Scheme includes cycle lanes, road closures and traffic restrictions around schools
Pavements widened in Southall. Picture: Ealing Council
A report has been submitted to Ealing Council concerning measures to be taken to manage the borough’s transport system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
While funding has been withdrawn from existing schemes for road improvements and cycleways by central government, money is being provided for a range of temporary measures to improve social distancing and encourage active travel such as walking and cycling.
The funds will mainly be distributed by TfL and the council has drawn up a long list of 200 projects for which they are considering submitting applications.
In the meantime they have introduced some temporary measures across the borough in advance of receiving grant funding including segregated cycle lines in locations 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.
Resurfacing of the road surface on The Vale is also taking place in the coming weeks with the aim of creating a smoother road surface for cyclists. Once resurfacing is complete, extensions to the new cycle lanes will be put in place.
Pavement widening has already taken place at the following locations:
• the A4020 Uxbridge Road corridor at Broadway/The Mall at Ealing Broadway
• Springbridge Road, Ealing Broadway
• the Broadway, West Ealing outside Lidl supermarket
• Ealing Road, Northolt outside shops
• Horn Lane post office, W3
The council is being asked to give delegated powers to an officer to create the necessary traffic orders and signage as well as temporarily suspending parking and enforcing any changes by the use of camera technology.
Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council said: “We have always been committed to increasing the opportunities for greener forms of transport here in the borough. These new segregated lanes aim to make it safer for road users in the area and we will be rolling out similar schemes across the borough as swiftly as possible.
“It is vital that in this particularly difficult time, we support residents to walk and cycle wherever possible, to take the pressure of the public transport system and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“Getting out of your car and on to a bike is also really good for your personal health and better for all of us as it helps to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.”
The Borough’s normal funding for transport measures through the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) in 2020-21 approved by cabinet on 17 March 2020 (£2.918M capital & £1.457M revenue) has been suspended by TfL for a minimum
of 6 months. A number of discretionary TfL funds have also been suspended until at least September, including Quietways (£0.15M), Bus Priority (£0.4M) and West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood (£1.07M).
To offset this there is London Streetspace Plan (LSP), from TfL which is making £45 million available across 33 London boroughs. Ealing is hopeful of getting between £1-1.5 million if their applications for specific projects are successful. 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 council could qualify for funding for some of the measures already implemented but they may choose to complete LIP projects defunded or spend the money making safe half completed schemes. The money can also be used salary costs of the Borough Transport Officers that cannot be directly attributed to delivering social distancing schemes or the other programmes that remain funded.
The list of projects drawn up so far by council officers is of schemes that meet the funding criteria. More proposals may be added based on suggestions from councillors and local residents but ultimately only a proportion of the projects will be included in the applications made for funding.
The report says that the priority will be for cycle schemes on the Uxbridge Road and footway widening in town centres. It is the Council’s aim that these funds be spent, and measures implemented, by September 2020.
June 11, 2020