A guide to new TfL guidance on Liveable Neighbourhood schemes

TfL has issued new guidance on the way boroughs can bid for “Local Implementation Plan” (LIP) and “Liveable Neighbourhood” funding. Away from TfL-led schemes such as Cycle Superhighways and Quietways, these are the biggest funding pots boroughs can access, so for the boroughs they’re really important. And for you they’re a great way of making sure your borough is doing good schemes – because the way TfL is now administering these funding streams is supposed to tie boroughs more closely to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

Below we summarise and quote the sections most of use to campaigners who want to make sure boroughs are both maximising their funding allocation and doing their best for cycling and walking. For LIP guidance, click here.

Liveable Neighbourhood guidance

TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods page is here – the page includes links to the guidance. Our interpretation and key extracts:

Schemes will have to be good for walking, cycling and public transport

“1.2. At the heart of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is the aim for 80 per cent of all journeys in London to be conducted on foot, by cycle or by public transport by 2041… Liveable Neighbourhoods programme has been created to fund projects in boroughs that will help to deliver this goal.”

“1.7. Projects will be expected to encourage a mode shift away from the private car and make streets work better for people, rather than for vehicles, as part of a wider traffic reduction strategy for an area. This requires looking at how streets are planned to enable active, inclusive and safe travel.”

So, remind your borough of this and ask them how exactly a new scheme will shift mode share towards 80 per cent.

There are four key approaches

“3.9. A residential area/local centre project might aim to reduce through traffic on residential streets by closing them to through traffic or introducing traffic-calmed streets. Other improvements could include the enhancement of walking and cycling routes (Healthy Routes) to local services and amenities.”

“3.12. A town centre or high street project might focus on the overall street experience, and its social and economic vibrancy. This might include improving the experience for pedestrians, enhancing the vibrancy of the streetscape and making it easier to cross main roads.”

“3.16 The aims of a station / transport interchange project could focus on improving pedestrian connectivity between the surrounding streets, station and bus stops. This will include accommodating current as well as future demand. A project may also aim to reduce road danger and improve personal security, improve bus reliability and connectivity, and improve cycle connectivity and cycle parking.”

“3.19 [A Connectivity project] might focus on improving the connectivity of surrounding neighbourhoods to the town centre by sustainable modes of transport, reducing severance and reducing road danger in particular locations or junctions, providing well-connected and safe cycle routes to the town centre, and ensuring reliable and efficient access for buses.”

These all are examples of the kind of scheme you’re expecting to see. If your borough puts forward a residential scheme, does it have “modal filters” to remove “through traffic”, for instance.

Bids will be prioritised using these criteria

“4.58. … The factors likely to be used in the assessment and prioritising of funding bids are:

  • Potential to deliver the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme objectives and Mayor’s Transport Strategy Outcomes
  • Potential benefits to be gained for walking, cycling and public transport, road safety and air quality
  • Capacity of the borough to deliver and levels of community and political support
  • Ability to secure 3rd party funding contributions and the affordability of the proposals
  • Potential to complement other TfL and borough projects (including planned maintenance) to maximise return on investment
  • The timing of projects to allow for synergy with any complementary proposals or other investment (including Liveable Neighbourhoods)
  • Past delivery record on Major Projects or Mini-Hollands projects
  • Quality of the information in the bid to inform objective decision making by TfL"

The guidance states that schemes will need to deliver against the guidance objectives, or they won’t get funded (section 4.12) – if your borough isn’t willing to put forward high-quality schemes, then it won’t get funded. Remind them of this.

The borough needs evidence and local support

Boroughs need to build an evidence case using tools such as TfL’s Strategic Cycle Analysis (4.22) to show future demand. And they need to engage with you: “4.31. A requirement... will be to demonstrate community and local political engagement throughout the development process and support for measures before they are implemented.”

If your borough refuses to discuss schemes or engage with you, show them this.

Any impact on buses will be highly sensitive

This is likely to be the greatest challenge to achieving good schemes (see p64 F1-K1): “In developing a Liveable Neighbourhood bid promoters must consider the impacts on bus services of their proposals..” and “In re-designing streets and re-allocating road space, care needs to be taken to ensure the effects on the bus network are positive in terms of journey time savings and reliability… removal of existing bus priority measures should be avoided at all costs.”

You can, of course query this with your borough and TfL. But also if it’s a choice between buses, walking, cycling or private motor traffic, this guidance says it should be the latter that loses priority.