Sunday 27 January 2019

MCC comments on Transport Chapter of Merton Draft Local Plan

Merton Cycle Campaign (MCC) is the local group of the London Cycle Campaign. MCC promotes cycling and seeks to make Merton’s streets better and more pleasant places, for the benefit of individuals, local communities and the wider environment by raising awareness of cycling issues, campaigning to improve conditions for cycling and providing a range of services for our members.

Merton Council extended the deadline for commenting on the Draft Local Plan to 28 January after MCC alerted them to the fact that they had not published the Transport section of the Infrastructure Chapter online.

We submitted our views on the rest of the Plan in time for the original deadline, and you can read them here. After review of the Transport section, MCC are concerned that Merton’s draft Local Plan 2020 does not demonstrate the necessary determination or assertiveness to significantly increase the number of people cycling in the borough or improve the current position of cyclists and other vulnerable road users. You can read our full submission on the Transport section here.

The Policy offers no Borough-initiated action, except in the new (yet to be published) LIP. Section 6.4.2 states that the LIP will be the means by which the Draft London Plan’s Policy T5 requirement will be met; based on the experience of the previous LIP in which cycling was largely ignored by the Borough, MCC have little confidence in this as a means to achieve the objectives of the Plan.

The ‘contented cycling’ cover photo of the Transport Section 6.4 is an example of the only time Merton has shown the necessary determination and assertiveness; however this was implemented in the mid 1990s. This now-vintage example of segregated infrastructure has not been repeated, and is now is very poorly maintained. Not only has this visionary approach not been repeated in 20 years, it is an example of a piece-meal approach to cycling infrastructure that does not truly encourage cycling across the borough – just outside of shot the cyclist has ridden through a forest of bollards, and is approaching a give way sign that will see her potentially join a line of cars.

We hope that Merton Council will take on board our comments in future drafts of the Local Plan.