Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Streatham's Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme doesn't need to be cut

There have been two wins for local campaigners recently.

The first is that Lambeth have agreed to establish a 20 mph borough-wide limit on its roads (this does not cover Red Routes as they come under Transport for London). The second is a progressive cycling strategy due to be approved by the Council's cabinet on 8th July.

These are things that campaigners have been pushing for, for several years. As recently as 2011, Lambeth rejected our calls for a borough-wide 20mph limit (see here). Similarly, the latest cycling figures revealed last week show another increase in cycling casualties in Lambeth (this time up by 6%). Something needs to be done urgently and so the cycling strategy is welcome.

The bad news however, is that it seems that Lambeth Council is axing plans to extend the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme to Streatham in order to fund these things. (Hat Tip to Shout Streatham for highlighting this). Once again, other parts of Lambeth have already received additional funding and resourcing, and Streatham looks like it will be short-changed.

But it doesn't have to be this way. As campaign group '20's Plenty' have shown well, all sorts of people benefit from increased cycling and 20mph limits. A multi-agency approach involving the NHS, police and others, can spread the cost and means that it doesn't have to be borne by a local council. Partners can be brought around a table and resources can be shared.

For example in Liverpool, Liverpool NHS PCT, Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust, Merseyside Police and Fire and Rescue Services have all got involved. Five logos are on publicity, reinforcing that all public services support slower speeds. Liverpool PCT contributed 40% (£665k) of £1.7m. This is the kind of approach that Lambeth could take, and would fit in well with its new "co-operative" mantra. It would also mean that Streatham would not need to lose its promised Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme.

Read the briefing from 20's plenty here.

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