A few things I don't understand

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Thursday 2 September 2004 1.40pm
I don't understand why the London Dungeon queue is allowed to cross over the main entrance to London Bridge Station making it awkward to enter and exit the station. Thousands of people go through here daily and its awkward for everyone involved. There are surely easy solutions to this. Who's in charge?

I don't understand why in Bermondsey Street park the removable bollard is removed but the3 inch high ring it attaches to is left standing up waiting for someone to put their foot through it while walking in the evening or night, trip and hurt themselves probably badly. An accident waiting to happen.

I don't understand why in one of the premier tourist spots in London, the Queen's Walk along the Southbank Centre, the lamps are all broken and the string of enchanting bulbs (when they work) are all looped around the lamp posts. How come this doesn't get fixed when millions are being spent on the centre itself?

I don't understand why drunks are allowed to take over our parks, be roudy and make a mess and the rest of us grow fearful of using our parks and avoid them?
Thursday 2 September 2004 2.36pm
Eric wrote:
> I don't understand why in one of the premier
> tourist spots in London, the Queen's Walk along
> the Southbank Centre, the lamps are all broken and
> the string of enchanting bulbs (when they work)
> are all looped around the lamp posts. How come
> this doesn't get fixed when millions are being
> spent on the centre itself?

Because unbelievably the management responsibility for the sturgeon lamp columns along the South Bank is apparently divided between:
Transport for London - the bit of Albert Embankment that is a red route);
Lambeth Council ??? [although their highways department may still deny it and it isn't factored into the spec for their street lighting PFI] - the pedestrian walkway between Lambeth Bridge and Westminster Bridge
Shiriyama - for the bits of the walkway within the freehold of County Hall
South Bank Board - Jubilee Gardens and the stetch to the National Theatre

Only in London!

I understand that SBB are spending practically nothing on their bit because they are hoping that refurbishment of the lamps will be picked up as part of the fundraising package for the new Trust to run Jubilee Gardens.

Thursday 2 September 2004 5.06pm
Scaffolding seems to have gone up around the lamps between Westminster and Lambeth Bridges, so there is hope!
Friday 3 September 2004 12.26am
Thanks Rabbie for further insights into South Bank politics, though it is as depressing as ever. Do you also know why the bus station at Vauxhall is taking so long. The original signs promised disruption for four months. Four years more like.
Friday 3 September 2004 12.35am
End of September seems to the answer to that one:

Delayed 17m bus station to open - BBC News Online, 12 August

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Edited 1 times. Last edit at 3 September 2004 12.37am by James Hatts.
Friday 3 September 2004 9.24am
Zappomatic - thanks for the update - I'll try some Lambeth sources to see whether TfL or the council have finally taken responsibility

James - don't suppose there is any news on whether the much vaunted roof of "photo-voltaic cells" (solar panels to generate electricity) on the Vauxhall bus station will be working from the date of opening
Friday 3 September 2004 9.43am
Are those the sort of solar power cells that take more energy to make than they will *ever* produce? </cynical mode>
Friday 3 September 2004 9.56am
I think photovoltaic cell performance is considerably better than it used to be - although they were only slated to produce 30% of the bus station's energy consumption - just how much lighting is there going to be?

The real waste of energy will probably come from production of the stainless steel cladding - entirely an aesthetic decision with no structural or fire retardation purpose AFAIK.
Friday 3 September 2004 10.17am
You're probably right. Stainless is not a good structural material iirc.
Thursday 4 November 2004 7.24pm
Here's an update on the issues I brought up in the original post:

1) The London Dungeon has now instituted a very sensible queue control policy which leaves far more room for pedestrians along the pavement adjacent to London Bridge Station and keeps the London Bridge Tube/Train station entrance free from being blocked. Way to go whomever!!

2) I used the Parks' Service section of the Southwark website for filing a report about the bollard ring. I got a reply within a few days from Southwark Park Services and after several attempts to understand what I was talking about finally resulted in The Ring being removed. The system worked!!!

3) The lamps by the South Bank Centre remain a mess...

4) I read today on the BBC website about Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and how they are being used in the most creative ways (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3979263.stm). I may well use this if the situation ever recurs where I am intimidated by loud obnoxious drunks who go every day to the same area in the same public park and toss insults and beer cans at whatever. I'm not totally sure how I feel about these ASBOs but they may just be one of the few regualtions which give power to the individual to actually get something done. Not to be used lightly, but definately to be used.

5) At about the same time that I posted this post, I also posted something about the St Mary Magdelene's Park and some vagrants who had set up a camp to live in. I had called the police about them several times but the police said they couldn't do anything. Eventually an armed robbery was committed by one of the vagrants and the police came and tore up the camp leaving vagrant rubbish all over a strip of land adjacent to the park. Well clearly it wasn't the police job to clear up but "joined-up government" would have had the police call the parks department and report the situation. I

So I contacted the Southward Park Services about this and in the past several months they cleaned up all the rubbish and then took the vacant land which had become overgrown and derelict and served as a toilet for the local park-drunks and created a mini-park with new plantings, lawn, trees etc.

It's easy enough in this struggling city for me to get negative and slam everyone and everything when things go wrong, and I know I'm not alone in that.

But sometimes things do get done well and I thought I should give credit where credit is due. Thanks to all the people and public services above who helped right some wrongs.
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