Waltham Forest wins £30m for Mini Holland proposals

Absolutely wonderful news just in!

Waltham Forest Council’s “Mini Holland” bid to TfL has won Walthamstow and surrounding areas up to £30m cycling funding to completely change the area for the better. It will also deliver substantial improvements to encourage walking. Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign were very involved in the bid.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Waltham Forest, said:
“We worked really hard to look at what we could do to improve the borough for cyclists and put forward some really quite radical plans. This huge injection of funding will mean we can reshape Waltham Forest for those that already cycle and those that have told us they want to cycle more. It will make a significant difference to the quality of life of our residents and others who cycle in Waltham Forest.”

You can download the successful bid document here:
https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Documents/mini-holland-tender-13-dec.pdf

Or come on down to WFCC’s AGM this Wednesday, 8pm at the Hornbeam Cafe to see a hard copy of the bid documents.
The council’s press release is here:
https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/News/waltham-forest-wins.aspx

Click here for the GLA’s press release.

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12 Responses to Waltham Forest wins £30m for Mini Holland proposals

  1. Sean says:

    Where is the link to the pdf for the bid ?

    Like

  2. Martin says:

    It’s great for Walthamstow but what about the rest of the borough ?

    The map of the borough on p11 of the bid document is laughable but clearly shows the prioritiies – Walthamstow, Blackhorse and Markhouse ‘villages’ are each shown as larger than either of Leyton, Leytonstone or Chingford !?!?!?!?

    This is writ plain on p12 of the bid:
    ‘A key feature of our Walthamstow Mini Holland proposals is
    the concept of “Villagisation” ‘

    As a Leytonsone resident I would dearly love to see some “villagisation” at our end of the borough rather than the same-old pattern of the sharp-elbowed middle-classes looking after themselves.

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    • Simon Munk says:

      As our mini-Holland FAQ (https://wfcycling.wordpress.com/mini-holland/) points out – TfL’s criteria meant the bid *had* to be centred on a “major” town centre. Waltham Forest only has one of those according to London planning criteria – Walthamstow. So the bid had to be centred on Walthamstow. One of the key councillors involved would have, I suspect, dearly loved to have centred it on Leyton or Leytonstone – there simply was no option to however.

      That said, if (when) the ideas in mini-Holland work in central Walthamstow, we will certainly be pushing for them to be rolled out cross-borough!

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  3. Martin says:

    OK, I missed that point.
    However, I would say that the proposal is entirely focussed on Walthamstow rather than centred around…. So let’s not pretend it’s a win for the borough.

    I don’t mean to be overly negative. I think it’s a great step forward. I just tire of those who think the borough begins and ends with W’stow.

    With future bids in mind – is there any data available for the borough on propensity to cycle, routes most used and accident blackspots ?

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    • Simon Munk says:

      “I would say that the proposal is entirely focussed on Walthamstow rather than centred around…. So let’s not pretend it’s a win for the borough.”

      Sorry, but I totally disagree.

      1. There are key east-west and north-south (theoretically) high quality routes through the borough that will link to the major routes to Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone.

      2. The biggest spend is on Lea Bridge Road – hardly central Walthamstow.

      3. Even discounting that, this represents a massive step forward in the borough’s ambitions for cycling – one that we’ve been very clear with officers we intend to hold as the baseline for all cycling infrastructure and road design going forward for the whole borough.

      4. As I already said, we also expect that what works in mini-Holland will then be rolled out across the borough over time.

      5. Finally on this, I find it bizarre that what TfL specifically billed and created as a process about one town centre in each borough is being criticised for not being borough-wide enough. It’s about transforming a major town centre. The borough only has one major town centre. Wherever you (or I) wanted money spent, the choice the borough had was a) bid for a huge pot of money for central Walthamstow mostly, or b) miss out.

      I am massively critical of the idea that TfL essentially is giving out a limited pot of money (particularly limited when you compare it to the general roads budget) to a few boroughs, rather than enabling all boroughs to create mini-Holland areas. And I’d agree it’s daft to only give enough money to each borough to create one showcase area within that borough. As someone on twitter put it – it’s like getting cancer patients to bid for treatment. So by all means be very critical of TfL for not funding cycling in general across London to the extent it clearly needs to. But I don’t see how you can be critical on this point of either Waltham Forest council or the cycle campaign. We played the cards we were dealt, basically.

      “I just tire of those who think the borough begins and ends with W’stow.”

      I hope you can see no one here at WFCC thinks that. For instance, the recent public meeting on #space4cycling resulted in an “ask” for every ward in the borough. Check out http://space4cycling.org/ to ensure your prospective councillors are signed up for your ward!

      “With future bids in mind – is there any data available for the borough on propensity to cycle, routes most used and accident blackspots ?”

      Yes. One of the reasons why Lea Bridge Road is part of the bid is it is by miles both the borough’s most used road for cycling and its most dangerous one.

      The southern half of the borough is also much more likely to cycle on roads – in that car ownership is much lower and distances to likely destinations are doable by more people.

      That said, both us and the council are pushing for a raft of already-agreed measures to spread through the whole borough – 20mph as a default, for instance, is heading north into Chingford this year, for instance.

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  4. Martin says:

    You’re free to disagree with me Simon : )

    You said it yourself:

    1. It’s a “pot of money for central Walthamstow mostly”

    2. The proposition is flawed. The concept of town centres in London is a flimsy one and supporting cycling within to and from town centres is extremely limited.
    Routes in and out of Walthamstow are only useful if…you want to go Walthamstow.
    Looking at cycling in London as a whole would be much more useful.

    I take your point that WF bid for what was on offer. And I think it’s a good opportunity… for Walthamstow… but of little use to the rest of us.

    I do hope that there will be a halo-effect for the rest of the borough from this and that this will reach the less affluent parts of the borough where, as it happens, there may be a greater concentration of cyclists.

    (Incidentally, I checked out space4cycling.org where none of my local candidates had pledged support – boo – not even Chris Robbins. I’ve rattled their cage).

    It’s interesting that TfL supported the proposal for Lea Bridge Rd – sensibly in my view. As you say, it’s hardly the ‘town centre’ but there’s a clear need for better cycling facilities. Maybe there’s a glimmer there of some more joined-up thinking…?

    I would be very interested to see the data on cycling in the borough. Would you be able to share it ?

    Like

    • Simon Munk says:

      “The concept of town centres in London is a flimsy one and supporting cycling within to and from town centres is extremely limited. Routes in and out of Walthamstow are only useful if…you want to go Walthamstow.”

      Lots of people do actually want to go to Walthamstow – as evidenced both by cycle counts and traffic flows in general. So don’t agree that element of the idea is flawed or that in outer London boroughs town centres are a flimsy concept.

      “I do hope… this will reach the less affluent parts of the borough where, as it happens, there may be a greater concentration of cyclists.”

      The evidence from cycle counts is Walthamstow is one of the busier parts for cycling. And Walthamstow has several wards where car ownership is significantly below half of all households, and several wards that are among the poorest in the UK. There are less affluent areas to be found across the borough – even north of the A406.

      Again, while I totally agree it’s a shame the money wasn’t available for the entire borough, I certainly don’t feel Walthamstow is somehow less deserving than other areas in the borough – as you seem to be implying.

      “I would be very interested to see the data on cycling in the borough. Would you be able to share it ?”

      Sorry – the borough does cycle counts which I’ve seen the data from, but I don’t have it here. But by all means ask them (or email the general WFCC email address – perhaps our coordinator has the data to hand).

      In terms of injuries, check out Levenes’ map here http://www.cycleinjury.co.uk/map – we used it and TfL data in general to draw up a list of the most dangerous roads and junctions in the borough that the council is working to improve with us. You’ll see Lea Bridge Road and its surrounds feature heavily.

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  5. Martin says:

    “of little use to the rest of us”

    Actually – I take that back. It’s of *limited* use to the rest of us
    : )

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  6. Martin says:

    And I forgot my main point!

    Villagisation is the prize here – creating safer, more pleasant environments for our communities to live, work and play in.

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  7. Pingback: Waltham Forest ‘mini-Holland’ row: politics, protests and house prices | Expressivus

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