Friday, 12 October 2012

Kids demo at junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane

The Streatham Guardian has covered the demonstration we organised on Monday at the junction of Ambleside Avenue and Mitcham Lane. I think we had about 60 parents and children there, which shows the strength of local feeling on the issue.

The junction has been a concern for many years, as we discovered as we talked to local people, parents and teachers at St Leonard's School which is just 100 yards away. Local people tell us that two people have died there at the junction in recent years.

There are two big problems. The first is that there isn't enough time for southbound traffic to turn right from Mitcham Lane into Ambleside Avenue. The second problem is that the crossing times are too short. Transport for London have responsibility for the junction as the two roads are red routes.

Assembly Member Val Shawcross is quoted in the article as saying she would be happy to take the issue up with Transport for London. But we have had correspondence with her about this since 2009, so that doesn't seem very promising.

I have been working instead with London Assembly member Darren Johnson. The bus companies have been made aware of the problem, and we have been reporting buses that have been jumping the lights. We have also asked if TfL will install a camera there, but TfL say that there has to be another serious incident before they will consider that. The reason the crossing times is so short is that London Mayor Boris Johnson has shortened crossing times across London, in order to increase traffic speeds. Several parents have asked TfL to look at the crossing time, and they have said that it is within their agreed timings. That is no comfort for an older person, someone who walks with an impairment, uses a wheelchair, or is a small child.

The battle continues. Let's hope there isn't another casualty before it is won.

You can find out more about our campaign, and watch the video of the junction here.

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