Merton Residents’ Transport Group
18th June 2020, 19:00-20:30, via Zoom
Welcome and overview
Luke McCarthy (LM) welcomed the group, including informing people that the meeting was being recorded. He reminded people of the group’s objectives including that remain the council remain the decision maker about trade-offs and this forum can’t be the only resident consultation that takes place.
- Cabinet approved Transport Strategy;
- Cllr Whelton – cabinet; all submissions have now gone into TfL; hopeful to hear in the next week
- Cycle lanes designed and costed for ……; proposals also still being worked up
- Over 20 school streets submitted as part of funding bid; alongside that putting in bids for 9 LTN’s.
- Competing with other London boroughs, but confident it’s a strong bid.
- have put in bid for round 1 DfT, and plan to submit a second one.
Ques – 9LTN’s rather than 10; Cllr Whelton confirmed it was ten. Also confirmed 20 School streets.
When will you hear – still waiting to hear back from DfT on round 1 pot of £100k.
PM – explained that other borough bids he was aware of had had a three week turnaround.
Cllr Whelton – confirmed the Borough had taken the time to get the bids for TfL right.
LMT – DfT seminar had advised they hoped to notify boroughs in next 2 weeks
LMT – which schemes are going to the 2nd tranche of DfT and which to TfL?
Cllr Whelton – most things went into the TfL bid; one of top priorities is school streets and strategic routes. what goes into 2nd Tranche DfT bid will depend on what TfL don’t fund. DfT 2nd tranche timeline is longer – possibly September. So will await guidance.
JW – is TfL funding competitive against boroughs or meet criteria?
Cllr W – has to meet criteria, and where borough proposals haven’t met it TfL have fed that back.
PMaslin – what happens if all the bids aren’t successful, how will the Council prioritise?
Cllr W – top priority is to get school streets in place outside of schools and get strategic cycle routes in, but will depend on what is made available from TfL.
LMc – what other sources of funding being pursued? eg. Re-opening High Streets Fund, CIL, Ward allocations of Neighbourhood CIL?
Cllr W – there are a lot of demands on CIL money at present; will have to consider it but a lot of other demands on CIL funds. What examples of competing infrastructure- highways, town centres, shop fronts, infrastructures etc.
KS – what are other potential spending of CIL funding? Surely walking/cycling infrastructure is only priority right now?
Cllr Whelton – need to look at this alongside other potential demands.
Merton Strategic Partnership
– LMc and KM attended meeting of Air Quality sub-group
– very keen to hear about how this group had been supporting the council
– in short term committed to keeping each other informed.
– medium term opportunity about how the two forums work together in the future as Strategic Partnership have a transport sub-group as well.
Social media update
– have set up a twitter account; 68 followers in first 48hours.
– Councillors and Wimbledon Times already following, Cllr Alambritis, Leader of the Council has already re-tweeted 3 tweets
– taking a neutral / positive approach to support for Council at this stage, appreciates that individual groups might want to take different tone
– FB page set up; not yet populated with content. seeing it as a longer-term initiative
– been in touch with the Wimbledon Times, to ask them to seek comment from MTRG if they are doing an article on it, or put them in touch with other Groups within this group.
ACTION: Please follow the Twitter and FB accounts
– date of Councillor Webinar is now confirmed for Monday
– all Councillors are now invited; also several key Officers.
– finding date that works for all three parties has been a challenge;
– VL and Paul Murray will be following up with Councillors over the next few days
** intro for Cllrs to:
- School Streets
- Engaging with the Borough
- Lucy will talk about Merton specific issues and designing equitable streets that balance different needs
- Councillor from Waltham Forest to talk about their experience implementing successful infrastructure which has been transformative and positive after initial negative feedback
- will produce FAQ’s for Councillors to equip them to respond to questions as LTN’s and other measures start to go in.
PMu – whilst Cabinet is aware they are 8 of the 60-ish councillors, so making sure that benefits of schemes and why the measures are needed are well understood by all Councillors.
ACTION: can everyone please nudge / remind councillors via their twitter channels; details of who has already RSVP’d will be published on slack so we don’t chase those who have already rsvp’d.
Webinar will be recorded and shared with those who can’t attend.
Measures missing from current council plans
LM-T has done a summation of the measures that are missing from the Council’s existing plans. E.g. Secondary School routes; Raynes Park to Wimbledon; measures in east of Borough.
Google Sheet has been created to collate all of these, grouped by the measures that the DfT expects to see
It includes a column for emergency measures that are needed urgently, perhaps arising from other measures being implemented, eg. parking control to manage car parking at Wimbledon Common.
They will be sent to the Council on Monday 22nd.
ACTION: Please add anything you think is missing by the end of the weekend.
MN – need to bring in more voices from the east of the borough
LMT – acknowledges the problem; what shall we do about it? Doesn’t know the answer? One good point is that Council is aware of this issue and schemes seem well balanced
SC – a lot of the streets already have LTN’s in the east of the Borough. Although in Pollards Hill and St Heliers there are not LTN’s.
PMaslin – How can Mitcham Cricket Green and Mitcham Society be best engaged?
LMc – separate dialogue with Sandra
Mark Gale – runs Merton TV; attends all the forums; there is very little community glue sticking things together in the east of the borough. Colliers Wood is quite tight; but Mitcham is lacking those representative groups.
Susan Cusack – Wimbledon Common isn’t owned by Council, formed under a statute a long time ago; knows the Chair of Wimbledon Common; opportunity to engage with them. They weren’t the ones who stopped parking along the Causeway; the issue of parking and then biking on common is that it’s up a hill! Need to think of that when looking at routes.
* LMc – Cllr Whelton explained that School streets are a priority and put in for 20 school streets. But have left it to schools to come to them for ideas , proposals etc.
* seems like a potential risk as schools many not have the bandwidth to engage, or may not have realised what they face
So the question is what do we need to do / what should our approach be to either the Council or Schools?
KM – what do people think about the Council having listed 20 schools? do we agree with that number? With the ones listed?
VL – Cllr Whelton seems passionate about school streets, and how important they are. Good to get his perspective on how they will deliver them. But Climate Action Plan 4 years ago, only action was anti-idling measures outside all schools, and in 4 years only one petition has been
PM – big step forward getting them to commit to 20. approach across London is very different, eg Lambeth = all primary schools. If Schools ask for them, the Council will be more responsive. Is there a way to get in touch with schools?
KM – why have those ones been prioritised?
JW – they are all primaries; the bigger issue will be displacement for those who travel by public transport, which is likely to be a bigger issue for secondary school in relation to Covid requirements. School streets are good, but only one street adjacent to school
CB – proposal for bus gates at school near him
LMT – Bus gates are cheap and good.
PM – highlight a point about schools that are on TfL owned roads. Good point; TfL are incredibly ambitious organisation; could identify them and could by-pass Merton
NH – talking a lot about students, but there are also teachers. some driving, some public transport. Also the new school in Harris Wimbledon on High Path; which has been built with zero parking for teachers, that would be a good one to focus on
NH – need to support schools to provide showering and changing facilities for staff, as per any
TfL buses are a bigger issue; pre-Covid fare box was falling, and journey times were getting longer; desperate to reduce pollution from buses
CB – bus routes are an alternative to motor generated pollution, where there is an opportunity meet TfL’s air quality objectives
LM summarised discussion:
– group clearly want to put more effort into engaging with school
– can’t do all 80
– identifying some to target, particularly at High School; some on TLRN; Harris Academy
– work out how to work with the Council to engage with TfL
– Daniela offered to lead on this. Also needs more people to take forward as per the enthusiasm for doing it.
VL – is there a list of all the schools and who has contacted them?
KM – there is a list in the Stakeholder channel.
LM – need to identify the ones to prioritise first.
KM – what criteria to identify which to target?
NH – be careful with the timing; schools have a lot going on. LMc – queried when would be a better time? NH – probably not going to be good until September. The catchment areas for schools are quite tight in Merton because the state schools are so good. LMc – September will be when they are back and there will be a problem.
Governors and PTA’s are the way in; unless there is a cycling champion in their already.
VM – schools might not have the time to engage, but the approach should be would you be interested if we do the heavy lifting? That’s been his experience with the two schools he’s contacted so far.
KM – similarly Governor didn’t see that there was a problem and couldn’t foresee what it would be.
JW – does the list of schools include colleges?
KM – yes, it has Wimbledon College; but not others
ACTION – Update list?
No volunteers to lead, but some keen to support
ACTION – KM and LM to do some initial thinking and come back to the group
– will pick up on LTN in a future meeting; prioritised schools due to summer urgency