You may remember this time last year we held a public meeting call the Big Pow Wow. Hackney Council was consulting on it's transport and air quality strategies and this was an opportunity to hold a public debate with council officers.
Well we have to report that the Transport Strategy was recommended to the Council for Adoption at the Hackney Cabinet meeting in October, and the revised strategy and consultation report were published soon after. Cabinet meeting page - see item 10.
We welcome the strategy which was non-statutory and will give some shape to transport strategy in the borough up to 2025.
We were naturally curious to see whether our submission had any impact so we've reviewed the section of the 995 page report which deals with our submission on Public Transport: TransportPlan.HackneyResponses.pdf
Most of the comments we made were "noted" but we can report some successes in improving the strategy:
- The words "Sustainable and accessible" were added to the transport vision
- The policy on transfer of rail to mayoral control now includes a reference to "improved stations".
- There is a new objective that "Hackney will have improved community transport services"
- The policy on community transport services has been strengthened to includes a commitment to "proactively work with partners to improve" community transport services.
- References have been added to moving freight by water and investigating the potential for trams.
- Strengthened the policy on real-time bus info by removing the words "wherever possible" and "wherever appropriate" which tended to weaken the policy.
We were not successful in amending the policy on:
- We felt that given that 6/13 stations in the borough already have step-free access "the majority" (ie one more) was not an ambitious enough target. We want to replace that with "most if not all". In practice this lack of ambition is down to TfL.
- We wanted stronger emphasis on improving cycle parking at stations replacing "continuously review" with "provide investment in and substantially increase". The council responds that it fully supports additional cycle parking and will work with TfL and Network Rail to develop this in line with increased demand.
- We wanted to prioritise development of improved services on the Overground lines ahead of Crossrail 2 as these stations serve more of the borough and improvements can be delivered more quickly and cheaply. Our support for improvements was "noted"
- We wanted Crossrail 2 alignment to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefit for Hackney. This should include at least two stations in the borough. The response is that "the council is working with TfL to examine the feasibility of a third station at Hackney Wick and to secure stations at Dalston and Hackney Central. The alignment will be announced in 2015." The announced route includes only Dalston with a possible extension to Hackney Central.