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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Route 315 Bus service proposal consultation begins

The consultation regarding the Route 315 Bus service proposal began today. The consultation will run from Monday 22 June to Monday 10 August 2015, and we hope you have your say. There is an online survey. Here is the link – http://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/route-315

Transport for London (TfL) will be distributing leaflets next week to addresses within 400m of the current route 315 (east of Streatham High Rd) and the proposed route between West Norwood and Peabody Hill, and in addition to this, there will be an email to current users of the 315 bus.

Furthermore, there will be two drop-in sessions for people to discuss the proposals with TfL staff and we would be delighted if you can take part:

Thursday 2 July, 15.00-20.30, at Aspire Wellbeing Centre, 1 Park Hall Road, London SE21 8EH
Thursday 9 July, 15.00-18.30, at Peabody Hill Centre, Peabody Hill, London SE21 8LA

Proposed Peabody Bus public meeting notes

Dear Resident – below is a copy of the meeting notes which Anna and Max took down while at the Peabody Community Hall public meeting held at the end of March to discuss proposals to introduce a bus service to Peabody Hill. These notes were sent to TfL last week as a way to provide TfL with an insight into Peabody estate and Birkbeck triangle residents’ thoughts, suggestions and questions ahead of the consultation in June 2015.

Dear Peter, 

As you’re aware, we recently hosted a public meeting to discuss proposals to introduce a bus service to Peabody Hill. The meeting came about due to increasing community awareness of the proposals and Peabody Estate’s ongoing maintenance work which included the drawing of double yellow lines and prompted a discussion about parking and the potential impact of a bus service locally.

With the suggested consultation taking place in June, we thought it would be valuable to engage residents early, update them on the proposal as best we could and gauge their views in order to feed into your work. We were really pleased that over 100 local residents from Peabody and the Birkbeck Triangle attended the meeting. We have compiled their questions and suggestions, below, and hope that this will help to shape both the proposal and the consultation.

We think it very important that any proposals consider these points of view as it is an emotive issue for some residents, and hope that the questions can be answered fully before or during the consultation so that residents can make an informed decision.

Bus route:
– Which bus route is being proposed? Where will it come from/ go to?
– Will residents be given a choice of bus route? If not, why is that route being suggested?
– What frequency will the bus visit the estate?
– What time will it start in the morning and finish in the evening?
– Exactly what route through Birkbeck Triangle will the bus take?

Bus stops:
– Where will bus stop(s) be situated? Will residents be offered a choice?

Parking:
– What will the impact on parking be in terms of exact number of spaces? Can you be specific about where the parking spaces will be lost?
– How will you work with Lambeth and Peabody to mitigate any effects on parking?
– Will you conduct a parking survey?
– How will this align with the council’s review of controlled parking zones in the area?

Impact on residents:
– Do you have examples of buses traveling through other estates like Peabody Hill that you can share?
– Can TfL suggest a low carbon bus to reduce impact on air quality and noise?
– Will noise be measured in an ongoing way?

Children
– How will TfL work with Lambeth to ensure the play street in the Birkbeck Triangle goes ahead?
– What can TfL do to ensure that children playing on the estate or outside their homes are safe?

Logistics:
– How will the narrowness of streets be overcome, eg bus needing to pass oncoming traffic, delivery vans stopped in the street?
– Is it possible for the bus to turn outside the community hall instead of going round the estate? If not why not?
– How will emergency services and bin trucks be affected? How can this be managed?
– What will happen in the winter, as the estate is not normally gritted? Will TfL grit the estate?

Crime:
– Will you get any advice from the police regarding the impact new bus services have on local criminal activity?

Maintenance:
– Will TfL contribute to maintenance of roads on the estate?

Implementation:
– What is the suggested date for implementation?
– What alternatives have been considered?
– How would the bus be financed?
– If a bus goes ahead, will it be permanent? Is there scope for a pilot?

Residents also had some questions about the consultation process:

– How many people must ask for/ use the service to create enough demand for the bus to go ahead?
– How long will residents have to contribute?
– Will residents elsewhere on the bus route, not on Peabody Hill and the Birkbeck Triangle, also be able to have their say, and how will you engage them?
– How will TfL engage residents thoroughly in the consultation to ensure everyone feels included?

We also received feedback regarding the process of consultation and have some suggestions to make this more productive in June.

– Host drop in sessions rather than meetings, as some residents felt intimidated by the atmosphere at the public meeting and weren’t therefore comfortable contributing.
– Events held over a longer period of time will give more residents an opportunity to have their say
– Holding sessions at different times of day would mean people can come during the day or after work
– There should be the option to respond to written information and engage online
– It would be good if residents were presented with more than one option – being asked for “yes or no” for one bus proposal was seen as too black and white. Would it be possible for residents to choose from 3-5 options?

We apologise for the long letter, but many views were expressed and we are keen that everyone can have an input. We hope that considering the above questions and suggestions will improve the proposals and the process.

For your information, a copy of this letter will be forwarded to residents who attended the event so that they are aware of what is happening. We would like to be able to share your response to any of the questions above.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if this raises any questions or if you would like to meet to discuss further.

Best wishes,

Anna and Max

Peabody bus – public meeting this Thursday

We hope that lots of you will be able to join us at 7.30 on Thursday 26th March to discuss proposals for a bus service to the Peabody Estate. The proposal comes out of many years of campaigning by residents on the estate and seeks to help connect up an isolated part of the ward with shops, transport links, places of work and local services.

The meeting this week will be attended by your local councillors, the residents’ association, Val Shawcross, deputy chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and Dania Fitzgerald, Head of Neighbourhoods at Peabody.

This is not a formal consultation – this is scheduled to take place in June. Transport for London will be fully involved then. Until then, we hope the meeting will allow us to feedback community thoughts, comments or questions to TfL.

The purpose on Thursday’s meeting is to –
• Hear from councillors, Peabody, the residents’ association and Val Shawcross
• Share your views ahead of the consultation
• Ask questions
• Meet your neighbours!

We will be recording and feeding everything back to TfL so that residents’ ideas and concerns can be taken into account as TfL officers develop their detailed proposal.

In the past, residents rarely have much opportunity to have input into proposals before the consultation begins, by which point the detailed plans have already been drawn up. We’re keen that residents are included much earlier in the process.

Robson Road – update

Lambeth Council’s plans for this junction were halted when Transport for London decided that the remodelling would have to include banning a left-hand-turn from Norwood Road. However, following intense lobbying by Labour councillors Ann Kingsbury and Jane Pickard and a decisive intervention by our London Assembly member, Val Shawcross, TfL withdrew this condition.

The Robson Road junction will now be remodelled to have green man crossings on both arms and advanced stop line for cyclists, a big increase in safety for these two groups, and great news for resident of Thurlow Park ward and all those who cross that particular road.