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New pedestrian crossings on Borough High Street 'within a year'

Southwark Council's leader has promised that the authority will find cash to fund two new pedestrian crossings on Borough High Street within the next year.

Community groups Southwark Living Streets, SE1 Safer Roads and Boroughbabies have been campaigning for pedestrian crossings on Borough High Street to make it safer to cross, particularly due to the high number of school children crossing this road.

More than 1,500 people signed a petition and many local children took part in a 'day of action' last month.

Southwark Council has agreed to fund the new pedestrian crossings between Brandon House and St George the Martyr church and at the Trinity Street/Great Suffolk Street junction.

Campaigners met council leader Peter John and cabinet member for transport Barrie Hargrove on Monday.

"Having spoken with them, Cllr Hargrove and I are pleased to give them a commitment that this authority will deliver those crossings within the next 12 months," Cllr Peter John told council assembly on Wednesday night.

Cllr John said: "I applaud the hard work local community campaigners have put into highlighting this important issue and I am delighted that we are able to respond to their concerns.

"This is a great success for local campaigners and shows that Southwark Labour is listening to residents' concerns and delivering for the local community.

"We have committed that funding will be found to make the necessary changes at these junctions at the earliest opportunity and we will now work with these groups to press TfL to deliver their scheme for improving pedestrian safety at the junctions of St Thomas Street and Borough High Street, and Newcomen Street and Borough High Street."

Campaigner and local parent Claire Maugham – who will be standing as a Southwark Labour candidate in Chaucer ward in this May's local elections – said: "I am delighted that the council has agreed to fund the much-needed pedestrian crossings on Borough High Street.

"It will make a real difference to the hundreds of families who cross this road every day, taking their children to the local primary schools or visiting nearby parks, and to everyone living and working locally.

"I am grateful to everyone who signed the petition and to Southwark Council for responding so positively to the campaign."

Pressed by Cllr Claire Hickson to comment more generally on the council's aspirations for Borough High Street, Cllr Barrie Hargrove said: "There needs to be quite a bit more joined-up work along the lines that Southwark Living Streets have been calling for for quite some time.

"The way to deal with that is to get a big investment bid from TfL to try and radically alter the ambience of Borough High Street, to make it much more pedestrian-friendly and appreciative of the history and building quality."

In a separate written response, Cllr Hargrove also revealed that council officers are working with TfL to redesign the junction of Borough High Street, Union Street and Newcomen Street as part of the Mayor's 'Central London Grid' cycle network.


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