Lewisham Council have today begun to install raised planters at a notorious rat run in Blackheath. The work on South Row is designed to make life better for pedestrians and cyclists heading between cycle lanes.
With double decker buses now restricted to just 20 passengers and 10 on single deckers, making life easier for those without cars (and also encouraging those with cars not to use them) is crucial.
Lewisham are already getting on with semi-permanent work after announcements in recent days. Initial attempts using plastic barriers in places such as Deptford High Street weren’t very successful.
Lewisham are implementing this work despite no TfL funds in the first funding announcement. It may be using DfT funds or internal funding.
Just over the borough boundary in Greenwich and the authority have mainly just installed temporary, flimsy plastic barriers – without much success as poor parking alongside causes problems. They’ve also squeezed and blocked cycle access in places.
There’s very little action on assisting those – particularly the poorest without cars who cannot use buses – to get about.
Lewisham (and many other London boroughs) can start on projects (at very low cost) before TfL funds not only with limited DfT money but because income from funding streams was already in internal budgets for street improvements.
Having existing funds allocated can ensure a greater number of projects in coming weeks and months.
Greenwich’s long running parking mismanagement and ensuing income shortfall – totalling over £12 million in recent years – ensures no money was allocated this financial year to compliment TfL’s annual funding to councils (which predates current emergency funding).
There’s already little in the kitty to get cracking in Greenwich borough thanks to years of the same lack of action:
Note how they copy and paste the same thing each year.
Parking income is ringfenced to highways work including street improvements. That £12 million could have achieved much over the past few years.
Because of poor management within Greenwich borough in regards to parking the authority are now placing pretty much all responsibility on TfL to fund improvements – despite many other London boroughs already getting to work on permanent measures that have yet to see TfL emergency funding. You’ll see Greenwich pass the buck time and time again in news stories and social media.
As for when TfL funding does arrive what will we see? Well, who knows, as in keeping with engagement they have revealed very little detail to the public. Bids may be extremely poor but we have no idea.
In previous consultations with TfL on projects such as Cycle Highway 4 the authority completely ignored modern design guidance in replies and were ignored by TfL, we could well see the same again. Silence doesn’t bode well.