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June 2020

On May 9th, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced a £2 billion package to create ‘a new era for cycling and walking’. The tide suddenly seems to be turning very fast!

In response, on the weekend of the announcement EFTAG’s George and Jack wrote individually to most of our councillors, at District and County levels, and have received some very positive responses. The time is now. We are encouraging councillors themselves to ask and push for initiatives in Epping Forest, and have suggested some easy wins from the partial implementation of our proposals for cycle routes. For example:

  • Widespread adoption of 20mph speed limits wherever people live, shop, play and learn.
  • ‘Pop-up’ cycleways where safe space for cycling could be provided quickly:– 
  • Introducing ‘school streets’ – closing roads to motor traffic at places where children and parents congregate to walk to school, for example during weekday pick-up and drop-off times.
  • More cycle parking – in shopping streets and in high-density residential areas

Petition to Essex County Council

Further to the announcement above, EFTAG is petitioning Essex County Council to spend some of the money they have now been awarded on immediate measures in Epping Forest. These are:

  1. A protected Cycle-way from Epping Forest Retail Park to Palmerston Road (along Oakwood Hill, Valley Hill, etc).
  2. Improvements to the Essex Cycle Network route along Baldwins Hill and Staples Road. 
  3. Connections from the Oakwood Hill route to the Essex Cycle Network route, via Loughton High Road and Loughton Station.

This petition will be presented to the Essex County Council meeting on 14th July 2020. You can sign it here.

Initiatives in London and elsewhere

Sadiq Khan and TfL have announced dramatic changes in Central London, including the possibility of traffic-free streets in most of the City of London. But it isn’t just London: here, as an example, are Bristol’s plans.

Other Cycling news

Chris attended ‘ideaswithbeers’, a weekly national Zoom call between transport activists and traffic engineers. This is a very good way of getting a feel of what’s happening outside our area, and of making contacts. We hope to be frequent attenders.

The Cycle to Work scheme has just received a boost: Any Bike. Any brand. Any Price. Read more. 

Lots of other places are getting their proposals ready for the new wave of government investment. Read more from Hackney or have your say on what’s proposed for Redbridge.

People are also developing new tools to crowd-source cyclists’ views on road schemes and pavement-widening, e.g.

Bus news

Soribe attended the county level IPTU (Integrated Passenger Transport Unit) meeting for Epping and Harlow. 

There was a proposal to limit last-run journey times to 22:00 Monday-Friday; and 23:00 on Sunday.

There is also no change to routes within the district, though the Sunday bus from Waltham Cross to Debden is operated by a different service provider, with the timetable exactly the same (hourly to 19:00).

Monthly meetings

In light of social distancing requirements, our meetings have been pushed onto Zoom. We hope to return to normal as soon as this is safe and possible. In the meantime, if you want to get involved, please do get in touch and we’ll tell you how to join in. Our meetings are the last Tuesday of every month, from 7:30pm, so the next one will be Tuesday June 30th.

And finally

Do you follow EFTAG on Twitter? Find us @EFTAGroup. We retweet news and ideas about local, sustainable transport. If you tweet and would like a follow send us a mention or let us know in some other way.