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Tooley Street Red Route

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Sunday 26 March 2006 3.01am
I'm told they avoid breaches of the law by keeping the engines running. However, there was recently an article in the Guardian about some new regulations which might be helpful. But I think it will require the TA to ask for a joint meeting between Southwark and the Police to get the Police to agree to dedicate some resources to enforcing the regulations on Tooley Street, rather than using police time elsewhere.
Tuesday 28 March 2006 3.39pm
Today at 15:30 I flagged down a police Transit with two officers in it. I pointed out that there was a silver car parked at the bus stop at the end of Weavers Lane with no driver in it, "Could you deal with it". They pulled up behind the vehicle, the driver appeared from around the corner in Weavers Lane and and indicated that he was waiting for someone from City Hall. The police moved him on. I called out, "Excuse me", I then asked the police officers why they had allowed a driver who was in breach of the Road Traffic Act by blocking a Red Route had got away scot-free. "You asked us to move him on", one said. I said that I had asked them to deal with the situation. The police vehicle drove off, no further opportunity for discussion. I daresay that if I were to report the officers in vehicle LX53WYL for not up-holiding the law I would be given some waffling excuse.

Why do I bother. This is exactly why the muggings in the area will continue - the police are doing God knows what, they're certainly not interested in the area.
Thursday 30 March 2006 3.48pm
Yesterday I received an Email from Val Shawcross office at City Hall - this is an abridged version of my reply:

Many Thanks for your Email of today 29.3.06.
You said, "As far as enforcement (ie. punishment) goes, I should make clear that any vehicle - including coaches - observed contravening red route regulations can be issued with a PCN. Since October 2005 TfL has issued 645 PCN's for illegal parking along the entire length of Tooley Street. In response to your note we have requested the Metropolitan Police (who patrol the TfL 'red route' network) to step up enforcement here.'".

I've asked TfL many times for a breakdown of what kinds of vehicles are being issued with PCN's and despite the fact that this information should be available under the Freedom of Information Act, I have never received a response from TfL, let alone a satisfactory answer. I am willing to lay good money on the fact that of the 645 PCN's issued since October 2005, precious few will have been issued to Tour Coaches. I also guarantee that no PCN's have been issued to vehicles parked at the end of Weavers Lane.

I appreciate yours and Vals' help in this matter but until I see Tour Coaches being issued with PCN's I will not believe a word of the platitudes issued by TfL et al.
Best wishes.
Thursday 30 March 2006 5.10pm
Paul

Ever consider changing your name to Irene Ruddock? (Google if you're unfamiliar with the reference).

I'm afraid I've got to let you know that some things in life are just unfair, and there's little we mere mortals can do about it, no matter how many letters we write. Perhaps you ought to settle down with a good book. Kafka's always a good read, or Orwell. I think they'd be right up your street.

Whatever... why risk a premature heart failure over something that will doubtless not change one iota?

I know this sounds defeatist, but I think you must be getting the message that the situation ain't gonna improve.
Friday 31 March 2006 3.43pm
Martin Underwood wrote:
Paul
Ever consider changing your name to Irene Ruddock? (Google if you're unfamiliar with the reference).

I'm afraid I've got to let you know that some things in life are just unfair, and there's little we mere mortals can do about it, no matter how many letters we write. Perhaps you ought to settle down with a good book. Kafka's always a good read, or Orwell. I think they'd be right up your street.

Whatever... why risk a premature heart failure over something that will doubtless not change one iota?

I know this sounds defeatist, but I think you must be getting the message that the situation ain't gonna improve.

Martin

Ever considered yourself smug (google if you're unfamiliar with the reference) telling people to give up fighting a problem that doesn't affect you and that you regard as trifling?

I live on this stretch of Tooley Street and the tour coaches billow fumes in to my flat constantly, aggravating my partner's asthma and meaning I have to keep the windows shut most of the time. It is horrible some days. There are a few of us currently complaining to the TFL and city hall about this and just because Paul is one of the more vocal do not dismiss him as a lonely crank because you haven't heard other people complain. Hopefully the authorities will take some notice of us, and the problem will be resolved and the residents' quality of life will improve.

If I were Paul I would find your post an objectionable personal insult (especially your sarcastic recommended reading list) based on your assumptions about his personality. We can all do that, based on your post I would assume that you have no respect for problems that do not impact on you and as long as you've got your copy of Time Out, a latte and your ipod you're as happy as larry. This is an ignorant assumtion of course and I don't assume for one minute you are like this, I just referenced a stereotype for a cheap smug laugh, not unlike what you did in your post here.
Friday 31 March 2006 4.51pm
I would like to apologise to Paul for suggesting he should give up the fight. I certainly don't regard the issue as trifling, even if it doesn't directly affect me. My natural tendency is to use abrasive comments in order to make a point. We all live and learn, I suppose. Sorry.

Having said that, I still believe there comes a time with any battle when the combatants realise they aren't getting anywhere. Trench warfare is futile. One has to take a balanced view of life and consider whether the situation stands a realistic chance of improvement through ones actions. If, after countless letters of complaint and many altercations with minor officials, there is no change in the overall position, then one has to accept the situation, however unfortunate that may be. Otherwise, one risks getting bogged down and deeply upset over a situation one has no control over.

Kafka's "Before the Law" is a wonderful parable, by the way - no sarcasm intended here.
Saturday 1 April 2006 1.56am
Martin,

If people had always accepted the situation, nothing would ever have got any better. Perhaps things might improve if those who live far enough away for this not to be a daily nuisance and disturbance to their health had a little more neighbourly spirit, and also wrote in to the Police/TfL/Val Shawcross, pointing out that a problem like this affects a broader community than just those who live right next to it. Perhaps they might also like to point out that society as a whole is undermined when the effective application of the rule of law on things that some might regard as trifling is abandoned as futile trench warfare.

I lost count of how many people suggested I and the local community could not possibly win in our fight to stop Southwark from demolishing Lewes House, St Olaves and Fair Street Flats over the course of the 3 years we were struggling to get officers and councillors to see sense. But despite it being trench warfare of the most debilitating kind - it left me with M.E. - we did not give up, and we won in the end. Now these blocks have been refurbished, the grounds around them will see further improvement this summer when part of Druid Street is closed and grassed over. Those who lived through the years of Tooley Street being an economically depressed area that was physically run-down as well are now able to enjoy the benefits of the area's renaissance, instead of being kicked out so that those who regard other people's troubles as trivial could move in, safely insulated in their high price apartments. It was a signal example of the truism that 'unity is strength'. Perhaps when you've finished with the dystopian delights of Kafka's portrayal of battling bureaucracy, you might want to pick up your pen for 10 minutes and write a letter to Val Shawcross and the head of TfL yourself? It'll probably take less time than writing snarky comments about people's efforts to enjoy a decent quality of life and then attempting to backtrack and defend yourself.
Sunday 2 April 2006 4.53pm
Go girl!:)
Monday 3 April 2006 1.32pm
Re-reading my earlier comment, I realise it was a stupid and silly thing to say. And, I am sincerely sorry for causing offence.

In keeping with the literary references, perhaps I ought to have chosen another Alan Bennett play: rather than Lady of Letters I should have looked to The Lady in the Van. A true story of how neighbourly spirit can help someone's life and thwart the bureaucratic authority's attempts to move her on.

I think you're right that it's the actions of the community that matter. This forum gives us an excellent opportunity to bring local matters to the attention of a wider audience in the hope that some of us will take the baton and help change the situation.
Thursday 21 September 2006 2.30pm
To resurrect this thread....

I noticed a TFL story last week that they now have an online coach parking map for London.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/vcs/maps/

A solution to the Tooley St problem or a box ticked on the marketing communications plan?
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