Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fatality at St Leonard's junction

Around 6.30am this morning there was a fatal road traffic collision at the St Leonard's Junction (Mitcham Lane, Streatham High Road, Gleneldon Road) involving a pedestrian and a motorbike.

This is absolutely tragic. Details have still to fully emerge, but this is a junction which local people have consistently raised as dangerous, and which we have been pushing Transport for London (Tfl) to address. TfL agreed to review the junction in November 2012. After over a year of delays, they finally finished the review in Feb 2014. But they came back with no proposals to make it safer whatsoever, apparently because of budget cuts, which meant money was diverted elsewhere.

Since then we have been working with the police to make the case for action. Police agreed to carry out a risk assessment of the junction, in particular the crossing at the south of the junction where it is clearly unsafe to cross. There is no break in the traffic sequence to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Local residents have raised this repeatedly. This was where the latest fatality appears to have occurred.

Yesterday, I met with police to discuss the findings of their risk assessment. They described the junction as "an absolute nightmare". They were also going to do some more work around the junction yesterday afternoon, with some new officers, to raise awareness among drivers.

Sadly, it appears this has come too late for those involved in the Road Traffic Collision this morning.

This is not the first fatality at this junction. It also follows many other collisions there.

Once the details of this latest fatality are released, we will be asking for an urgent meeting with TfL, and present them with the risk assessment that the police have prepared. This junction has to be made safer, and Transport for London must take urgent action.

[Update 13.28 I have spoken to police again at the scene. There are no obvious indications the motorbike was speeding. The pedestrian killed was around 33 years old, on his way to work, and believed to be from Gleneldon Road. It does look at this stage a lot like the dangerous crossing is the main factor in this.]

See also for the history at this junction:

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Street tree award for Streatham trees

I've been up to City Hall with Anthony Ellis from the Streatham Bridge Business Association, to pick up an award for Streatham's new street trees (picture of us at City Hall last night, with Anthony on the left and me on the right).

Anthony is one of the unsung heroes of the local community who has done so much.

About eighteen months ago (I think it was on the day the Streatham Bridge reopened) we had a long chat and brainstorm together about how we could get more trees in the local area. We were getting lots of requests from local people for trees, but the council had cut its tree budget.

Over a beer we came up with the idea of a bid to the Mayor's street tree fund. We went away and audited areas that needed street trees, and Anthony did amazing work getting together a successful bid.

The result was around 300 trees in local side streets.

The RE:LEAF Tree and Woodland Awards recognise committed individuals, organisations and great projects that have promoted and improved the conservation and management of London's trees and woodland.

More information on the Re:Leaf awards can be found here

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Local people misled over new Streatham police station

A week ago, Streatham Lib Dems put out a leaflet claiming that the new police station on Streatham High Road 'faced the axe' because its lease only had 15 months to run.

This is completely untrue. A document, signed by the deputy London Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh, states clearly that the lease runs until 2024:

The lease runs until 2024, and can then be renewed.

Dozens of new police stations around the country are now taken on under leasing arrangements, with the option to renew the lease, as this means that money can be spent on local policing and getting police out in the community, rather than redundant old buildings.

£500,000 is being spent on creating the new police station. The document also puts paid to a number of other Lib Dem falsehoods. It confirms that the new police station will:

• Have the same number of local police officers as the existing police station.

• Provide all the services of the existing police station.

• Open for the same hours as the existing police station.

• Have upgraded police facilities with two new front counters accessible to the whole community.

It is scandalous that Lib Dem councillors continue to mislead local people in this way. The old police station is virtually empty and falling apart. It is not considered by police to be fit for purpose, being inaccessible inside and out because of its old design with several areas derelict. Police have to use portacabins to change and shower in as the facilities are so poor. But Lib Dem councillors have blocked the new, improved police station since it was first proposed in 2006, for what appears to be purely political reasons, implying to local people that Streatham could lose its police presence.

Local people should be told the truth by their local councillors about what is really going on. Streatham needs the open, community policing that the police service wants to introduce. It is common sense to support what the police are asking for. The new police station means that resources will now go into policing, rather than old, expensive buildings.

You can read the document in full here

Printed and published by J.Bartley on behalf of S.Ainslie, R.Laurence and J.Bartley on behalf of Lambeth Green Party, 21 Tooting Bec Gardens, SW16 1QY.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Fracking update: Sunday Times confirms fracking plan

Today's Sunday Times reports that National parks and commons are to be opened up for fracking.

The article specifically mentions Steatham, and underlines the intention expressed by Boris Johnson last year, that fracking takes place in the London area.

It reports that the Department for Energy and Climate Change is about to issue a new round of licences. One license covering the south of Streatham has already been issued. As we have previously reported, the consultation on a licence covering the rest of Streatham finished at the end of March.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that planning laws may not be enough to stop fracking taking place. That is why Lambeth Council needs to identify what powers it has to stop it.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Another Streatham High Road fatality

The local Guardian has named the elderly man killed on Streatham High Road last month.

The Guardian reports:

A driver has been arrested and released on bail after an elderly man was killed in a road collision in Streatham last week.

Police said the 85-year-old man was mowed down by a van in Streatham Hill, near the junction with Telford Avenue, involving a van and a pedestrian, on Tuesday, April 22.

Sri Lankan-born Kaluarachige Kodituwakku, who lived nearby, later died at St George's Hospital.

We have highlighted the issue of speeding on the High Road at this point in a previous posts.

For more historical data (specifically around the point of the latest fatality) see:

For more recent speeding data see: