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Forest Hill’s Cultural Quarter gets cash boost 6 April 2015

Posted by George Crozier in Streets.
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Further good news for Dartmouth Road has come from a successful funding bid by SEE3 – the high street innovation team for the Forest Hill, Sydenham and Kirkdale area: £113,000 has been awarded by the Greater London Authority to improve the public space by Forest Hill Library and Louise House.  The money comes on top of a £600,000 TfL grant for pedestrian improvements in the stretch up Dartmouth Road up to Forest Hill station.

“This extra funding to improve the public space of our heritage buildings is welcome news,” commented SEE3 treasurer Alex Feakes. “It’s essential we make the most of our cultural heritage in Forest Hill to not only support the local economy, but also to ensure the special character of our town centre has a sustainable future for all.”

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Dartmouth Road set to be spruced up? 11 January 2015

Posted by George Crozier in Environment, Local assembly, Streets.
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London Road - Dartmouth Road junction

London Road – Dartmouth Road junction

£600,000 of funding has been provided by Transport for London for the improvement of the ‘public realm environment’ on Dartmouth Road between Forest Hill station and the pools.

The money is being provided under TfL’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) process. This funding – £300,000 for each of 2015-16 and 2016-17 – will be used to design, consult on and begin carrying out a programme of work. However it is expected that more money will be needed to carry out the lion’s share of the improvements in future years.

Ideas already put forward for improving this part of Forest Hill include turning the area in front of the station into a piazza, a new railway crossing between Perry Vale and Dartmouth Road, improving the pedestrian / cycle route next to the railway line, clearing away much of the ‘street clutter’ and opening up the space in front of the library and pools, maybe with greater use of public art. (Some of these were discussed at a workshop held by Forest Hill Society and SEE3 Ltd in July last year.)

“Bringing these improvements to Dartmouth Road and the station area is long overdue, said Forest Hill campaigner Alex Feakes. “These ideas are a welcome contribution to the work carried out to improve Forest Hill by local businesses, SEE3 Ltd and the Lib Dem team of Forest Hill councillors over the years. However, we could have been enjoying the benefits of these ideas for many years already if Lewisham Council had devolved real powers to local people and businesses rather than just provided talking shops.”

Fellow Lib Dem campaigner George Crozier added: “Any improvement to the town centre needs to address the junction of London Road and Dartmouth Road. We particularly need to find a way to make this junction more cyclist-friendly.”

The origins of the TfL bid lie in a report commissioned by the Forest Hill Ward Assembly under the chairmanship of Lib Dem councillor John Russell back in 2010. The report on the state of the high street and street clutter was presented to the Lewisham Mayor and Cabinet by John, along with a request from the Assembly for action to address the poor state of Dartmouth Road and London Road, including an Area Action Plan for Forest Hill Town Centre and a Local Implementation Plan bid to TfL.

John explained: “Five years ago we took our report to the Mayor and Cabinet to ask the council to back this application for funding so this is the result of our and the community’s work.

“Forest Hill will really benefit from these funds that will support all the other initiatives already in place to continue to regenerate the town centre and improve the look and feel of the place. Real change has happened in the town centre since 2010. SEE3 ‘Portas Pilot’ funds, the Forest Hill Society and the local community have all helped to transform the high street.

“Continued community involvement with the Local Implementation Plan is very important. Forest Hill still needs a new master plan from the Planning Department especially around the station!”

However it is still likely to be a while before substantial improvements actually happen. The Council told us:

“This project is in its early stages of development and the current budgets currently set aside are only provisional. The final cost of the works will only be ascertained once firm proposals have been developed and consultation has been carried out. At the present time it is not possible to give dates for the works on site as the scheme programme will be dependent on the development of proposals agreed with a number of stakeholders that may involve negotiation, possible legal agreements and also Traffic Management Orders.”

We’ll be keeping an eye on developments.

Honor Oak Road safety action 6 July 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Streets.
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This story appears in the July – August 2014 Forest Hill Focus

In a response to a petition raised by the Tewkesbury Lodge Residents’ Association in conjunction with Lib Dem campaigners Alex Feakes and Philip Peake and presented by them to Lewisham Council last year, the Council have agreed to introduce measures to make Honor Oak Road safer for pedestrians and traffic alike.

Many residents had raised concerns with Alex and Phil about the speed of traffic along the road, particularly the section between Canonbie Road and Forest Hill Road, which includes Fairlawn and Francesca Cabrini primary schools. “Action on this issue is long overdue, but it’s good news that the council is finally getting its act together,” commented Alex.

The proposed measures include extending ‘guard railing’ along the pavement to protect pedestrians, footway bollards to prevent obscurement caused by pavement parking, and reinstatement and enforcement of the ‘school zone’ markings outside Fairlawn school.

Separately, the council has added Honor Oak Road to this year’s carriageway resurfacing programme, and is also considering calls by Canonbie Road residents to reduce rat running through use of no entry signs and barriers at the junction with Honor Oak Road, though like the footway proposals this will depend upon available funding.

Kirkdale crossing – the fight goes on 14 April 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Streets, Sydenham.
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This story appeared in the March – April 2014 Forest Hill Focus

Kirkdale

Kirkdale on a Sunday – but try getting across at rush hour

Campaigners have vowed that the fight to get a pedestrian crossing on Kirkdale will continue, despite being told by Lewisham Council that it does not meet the Council’s ‘predetermined ratio’.

In 2012 local residents collected a 400 signature petition calling for a safe crossing near the junction with Thorpewood Avenue, which was handed to the Town Hall by Councillor Alex Feakes. While a speed indicator has now been placed on the downhill side of Kirkdale, many children from Eliot Bank and Kelvin Grove primary schools still need to cross Kirkdale every day without a zebra or pelican crossing.

Alex Feakes said: “It is very disappointing that the Council do not consider it worthwhile to put a pedestrian crossing or even a school crossing patrol officer on this busy stretch of road. We will continue making the case and campaigning for a safe crossing to be installed.”

Honor Oak Park water works 22 March 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Streets, Transport.
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This story appeared in the February – March 2014 Forest Hill Focus

Many residents of Hengrave, Boveney and Devonshire Roads contacted us about the traffic problems caused by the Thames Water works on Honor Oak Park recently.  The diversion system in place was inadequate for dealing with the volume of cars and lorries that use HOP, and we have asked Lewisham’s transport officers to account for their management of this problem. “Although the works were to deal with an emergency, the impact of the extra traffic on local roads should have been dealt with better,” commented Forest Hill ward Cllr Alex Feakes.

Resurfacing of Dartmouth Road, #se23 13 March 2014

Posted by Alex Feakes in Forest Hill, Lewisham Council, Streets, Transport.
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Lewisham Council will be resurfacing Dartmouth Road, SE23 between Thursday 20th March and Wednesday 26th March (but no Saturday and Sunday).  The works will be carried out between 9pm and 5.30am, so there will be noise and traffic disruption for residents and businesses at night during that period.  The Council have asked that any parked cars be moved elsewhere before works start each evening.

For more details, please contact Bala Balaskanthan at LBL on 020 8314 2588.

Lighting repairs at London Road / #HonorOak Road junction #se23 completed 2 March 2014

Posted by Alex Feakes in Forest Hill, Streets.
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The malfunctioning Belisha beacon lighting the pedestrian island on London Road opposite the Esso petrol station has now been repaired. New cables and controllers have been installed. Hopefully this should make it safer for pedestrians crossing the road

More substantial changes to junction of a London Road and Honor Oak Road should start soon, following the recent consultation.

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Parking zones consultation 4 January 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Forest Hill, Lewisham Council, Streets, Uncategorized.
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This article appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 Forest Hill Focus

Following pressure from many local residents and your councillors, the council are intending to consult on introducing residents’ parking around Dartmouth Road and the Pools in the spring.

Councillor Philip Peake said: “The success of the new pools means that there has been more pressure for space on Dartmouth Road and side roads such as Thorpewood Avenue and Sydenham Park Road. Residents have been finding this difficult so the plan for the zone must help that situation while making sure that the shops on Dartmouth Road do not suffer. Free short term bays on Dartmouth Road should be kept and the period in the Perry Vale car park should be increased to two hours to match the one behind Sainsbury’s.”

The council will also be considering a zone around the Honor Oak Park shops and looking at the existing zone around Manor Mount for changes. If you have any views on parking in these areas please do let us know.

Kirkdale #se26 20mph zone consultation 15 February 2012

Posted by Alex Feakes in Forest Hill, Lewisham Council, Streets, Sydenham.
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Lewisham council has recently conducted a residents’ consultation in the south Kirkdale area about introducing a 20mph zone to assist traffic calming.

The council report that they issued 693 questionnaires and received 100 replies, a response rate of 14%.  Only 62 respondents were in favour of the proposed traffic calming measures.

The highways team conclude: “it is felt that the numbers in support of the 20mph zone are not significant enough to justify its implementation.  Therefore that council will not be progressing with the proposal.”

Notice: Kirkdale resurfacing, #Sydenham #se26 6th Feb for 2 weeks 31 January 2012

Posted by Alex Feakes in Streets, Sydenham.
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Lewisham Council have posted notice that they will be resurfacing Kirkdale from 217 Kirkdale down to Sydenham Road, starting on 6th February for about two weeks.

For more details, please contact Len Haylor on 020 8314 2129 or Sue Garlick on 020 8314 2095.