Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Green MP calls for 'emergency summit' over rail chaos

Caroline Lucas has called for an 'Emergency Summit' between key stakeholders including Government, Southern Rail/ Govia Thameslink and Network Rail.

It follows another day of rail chaos effecting Streatham stations.

The Green Party MP is demanding an 'emergency response' to the train crises gripping Streatham and covering much of Southern England.

Yesterday there was serious overcrowding and people were stuck on trains for long periods in the baking heat.  
The MP wants the Government to step in and call an urgent summit immediately. 

Caroline Lucas MP said: “This is an emergency situation which requires an urgent response. I'm seriously worried that someone could be injured or worse. The Government must immediately call an emergency summit between all key stakeholders including Network Rail, the train company and Ministers”

“I’ve heard reports of passengers fainting and being stuck on sweltering trains on an extremely hot day. The failures yesterday were caused by a combination of problems with Network Rail, some of which were unavoidable, plus the usual delays on the service. 

“I’m doing all I can to meet with the Minister responsible for trains later today to demand action to repair this failing service. Passengers have suffered for many months now and, with a new Government in place, it’s time for real action to address the multiple problems with this service. As a start the Minister should signal his intent by taking the service into public hands so Government can truly get a grip on it.”

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

New park plans for Streatham Vale

These are the exciting new plans for Streatham Vale Park, the management of which is being taken over by Streatham Youth and Community Trust.

They include ideas such as new playgrounds for younger and older children, an adventure playground, better lighting, a running track, outdoor gym, seven-a-side football pitch, senses walk, cafe and toilets.

SYCT are looking for feedback from as many local people as possible. Full plans can be viewed at The Hut, Streatham Vale Park, off Abercairn Road, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 12pm-3pm until 23 July or Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm from 24 July-31 July. 

Or you can request by email from Comments can be emailed or posted to SYCT, 16-16 Wellfield Road, Streatham, London, SW16 2BP.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Campaign success! Fatal Ambleside Avenue/Mitcham Lane junction to be modernised

Some great news!  The junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane is finally to get its much needed overhaul!

Since 2012, Streatham Green Party has been campaigning with local people to make the junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane safe, after a series of collisions and fatalities.

We initially launched a campaign which included a demo with parents and children from St Leonard's Primary School who use the crossing, after a number of other near misses on the crossing at the junction. It received some press coverage which you can read here.

We have since continued to record and highlight the collisions there and met with Transport for London to press for action and highlight the urgency.

We eventually won a review of the junction in 2013.

However, it then seemed that the Mayor of London was backtracking on his plans to make changes to dangerous junctions, as he scaled down his 'Better Junctions Programme'. So we continued to push TfL until they made some promises to make changes.

We had been told that there would have to be another fatality of serious injury before action was taken, and sadly that happened in late 2014.

850 local people then signed a petition online and on paper.  We collected signatures at Streatham Green market when we ran our Christmas street stall. Local shops also helped out as well as Tenderlinks Day Nursery.  And in January 2015, we presented the petition to City Hall.

A year ago, TfL finally came forward with their plans to make the junction safer.  And these will now be implemented with work starting later this month.

The plans include modernising the street lighting to improve visibility, installing advanced stop lines for cyclists, introducing a new 1.5 metre-wide cycle lane on Ambleside Avenue,  modernising the traffic signals to include pedestrian countdown technology, installing cycle safety mirrors on traffic signals at the junction to increase visibility of cyclists, renewing footways for pedestrians, realigning and widening pedestrian crossings and resurfacing the carriageway at the junction.

The work is planned to begin on 25th July. 

Thanks to everyone who helped with the campaign!

For more on this junction and the history of the campaign see the following:

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Residents win campaign to save their sheltered housing from demolition

Campaigning resident: Deidre Shaw
Elderly residents of Macintosh Court sheltered housing in Leigham Court Road, Streatham, have won the campaign to save their homes from demolition.

Lambeth Council had planned to demolish 45 flats and sell the land for development - along with another sheltered housing estate, Queenswood Court, in Gipsy Hill. Residents of both estates have been told this month their homes will be saved - and refurbished instead.

The announcement came three days after the Green Party came within 36 votes of winning Gipsy Hill ward from Labour in a council by-election.

"Three and a half years of stress and worry are now over," said 66-year-old Deidre Shaw, who helped lead the campaign against demolition. "It's a great relief, but we've kept going and refused to take No for an answer."

The campaign to save Macintosh Court - previously called 269 Leigham Court Road - was supported by Streatham's Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie and its original architect Kate Macintosh, together with organisations including Architects for Social Housing, the 20th Century Society, Open-City, and Docomo Inernational.

"Scott's support has been a morale-booster. And to have qualified, informed, like-minded people supporting us has been amazing," said Deidre.

The campaign received widespread press coverage and earlier this month was part of London-wide Open Garden Estates weekend.

A key factor in the residents' success was securing Grade II listed building status for Macintosh Court, which is a rare example of 1970s "Brutalist" arrchitecture in a domestic setting.

Ironically, neglect by Lambeth Council over several decades, may have contributed too the listing by English Heritage in 2015; none of the estates' original features, such as wooden window frames, had been replaced.

In its letter to residents, Lambeth says its change of heart was due to revised estimates of the number of older people living in the south of the borough, inability to find a suitable site in Streatham to develop an "extra care" scheme, and the listed building status of Macintosh Court.

The recommendation to refurbish instead of demolish is due for approval by Lambeth Council's Cabinet on 11th July.

"It's not over yet," says Deidre, hugging her beloved cat Poppy. "If Lambeth ratify the decision on 11th July, then we'll allow ourselves to breathe a sigh of relief."

In 2013 The Green Party's Scott Ainslie and Jonathan Bartley helped save The Glebe sheltered housing from demolition.


Monday, 27 June 2016


Streatham Action brings together a panel of experts and influencers on Wednesday to share what they believe are next steps needed to bring Crossrail 2 to Streatham.

All are welcome to attend and ask questions at the public meeting at The Hideaway, 7pm June 29th. The panel, which will be chaired by journalist and transport expert Christian Wolmar, comprises:
  • Sian Berry, Green Party London Assembly member, former mayoral candidate and transport campaigner
  • Caroline Pidgeon, Lib-Dem London Assembly member and Chair of Transport Committee;
  • Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Labour Lambeth Cabinet Member for Transport;
  • The Community Engagement Team representative for Gatwick Airport, representing "Only Gatwick Can";
  • David Joyce, Director of Planning, Development and Transport, Lambeth Council;
  • Neil Salt, Chair, Streatham Action Transport.
This is a good opportunity to highlight the desperate transport infrastructure needs for Streatham. There will be a chance to explore how a CR2 station at Streatham could help reduce traffic and pollution on the dangerous A23, and alleviate overcrowding on the Northern line and Victoria Line.

We'll also hear how Crossrail 2 can facilitate transport links to Gatwick via what will then be a new transport hub for south London at Streatham.

The bulk of the meeting will be taken up by answering questions from the floor and receiving responses from the panel members to comments received in advance from local residents on the Streatham Action website.

The Hideaway is at 2 Empire Mews, Streatham, London, SW16 2BF.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Streatham's message to Sadiq on A23 road deaths

Streatham mums and other members of the Safer A23 in Streatham campaign have sent a message to new mayor Sadiq Khan, asking him: "What will you do to end road deaths on the A23?"

With 41 deaths and life-changing injuries on Streatham Hill and Streatham High Road in the last five years, campaigners want lower, enforced speed limits and the road re-designed to prioritise the safety and environment for local people.

Green Councillor Scott Ainslie joined families on Streatham Hill on Tuesday, holding aloft banners and placards for passing motorists and pedestrians to see.

Streatham Hill Green Party member, Chris Holt, who organised the event, said:  "With a new mayor now in charge of Transport for London, responsible for the A23, we hope we'll see a change and transport planners will at last take action on the tragic death toll on the road divides our community.

"Sadiq lives nearby in Tooting, so we hope he'll make it a priority to turn the A23 from a dirty, dangerous blight on Streatham into a people-friendly road that serves the community it passes through."

A letter was sent to all the mayoral candidates in last week's London Elections asking them to support the Safer A23 Campaign.

In response the Green Party's Sian Berry wrote:  "I am very happy indeed to support all your calls. I know that Streatham Green Party has been at the forefront of campaigning to sort out what is one of the most dangerous and polluted roads in London, and has also been working with Green London Assembly members to do so, including the St Leonard's junction on the A23. I am also aware of the huge concern that the road causes both local people and local businesses.

"I know that Green Streatham councillor Scott Ainslie and Jonathan Bartley met with Lambeth Council before Christmas to encourage them to lobby TfL to get the High Road reclassified as a High Street, and as Mayor I would support that.

"I am also aware that they have carried out an air pollution monitoring project along the high road after the Labour Party on Lambeth Council voted against air pollution monitoring outside local schools. They found that air pollution levels were breaching EU limits along the A23 - something that I know is of huge concern to local parents in particular.

"Now that Greens have successfully got Lambeth Council to adopt a 20mph borough wide limit, I would want the A23 to also have a 20mph limit along it to smooth traffic flow and make it safer, and in the longer term would want a redesign, particularly of the St Leonard's junction, where traffic flow has been prioritised over people's lives. This is simply unacceptable.

"Streatham has also had to wait far too long for the third section of the High Road to have its central reservation sorted out, and would support the replacement by 2017, as well as more pedestrian crossings, greater time to cross, segregated cycle lanes (which I believe should have been introduced when the second stage of the central reservation work was carried out) and improvements to calm traffic. I would also support greater accessibility for shops along the High Road."

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Temporary one way on Drewstead Road from 25th April

We have just been informed that in order to enable Thames Water to carry out mains connection works safely, Lambeth Council intend to temporarily impose a one-way traffic system along Drewstead Road from 25th April.

The one way will go from No 33/35 Drewstead Road to De Monfort Road, in a north-westerly direction (towards De Monfort Road).

The alternative route for affected vehicles will be via De Monfort Road, Broadlands Avenue and Streatham High Road.

The one way is not expected to last more than two weeks, and end sooner if works are completed quickly.