Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Covid-19 Emergency Active Travel plans

The council has received £652,314 from Transport for London for emergency Covid 19 active travel schemes. The bulk of the funding will go towards the Uxbridge Road strategic cycle route. Fifty thousand pounds will pay for an experimental traffic order to convert the bus lanes to 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week operation, and £396,600 will pay for other measures to improve cycling on the road. At the moment we have no details of what they will be. The remainder of the funding will go towards social distancing on King Street in Southall, creating three street parks (low traffic neighbourhoods), and filter schemes to limit traffic on a few residential roads. Two of the street parks will be in West Ealing, one north, the other south of the Broadway. These may be the only legacy of the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood scheme. Due to TfL's serious shortage of money, this is postponed for an indefinite period of time. The scheme was awarded £6.5m of funding from TfL in 2017, but has made little visible progress since. 

This is the list of schemes receiving funding from TfL. 

Uxbridge Road 24 /7 bus lane


Strategic Cycle Route

Uxbridge Road - other measures


Strategic Cycle Route

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

This allocation from TfL is below-average and puts Ealing at 17th place of the 30 London boroughs with funding announced so far. 





Waltham Forest



























City of London



















































Tower Hamlets








The council has also applied to the DfT for funding other schemes. We understand that it received the full £100,000 allocation in the first tranche at the end of June. 


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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Help Keep our Quiet Streets

Over the last two months, the quiet streets of lockdown have seen a boom in the number of people walking and cycling in Ealing. Children as young as five are riding their bicycles on the roads, and we now have a much nicer environment to live in. But can we keep our quiet streets when lockdown ends? Unfortunately, there's a real danger we can't. Transport for London (TfL) has calculated that, with social distancing, the tubes, trains and buses will only be able to carry 15 percent of the people they would normally carry. If people start travelling by car instead, it estimates private car journeys in Ealing will increase by 40-50 percent compared to pre-lockdown levels. The pleasant streets we have now will quickly fill up with rat-running vehicles, and congestion and pollution will be worse than ever.

Fortunately, there are plans to prevent this happening. First, TfL is making it easier for commuters to use active travel on the major routes. And secondly, it is planning to tackle the worst rat-running areas so locals can continue to safely walk and cycle - and social distance. To do this it has mapped the whole of London to find areas where the street network creates conditions that encourage rat-running.

In Ealing, the worst areas are in the south-east of the borough, on either side of the Uxbridge Road. The government and Mayor of London are prepared to fund temporary measures to help keep these streets quiet when lockdown is eased.  Our suggestion is to turn them into Street Parks - areas of streets where people feel it's as safe and pleasant to walk and cycle as in a park. (Transport engineers call them low-traffic neighbourhoods.) This would be achieved by preventing rat running through these areas, but retaining access for local residents, emergency vehicles, and deliveries. The Department for Transport is looking for temporary schemes that can be implemented quickly using cheap materials such as planters. Councils must bid for funding by 5th June. Once they receive the money, they must start installing the schemes within four weeks and complete them within 8 weeks. We've suggested 13 Street Parks that align with TfL's worst rat-running areas in the south-east of the borough. These could all be installed cheaply and within the proposed time scale.

If you would like a street park in your area, please contact your local councillors  and ask for an emergency, temporary street park / low traffic neighbourhood.*

The following map shows potential Street Parks in Ealing based on TfL's revised analysis published in mid June 2020. The dark green areas are considered highest priority. 


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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Emergency Cycle Lanes on Uxbridge Road

(30 May 2020) 

Today Ealing Council installed two short sections of segregated cycle lanes on the Uxbridge Road in Acton. The emergency cycle lanes are part of Ealing's plans to meet the travel demand when lockdown is relaxed. Due to social distancing, public transport is unable to operate at its full capacity. TfL estimate it can only carry 15 percent of the usual numbers. To fill the gap, the government and the Mayor of London are encouraging people to cycle. What that means for Ealing is that the Uxbridge Road and Cycleway 34 alongside the A40 will have to carry a lot of the journeys that used to be made on the Central Line, District Line, Heathrow Connect, other western mainline trains, plus the 607 and 207 buses. Even if many people continue working from home, that's quite a challenge. TfL have published a map showing new emergency cycle routes - marked in purple - in relation to the Underground lines. It looks like Cycleway 34 will run all the way to King's Cross along a lane of the A40. The new Uxbridge Road Cycleway is shown starting in Acton near Morrisons, and running as

far as Shepherd's Bush. TfL have identified the whole length of the Uxbridge Road through Ealing as a top priority cycle route, and Ealing Cycling Campaign have asked the council to extend the emergency cycleway along the whole route. While the sections installed today have good width - they are 1.7m wide to the base of the flexible reflective wands - they are very short. The west-bound lane runs for 100m between Bromyard Avenue and Larden Road. The east-bound lane stretches for 140m between Vale Grove and Centre Avenue. A letter from the Department for Transport to local councils makes it clear that the government is looking for big changes: "You will need to show us that you have swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians, including on strategic corridors", it states. "The quickest and cheapest way of achieving this will normally be point closures. These can be of certain main roads (with exceptions for buses, access and disabled people, and with other main roads kept free for through motor traffic): or of parallel side streets, if sufficiently direct to provide alternatives to the main road. 

Local authorities have until 5 June to apply to the Department for Transport for funding for emergency walking and cycling schemes. From the time they receive the money they have 4 weeks to start constructing the schemes, and once they've started construction, they must finish the schemes in 8 weeks.

Why cycling fills the gap
 If everyone who previously travelled on public transport got in their cars, the Uxbridge Road - and many others - would quickly become clogged. In terms of logistics, the authorities had no option, but to turn it into a cycleway. It will be the only way to get everyone to work.  A typical 3.5 metre wide lane can carry four times as many people on bicycles as in motor vehicles.
Priority Routes in Ealing
Although the Uxbridge Road is TfL's top priority cycle route in the borough, four other routes are marked as high priority: Whitton Ave in Sudbury Hill, South Rd to Merrick Road in Southall, Boston Road in Hanwell, and Gunnersbury Avenue to Gunnersbury Lane in Acton. We don't yet know what measures are planned for these roads.

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Saturday, 2 May 2020

Family Cycling

Here are some cycle activities for all the family:

1. I Spy Challenge 

Explore your neighbourhood. Download our I-Spy Challenge and see what you can spot around Ealing.

2. Visit a Local Attraction.  

There are lots of interesting sites on our doorstep. You can see some on our routes for daily exercise, or plan your own excursion. Try our CycleStreets Journey Planner – it gives you options for quieter routes, and you can download them to your phone or GPS device.

3. Check out the School Run

If changing school, or if you’ve never cycled to school before, then try the route to find out how long it takes.

4. Pedal to Create Art

John Davies drew this giant 'spider' by cycling around Northfields and plotting his route on the Strava App. What can you draw using Ealing's roads? We'd love to see your results on our Facebook page. Great apps for plotting a route before you set out are Ride with GPS and Map My Ride.


Cycling with your family in the time of coronavirus

This great little film from Cycling UK gives tips on how to ride safely with your children. Their website has more advice for family cycling.

Teach your child to ride a bike

Between the ages of four to six is the best time to learn. This helpful video from Cycling Weekly has great tips.

Learn essential bike-handling skills

Normally the council offers free cycle training, but it’s currently suspended during lockdown. Bikeability level 1 is the first level of the nationally recognised training scheme. These short videos from Cycling Scotland cover essential bike-handling skills.

Learn to cycle on the road

Bikeability Level 2 from Cycling Scotland covers most of the skills you need to cycle on the road.

Free Advice

During the coronavirus crisis, the London Cycling Campaign is offering free advice. If you have any cycling-related questions, call: 020 7234 9310 (option 0) 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday - Friday, or email: advice@lcc.org.uk.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Cycle Routes for Daily Exercise

We've created some short circular rides suitable for exercise during the Coronavirus lockdown. They avoid narrow paths and town centres to enable you to keep 2m away from other people. They run mainly on quiet back streets, with the occasional stretch of wider cycle path.

Click on the maps below to see the routes. From there you can download the route to your phone or GPS device. For phone use, you will need either the basic Ride with GPS App, which costs about £5 per month, or the OsmAnd map app which is free (instructions at the bottom of the page). You don't have to navigate to the start of the route - you can pick it up from any point. If you have any questions or suggestions please send us a message.
(You can also download the files directly from the .tcx and .gpx links below.)

Short Rides

S1 Northfields and Syon Park - 9 miles (1 to 1.5  hours) 
From Boston Manor Station this route runs through Northfields and South Ealing, down to Brentford, Syon Park and Isleworth. It returns via the cycle paths alongside the Great West Road and Boston Manor Road.
.tcx file  .gpx file

S2 Ealing and Acton - 9 miles (1 to 1.5 hours)
This circular route runs from Haven Green in the centre of Ealing to the new Cycleway 34, alongside the A40.  It then heads south to Bedford Park where you can admire the architecture of the first garden suburb. From here it heads north west to Ealing Common then loops around Walpole Park and back to Haven Green.
.tcx file   .gpx file

S3 Southall and Greenford - 8 miles (1 to 1.5  hours) 
From Park Avenue in Southall, this route heads north to Greenford then west to the green open spaces around Yeading Brook before returning to Southall.
.tcx file   .gpx file

S4 North Ealing - 8 miles (1 to 1.5 hours)
From Haven Green, this ride takes you to the historic Brentham Garden Suburb, then west to Hanwell where you can see the only thatched house in Ealing. From here the ride heads back to Haven Green.
.tcx file   .gpx file

S5 Greenford, Northolt and Perivale - 8.5 miles (1 to 1.5 hours)
This ride loops from Greenford, through Northala Fields to Northolt and then over Horsenden Hill to Perivale before returning to Greenford.
.tcx file  .gpx file

Mid-length Ride

M1 Hanwell and Northala Circular - 15 miles (1.5 to 2 hours)
A hilly ride in the north of the borough. From Hanwell Community Centre this route heads through Greenford, across the canal at Spike's Bridge, then west to Yeading Brook Meadows. From here it loops north to Northala Fields before returning via Horsenden Hill. There are a few very short stretches of narrow path where you may need to give way.
.tcx file   .gpx file

Instructions for using OsmAnd Maps on your phone.

1. Download and install the OsmAnd app on your phone. [OsmAnd for Android   OsmAnd for iPhone].

2. Download the .gpx file for the route.
On your phone: Either a) Click on the .gpx file link on this page. This will download a zipped file of the route.
Or b) Go to the Ride with GPS page for the route. Click on "More", then from the drop down menu click "Export as File". Click the "GPX Track (.gpx)" option, then click "Download .gpx File".

3. Open the .gpx file in OsmAnd app.
On iPhones. Open the "Files" folder, then click on the downloaded file. If you chose option a) above, select "Preview Content", then click on the share icon in top right corner. Click "Copy to OsmAnd Maps" (you may have to click "More" first.
If you chose option b) you won't need to preview content.

GPS uses a lot of battery power, so try to make sure your phone is fully charged before you set out.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Cycling and Coronavirus

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, last week Ealing Cycling Campaign suspended its social rides. Yesterday (23 March) the Prime Minister announced further restrictions. The main requirement is to stay at home. You can cycle to shop for basic essentials, but only when you really need to. You can cycle to work – but only where this is absolutely necessary. You can cycle for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or to deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person. And finally, you are allowed to take one form of exercise a day, including cycling. In all cases, you must keep at least two metres away from other people. Cycle shops are considered an essential retail outlet and will remain open.

The new advice is in contrast to Italy, which banned recreational cycling on March 9, and Spain which prohibited it on March 14  - in part through fears that cycle-related injuries would add a further burden to over-stretched hospitals. The policy here is closer to that in the Netherlands where cycling is still allowed and cycle shops remain open.

In practice, it is easier to keep two metres away from other people by riding a bicycle on the road, than it is by walking along the pavement. There is a problem on narrow paths, such as the canal towpath, where it is not possible to stick to this rule, so cyclists should probably keep to the roads at this critical time. Fortunately, there are very few motor vehicles about.

Cycle shops reported booming business last weekend. If you're new to cycling or returning to it, London Cycling Campaign has some tips for cycling during the coronavirus crisis.

Cycling UK updated its guidance yesterday:

"It remains advisable for people to cycle for their health, fitness and well-being, but in line with our previous guidance, you should only do this alone or with members of your household unless any of them have reason to self-isolate.

Under no circumstance should you cycle or take part in any cycling activity in groups.

This is critical to stop the coronavirus disease spreading between households.

We are also advising that anyone who needs to travel to work if it’s absolutely necessary should consider cycling to avoid using public transport, where possible.

Cycling should also be considered as the best means of transport when essential shopping for food for medicines

The guidance for avoiding contamination remains unchanged, keeping at least two metres away from anyone else, regularly washing your hands and catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and throwing them away immediately. See further advice on the NHS website."

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

A Bridge too Small

High Speed Two (HS2) has submitted planning applications for its station at Old Oak Common, but hasn’t included a safe access route for cyclists. Instead of segregated cycle lanes, which are specified in the planning guidelines, cyclists will have to share the only access road, Old Oak Common Lane (above), with motor vehicles. The reason - HS2's new bridge over the road won't be wide enough for cycle tracks.

HS2's illustration of Old Oak Common Station

Old Oak Common Station will be a major transport hub, linking HS2 to a brand new Great Western main line station and the new Elizabeth Line. It will be the centrepiece of the Old Oak and Park Royal development, the largest regeneration project in the UK. This huge, 650-hectare area is supposed to be cycle friendly. Its Local Plan specifically calls for the “widening [of] Old Oak Common Lane to include generous footpaths and segregated cycle lanes” but HS2’s plans will make that impossible. The planning application for a new bridge to carry the Great Western Main Line over Old Oak Common Lane reveals that it will be only about 13 metres wide. To provide room for segregated cycle tracks, it should be around 20 metres wide. 

The proposed bridge will be about 13 metres wide

To carry cycle tracks and footpaths it should be around 20 metres wide

HS2 has plans to modify the highway under another bridge, south of the Great Western Main Line, to create enough room for buses to pass, but it doesn't plan to create space for segregated cycle lanes here either.

These aren't the only issues we've found with the station plans. The proposed lifts are 20 cm shorter than set out in the London Cycling Design Standards, which will mean some people on all-ability cycles won't be able to use them. Cyclists will be expected to walk the last 100 metres to the cycle parking, and a segregated cycle track running past the station will be split in two by a zebra crossing where cyclists will have to dismount and walk across to the other half of the route. Needless to say, we've objected to these aspects of the plans and are hopeful they will be improved.

The proposed east-west cycle track past the station

Despite these faults, there are some good proposals for the station and surrounding area - especially in the long term. The station will open with parking for 550 cycles, with plans for a further 925. Although this is tiny compared to European standards (Utrecht station has 22,000 cycle parking spaces), it's not bad for the UK. We have recommended that they leave room for expansion. The east-west cycle route past the station will eventually be extended to link North Acton to the area east of the Grand Union Canal - though this might not happen until the 2040's! Hopefully coming sooner are segregated cycle lanes along Victoria Road, Park Road and where possible on Old Oak Lane. 
Indicative Future Cycle Network from Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation's Local Plan

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