possible – even desirable!

Stay safe.

 

 

 

Our response to the draft Local Plan for Barnet

The consultation is published here https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/Draft-Local-Plan-Consultation and closes on Monday 16 March.

This stage defines the approach to development over the next 15 years and we have commented on most aspects relevant to cycling, including transport and climate change.

It includes details of 67 sites identified for development around Barnet and you may wish to respond personally.

The next stage of consultation should include a delivery plan.

You can read our response here.

Local consultations

The Campaign Group tries to keep track of all consultations that affect cycling in LB Barnet. While we do generally see all those that concern the whole borough or a considerable part of it, we often miss out on small local schemes.

If you hear about a proposal in your local area, for instance ‘Healthy Streets’, 20 mph zones, one way streets, traffic near schools etc., we would like to know about it.

Please contact campaigns@barnetlcc.org

BARNET CYCLISTS 2020 Calendar

Attached is a PDF of our 2020 year planner.  The normal pattern of rides is a Turn-Up-and-Go on the first Sunday of the month and a planned ride on the third Sunday. There is one evening ride a month from April to August. Indoor meetings are the last Thursday of the month (except for July, August and December).

Additional events will be added as the year progresses.

 

BC Planner2020

South Central Hertfordshire Growth and Transport Plan: Response from Barnet Cycling Campaign

Herts Council are consulting on their plans for a new transport strategy for transport improvements and investment in Welwyn Hatfield, Hertsmere and St Albans, in line with forecast development to 2031. This is important for those of us who cycle between LB Barnet and Hertfordshire and our Campaign Group has sent in the following response:

Continue reading “South Central Hertfordshire Growth and Transport Plan: Response from Barnet Cycling Campaign”

Yes to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

For anyone with concerns about traffic using Barnet’s residential streets as short cuts, the debate over the Low Traffic Neighbourhood plan for the Fox Lane area in Enfield is both relevant and enlightening.  Many residents in the affected area want to benefit from the improved safety, lower air and noise pollution and opportunities for walking and cycling that a significant reduction in traffic volume would bring.

Others claim that surrounding roads wont cope and all that’s needed are speed humps and 20 mph signs. Anyone who believes that should visit Waltham Forest, or just spend a few minutes viewing this film of the best place in the world to cycle https://vimeo.com/76207227

It’s clear that changing the thinking, that spreading through traffic around a grid of streets is better than keeping it on main roads, is challenging. Smartphone Apps like Waze, which provide instant routing changes to avoid traffic, encourage this spreading onto residential streets. It leads to a viscous circle with locals using cars for short journeys, as they feel safer driving than cycling or walking.

Modern housing developments are often designed as ‘cells’ with a single way in and out for traffic, but grids of streets laid out in Edwardian times can be hard to convert. Enfield Council has proposed one design of road closures and bus gates, while Fox Lane residents have now come up with a revised approach. We look forward to seeing what happens when the trial scheme is in place. Read more at Better Streets for Enfield