TfL Board Commissioner’s Report: Electric Cars and the Urban Environment

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[Below are the noteworthy extractions from the Commissioner’s Report – MWM]

Electric Vehicles

On 25 February, £9.3m from the DfT’s ‘Plugged-in Places’ fund was announced for London. This funding, coupled with £5.6m from TfL and a £7.6m pledge from a consortium of public and private partners, will deliver a network of around 7,500 charging points by spring 2013, with 1,600 charging points to be installed over the next twelve months. This will contribute to the delivery of the Mayor’s target of 25,000 charge points in London by 2015, with no Londoner more than a mile from a charging point. The planned network will be able to support tens of thousands more electric vehicles in London, and will help realise the aim to encourage 100,000 electric vehicles in London by no later than 2020. Over the period of the Plugged-in Places programme, 6,000 charging points are expected to be installed at work places, 500 on-street, 330 in public car parks, 50 at Tube stations, 140 in supermarket car parks and 120 in car club bays.

The consortium is comprised of EDF Energy, Enterprise rent-a-car, Europcar, Hertz, London boroughs, NCP, Nissan, Sainsbury’s, Scottish & Southern Energy, Siemens, SMMT, Streetcar, Tesco, Transport for London and Zipcar.

Options for a single London-wide brand for electric vehicles have been shortlisted, and are now undergoing the Intellectual Property and Trade Marking process. The London-wide brand, along with a new website containing everything users would need to know about electric vehicles and charging points, will launch later this year.

Car Clubs

On 11 March, the Carplus Annual Conference 2010 took place at City Hall. The day featured a presentation by Kulveer Ranger, the announcement of the latest annual survey results by the Transport Research Laboratory and feedback from recent electric vehicle car club trials in London.

Car club membership has doubled in the last year and now exceeds 100,000 in London alone. TfL provides funding for additional bays and for an operator accreditation programme run by Carplus, the national charity promoting a rethink in car use.

Woolwich Town Centre

On 3 March, the Woolwich Town Centre project received a Special Award for its contribution to the local community at the ICE London Civil Engineering Award 2010. Over the past four years, TfL has been working closely with the London Borough of Greenwich on the development of Woolwich Town Centre. These works have resulted in the re-routing of bus services to simplify the network, and have incorporated significant urban realm and streetscape improvements, including the installation of cycle parking and the planting of over 100 new trees. These works are also fully integrated with the new Woolwich Arsenal DLR station which opened in January last year.

The highways works have also enabled General Gordon Place to be closed to vehicular traffic, thus allowing General Gordon Square to be dramatically enhanced. TfL is funding £1.5m of the total £4.2m for the Woolwich Squares project (one of the Mayor’s Great Spaces). Construction for the project will commence in spring 2010.

Pedestrian Guardrail

All pedestrian guardrail on the TfL Road Network (TLRN) has now been assessed for removal. Up to 6 February, 46 kilometres had been approved for removal and 36 kilometres had been removed. TfL is on target to remove 52 kilometres by June 2010 which, coupled with the eight kilometres removed last financial year, will enable TfL to meet its overall target of 60 kilometres. That will complete TfL’s programme on the TLRN.

Pegasus Crossing

A new TfL funded crossing has been installed on the A3 between Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common, providing a direct and accessible route for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders wanting to get from one green space to the other. The new crossing is one of only three in the Capital that gives special consideration to horse riders. Known as a Pegasus crossing, it has two control panels, one at standard height for pedestrians and cyclists and another two metres above the ground for horse riders.

Linking sections of the Greenways and Capital Ring walking and cycling routes, the recently-installed crossing will allow those enjoying these routes to cross directly from Robin Hood Gate in Richmond Park to Beverly Ride on Wimbledon Common, without having to use the existing footbridge.

Windrush Square, Brixton

On 26 February, Windrush Square in Brixton was opened by the Mayor. The work on the square was carried out by TfL, in partnership with the London Borough of Lambeth, Design for London and the London Development Agency. The area has now been transformed into a community focused space in the heart of Brixton, providing a much-needed venue for local events. The new space now includes a water feature, over twenty new trees, and a sculptured granite seat. Improved lighting and additional CCTV has also been fitted to improve public safety and security in the square.

The completion of Windrush Square now means that work on the Brixton Town Centre improvement scheme is almost complete. The works, which began in 2006, will be completed by late 2010, and have already delivered a number of improvements to the roads and pavements around Brixton Town Centre. In November 2009, the gyratory system around St Matthews Church was removed and Brixton Hill widened to allow two-way traffic and help improve road safety and access to the town centre.

Written by Mwmbwls