Blogs

28 February: CITY OF LONDON NIGHT SURGERY

Graham joined London Night Czar Amy Lamé on the first City Night Surgery. The Night Surgery was jointly planned by GLA and City Corporation officers. The London night time economy is surprisingly large and important; more than 1.6 million people work in London at night, with the bulk of those — almost 200,000 people, doing so for the National Health Service. The next largest group are those who work in professional services and they can largely be found in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf.

Night Surgeries have taken place across several London Boroughs. The surgeries visit various businesses/services that operate at night. The venues that agreed to take part were the Four Seasons Hotel, Nomura International Bank, City of London Police, St Bart’s Hospital and the Rising Sun Pub. During the visits we spoke to staff who worked nights to better understand the challenges and interests of evening and night-time workers in regard to transport, safety, and availability of retail and catering outlets. The main challenge for these key staff was off peak transport, and it was clear that the opening of the night tube was very positive and that extended operational hours for bus routes and trains to the suburbs would be very beneficial.

The picture shows the team meeting night staff at St. Bart’s Hospital.

22 November: TFL NETWORK MANAGEMENT CONTROL CENTRE

Graham, Jeremy and Michael attended a members briefing at the TfL Network Management Control Centre in Southwark last week.The London Streets Traffic Control Centre (LSTCC) monitors the London road network 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The centre has access to around 5,000 CCTV cameras that enables monitoring of how traffic is flowing around the Capital. 

TfL manages the Transport for London Road Network (the TLRN or London’s ‘red routes’) and is responsible for the maintenance, management and operation of the Capital’s 6,000+ sets of traffic lights.

During incidents and when congestion is seen on the roads the Traffic Controllers can temporarily change the timings at three quarters of London’s traffic lights to help reduce queues.

The LSTCC coordinates responses to major incidents and oversees road closures during events such as the London Marathon. They have a network of partners who help get roads back to normal after disruptive incidents, including highways emergency response teams who fix damaged roads and clear up after collisions, flooding or spillages.

The LSTCC is part of a larger operations centre which includes the control rooms for the road tunnels, London buses and includes members of the Metropolitan Police to enable sharing of information quickly and coordination of responses to incidents.

15  June: LEN POP-UP GARDEN 

Jeremy officially opened the City’s first pop-up garden as part of the Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) project. The LEN, jointly funded by the City and the LGA (see 19 July 2016), covers the Barbican Estate and the area around Barts Hospital in north of the City. It aims to tackle pollution in the area through awareness events, working with businesses to tackle emissions from deliveries and freight, the use of electric vehicles and measures such as the pop-up garden. The garden, a partnership with the Friends of City Gardens, as well as being an oasis amongst the concrete of the Barbican, has lots of plants that help trap particles in the atmosphere, thereby reducing the effect of pollution.

20 April: CITY FREIGHT FORUM

In his role of Deputy Chairman of the Street and Walkways sub-committee Graham attended the City of London Freight Forum.

This event was arranged to discuss with Logistics Managers from City businesses, options for reducing the impact of deliveries in the City. Despite comprising just 4% of City traffic, HGVs account for 78% of cycle fatalities, 33% of NOx and 27% of PM10 emissions. Speakers included Tim Ward Freight & Fleet Engagement Manager from TFL, Alex Jolly from DHL and Rachel Caton from Doddle.

Options for improving congestion and pollution discussed included consolidation centres to reduce the 18% of emissions generated during the last 1% of journeys, collection centres to eliminate personal internet deliveries to the workplace and reducing deliveries at peak times.

28 February: SHORT TERM LETTING

The problems caused by short term letting of flats in the City are becoming increasingly numerous. As a member of the Planning Committee Graham has been pressing the City to become more active in controlling this, and to provide residents with readily available guidance on how to seek help from City officers if they are experiencing problems.

We are now pleased to report that information is now available on the City website which clarifies the legal position on this practice  and provides guidance and support to help residents if neighbouring properties are being used for short term letting in breach of current legislation.

Follow this link for more information.

12 JANUARY: HERRING GULLS

Herring GullYou may have had your lunchtime sandwich literally grabbed from your mouth recently when sitting outside during good weather in a churchyard or other local open space. The problem of aggressive herring gulls in the ward was discussed at a fascinating round table hosted by Freshfields at their offices in Tudor Street attended by Ian, Henrika and Jeremy. Dee Ward-Thompson from the British Pest Control Association explained that Herring Gulls love to nest on the flat roofs of office blocks. As they pair for life and live for 25-30 years, with adults and offspring returning to the same roof to breed, not controlling the nesting in the first place can result in a long term problem. Methods of control were discussed at the meeting. A variety of scaring tactics can be used – starting pistols, falcons deployed by expert falconers, kites (tethered model kites) and decoys (e.g. models of owls on balustrades), however these need to be varied over time. Strong netting over the roof area can be quite effective. With herring gulls increasing in numbers in urban areas, we will all have to increasingly watch out for attacks from above, particularly when adults are more aggressive during the nesting season after their chicks hatch.

6 DECEMBER: RAISED CARRIAGEWAY ENFORCEMENT

raised-carriageways-scaledAn issue has been raised at the last two wardmotes concerning the inconsistent marking of raised carriageways. The Traffic Management Act of 2004 prohibits parking on these irrespective of carriageway markings (e.g. double or single yellow lines or no markings at all). Many motorists are unaware of this and have incurred parking violation fines as a result. Jeremy and Graham have been pressing City Highways officers to address this issue for some time and at the Street & Walkways sub-committee meeting on December 6th it was agreed that all such carriageways in the City will be marked with double yellow lines. This will improve enforcement and also ensure that motorists do not inadvertently incur penalty charges in the future. The work is planned for completion by March next year.

 

23 SEPTEMBER: JEREMY TAKES PART IN RIVER CLEAN-UP

clean-upJeremy took part in an annual foreshore clean-up at Denton Wharf near Gravesend, one of City’s Port Health offices. This is organised by Thames 21, a charity that promotes environmental improvements in the Capital’s rivers and waterways.

People from the City of London and the Port of London Authority took part in a litter pick, which included rusty picnic chairs, shopping trolleys and even an old bicycle as well as numerous discarded Stella cans – the beer of choice of litter louts!

 

16 SEPTEMBER: JEREMY QUERIES OUT-OF-HOURS NOISE FROM BUILDING SITES

The City’s proposed Noise Strategy for 2016-2026 was considered at today’s meeting of the City of London Health and Wellbeing Board. Jeremy raised the issue of out-of-hours permits being granted for work on building sites where the work to be carried out would be relatively quiet and not a nuisance to local residents. However the equipment that is used to carry out the work often has an audible alarm for health and safety reasons. Alarms may be heard over a wide area at weekends, causing considerable disturbance to local people. Jeremy asked that these alarms be reduced to a minimum level possible.

13 SEPTEMBER: SAFER IN THE CITY

road-safetyGraham as the Deputy Chairman of the Streets & Walkways sub committee attended the recent Safer in the City forum organised by the City Road Danger Reduction Team. Speakers included Val Shawcross London Deputy Mayor – Transport and representatives from the City Police, TfL, RoadPeace, the Licenced Taxi Drivers’ Association and the London Cycling Campaign Policy Forum.

In the photograph Graham is pictured with Chris Hayward the Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee inside the cab of the O’Donovan Waste ground-breaking safety featured Mercedes Benz Econic skip loader 1830L. This the first vehicle of its kind to be commercially bought and put to work in the United Kingdom. Originally designed for municipal waste work, the vehicle has since been made available to the construction sector.

 

19 July: CITY AWARDED LOW EMISSION NEIGHBOURHOOD FUNDING

air-pollution-blog-thumbJeremy along with the Chairman of the City’s Environmental Services Committee was at City Hall to receive £1M in funding from the Mayor of London to support the establishment of a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) in the north of the City.

The LEN will be centred on the Barbican Estate and would also include an outer area covering Barts Hospital, the Guildhall and the Golden Lane Estate.

In the inner area physical changes and restrictions will be introduced to reduce traffic flows and restrict access to ULEVs. Amongst the 17 themes, the City will work with TfL to reduce bus emissions and with freight operators to reduce NOx emissions.