Friday, 27 August 2010

They're back!

UPDATE - Thanks to a bit of community lobbying and the help of local councillors the lights at the crossing are finally back on.

Hopefully the next time the lights have to be switched off for roadworks TfL will alert people, provide an explanation and make sure residents are not without a safe crossing for two weeks.

Sign of the times

The government is urging councils to get rid of unnecessary signs, railings and advertising hoardings in an effort to make our streets tidier and safer.  LVIG will raise a glass to that.  It lobbied strongly to get rid of sections of guardrailings along the high street and, as part of its proposed streetscape action plan, wants to see signage rationalised and street clutter removed. But the action plan is about more than just reducing street clutter.  The plan will make the high street a more attractive place and a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. It is no longer enough for our streets to be focused on the needs of car drivers! 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Pedestrians be damned

UPDATE - I am told the Ladywell traffic lights were indeed switched off to reduce traffic queues in Ladywell Rd while work was carried out at the end of Chudleigh Rd, with the help of a temporary set of lights. Traffic flows matter of course! But after almost two weeks out of action there is, to say the least, concern in Lewisham's corridors of power that matters may be getting out of hand. It seems that attention has now been drawn to the fact that residents' safety is being put at risk each day the lights are switched off - and that this might not be a good thing. I'm told hurried calls are now being made to TfL to see if the lights can be switched back on - ASAP. TonyM

Monday, 23 August 2010

Who's chicken?

So for how much longer are the residents of Ladywell expected to play a risky game of chicken each time they want to cross
Ladywell Rd.
The traffic lights at the crossing have now been out of action for a week and there seems little sign of them being switched back on any time soon. I was crossing on Saturday and a driver slowed down and then inexplicably stepped on the accelerator as I reached the middle of the road. Thanks. So what’s going on? I can’t help feeling someone in Transport for London has decided that because of the temporary lights at the end of
Chudleigh Rd
, where road works are taking place, the Ladywell crossing lights should be disabled in order not to slow down traffic during the day. I mean, it just wouldn’t do to make drivers stop twice in a 200 metre stretch of road would it?. Imagine the chaos. But what about residents dashing to catch the morning trains?  TonyM

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Cuts, cuts and more cuts

Big reductions in government funding will mean Lewisham council has to cut spending by £60m over the next three years. That's a huge chunk of funding. The council has stressed that this level of saving cannot be achieved by simply cutting out waste and becoming more efficient. It will involve big changes to the more than 700 services the council provides - everything from schools to pest control. It will mean raising charges for many and abandoning others altogether. Councils across the country are already reducing jobs, and cutting spending on school meals, meals on wheels services, the arts and leisure centres.

What should Lewisham do? For example, the council spends £113m a year on providing social care for adults because of age, ill-health or disability. It's likely that budget will have to be cut. Should the council simply reduce the number of people receiving these services?

Lewisham is running a consultation programme - Our Lewisham, Our Say - from July to October, seeking the views of residents on how the council might meet the challenges it faces.

On September 6 the Ladywell Assembly will be holding a special session on the spending cuts. Cuts on the scale envisaged could dramatically affect our neighbourhood, especially if they lead to higher unemployment and stop all funding for the sorts of improvements Ladywell needs. Make your voice heard   TonyM

Ladywell Assembly.
Monday 6 September 7-9pm
St Andrews Church Hall
Brockley Rd SE4 2SA
What do you think the council should do to reduce its spending?

What railings?

You may not have noticed but sections of the guardrailings along Ladywell Road have been removed - courtesy of Lewisham council. Below the first guarded responses from a random survey of customers at Oscars cafe.

John: "I hadn't noticed."

Paul: "I use the high street all the time, usually accompanied by my three young children. Initially I thought removing the railings would make it more dangerous. But that's not the case. The street seems safe and it looks a lot better."

Simon: "I didn't think it would make much diffference - but its great! It opens the place up."

Shirley: "I'm not sure. I think the road is a bit dangerous."

Hal: "I'm agnostic. Let's see."

What do you think? Let's hear your views.

So farewell . . .

A great Ladywell landmark is no more! The Adhesives Specialities building has finally bitten the dust. The demolition squad move in - and completed its work in double quick time. One can't help feeling the developer was in a bit hurry because community efforts to save the building were gathering pace. Its disappearance is a great pity! It may have been pastiche Art Deco from the 1980s (hence no listing) but it added a bit of colour - even flamboyance - to the neighbourhood. What will we get in its place? More boxy, characterless flats?  TonyM