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Questions for Network Rail over London Bridge delays and overcrowding 18 January 2015

Posted by George Crozier in Transport.
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As travellers from Honor Oak Park (like me), Forest Hill and Sydenham will be only too painfully aware, services into London Bridge seem to have hit a new low since new year.

Lib Dem London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon – who chairs the London Assembly’s Transport Committee – has taken this up with Network Rail. She emailed us with this update:

Questions that Network Rail must now answer

The New Year has seen continued misery for passengers using London Bridge station.

As a passenger Caroline has had first-hand experience of the additional stress and pressure the constant overcrowding, cancellations and delays are having on commuters.

We were promised that after Christmas and the two week station closure everything would be sorted and yet the New Year has brought even more pain and fewer trains for passengers.

As Chair of the Transport Committee Caroline has written to Network Rail about this and the problems at King’s Cross, and will continue to press for improvements while these major works continue.

The London Bridge improvement works letter requests the following information and assurance to the Committee, regarding services delivered in the week commencing 4 January:

  • The number of unscheduled train cancellations on routes into and out of London Bridge Station from 4 January and the reasons for these cancellations.
  • The number of train delays of longer than 30 minutes, for services arriving and departing London Bridge.
  • Confirmation of whether the signalling problems experienced in the week commencing 4 January are linked to, or separate from, the Thameslink programme works, and what is being done to resolve these problems.
  • Further information on Network Rail’s policy for cancellation of trains with passengers on board.

The details of the correspondence can be seen here.

Honor Oak Park work continues 14 April 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Transport, Uncategorized.
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Works to improve access to Honor Oak Park station continue.

For anyone wondering why this is taking so long, here is a letter I received from Network Rail in early February in response to an enquiry:

Dear Mr Crozier

Lifts at Honor Oak Park Station

Thank you for your correspondence below in regards to lifts at this station.

Unfortunately we have come across some major issues with our main contractor and the wider supply chain. The designs produced for the lift and necessary structures fall below the quality and requirements we have set.

Please rest assured Network Rail remain committed to deliver the much needed lifts at Honor Oak Park and we are doing everything we can to deliver these as fast and safely as possible.

I hope you find the above information useful.

When we spoke with the contractors in the first half of March they told us that they will be complete in ‘a couple of months’ but the new lifts (work pictured above) should be working before that. At time of writing work is continuing slowly.

Hopefully our patience will be rewarded soon and the station finally made accessible to all; we will still need to ensure those with mobility problems can get onto all trains easily though, which isn’t the case yet.

The lifts are being installed with national government money as part of the Government’s Access for All scheme. In Dec 2011 Lib Dems in Government announced a £100 million boost for the scheme.

Air quality – call for action 22 March 2014

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

Liberal Democrats are pressing for urgent action to tackle air quality in Lewisham after a study found it frequently ranked as one of the worst three London boroughs for air pollution-related deaths.

Forest Hill councillor Alex Feakes said: “Last summer Lewisham council agreed to set up an air quality management area including Honor Oak, after studies showed high levels of nitrogen dioxide (primarily from vehicle exhausts) in the area. However they are not even publishing an action plan until the second half of this year. We need greater urgency.”

The Lib Dems want to tackle air pollution by helping people fit better filters to vehicles and by considering banning very old diesel engines altogether. Our survey of Forest Hill residents found strong support for this.

London Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford is a leading campaigner for action against air pollution. She is pressing for the fast implementation of tougher EU car emission standards and for ‘tailpipe testing’ of lorries to check if diesel particulate filters have been illegally removed.

Lib Dems are also pushing pro-air quality measures inside the coalition government, including ways of increasing numbers of electric vehicles.

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.

Bus campaign: Next stop City Hall 22 March 2014

Posted by George Crozier in Transport.
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George Crozier at a bus stop in Forest Hill

Lib Dem campaigner George Crozier is leading calls for action on bus and rail overcrowding

This story appeared in the February – March 2014 Forest Hill Focus

The Forest Hill Focus Team are working with Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon to get action to tackle overcrowding on buses serving our area.

Caroline is Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Transport Committee, which recently identified the 185 and 176 as among the ten most overcrowded bus routes in the capital. She has tabled questions to London Mayor Boris Johnson asking why TfL do not officially measure and publish information on bus crowding, as happens with trains. She has also asked TfL to look into overcrowding on the 185 and 176 specifically, and whether there is a need for additional buses at peak times.

Overground update

The Lib Dem team have welcomed news that trains on the London Overground serving Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill and Sydenham are to be extended to five carriages to tackle overcrowding . The first of the longer trains should be in service by the end of 2014.

Some platforms are also to be extended. However TfL do not appear to be considering other station improvements, such as installing extra escalators to ease congestion at popular interchanges such as Canada Water. Forest Hill campaigner George Crozier has written to TfL asking them to explore this.

The Focus Team want to hear from bus and rail passengers about their experiences, especially with overcrowding. Please contact George Crozier at crozierg@yahoo.co.uk.

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.