Southwark Council have launched a consultation for Rotherhithe which involves a new cycleway on the Rotherhithe Peninsula, new pedestrian crossings, new trees, and the removal of the gyratory on Lower Road.
The authority states: “The existing road layout creates a sense of motor-vehicle dominance, one way streets encourage fast vehicle speeds, which adds to unpleasant conditions for both pedestrians and cyclists.”
Plans to feed into a bridge towards the isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf have been scrapped.
It does still link into plans for Cycle Superhighway 4 which will run from Tower Bridge through Rotherhithe towards Deptford before ending in Greenwich. Original plans to reach Woolwich are on hold.
When it comes to investment in public spaces and streets Southwark Council are spending a far greater amount from new developments and parking over the next three years compared to Greenwich Council.
Southwark are allocating £19.5 million from parking income and £1.365 million from developer income (Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy). In comparison Greenwich Council are allocating £206,000 from developer income and zero from parking.
One reason for a lack of parking income is years of under-performance from the Parking Department despite a “new” strategy over four years ago. This led to a £12 million budget hole. Latest figures show another £1.5 million gap.
They hired more staff in recent months – which may lead to better investment in public spaces and streets in years to come.
They are also one of only three London authorities out of 34 (boroughs, the City and TfL) not to use CCTV for bus lane infringement and parking outside schools on Keep Clear markings (among other issues) since powers introduced were in 2003. That is finally changing but not until December 2019.
In place of using funds from development and parking the authority have continually deferred responsibility for improvements to TfL and blamed central government cuts – yet this doesn’t explain how every other London Labour council manages to allocate so much more money.
Could this lack of effort in allocating funds be a reason TfL refuses to focus much effort in the borough? The notorious Angerstein roundabout still has no confirmed large-scale upgrade. Smaller-scale Greenwich Council projects (even those funded by TfL) are months if not years late.
Maybe TfL are asking why they should back a council that is so lethargic. Even schemes like the one-way system coming to Greenwich is a pretty standard scheme every London borough sees once every three years. It’s not going above and beyond the norm.