Disappointing Cycling and Walking Funding for Ealing

TfL grant for Streetspace well below the million pound plus amount hoped for

Temporary cycle lane by Ealing Common
Temporary cycle lane by Ealing Common. Picture: Twitter

Ealing Council’s ambitious plans to transform local streets and encourage more cycling and walking have received a set back after they received a disappointing level of funding from TfL.

The borough was awarded £205,714 from Transport for London (TfL) for 11 projects from the London Streetscape Plan (LSP) fund. They had drawn up a shopping list of over 200 projects for which they were hoping to get funding.

In the transport report made to the Cabinet earlier in the month, they were hoping to get between £1-1.5 million through this fund although only half of the total budget has been dispersed at this stage. Lambeth borough received over £2 million as did Waltham Forest with neighbouring Hounslow getting over £1 million.

London Streetspace Projects Funded in Ealing

King's Street - Southall
Space at Town Centres
School measures - 2m footway markings
Space at Town Centres
East Acton Golf Links LTN 33
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Mattock Lane LTN 35
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Junction Road Area LTN 32
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Bowes Road LTN 34
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Adrienne Avenue LTN 48
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Loveday Road LTN30
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
South Ealing LTN - Olive Road
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
West Ealing: LTN South
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
West Ealing: LTN North
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

TfL is making £45 million available through the LSP across 33 London boroughs using money from a central government grant for the purpose. There are other smaller pots of funding including the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund from the European Regional Development fund (ERDF) and the Emergency Active Travel Funding from central Government which would total £100,000. The total size of the European funding is around £300,000 but not all of this is for transport projects.

The LSP encourages the delivery of strategic cycle routes using temporary materials and the reallocation of road space where crowding is an issue, such as town centres, interchanges and key hubs for instance with temporary footway extensions. It can also be used to fund the extension of bus lane operating hours and measures outside schools such as temporary road closures.

The money would have partly offset significant spending cuts to local transport that were made earlier in the year. In March £4.4million funding of the Local Implementation Plan in Ealing was suspended by TfL for at least six months. They have also withdrawn for the time being £1.07 million funding for the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood scheme, £400,000 for bus priority and £150,000 for cycling Quietways.

Most of the money given to Ealing so far is for Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes in which access is restricted to residential roads in an effort to reduce rat-running. These included two schemes in West Ealing, one at Olive Road in South Ealing and one on Mattock Lane. The largest single project funded by the grant was to create extra cycling and walking space in Southall Town Centre.

The council now must decide whether to press ahead with temporary measures as advised by TfL without any guarantee that the cost will be funded.

Segregated cycle lines have been introduced across the borough including by Ealing Common and in Acton and Southall. The new lanes are designed to run alongside the main lanes for general traffic and are separated by plastic posts.

The lanes in Acton, run along sections of the westbound lane of The Vale, between Bromyard Avenue and Larden Road, and eastbound beside Acton Park and northbound, along Greenford Road between Uxbridge Road and Fleming Road. Another temporary lane runs from Ealing Common to Ealing Common tube station.

Pavements have also been widened in shopping areas across the borough.

Council leader, Julian Bell said, “Research by Transport for London shows that only a third of the car trips made by Londoners last more than three miles. That means that two-thirds of these journeys are under that distance and, for most people, can probably be made on foot or bike instead.

“The lockdown measures have made us all rethink and change our habits, with many taking up more walking, jogging and cycling.

“It would be a real shame to go back to the levels of traffic congestion and air pollution we had pre-lockdown. Indeed, the last thing we want is to exchange one health emergency for another through terrible air quality.”

Julian Bell on the temporary cycle lane in Acton

Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said, “To date we have received approximately £650,000 in funding from TfL for Streetspace schemes. Funding for bids is being delivered in ‘rounds’ and Ealing still has £1.1m worth of schemes awaiting approval.

“Boroughs already identified with large amounts of funding had bid for ‘strategic cycle routes’ which were deemed to be very important and with a prior commitment from TfL to fund them. If these schemes were discounted then the funding we have received is broadly in line with most boroughs.

“We anticipate receiving further funding for the schemes we have submitted in the next funding rounds.”


June 25, 2020