If our local politicians don’t do more now the opportunity will be lost.
So if you haven’t done so already, please use both of these email templates to show your Council representatives what people who don’t want to use public transport or have the roads clogged with cars need them to do.
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.
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.
Here is the statutory guidance on reallocating road space:
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.
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)
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.
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,
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.
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: email@example.com).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: