Southwark Liberal Democrats are currently considering new ideas on environment and transport as we work towards creating our manifesto for the Council elections in May next year:
We've been listening to individuals, community groups, and others about how the administration could best serve people who live, work and study in our borough.
We want our manifesto to be resident-led, so I'm asking SE1 forum users what suggestions you have for improvements to environment & transport in Southwark that you would like to see happen over the next four years.
Obviously not everything can be included in the final manifesto, but it would be great to hear what are the key issues you think need tackling, along with any new ideas to make Southwark an even better place to live.
1. Lack of effective training for bus drivers in relation to ambulant disabled people ie those not in wheelchairs but with mobility problems. Drivers constantly park away from the kerb making it dangerous and more difficult for people to get into the bus, but even more so to disembark safely. This would also help people with prams and suitcases.
This occurs routinely on the buses I travel on regardless of how much space there is to park. An example was last Friday morning, when a passenger with a suitcase took longer to get off the C10 due to the way the driver had parked. The driver presumably thought he had allowed enough time and shut me between the two doors as I waited to disembark after her.
I think the drivers do this so they can pull away more quickly from stops without considering the impact on their customers.
More evidence is provided by a large number of elderly frail/disabled people who I have assessed for taxi cards and Blue Badges who give the reason for needing one as not being able to get off buses because the drivers park too far away from the kerb.
I did send a contribution to a recent Government Select Committee and watched the proceedings afterwards on-line but could see nothing that addressed this issue.
2. l would like to see more prompts, audio and signage, reminding people who are able bodied that the seats at the front of the bottom deck are for people who are not so able bodied and they should be offered to people who need them. I am amazed at the number of younger people who either use these seats and ignore people who look frail, and/or stand right in the access points so people can't move along inside the buses, rather than use their legs and go upstairs.
3. With the increase in building of new apartments I have seen no sign of additional bus services/increased frequency to help cope with the increasing numbers of people living along routes in the borough. Surely this is crucial? It is becoming more and more stressful trying to get anywhere even out of peak times, which anyway seem to last all day on public transport these days. I have seen signs asking people with prams to make way for wheelchair users, which I find disingenuous as neither would be able to access some buses due to crowding, and both groups need to travel surely.
4. Lastly any ideas of how to prevent the incredibly irritating loud use of mobiles and MP3's usually by only one or two people at a time which drive me and I'm sure most other people crazy. Yes I have got one myself which I use defensively at a moderate volume, but can still hear these self obsessed idiots above it.
Hi - in terms of living space for the local communities personally I'd like to see a greater focus (in terms of town planning) on soft landscaping. Don't get me wrong; London Bridge station is looking nice, but at the concourse by the shard I'm sure there could have been a few big(gish) trees planted to mature over the next few years. With Potters Fields having recently been overshadowed by 1 Tower Bridge, soft furnishings in north of the borough is in my opinion being overlooked and its strange how the rustling of some trees can make a big difference - with the "thistle" in plan(?) around the corner it would be nice to see at least some greenery around that hasn't had to be within Guys Hospital to be safe.
Transport; I personally think that London Bridge could accomodate a cycle lane - the northbound pavement is wide enough since the pedestrian footflow is lightest on that side. The volume of cyclists is now a bit of a nuisance for pedestrians and traffic on their way into the city - as well as being dangerous for cyclists due to having to pedal in a very busy bus lane (and I'm a cyclist too, by the way). In the evening the flow of bikers seems much less concentrated, perhaps due to a wider departure time.
- Bakerloo line extension to Bricklayers Roundabout (and beyond if poss)
- A strategy to get schoolkids off the buses in the morning - they should not be filling buses, at the expense of paying commuters, to travel two stops: they have young legs and should be encouraged to use them!
- (Related to the point above) the introduction of express buses (as in New York) which travel between major 'hubs' and don't stop at "inbetween" stops (these are left to the local buses which run in parallel)
- Introduction of new bus routes allowing direct travel from Grange Road to (1) London Bridge (i.e. without having to travel to Elephant and change, or walk up to Jamaica Road, or catch the No.78 and walk from TBR) and (2) Westminster (i.e. without having to travel to Elephant and change, or walk down to NKR, or walk up to Long Lane to catch the C10)