Q: Why did we do a review of Walthamstow Village?

As part of the Walthamstow Village scheme process we said we would undertake a review of the scheme approximately a year after the work was completed. The aim of the review was to assess the impact of the scheme against its core objectives that were agreed with Transport for London (TfL), who funded the project, and the expected benefits it was designed to bring.

We have not carried out a review of this scale in Waltham Forest before, and are not aware of any other Local Authorities who have undertaken a review of this type on a highway/transport project, but we felt it was important to gather and analyse as much technical data and feedback from the local community as possible to ensure the review was as comprehensive as possible and all of the key issues were fully explored. We acknowledge that it has taken longer than originally expected to analyse all the information we collected and prepare the final reports, and we are sorry for the delay.

Q: What were the objectives of the scheme?

The core objectives of the scheme were to:

  • reduce the volume of traffic and noise outside people’s homes
  • improve road safety for all users
  • make the area easier and safer for people who want to walk and cycle for local journeys
  • generally make the area more attractive for residents and visitors.

Q: How was the review carried out?

 The review of the scheme was undertaken in two parts:

  • Part one- collecting and analysing technical information such as traffic count data
  • Part two- seeking feedback from you and the local community.

Q: What does part one of the review include?

Part one includes the following:

  • Traffic counts – an analysis of traffic numbers before and after the scheme so we could understand the impact of the changes. Following the work in the village, we installed 33 traffic counters on roads within and around the scheme area so we could compare the volume of traffic with levels collected before and during the trial in 2014
  • Road safety audits on the road changes – these were completed by an independent company and was used to make an assessment of any safety issues and further adjustments that may be needed
  • Collision analysis – a comparison of the collisions reported in the scheme area before and after the changes using data from TfL and the Police. Normally this is done using three years’ data before and after the changes to allow for short term fluctuations but we used an initial comparison of data for the 9 to12 months before and after the scheme. As with all of our schemes, we will continue to monitor collisions over the longer term
  • Cycling counts – a comparison of the number of people cycling in the area before the scheme, based on 2014 traffic count data, and after the scheme based on data collected in July 2016. We also now have a number of permanent cycle counters on key roads (including Orford Road), so we can continue to collect and report on this regularly to help us understand changes in travel behaviour and trends.
  • Analysis of the walking and cycling network - we have reviewed how the scheme has helped create a high quality cycling and walking network in the area by looking at whether it’s now easier for people to navigate the village by walking and cycling.

Q: What does part two of the review include?

Part two includes the following:

Resident survey – we commissioned an independent, external company to carry out a face to face survey with all households in the scheme area from late August to the end of September 2016. This gave residents a chance to give feedback impartially and confidentially. Interviewers visited every household in the Walthamstow Village area, and left a letter with details to an online survey for residents who were not home at the time.

The face to face surveys took around five to ten minutes to complete and aimed to find out:

  • If residents thought the changes had met the core objectives of the scheme
  • If residents thought more amendments were needed
  • If residents had changed the way they travelled for local journeys since the changes were brought in.

Business feedback – representatives of the Orford Road traders association were contacted in September 2016 to discuss the review in more detail. Following this, the independent company carried out face to face surveys with businesses to find out what the changes have meant for them and to get feedback on the additional pieces of work we have been doing with them.

On-street pedestrian survey – the independent company carried out a face to face survey with pedestrians in the area. This was completed in order to find out how people, who were not necessarily local residents, use the area and their views on the changes.

Emergency services – as part of our on-going engagement with the emergency services we asked for their formal feedback on the scheme and the changes we have already made based on their feedback.

Community organisations and schools’ feedback – we asked local schools and other key community organisations in the area, such as places of worship, similar questions to the resident survey mentioned above.

Q: Who was involved in the resident surveys?

Throughout the Walthamstow Village scheme we have engaged with all resident households that fall within the boundary of Lea Bridge Road, Hoe Street, Church Hill and Shernhall Street.

Q: Why we did door-to-door resident surveys?

The review was set-up to allow for a wide range of views to be taken on board and to give residents, businesses and visitors to the area an opportunity to give their feedback. To enable everybody to provide feedback impartially and confidentially, the door to door surveys via an independent survey company was the best option. This approach also ensured that we got a higher response rate rather than a postal or online survey.

The face to face survey took around five to ten minutes to complete and aims to find out:

  • If residents thought the changes had met the core objectives of the scheme
  • If residents thought more amendments were needed
  • If residents had changed the way they travel for local journeys since the changes were brought in.

We have used this information to evaluate the scheme against the core objectives, as well as to improve and inform future walking and cycling schemes in the borough.

Q: When were the resident surveys completed?

We commissioned an independent, external company to carry out a face to face survey with all households in the scheme area throughout September and October 2016.

The surveys took place Monday to Friday and Saturdays in order to capture the times when residents were most likely to be home.

If residents were not at home then a unique card was left with details on how to participate in the survey online.

Q: How did people who visit the area get involved?

As part of the review we have undertaken on-streets surveys to capture the views of visitors to Walthamstow Village.

Q: Who took part in the Review?

We would like to re-iterate our thanks to everyone who took part in the community feedback element of the review last Autumn. We engaged with the following:

 Residents, businesses and visitors

  • 1,345 residents in the area took part in either a face to face or online survey conducted by the external market research company – which represents 33 per cent of the scheme area
  • 39 businesses in the area took part in a face to face survey with the external market research company
  • 120 visitors took part in a face to face survey with the external market research company.

Resident and community organisations

In September and October 2016 we met with the following Residents Associations and street representatives, community organisations, schools and stakeholder groups:

  • Walthamstow Village, East Avenue, Wingfield and Randolph, and Folkstone Road Residents Associations
  • Representatives from Church Lane, Grove Road, Pembroke Road and Eden Road
  • East Avenue Mosque and Shernhall Methodist Church
  • Almshouses
  • St Stephen’s Church and Stephen’s House
  • WFCC and E17 Streets for All
  • Holy Family School.

Other key stakeholders

  • Emergency Services.

Q: I wasn’t surveyed, why not?

 Due to the large number of households within the scheme area, it took around 6-8 weeks for every household to be knocked once. We wanted to give everyone a chance to have their feedback heard, so if residents were not in when we knocked unique cards were left with a link to an online survey to provide feedback.

Q: Who conducted the Review?

The review has been conducted by the Council to assess the impact of the scheme against its core objectives, but we have used external, independent companies to assist with certain elements.

  • Breaking Blue, an independent market research company, was used for the resident, business and visitor surveys to ensure feedback could be provided impartially and confidentially. Using an independent, external company also meant we could allocate more resources towards achieving a high response rate. A supplementary report prepared by Breaking Blue which details the results of the resident, business and visitor surveys can be found here
  • Project Centre Limited, a recognised, leading Highways, Traffic and Transportation consultancy, were commissioned to support the Council in analysing the feedback and data we received and preparing the final report.

Q: How is the report structured?

We recognise that the final report has ended up being an extensive document and so to make it as easy to read and use as possible it has been structured into the following chapters. If you do not want to read the entire report and are only interested in a particular part of the review (community feedback, technical analysis, conclusions and recommendations, etc), each chapter can be read on its own as a standalone document

  • Chapter 1 – Introduction
  • Chapter 2 – Review overview
  • Chapter 3 – Community Feedback
  • Chapter 4 – Technical data collection
  • Chapter 5 – Summary of technical data results
  • Chapter 6 - Conclusion
  • Chapter 7 – Going Forward – Recommendations.

Q: How has my feedback been used?

The review has helped us understand how the scheme is performing against its objectives since the work was completed.

Your feedback has helped us understand:

  • How individual streets, and the area as whole, have changed since the scheme was introduced
  • If, and how, travel patterns have changed
  • Allow us to understand what elements you think have been most and least successful
  • What further amendments are needed to help us meet the scheme’s objectives
  • Help to inform the development of future projects borough wide
  • Help us, as well as TfL, assess the benefits of such schemes.

Q: What were the results of the traffic counts collected in July 2016?

As mentioned above, traffic data has been compared based on information collected before, during and after the scheme and we previously provided the 2016 traffic numbers on our webpage, available here

This data has now been analysed further and a full updated comparison is available in Chapter 4 of the village review report here.

Q: Who has made the final decision on the review recommendations?

The results and any recommendations for the scheme have been reported to the portfolio holder and Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial.

Q: What are the recommendations from the review?

A number of recommendations are set out in the final section of the review report can be found here. The recommendations aim to address a number of key issues that were identified as part of the review process including concerns around the volume and speed of traffic on certain roads within the area, parking availability and allocation of spaces, further road safety improvements and maintenance issues.

Q: What is the timescale for taking forward the recommendations?

Some of the recommendations are more complex than others and it is likely that some can be delivered in the shorter term while others may take longer. Most will require further investigation and additional funding to be sought, and some will require further engagement with local residents once they have been developed further. At this stage we are unable to say specifically when we will deliver each of the recommendations and it is likely that some will extend into the 2018/19 financial year. We will however aim to progress as many as possible over the next 6 months.

Q: I raised an issue but it hasn’t been addressed in the review of the recommendations?

We received feedback from over 1500 people as part of the review and have analysed a significant amount of technical data. The recommendations that have been put forward aim to address the key, common issues that have been drawn out of the review process and it has not been possible to include every individual issue, concern or request in the final report. We are however committed to making sure the scheme is working well for everyone and so if you have any issues or concerns that you do not feel have been addressed by the review then please contact enjoy@waltahmforest.gov.uk

Q: When can I expect to get an update and have my say on any further plans for the area that have come out if the review?

Some of the recommendations involve relatively minor changes such as addressing maintenance issues, updating road signage, etc. Depending on the specific work required at each location and the impact on residents and businesses we will notify any affected households or properties in advance of any works taking place.

Some of the recommendations may require more substantial changes or adjustments and at this stage we are unable to say specifically when we will be in contact with local residents and businesses to discuss these further as we need to do some more investigation and design development work first.  We are however aiming to progress as many of the recommendations as possible over the next 6 months. As soon as we are in a position to provide an update on our progress we will write to affected residents and businesses again with details on how you can get involved and have your say on any plans.

Q: Will you do a further review?

The purpose of the review has been to undertake an assessment of the scheme against the core objectives, approximately one year to 18 months after the main works were complete. We have not undertaken a review of this size and scope before and believe it is a comprehensive evaluation of the scheme now it has had time to bed-in. We do not intend to undertake a further review of this type on the Walthamstow Village Scheme but we will continue to monitor key information such as collision statistics, which is part of our general function as a Council and Highway Authority.

Q: How can I find out more about the other schemes?

Click here to view all of the schemes taking place.