Twist on Station Rise first time success

Twist is a new monthly pop-up market on Station Rise by Tulse Hill station. Thursday was the first event and it was a great success! 

Organised by Tree Shepherd, Twist is an opportunity for local business owners to trade at affordable prices. Tree Shepherd offer enterprise training to help first time startups and jobless people become self-employed and Twist as an opportunity for them to test and showcase their skills and businesses. 

We were at Twist talking to commuters about Streetworks – asking for priorities and ideas on how we can work together to improve Norwood Road and the one way system by Tulse Hill station.

Streetworks will have a stall every month so please come and share your ideas.

Age UK grant for the Peabody Hill Over-60s Club

We’re really delighted that the new Over-60s Club on Peabody Hill was awarded £200 from Age UK Lambeth to hold an event this winter helping older residents stay happy and healthy during the cold weather.

Michael and Margaret, Peabody Hill residents, started the club when they were doorknocking on the estate with a petition about a bus service. They met many older residents who rarely got out because of the steep hill, social isolation and poor health. They decided that they would do something about this – we supported them to book the community hall once a week and organise a coffee afternoon. They delivered invitations across the estate and on the day they drive round to pick up any residents with mobility issues in their car.

It has been a huge success – twenty older residents regularly attend and the club are organising a coach trip to see the Christmas lights in Oxford Street and have fish and chips together in a couple of weeks.

On 22nd December, the funding from Age UK will be used to have a Christmas party. There will be hot food, fun activities and decorations. Speakers and special guests will be invited to share tips on keeping energy bills low, staying warm and active, and where to find advice, and Helen Hayes MP will be there to officially start the party!

Raising Quietways concerns with Andrew Gilligan

Cllr Anna Birley recently met with Andrew Gilligan to raise the questions and concerns that many of you have sent us regarding Quietways.

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We asked –

  • Governance and decision making
  • Timings – can these be more flexible or are they politically driven
  • Choice of route – why was there no consultation and was it influenced unfairly by the Dulwich Estate?
  • Why has engagement been so poor?
  • Interventions – what is on and off the table?
  • Aspirations for the programme – it appears like a lot of money will be spent on a small increase in cycling, so how will success be measured?
  • What happens if changes to Rosendale Road are insufficient to deal with priorities highlighted by residents – speeding and safety?

Anna’s feedback is –

“Andrew said he agrees that the programme has not gone as well as intended and acknowledged residents’ concerns about poor engagement. While it may not be of comfort to Thurlow Park residents, I believe that by learning from our experience the delivery of other Quietway routes in the future will be much better.

“He assured me that the Dulwich Estate did not exert undue influence and that a route through Dulwich Village had its own challenges when it reached some difficult junctions at the South Circular. I expressed our disappointment that there had been no consultation about this at the time.

“I wasn’t very satisfied with his reply to my questions about a lot of money being spent to make minor changes – while I’m pleased to see investment in Rosendale Road, it has been pointed out by residents that a 10-20% increase in cycling isn’t in practice very many additional cyclists on the route. He said that in the context of significant TfL budgets being spent on large projects like Tulse Hill, this was not a big sum.

“He suggested that we could look at phasing the changes – we could make very minor changes now as phase one, and plan to make more significant ones later if there is demand for this locally. Currently this is not the plan, and anything we want to do must be done in the current scheme, but I would be interested in residents’ feedback on whether we should be pushing for anything additional as a phase two.

“I explained that the priorities of many local residents were to reduce speeding, make the road safer and tackle ratrunning traffic on neighbouring roads like Dalmore and Eastmearn. He is committed to investing in a route rather than a group of trees so any changes to neighbouring roads would need to demonstrate why they make the route safer. With the issues that residents have raised about the Dalmore and Eastmearn, we perhaps need to focus on why ratrunning traffic makes the Eastmearn junction with Rosendale Road, by the shops, so dangerous. That in turn will hopefully mean we can look at including Dalmore, providing a plan is put on the table that residents like.

“Regarding speeding, I shared the desire for better speed cameras and proper enforcement. He didn’t give the impression that this could be included in the Quietways funding but I have followed up by email to underline the strength of feeling held by many that this is key to tackling speeding.”

Many thanks to Val Shawcross, Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark, who organised and facilitated the meeting.

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Great turnout at the first StreetWorks co-design workshop

Following a petition from local Labour councillors and hundreds of local residents, the Mayor of London granted £5m to transform the one-way system in Tulse Hill. Officers secured an additional £2m to improve Norwood Road.

We believe that local people and businesses are best placed to make decisions about how to improve their neighbourhood, so Cllr Anna Birley has been working to ensure the project is led by the local community. StreetWorks was therefore set up to create a partnership between the Norwood Forum, the Tulse Hill Forum, local councillors, residents and businesses, Lambeth Council and Transport for London. The budget for community engagement has been devolved to StreetWorks and the community chose the design consultants to support the project.

To ensure as many people as possible can have their say, we have organised a series of co-design workshops. These are a forum for local people and businesses to feed in ideas and suggestions, and to choose the final scheme design. 

The first StreetWorks co-design workshop was last Tuesday and it was a huge success! With 50 people attending, the discussions were lively and constructive. Updates will be posted to www.streetworks.london – you can also post further ideas on the online forum and find out how to get more involved.

The next workshops are – 

  • 13 October 2015 
  • 10 November 2015
  • 8 December 2015

– all at 6.30-8.30pm at the Salvation Army Hall on Norwood Road.

Bridge strikes on the South Circular

In the last few weeks, the problems of lorries driving into the railway bridge over Thurlow Park Road near Tulse Hill have resurfaced with two recent strikes which delayed trains into London and closed off the South Circular. 

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We have been talking to local residents about the problem of this low bridge – not only is it hugely disruptive to local people, drivers and passengers, it also means most large vehicles are rerouted down Lancaster Avenue, a residential street with speed bumps and a 20mph limit. 

Cllr Anna Birley has had a number of discussions with Transport for London regarding the bridge. They have acknowledged that it is in the top ten railway bridges in the country for strikes by vehicles and that this causes huge cost and disruption to their strategic network. They have agreed that this should be a priority to fix.

However, there is no quick solution. In the short term, TfL hope to improve signage to prevent large vehicles travelling under the bridge at all. This will prevent strikes and delays but will not solve the problem of large vehicles travelling along Lancaster Avenue. We have asked that any new signage includes clear reminders of the 20mph speed limit to try to mitigate the impact of the lorries.

Anna has also ensured that officers only see this as a short term approach, and that it is essential in the longer term to either raise the bridge or lower the road so that larger vehicles can fit under the bridge without needing to divert along Lancaster Avenue. 

Officers have agreed to look at how this could be funded but are keen to stress that it would be a very difficult and expensive project. TfL have conducted an initial report into the situation and have spoken to Network Rail. They have agreed to try and conduct some tests in the road and pavement below the bridge to identify the location and depth of utilities, and we hope this can be completed over the next 6-12 months. This should help to identify viable options and will support the work we are doing to find funding.