Mountainous New BT Phone Boxes

BT have applied for 48 x 2.9m(8’8″) high advertising hoardings dressed partially as phone kiosks across Southwark. Three of these are proposed in East Dulwich.

Southwark should charge rent as they do for similar 90 such installations by JCDecaux free standing advertising hoardings and Southwark taxpayers benefit.  But only where it is safe to do so.

Ironic that we’ve spent so much time reducing street clutter for BT to propose this. Clearly their phone kiosks aren’t being used hence proposal to replace them with advertising hoardings. The idea of free phone calls from phone outdoors next to main roads is at best fanciful.

17/AP/0805 157 Lordship Lane – outside Franklins.
The new Harris East Dulwich Primary Academy, with the support of the local Police inspector, have requested that the bus stop outside its front door on Lordship Lane be swapped with the Pelican crossing nearly outside Franklins.
So this applications assumptions about the pavement are wrong and the schools/Police proposal will require the current phone box be removed. This alone should be reason enough to refuse permission.
Additionally the idea of prominent advertising being so close to a bus stop or pelican crossing is contrary to TfL guidance about the placing of advertising where extra cognitive lading occurs (tfL guidance section 2.4-2.6).

17/AP/0882 junction East Dulwich Road on Lordship Lane
This junction is notorious to local residents for crashes and fear of crashes. The reported crash data for this junction is 10 crashes for 2012-16 inclusive. i.e. 2 crashes pa. The classification of slight crashes has included a lady with multiple fractures still undergoing re constructive surgery.
Placing prominent screen advertising at this junction would make the junction more dangerous from cognitive overloading.

17/AP/0883 junction Crawthew Road on Lordship Lane – outside Foxtons.
Half the pavement width is owned by freeholders of 29-35 Lordship Lane. The current and proposed phone kiosks are reliant upon this to work. If the building is redeveloped the pavement would be blocking the pavement.
Equally the more prominent advertising hoarding proposed will distract drivers who must turn right exiting from Matham Grove onto Lordship Lane.

Generic issues for all these applications:
– these applications are being made to replace phone kiosks placed under Telecoms Apparatus applications. For telecomms apparatus the bulk of income and primary use would need be telecoms. But the vast bulk of use and revenues will be from advertising. On this basis telecoms rules and strategies should be secondary to following advertising consent rules for planning applications.
– the locations of the existing kiosks was motivated by being prominent for people to spot. But that same prominence makes these locations dangerous for much greater advertising prominence causing cognitive overload for people driving past. These advertising hoardings would be significantly safer on straight sections of roads that are not close to junctions or crossings.
– national planning policing encouraging telecomms and IT are aimed at broadband roll out, mobile mast roll-out and deploying fibre optics. These application are clearly advertising hoarding dressed as phone kiosks and these national, regional and borough strategies for telecomms/IT should not be applied to promote this advertising.
– The specs states the screens can operate from 0 to 50 degrees C. Temperatures regularly fall in winter locally below this temperature range.
Are the screens safe below their safe operating temperatures?
– poor urban design with the proposed new free standing advertising/phone kiosks being much more dominant in the street scape at 2.9m high. This is significantly higher than the 2.2 and 2.4m phone kiosks they replace.
– Protection of amenity. The free phone call offer. The applications give no details about how to ensure unrestricted free phones in the public domain won’t be abused and used to make malicious calls and how these will be stopped.
– un enclosed phones replacing enclosed phone kiosks. At all three sites these proposed free phones are overlooked by victorian flats with single glazing. What measures will be made to avoid these phones ringing and being nuisance – will BT fund double glazing for these flats? Make them outgoing only – especially to avoid use by drug dealers? Have Southwark Police been consulted about potential issues of drug dealing?
– they will bring at best only a very negligible benefit to the area far outweighed by the advertising.
Why hasn’t the applicant stated how important these phone boxes are by stating current revenue per phone box to demonstrate their importance to remain occupying such valuable public highway?
– other advertising companies pay Southwark annual rental to place such advertising hoardings on Southwark pavements.
Why are BT not required to do so?
– no detailed policy of what restrictions and controls on what would be advertised are stated. All are very close to primary and imminently secondary schools for the protection of minors.

East Dulwich Benches

We have a small project to install some benches around East Dulwich.

I’ve proposed the following locations:
– Lordship Lane across the road from the Coop on the built out kerb.
– Lordship Lane outside Karavan eco shop area of kerb build out.
– Barry Road junction with Etherow Street – again the kerb build out area.
– North Cross Road
– Lordship Lane close to junction with North Cross Road.

What I’d also like to suggest after a walkabout are;
– Lordship Lane outside Sainsburys
– Lordship Lane outside Foxtons
– Outside East Dulwich station

Where would you like to see a bench in East Dulwich

Denmark Hill Station Passenger Flows

I’ve just obtained a copy of a study undertaken by Network Rail at Denmark Hill station over two days in July 2015, approximately two weeks before the start of state school holidays. So the many local private schools would have already started their summer school holidays. Video cameras captured the tops of all stairs to the platforms and also the gateline. Counts were completed for the AM (07:00 – 10:00) and PM (16:00 – 19:00) peaks and were classified by person type (i.e. person with large luggage, bicycle etc).

Counts were provided in 5 minute intervals and showed that flows were slightly higher in the AM on Wednesday at 10,700 (10,400 on Tuesday) and in the PM on Tuesday at 9,200 (8,800 on Wednesday). On both days the AM peak was considerably busier than the PM peak.

The AM flows were very balanced with similar numbers of passengers entering and exiting the station (52/48 in favour of exits).

The Access for All footbridge is used by approximately 30% of passengers in the AM peak, the remaining 70% using the original overbridge. So the decision by Southwark Planners to block widening the original footbridge is causing much of the congestion problem. This resulted in a new ticket office entrance which already isn’t wide enough exacerbated by stairs to reach it

Platform 4 (towards Bromley) only accounts for 7% of flows in the AM peak but 26% of flows in the PM peak.

The PM peak has a more tidal flow with station entries making up 60% of gateline movements. The Access for All overbridge is used by 32% of passengers in the PM peak, slightly more (2%) than in the AM peak.

We need to find out when the extra Windsor Walk station entrance can happen. The congestions for passengers feels decidedly dangerous.

Annual footfall at Denmark Hill station

The latest ORR footfall figure for Denmark Hill station is shown below. As mentioned on Friday, some of the difference between the 2015-16 and 2014-15 figure “is due to changes to the methodology” associated with the London Travelcard. The leap in passenger numbers in 2013-14 reflected the first full year of operation of the south-western branch of the London Overground network.

Thames Water Herne Hill Flooding Review

After some chasing this is the current situation:

“6 April 2017

Our Ref: 33301153

Dulwich / Herne Hill flooding

Dear Councillor Barber

I write further to my email of 27 March regarding the information that was requested by your constituent, Susan Badman, in relation to our flood prevention and plans for the local area moving forward.

I can confirm that we have looked at how we react to flooding and identify potential leaks and an independent forensic review has been carried out to cover the November/December 2016 trunk mains failures in the above areas. This has looked at all areas of these specific failures and has identified generic points relating to the management of our 3,200km of trunk main sewers that will now be discussed at a forthcoming strategic review meeting. The findings of our review are due to be released publicly later this month.

At this time, we have not reported back to the Local Authority, Southwark Council, as suggested. We will however, arrange meetings and consultations once our plans have been finalised. I will be responsible for arranging these meetings and would be more than happy to include you, should you so wish.

We are continuously looking to improve our services and invest in network upgrades where required. This includes an extensive mains replacement across London and we currently have several jobs in progress and also at a planning stage for both our distribution and trunk mains in the above area.

We are developing our programme of mains replacement across London. This includes looking at the distribution and trunk mains in the area. We have already replaced 0.5km in Grange Lane and are planning a further 2.1km in College Road. We are also investigating the mains around Dulwich to see if we need to replace any.

As well as the above investments and mains replacements, we also have our Victorian Mains Replacement (VMR) plan in place that is an independent scheme. This is to replace the aged Victorian mains across London with new and modern pipes that will offer more durability and less possibility of frequent bursts.

Leak detection also remains a key area for us as we seek to reduce the amount of water that becomes wasted. We actively look at new technology and are constantly trialling new methods to identify leaks at the earliest possible opportunity. We have dedicated teams that carry out proactive and regular sweeps of areas that have a high level of leaks. We have found that these teams operate best at night time when background noise is at a lower level.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you need to contact me regarding this matter, or wish to discuss any of our plans in more detail, please do not hesitate to call meWe are open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely

Where Is 20MPH Not Working In Southwark?

Council officials after the latest batch of speed surveys and crash reports have come up with the 12 roads where 20mph is being exceeded the most across Southwark:

  • BARRY ROAD
  • BRENCHLEY GARDENS
  • CROXTED ROAD
  • DULWICH WOOD PARK
  • FOREST HILL ROAD
  • GROVE LANE
  • LORDSHIP LANE
  • HERNE HILL
  • PLOUGH WAY
  • REDRIFF ROAD
  • SALTER ROAD
  • SYDENHAM HILL

Sadly many of these roads in in East Dulwich.

They will now review what measures could be taken to bring vehicles down to the speed limit of 20mph. The most effective has been shown to be average speed cameras. Close to 100% adherence where installed. But camera enforcement is a cross London enforcement via the London Camera Partnership – so we need TfL to agree as well as the Met Police.

While we wait if you’d like to try enforcing the speed limit please join us on the local Community Speed Watch – contact me directly for more details.

 

Most Notorious East Dulwich Junction

Our most notorious road junction in East Dulwich is where East Dulwich Grove (EDG) meets Lordship Lane. It feels dangerous and you have be razor sharp crossing with confidence. Over the last 5 years 10 crashes have occurred.

Putting full traffic lights would significantly reduce the capacity of Lordship Lane there and result in lots more rat running. It would also see significant parking removed to make it happen – both along Lordship Lane and East Dulwich Grove – which is predicted to speed traffic up countering any safety.

On a site visit with council officials we noted the following potential improvements:

1. Tactile pavement indicated where to cross is set back along EDG away from the sightlines of cars turing from Lordsihp lane in EDG. Propose move this towards Lordship Lane.
2. Move the Bell Bollard so it actually protects pedestrians.
3. Why was the coloured raised treatment replaced with black tarmac. REnew in different colour to inidcate a pedestrian crossing.
4. Place anti skid surface to allow better braking.
5. Resurface Lordship Lane.
6. Place hatching on whole junction after resurfacing
It was agreed at the site meeting and post meeting review that drivers could be mentally or cogniticely overloaded with so many different visual ques. To reduce this we could:
1. Remove yellow hatching,
2. Mark the correct turning circle, as they do on some roundabouts, to reduce incidence of drivers cutting the corner.
Further thoughts:
1. What would it cost to raise the whole junction up to slow all vehicles?
2. Could we install average speed cameras around this junction to ensure no speeding?
What do you think – how can we make this junction safe?

Meals On Wheels Price Hike

Elderly face 260% meals on wheels price hike

Many elderly residents in Southwark are paying 260% more for their meals on wheels service this year after price hikes introduced by the Labour council.

In May 2010, Southwark Labour’s manifesto pledged to reduce the cost of meals on wheels by half to £1.71.  This target was reached in November 2013.

But service users have been notified by the Council that under its new ‘Fairer Contributions’ policy for adult social care the previous flat-rate charge has been abolished and replaced by a new rate based on people’s presumed ability to pay.

While some Southwark residents will pay nothing, others face increases of up to 260% with the cost of a meal spiralling to £6.24.  The new charges started in April.

Service users were required to complete a financial assessment and return it to the Council. The assessment considers the resident’s income, savings and outgoings and then calculates how much they have to contribute for their meals service.  Any user who did not respond by the deadline has to pay the full £6.24 cost as a default irrespective of income.

Labour made a clear promise to halve the cost to residents of its meals on wheels service.  Yet just two and a half years later some users are facing a 260% price increase.

The introduction of a free service for some while others struggle to find the money for this huge increase has created a two-tier system of care in Southwark.  It’s also a bit Big Brother that the Council is demanding to know all about older people’s savings and income.

The Council must monitor the impact of these massive price hikes and make sure people are not choosing to go without food because they can no longer afford meals on wheels.

It’s a complete betrayal of everything Labour promised older people just a few years ago.

Getting The Station Hump

By 2020 all public places and transport must be fully accessible. No excuses. That includes our whole train network.

Locally work has been done to make some of our local train stations more accessible from the public highway to the platform. Canada Water, Denmark Hill station, Herne Hill, Peckham Queens Road, Peckham Rye. London Bridge is being redeveloped and will be accessible form the pavement to platform – although most of the new shiny lifts are for staff only curiously.

But this leaves, East Dulwich, Elephant & Castle, Nunhead, Rotherhithe, South Bermondsey, Sydenham Hill, West Dulwich without this type of access.

But once on those platforms you have a step toad from the train. This ia a major obstacle for many. It also slows down passengers getting on or of from trains. To make matters worse local station platforms don’t meet the UK platform standard of being 915mm +0mm/-25mm above the top of the rail. Our platforms are lower making that step even bigger.

On the London Underground they’ve copied the Harrington Hump idea of an area of the platform raised to meet the train platform. So either we need to raise all our station platforms to the height of trains or we need to install Harrington Humps on all our platforms. The former typically costs £250,000 and latter costs £25,000 per platform. So across Southwark’s 40 platforms deploying Harrington Humps would cost.

PS When they rebuilt London Bridge station they could make their minds up whether to rebuild exactly as before – sub standard, meet the national UK standard, or higher to align with trains. After lots of dithering they rebuilt like for like.

 

Most New Southwark Homes Sold Overseas

Southwark Lib Dems have criticised Labour Southwark for taking no action about the selling of new Southwark homes to overseas owners.

A damning ‘Transparency International’ report revealed that 100% of the 51 apartments sold at South Gardens by the Australian property tycoon LendLease were sold to overseas investors. No locals getting to buy a local homes.

This flagship development at Elephant and Castle, replacing the now-demolished Heygate Estate, had previously been criticised for failing to provide  affordable homes demanded by the council’s own planning policy.

Southwark Labour councillors have often told us how good their relationship is with Lendlease, and claimed this allows them to get the best deal for our residents. Now that properties are being sold, it is clear that they are unable or unwilling to put any pressure on these developers.

Lendlease are building empty apartments for overseas investors, not homes for local Southwark residents. We are calling on the council to urgently investigate this and demand that homes built in Southwark are sold to UK residents first, not flogged off to overseas investors often with laundered money.

 

Southwark Labour Selling School Land

Southwark Labour have started the legal process to sell Southwark school Land at three locations.:

  1. 5,172m2 of playing fields at Angel Oak Academy (formerly Gloucester School) SE15 6FL
  2. 2,452m2 of plying fields Beormund Primary School SE1 3PS
  3. 1,078m2 Cherry Road Gardens School SE16 3XU

That’s a lot of school playing fields. Once lost impossible in Southwark to recreate o replace. They say they and will be used for housing. Also much needed. But the one thing we can sure of with an ever increasing Southwark population and huge home building plans is we will need more schools and often have to increase the size of existing schools. This school land should not be sold robbing children into the future of sufficient land to play.

Labour Southwark have a record of doing this sort of thing. Hence why The Charter School is so deficient of playing fields. Albion school was robbed of space only last year August 2016.

If you object to these school land and playing field sales email housingregeneration@southwark.gov.uk ASAP.