COVID-19

COVID-19 funding

 

 

On 9 May the UK government issued guidance indicating that local authorities are expected to take action to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to socially distance on the streets. On 28 May the UK government wrote to Chief Executives and London Borough Transport Officers with further information (here), and announced that boroughs wishing to access the first tranche of funding should submit proposals by Friday 5 June.

Following this guidance, many initiatives have been set up in the UK to make it easier for local authorities to hear their residents’ views on local ‘social distancing troublespots’. Links to some of these initiatives can be found below, but Bromley Living Streets strongly recommends residents use the ‘old-fashioned’ method of writing to their councillors – contact details for your councillors can be found here.

Links to further guidance documents and information about some of these initiatives can be found at the bottom of this page.

Some examples of what other councils have committed to:

Since the announcement on 9 May, Bromley Living Streets has

  • sent Bromley Council a proposal for Hayes, setting out an ‘oven-ready’ proposal for reallocating road space to facilitate social distancing for people on foot or cycle,
  • reached out to the borough’s primary schools to support them in enabling social distancing now that children are returning to schools, and
  • prepared a list of ‘social distancing troublespots’ in Bromley.

Further guidance documents

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/lsp-interim-borough-guidance-main-doc.pdf

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/appendix-8-supplementary-guidance-on-school-streets.pdf

Information about some of the initiatives

Widenmypath.com – https://www.widenmypath.com

The Commonplace platform – https://www.commonplace.is – currently available to local authorities for free

Emergency School Street letter template – https://www.mumsforlungs.org

Form for contacting councillors – https://askforit.carfreeday.org.uk

Ten NGOs, including Living Streets, have come together to urge Councils to take action

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Bromley Living Streets Response to Bromley Council’s Covid Active Travel/Social Distancing Proposals (available here)

Friday 5 June

Bromley Living Streets is a group of residents campaigning for safer, quieter, low-traffic neighbourhoods which encourage healthier walking, cycling and cleaner air. We are affiliated to “Living Streets”, the UK charity for walking and cycling.

Bromley Living Streets Strongly Supports:

School Streets:

Bromley Living Streets welcomes the proposed School Streets for Darrick Wood Infant and Primary Schools, Hawes Down, Harris Primary Crystal Palace, Pratt’s Bottom Primary, Raglan Infant and Junior School, St. John Primary and St. Mary Cray Primary School.

Liveable Neighbourhood Consultations:

Bromley Town, Shortlands, Copers Cope: 

Station Road/ Glassmill Lane crossing and cycle path, the temporary cycle path to Harris Primary, the cycle path up Bromley Road through to Albemarle Road.

Bromley Living Streets strongly supports these proposals, these will all positively contribute to active travel through Bromley Town and Shortlands area.  This will also allow people to cycle in between Beckenham and Bromley.

Crystal Palace: 

The segregated cycle route is warmly welcomed.

Bromley Living Streets is concerned that some of the other proposals do not appear to meet the stated aims of the government.

Secretary for State, Grant Shapps, made funds available for local authorities to create transformative change in how people make short journeys in towns and cities in response to the Covid Emergency. In particular,

“The government…expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians… I’m pleased to see that many authorities have already begun to do this, and I urge you all to consider how you can begin to make use of the tools in this guidance, to make sure you do what is necessary to ensure transport networks support recovery from the COVID-10 emergency and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport”.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reallocating-road-space-in-response-to-covid-19-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities/traffic-management-act-2004-network-management-in-response-to-covid-19

Bromley Living Streets notes that “Officers are still in the process of identifying locations across the Borough” (paragraph 3.17 of the report), and on this basis Bromley Living Streets would like to offer the time and energy of its volunteers in an effort to ensure the next round of submissions from Bromley Council fit more closely with the government’s vision. We would also like to see:

• Proposals for cycle lanes, in order to substantially broaden and diversify the sections of the borough’s population who are able to safely make use of cycling as a mode of transport.

• Lower speed limits on some (not all) roads, in order to make it substantially safer for Bromley residents to follow social distancing guidelines on foot by momentarily stepping into the road where pavements are narrow

• Introduce School Streets “wherever possible” (to quote the government’s guidance on this), in order to enable safe social distancing at the school gate.

• Introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, in order to enable people to walk or cycle to shops and places of work.

I look forward to hearing your response and please contact me if you would like us to work with you on this important consultation.

Very kind regards,

Dr. Brendan Donegan

Chair, Bromley Living Streets