Thursday, 11 April 2019

Response to LB Merton’s LIP3 Consultation

Merton Council have been consulting on their Third Local Implementation Plan (LIP3). It is a statutory requirement for all London boroughs to develop a document setting out how it is going to deliver the Mayor's Transport Strategy, its priorities and objectives at a local level.

LIP3 is the Council's main transport strategy and sits alongside the Council's Local Plan and other future strategies. It should set out the borough transport objectives; a short and longer term delivery plan and a series of targets set by Transport for London that we are working towards achieving

In March 2018 the Mayor of London released his vision for the future of transport in the Capital called the Mayor's Transport Strategy. It sets out three priority areas for delivery; these are:-

  • Healthy streets and healthy people
  • A good public transport experience
  • New homes and jobs

It also set an ambitious target for 80% of all trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or/and using public transport by 2041.

MCC's Consultation Response 

Merton Cycling Campaign is the local group of the London Cycling Campaign, working to encourage more people to use active and sustainable forms of transport. 

While the foreword of the LIP includes encouraging statements about reducing vehicle journeys, discouraging drivers from using cars and support for Vision Zero and claims the LIP “focuses on delivery of tangible improvements for walking and cycling” the actions and targets set out fall far short of delivering against this. The LIP3 also proposes developing features that directly or indirectly promote cycling, including the highly desirable Borough-wide 20 mph. Other features promoted as formal ‘Objectives’ are Liveable Neighbourhoods, Cycle-parking (including on-street ‘hangars’), Cargo-bike deliveries, Hire Bikes, Vision Zero and Bicycle training.  A Healthy Streets Policy and Permeability are mentioned as desirable.

However MCC is concerned that the LIP as drafted does not comply with TfL’s requirements for this document. There is little in the LIP3 in terms of practical actions or programmes that demonstrate how Merton will reach the ambitious goals set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, and what proposals there are are lacking in ambition.

TfL’s analysis of cycling potential suggests 41% of all daily trips made by Londoners are potentially cycleable, with 55% of these in outer London boroughs. Merton’s current plans will not unlock this potential – a more radical approach is needed.

The targets set fall significantly short of MTS requirements with just a 5% fall in vehicle km (against a mayoral target of 10-15%, with the largest reductions needed in outer London boroughs such as Merton). Likewise, just a 5.5% reduction in car ownership is forecast by 2041 – again this seems unambitious for a borough where car ownership is above the London average.

There is a particular lack of ambition in the list of “cycling-related infrastructure that could be developed”. This includes a crossing that would require cyclists to dismount and a series of shared use paths. Shared paths provide a poor experience both for those cycling and those walking. They are generally only a good solution where low numbers of pedestrians are expected – i.e. they are a poor solution in London.

We acknowledge that funding is limited but additional funding for ambitious projects is available through TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods programme. The LIP needs to be revised to include:

  • More ambitious targets for reduction in car ownership and driven km
  • A commitment to protected space for cycling on main roads within the borough
  • Reprioritisation of funding to create low traffic neighbourhoods, focusing on areas with a high concentration of schools.
  • Development of a larger high quality Liveable neighbourhood bid

You can read our full response and more detailed comments here

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