£500,000 for Cycle Permeability disappeared

Background

Some parts of Islington that are difficult to reach safely in Islington on a bike because it involves cycling across or along a busy road.  For example, it is particularly difficult to reach Nag’s Head because it is in the middle of a high speed, high volume gyratory.

Often alternative quieter roads have been blocked at one end to stop motorists using them as a rat run. Also many narrow streets were changed to one way operation to improve traffic flow many years ago when it was fashionable.

Bunhill Row

ICAG’s number one permeability priority is Bunhill Row .

All Other Schemes

A large group of other permeability schemes was assembled in 2009. It includes several one way residential streets; Penn, Freegrove and Cardozo Roads which are wrapped by the Hilmarton/Parkhurst/Camden/Caledonian Roads gyratory.

History

In February 2009, £500k funding was secured thanks to a ‘rebel’ budget amendment tabled by LibDem Cllr Andrew Cornwell and Cllr Green councillor Katie Dawson abstaining.

Cllr Andrew Cornwell and ICAG members drew up a list of almost 100 potential permeability schemes. That list was was then filtered by local councillors leaving around 20 schemes. That list was eventually prioritised in terms of how much parking would disturbed or removed.

ICAG suggested further schemes in the south end of Islington for which funding was received from TfL as part of rollout of the Cycle Hire scheme.

About half of the £500K council funding was slipped from 09/10 into 10/11.

In July 2010 ICAG was asked to comment and prioritise on the 31 schemes listed and costed in this google doc spreadsheet from July 2010. Note that the most expensive schemes include resurfacing even though cyclists do not cause road wear!

Plans have been drawn up for many schemes but only the TfL/Cycle Hire funded schemes have been implemented. Council officers provided this status report on 25th Jan 2011:

Calshot Street Being implemented 2010/11 with TfL funding from London Cycle Hire Complementary Measures
Cloudesley Place Ready to Implement
Cloudesley Road Ready to Implement
Compton Street – Being implemented 2010/11 with TfL funding from London Cycle Hire Complementary Measures
(St Peter’s border road) Rotherfield Street – Ready to Implement
Annette Road – Ready to Implement
Annette Road, junction Jackson Road – Ready to Implement
Freegrove Road, junction Caledonian Road – Ready to Implement
Penn Road, junction Caledonian Road – Ready to Implement
Penn Road, junction Hillmartin Road – Ready to Implement
York Way – Ready to Implement
Whittington Park – Ready to Implement
Ferntower Road, at Newington Green – Ready to Implement
College Cross – Ready to Implement

The withdrawal of funding for cycle schemes was approved by the Executive on the 27th July 2010. Further in year savings were approved at the Executive on 13th January 2011.

In a nutshell, a lot of money was spent designing quite a few schemes, not all of which are particularly useful.  Then funding was withdrawn before any of the (council funded) schemes were implemented.  In hindsight, it would have been better if a smaller number of schemes had been designed and implemented in the first year 2009/10.

What’s happening elsewhere

City of London embraces LCC’s ‘permeability’ principle

Permeability Restored in Hackney