Dulwich Park Disabled Parking Chaos

Dulwich Park is looking splendid from the Heritage Lottery grant 2004-6, ongoing support and such an active friends group.

Part of this was restricting cars from using the park, sometimes at speed, using it as a short cut. Whatever possessed people to allow this in the past. Disabled people are allowed to travel at 5mph in cars to park up. For those disabled residents it’s a chance to see such a lovely park.

But things aren’t going well. The park has disabled parking spots. For people who are disabled want to park and can walk a little way. For those that can’t they’re allowed to park anywhere on the circular drive. But of course this causes confusion. The disabled parking bays are understandably parked out of sight – intended for parked cars without any occupants remaining. But when disabled people park elsewhere complete strangers harangue them.

After several complaints I’ve asked if we can move a couple of disabled bays to have proper vistas of the park. This should make the whole experience for our disabled neighbours and residents that bit more relaxing. And also ensure able body people don’t get stressed trying to enforce disabled parking bays!

Fingers crossed we can make this happen.

CO2 Target Reduction

The fight to save planet Earth from catastrophic climate change harming humans may have taken a step forward.

Dutch environmental groups have legally challenged their governments target for 14-17% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to 1997 levels. The Urgenda case. The court has ruled that the Dutch government must cut the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least 25% within five years.

UK environmentalists are now looking for a suitable issue to legally challenge the UK government. Let’s hope…

Cycle Green Wave – not coming to London…

Copenhagen the main routes in and out of the centre have traffic lights working to encourage cyclists to go at a consistent 20km/h or 13mph. They do this by all the lights going green in a coordinated wave. Too slow and you keep missing green lights. Too fast and you keep coming up to red lights. Some lights have count down green LED’s in the road for cyclists to encourage them to catch the green light.

They do this partly to support people cycling. But partly to make cyclists more predictable for other road users.

Transport for London say they can’t introduce this in London. They say to do so they’d have to remove Bus Priority that triggers traffic lights to go green for buses. They also say it would limited their ability to doctor traffic lights to support extra demand. Considering the prize at stake- potentially seeing a leap in cyclist numbers and safety this seems very negative.

Anyone out there who can do the maths to analyse this properly?


Southwark Children Health Exposed

In 2012 I exposed the debacle of Southwark Council not ensuring through inspections that all Southwark schools have safe food hygiene. Then a number of schools had shockingly low food hygiene scores and real issues to fix. Things have been improving. Or have they.

You can see Southwark school current food hygiene ratings here: http://ratings.food.gov.uk/enhanced-search/en-GB/%5E/%5E/Relevance/7845/528/%5E/1/12/10

Currently we have:

1 x 2 * The play shelter Ltd, Snowfield Primary School, SE1

4 x 3* Surrey Square Primary School, SE17, St.Anthony’s RC Primary Schoo, SE22, Pembroke College mission, SE17, 1st choice day nursery, SE1.

15 x 4*’

98 x 5

But the following schools have not had any food hygiene inspections for some considerable time (over two years). The recommendation is yearly as children as young as 4 can not shop around or spot bad food hygiene practices. That a third of such schools have had no inspections to ensure they’re still providing safe healthy food for Southwark young people is shocking. I’m shocked at the rapid return to food hygiene complacency of Southwark Labour.

4*’s – school name – date of last inspection – not inspected for over 2 years

London Christian School, Porlock Hall, SE1 3RY 4 July 2012

Drummond Road ,SE16 6EE 13 September 2013

London College of Communications Student Union 30 August 2012


5*’s – school name – date of last inspection – not inspected for over 2 years

Comber Grove Primary School- 5 March 2013

Bacons College 14 March 2013

Bright lands 27 Jan 2011

Southwark College, Keens Road 24 Jan 2013

Harris Boys East Dulwich 25 Sept 2013

Dulwich Village CofE Infant 24 Feb 2012

Crampton Junior & Infant 13 July 2012

Pupil Referral Unit, Davey St 25 Nov 2014

St.Michael RC school 13 March 2012

St.Paul Primary School 3 July 2012

Tuke School, Daniel Garden? SE15 6ER 13 November 2010

Notre Dame RC girls school 118 St Georges Road SE1 6EX 11 December 2013

Haymerle School 17 May 2011

Highshore School 19 July 2012

Allen’s School 5 July 2012

Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, 83 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH 29 March 2012

St James the Great School 1 November 2011

Dog Kennel Hill School 26 January 2011

Boucher CofE school 26 November 2010

JAGS, 144 East Dulwich Grove 17 December 2010

JAGS, 2 Dulwich Village 23 January 2013

London Southbank University 23 November 2010

Newlines Schools, 14 March 2013

St.Francesca Cabrini school 15 February 2011

St.Georges CE school 27 November 2013

Snowfields Primary School 19 July 2012

Townsend Primary School 28 November 2012

Young Parents Education centre 17 September 2012



Selling School Land

Southwark Council is twisting the arms of Albion Primary School to sell a significant part of its site. With that money the school will be rebuilt. The rebuild will I’m sure be lovely. But the principle is alarming. At the same time Southwark Council is spending millions on expanding schools that could be fully funded via the free school route.

The school governors and management appear positive and happy about these plans. And I wholly agree with single form entry schools becoming two form entry schools. Two form entry schools are more viable. Although already an Ofsted outstanding school with it’s extra size it will have the ability for more teacher specialisation.

But if this school was any where but inner London and Southwark the idea of halving the site would be ridiculous. The idea that a Southwark Council primary school would need to sell so much land to have decent new buildings would be anathema to the school and parents.

Which state school will be next for this treatment?


School Food Hygiene – Still A Problem

sfhrsweb5I’m really chuffed that my expose of shockingly low school food hygiene standards two years ago has crystallised into massive improvements. But their is still more that needs to be done.

Southwark’s 118 school, nurseries and colleges now have 95 x 5 stars, 18 x 4 stars, 4 x 3 stars and 1 x 2 stars – and that school has asked for a re-inspection and talking to them I think will do much better.

Lambeth is now trailing behind Southwark on this with of its 99 schools 85 x 5 stars, 9 x 4 stars, 2 x 3 stars but 2 x 1 stars Major Improvement Necessary. This is still shocking and I’m sure The London Nautical School and Wyvil Infants primary School must be planning to sort this out. They are imperilling children’s health.

1 star


If you’d like to see your child, grandchild, niece, nephew school food hygiene rating search here for Southwark and here for Lambeth.

North Cross Road Improvements

So works are finally underway to improve the junction of North Cross Road with Lordship Lane.

NCR_LL Junction Improvement Scheme Proposals

It should dramatically improve the entrance to NCR, slow traffic and improve the look and feel of this gateway into our local street market. It will also reclaim some dead space from Lordship Lane from cars that don’t use it to pedestrians who will use it. Lastly, the bus stop currently doesn’t work – with parked cars blocking buses getting to the kerb. The two car parking space are being relocated and buses will be able to pull in properly.

Do you know any other spots where we could reclaim road space that isn’t used for pedestrians?

Cycle Parking Limit The Cycle Revolution

Cycling in London has dramatically increased for London residents commuting into central London. In 2011 London 8.3% of such commuters cycle – it feels much higher now.

Apart from safer routes to encourage more people to cycle, and they appear to be on the way now, people cycling have to have somewhere to park their bicycles – at both ends. Without such parking the Cycling Revolution will stall.

We need a step increase in cycling to improve public heath helping the NHS cope with its financial pressures, longevity, better mental health, fitter citizens, less social exclusion. Cycling has a strategic imperative for our society.

Home Cycle Parking – Most cyclists have to parking their bikes in hallways, outside homes insecurely, blocks of flats basements – often behind many doors. We will never have a cycling revolution with such crap cycle parking. In East Dulwich we’ve been supporting new Bikehangars which are a start. We’ll need 200 for East Dulwich alone to support half of the 25% cycling levels we could reach within the next 10 years. So far we have 4 on order!

Our planning rules must change to ensure cycle parking is really accessible to all new homes – not hidden away in marginal spaces. New houses in London only have to have 1 or 2 cycle parking spaces but in Holland it would be 5 in a proper 4m2 shed. Flats 1 o2 in London, 2-5 in Holland and easily accessible.

Destination Cycle Parking – We currently rely upon ‘free’ cycle parking – locking bikes to lamp posts, railings and the like which only gets you so far. For a step increase in cycling you must have proper cycle parking and lots of it. In London secondary schools are supposed to have 1 cycle parking space for every 8 pupils or staff or 12.5%. Dutch schools have 50-100%. London offices have 1 space for every 90m2, Dutch offices 1.7/100m2. At my workplace – a modern building – the cycle parking is so obscurely placed in the basement that I ‘free’ park outside. So we must not just box tick that parking has been provided for people cycling but that it easily accessible.

If we get cycle parking fixed at both end we will see a cycling revolution.

Are you going to be part of it?

New London Lorries

I’m really chuffed to see that the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) campaign for a new lorry design they started two years ago to minimise crashes with cyclists is coming good.


Construction lorries are involved in around 75% of all cyclists deaths in London each year. The cabs of these lorries are high, they have turning movements that many aren’t used to and they weigh so much that if they do run you down you are literally squished. A very dear friend had this happen over and she died.

So LCC came up with a concept from their lorry expert Charlie Lloyd ideas with a much lower cab. This gives much great vision and fewer dead zones where the lorry driver hasn’t a clue what s going on. But with a lower profile it reduces drag for the lorry saving fuel. And fuel is major expense for companies running any commercial vehicles.

Mercedes have just launched a new line incorporating these ideas. I hope it becomes the new standard that other lorry manufactures adopt and literally many lives will be saved…

actual design

Save Southwark Woods

We have the ridiculous situation where our graveyards don’t have sinking funds to pay for their upkeep. So we have to have new burials to fund their maintenance.

But new burials – and Southwark Labour are planning for 4,500 new burial plots – mean that what have become nature enclaves for residents to seek refuge from frenetic lives have to have that atmosphere destroyed. Bad for these 100 acres of woodland and residents.

An alternative would be to buy commercial burial plots for Southwark residents just 5 miles away. Kemnal Park is a no brainer. Also to make cremation cheaper to encourage more to use this service.

The Southwark Labour councillor responsible has said he wants poor relatives to be able to visit their deceased love ones. But for most Southwark residents our Southwark graveyards are several miles away tucked into the very SE corner of the borough. Not many live round the corner.

We can then concentrate on making our historic cemeteries into much more loved nature reserves.

If you agree please sign the petition – we need to make the lives of the living better in Southwark.