Have you also noticed how the new plaza and the area outside the College of Communication are being used by (not so young) skaters? I have seen them skating over the brand new wooden benches. How long before they're broken? I used to work by St Paul's and skaters were forcibly removed by security after they destroyed all the stairs leading to the Millennium bridge. Nice to have an alternative use of public space but worried the place will soon look worn out quickly.
The skaters are becoming more numerous and more audacious. One actually asked me to get off a bench so he could slam his board at it, and when I refused got pretty indignant given that he had asked me "politely". Video of my conversations with them yesterday has triggered an interesting debate about the extent of their welcome at Facebook.com/elephantandcastleroundabout
I am concerned, as are others on Twitter and Facebook, that they pose a risk to pedestrians passing through this narrow fenced of piazza as they and sometimes their skateboards alone whizz past fast, sometimes into traffic. The less able of eyesight or nimbleness can't dodge these projectiles. They're also trashing the old stone memorial benches that have been relocated next to the Faraday Memorial and creating noise pollution to residents of MCH who have bedrooms overlooking The Bend - one comment was that the noise is worse that TfL's night works, given the irregular clattering I suppose.
Sadly knocking skate boarders is deeply unfashionable these days and the urban spectacle they create is something we are meant to find entertaining. The piazza as skate park was perhaps part of the council's vision anyway, just not one very prominent in their marketing. Nothing has been done to deter them in the design, as is usual in new public places where skaters are not welcome.
@MPSCathedralSgt and @MPSsouthwark are informed and have said they will intervene if people are concerned the activity is anti-social. It's up to locals to let the police know if they share concerns expressed here for them to have a few words with the skaters.
Skaters today taking up most of the available space across the roundabout, candle waxing the benches while swinging beer and all of them aged about thirty. What on EARTH are we letting ourselves in for? Is THAT what this glorious new public space was for? I'm more shocked than I can say.
That's disgusting Jackie..where's the powers that be who created the wonderful new improved Elephant? Sitting back laughing as they count their money while the people who live and work here dice with death every time they cross the road. Grrrr
Well it was always obvious that these romantic ideas of well behaved,civically minded, appreciative residents were going to be sitting on our multiple piazzas discussing the beauties of nature was a complete nonsense. but that even before the project is finished the winos and the wreckers are invading....beggars belief.