Submitted by ian on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 13:23

Our open letter to Brent Council re expanding active travel in Brent:

active travel

PDF version here

 

To: Chief Executive Carolyn Downs
CC: Councillor Muhammed Butt, Councillor Krupesh Hirani, Assistant Chief Executive Shazzia Hussain,

Councillor Neil Nerva, Councillor Krupa Sheth, Councillor Thomas Stephens

Subject: URGENT - Expanding Green Travel measures in Brent

Dear Ms. Downs,

The government is calling for a “step-change” in the roll-out of Active Travel measures, and that these should be taken “as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks”. Moreover TfL and The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have launched the ‘London Streetspace’ programme to help residents switch to more sustainable forms of transport, reducing the pressure on other parts of our transport network. Immediate action is essential in reducing public transport to 20% to enable social distancing whilst travelling. As you know there is funding available from TfL and we are keen that Brent secures as much funding as possible to enable the changes that are needed. We hope there is time to consider the recommendations below on green travel as a necessary and timely response to the Climate Emergency declared by Brent council last July.

1. Put in place Clean Air Zones, with charging if needed.

2. Reduce car use through measures such as promoting car-sharing and the need to own and use a car through managing developments in the local plan. The Housing Minister has revoked the sign - off for Local Plans so we ask Brent to run counter to this and find alternatives to removing Green Space / Green Corridors within Brent.

3. Deliver a rapid transition of the council’s own fleet of vehicles to electric.

4. Require deliveries to the council to be by electric vehicles or bike (e.g. through setting-up a distribution centre for onward deliveries by clean vehicles).

5. Extended time limit on pedestrian green phase at every signalised junction for disabled pedestrians; these should run without needing to push the button.

6. Connected cycle lanes through major thoroughfares and parks, clearly painted with their segregation significantly improved through the use of wands, cones, armadillos, and planters and pop-up cycle parking should be encouraged, especially in areas of high pedestrian traffic. Major thoroughfares in turn should allow cycles in bus lanes, but no other (private) vehicles, with stiff fines for infractions; they should use 'swept path analysis' software to ensure cycling safety and viability; see
https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/opinion/2019/december/designing-the-cycle-paths-of-the-future/

7. The provision of cycle hoops and bike hangers to be accelerated on given residential streets, as long as two or more households are in favour, and in the parking lots of all schools.

8. For the safety of cyclists in Brent speed limits should be lowered, especially in residential areas and near schools, with increased enforcement and speed camera infrastructure significantly expanded; wherever possible, at intersections without traffic lights and the Council should consider banning turns to remove hooking danger, among the leading causes of injury and death among cyclists.

9. The Council should commit to converting existing parking to green spaces/ tree and hedge planting wherever possible, thereby simultaneously reducing car usage and improving air quality, and adopting weekly car free days and making all school streets car-free within 500 metres of schools with exemptions for people with blue badges/disability driving badges.

10. On top of air pollution, noise pollution is a public health issue pertaining to traffic. Brent Council should more aggressively devise and implement noise impact assessments and increase enforcement including fines for all vehicles with noise levels above 10 dBA and increasing fines for modified vehicle exhaust systems that make the vehicle in question noisier after it has been ‘type approved’.

11. The North Circular Rd/A406 should be a top priority for traffic reduction, as it contributes to dangerous particulate levels and noise pollution for all adjacent communities, bisects the borough in ways that make crossing exceedingly difficult, and is extremely un-user friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Optimally, a trolley line should be placed in lanes for both directions, although this would need coordination with TfL and adjacent boroughs. More immediately, existing plans to sequester lanes in both directions for cycle and pedestrian use, with planters/shrubbery/green verges segregating these from traffic, should be implemented; and over/underpasses for cyclists and pedestrians greatly increased. We urge you, therefore, to consider the above and prioritise green travel plans as quickly as possible. Where appropriate, funding should be sought from TfL – and where the changes are not the responsibility of the Council we urge you to lobby TfL for these changes. We look forward to hearing from you regarding the recommendations outlined in this letter. We appreciate regular updates and feedback on the subsequent Developments of your efforts.

Yours,

Tamara O’Neill
Coordinator Brent Friends of the Earth

Preparing for COP26 -GBGW and more

Submitted by ian on Sat, 24/07/2021 - 12:53

Great Big Green Week

...and other actions
leading up to COP26

The United Nations 'Conference of the Parties' Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be held this November in Glasgow. This is a crucial event, marking the sixth anniversary of the Paris Climate agreement, with its largely unfulfilled commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. As the UN says, 'COP26 needs to be decisive' in holding nations to the Paris commitments, and ensuring that decarbonisation actually takes place.

In the run up to this event, Friends of the Earth and many other organisations are planning nationwide activities to show politicians that the public is holding them to account, and demanding real, significant measures to ensure the survival of life on this planet.

Brent FoE Hustings

Submitted by ian on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 21:14

 

 

On April 8th We hosted an online Hustings, with members of the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties answering questions of the public, Chaired very capably by local author and barrister Hashi Mohammed. Watch the full video above.

 

Campaigning in the crisis

Submitted by ian on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 10:50

  

Covid-19 - How to campaign


These are unsettling times for us all, particularly the most vulnerable in our society. The most important thing you can do right now is to keep yourself, and the wider community, safe. If we are to be effective climate activists in the future, we need to look after our physical and mental wellbeing now.

Friends of the Earth wins campaign to protect the climate from Heathrow Third Runway

Submitted by ian on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 12:28

 

no 3rd runway

Friends of the Earth Press Release:

Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth, said “This ruling is an absolutely ground-breaking result for climate justice. We were fighting a project that would have had dire implications for present and future generations.”