Friday, 23 December 2016

Step-free access at Streatham station delayed again

Streatham's Green Team disappointed again
Plans to make Streatham Station accessible to wheelchairs, buggies, bikes and people with reduced mobility will not take place until 2020 at the earliest, Streatham Greens have learnt.
In response to a parliamentary question from Green Party peer Jenny Jones, transport minister Lord Ahmad wrote: “…it has become necessary to defer construction of the Access for All project at Streatham station until after 2019.”
This contradicts Network Rail area director Ellie Burrows, who in November told Streatham’s public Transport Question Time that work would take place in 2017/18.
Lord Ahmad said Network Rail would continue its development and design work at Streatham – in the hope that funding would become available in future.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Have your say on Greyhound Lane changes

Greyhound Lane option 2
The top of Greyhound Lane where it meets Streatham High Road is going to get a make-over as part of the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme paid for with money from the Tesco's hub development.

Lambeth Council has come up with two options - both aimed at preventing the little access road at the top of Greyhound Lane being used as a rat-run, and creating a more pleasant space for pedestrians.

New plans for lethal St Leonard's Junction

Cllr Scott Ainslie and the Green team scrutinise plans
Transport for London is developing new plans for St Leonard's Junction - where two people have been killed and five seriously injured in just over two years.

The Streatham Green Team and other members of the Safer A23 Campaign have been working with TfL to propose changes to the road design aimed at reducing danger at the junction. For decades the junction has been a hazard for local people.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Residents let down by school travel plan - and planning process

As anyone living close to a school knows, the morning and afternoon drop-offs and pick-ups can be a nightmare for both local residents and parents.

Increased pollution, parking congestion, and risk of collisions are hazards endured twice a day throughout term time. Too often, conflicts arise, tempers flare and the relationship between the school and its neighbours is left broken. Perhaps most seriously, children can be put at risk.

This is one of the reasons schools have travel plans. With air pollution and road collisions high among the causes of death and ill-health throughout London, good travel plans also aim to promote walking and cycling as healthy ways of getting to school - for both staff and pupils.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Community groups fear loss of Streatham Common Lodge

Local parents have set up a petition to try and prevent the loss of the The Lodge at the top of Streatham Common for use by community groups, including the Forest School, which runs each Monday to help children to experience and nurture the natural environment.

The Forest School group has been running at the Lodge every Monday since April 2013. Children play outdoors in all weathers in a safe environment. They have craft and cooking activities, play in the wooded area at the top of the common, help with conservation work and pursue other outdoor activities under the supervision of the parents.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hillside Gardens Friends meeting 6 Dec

The next meeting of the Friends of Hillside Gardens will be Tuesday 6th December - 7:30pm - St Simon and St Jude Church Hall, Hillside Road, Streatham Hill.

There will be updates on food growing, sport, the nature garden, progress fixing the wall, and a proposal from a local resident who would like to create a mural on the walls between the tennis and football/basketball courts.

Friday, 25 November 2016

The Green Team working with all for a safer A23

Streatham turned out to hear from their MP, Lambeth Council, Southern Rail, TfL, and Network Rail

Getting the message across
Last night's Streatham Transport Question Time saw politicians and influencers of all political persuasions get behind the campaign for a safer A23 through Streatham.

The campaign is calling on Transport for London (TfL), which is responsible for Streatham High Road and Streatham Hill, to balance more equally the needs of moving traffic with the safety of people living in Streatham.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Streatham streets to be made 'Greener'

After four years of campaigning by the Green Team in Streatham, improvements will be made over the next few months to streets in four Lambeth wards, including three in Streatham.

Using nearly £300,000 from the Streatham Hub Tesco's development, money will be spent on traffic calming, street de-cluttering, more public seating, and "greening" of the environment with the planting of trees and raised beds.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Streatham's Transport - have your say

There is a chance to questions decision-makers on Streatham's transport this Thursday 24th November.

Streatham's Transport Question Time will bring officers and elected officials from Southern Rail, Network Rail, Transport for  London, Lambeth Council, the London Assembly and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna to answer questions from the public.

You can submit your question in advance here. or do so on the day.

Doors open from 6.45pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm. The venue is Immanuel and St Andrew's Church Hall, 452 Streatham High Road (opposite Streatham Common).

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Air quality action plan 'lukewarm and lacklustre'

Monitoring air pollution in Streatham
It's a week since air quality monitors went up in streets around Streatham - with several Green party members volunteering to measure nitrogen dioxide levels over the next six months.

The Lambeth-wide project, run by UCL's Mapping for Change, involves replacing nitrogen diffusion tubes every month - and sending them off for analysis of nitogen dioxide in the air.

Air pollution in London currently causes neearly 10,000 deaths each year and frequently breaks EU legal limits.

Teething problems as Quietway trial begins

Green Councillor Scott Ainslie is calling for better sign-posting as there was some confusion at the start of a trial to close Estreham Road to northbound traffic.

Scott got stuck in directing the traffic on Monday as Lambeth Council and cycling organisation Sustrans introduced a 6-month trial of a safer "Quietway" cycle route through this part of Streatham.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Green Party leader hits out at "deadly complacency" over Streatham Road death toll

Streatham's newly elected co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley has hit out at the ‘deadly complacency’ of Transport for London after the new  statistics showed a shocking level of deaths and serious injuries on the A23 through Streatham.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Greens deliver on safer crossing for Mitcham Lane/Ambleside Avenue

Green Party councillor, Scott Ainslie,  couldn't resist having his photo taken at the newly modernised junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue - once notorious for collisions and fatalities.
Now, after four years of concerted efforts by Scott supporting the community's calls for TfL to take action, work has been completed and and the much-improved junction is already saving lives.
The junction now boasts: better lighting, advanced stop lines for cyclists, a filter light for right turns, a countdown crossing, a new 1.5m cycle lane, renewed footways with wider crossings for pedestrians and cycle safety mirrors on traffic signals

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Celebrating age festival in Streatham

October is the Age UK Lambeth Celebrating Age Festival, featuring over 70 events across the borough, including several in Streatham - all for the over-55s:

Weds 5 October, 10.30am-12 noon
South London Cares Salsa Club, The British Home, Crown Lane, SW16 3JB
A morning of salsa and laughs led by Vera the Diva. People of all abilities are welcome – no experience necessary! Please call Morgan (020 7118 0404) tolet him know you are coming. The entrance is through the gate nearest to Tesco Express, down the path and on the left.

Thurs 6 October 1.30-2.30pm
Keep On Moving, St Stephen’s Church Centre, 35 Weir Road, SW16 0AH.
A new weekly gentle exercise class for those aged 50+ to strengthen stretch and tone. Led by Sonia Edwards, a teacher with many years’ experience in exercise for older adults, personal training and sports massage. Classes are normally £4.50 to join, but the first two weeks are free. Come along to make friends, get fit, stay fit and have fun. Contact 020 8675 2481.

Wednesday 12 October10:30am-3pm
Age UK Lambeth Information Day2-8 Gracefield Gardens, SW16 2ST
Showcasing the range of services, support and activities Lambeth offers. Contact 020 7346 6800 or

Wednesday 12 October1:30pm-3:30pm
Making Connections Tea Party Streatham Library, Streatham High Road, SW16 1PL
Streatham Seniors host this social event for local older people, which isalso an opportunity to link up with some of the activities and services onoffer in the area. Local services will be handing out leaflets and talking about what they provide.  Contact 020 8769 8669.

Wednesday 12 October 2-4pm
South London Cares Café and Catch UpBatch & Co. Coffee, 54 Streatham Hill, SW2 4RD
Join your neighbours for a special afternoon of coffee, conversationand cake in Streatham. Come along to hang out and catch up with yourneighbours alongside some delicious treats. Please let Morgan know you would like to come as places are limited. Contact 020 7118 0404

Tuesday 18 October 6-8pm 
South London Cares Masquerade Ball, The British Home, Crown Lane, SW16 3JB
Glad rags at the ready! SLC are celebrating the autumn season in style with their very own masquerade ball–sograb a mask and join in thelaughter and dancing. Please call Morgan to let him know you’recoming; when you arrive, enter via the building’s large front door. Contact 020 7118 0404.

Saturday 29 October 1-4pm
Tamla Motown at The HideawayThe Hideaway, 2 EmpireMews, SW16 2BF
Age UK Lambeth returns to Streatham’s award-winning live music venue for an afternoon of the finest soul and Motown hits, bringing thefestival to a close in style. Contact 020 7346 6800 or

Full listings can be found on the Age UK Lambeth website here.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Could you monitor local air pollution?

Are you concerned about air pollution in Streatham? Local Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie is seeking volunteers to monitor nitrogen dioxide outside their home or place of work between October 2016 and April 2017.

When Cllr Scott Ainslie carried out a similar exercise in 2015, pollution levels in Streatham were found to me more than twice the EU legal limit.

Further monitoring now will show if air quality is improving or getting worse. The data collected will help strengthen measures to cut air pollution in the future.

Lambeth Council has teamed up with University College London's Mapping for Change project to provide the diffusion tubes to residents and businesses along with training in how to use them.

The deadline for applying to take part in this project is October 14th. Applications should be made by email to:, stating:

  • The address where you want to locate a diffusion tube and whether it is your home or where you wor
  • Problems and concerns with air quality in this location and why you would like to carry out the monitoring
  • Your ideas to improve air quality in your local area

If you are selected, every month you will change the diffusion tube, returning the old tube to Mapping for Change, who will send the tube to the lab for analysis.

At the start of the project there will be a workshop to explain how a diffusion tube works and a demonstration of how to change the tube each month. There will be another workshop six months later to discuss the monitoring results.

In 2015 Cllr Ainslie and his team placed diffusion tubes were place in 15 monitoring sites across Streatham. After four weeks the diffusion tubes were collected by UCL's Mapping for Change project  and analysed. The results can be seen here

More information on taking part from October:

More stories on air pollution in Streatham:

Mosque plans on display at library

Plans for a new mosque building on it current site opposite Streatham Green are on display this week in Streatham Libary.

The proposals from South London Isalmic Centre for a better equipped space for prayer along with a café, meeting halls, classrooms, gymnasium, inter-faith library, funeral services and a nursery, are currently seeing planning permission from Lambeth Council.

SLIC is seeking views from the wider community on their plans. Currently space for prayer and meeting is very cramped inside the former fire station with many having to kneel to pray outside in its carpark. 

Around 1600 people attend Friday prayers currently and there had been concern locally that a beautiful new mosque building would attract greater numbers and increase traffic congestion around Mitcham Lane and St Leonard's Junction.

At a meeting of Streatham Action's transport committee last week, Chair of the SLIC's trustees, Mohammad Aslam Ijaz, gave reassurances that the new building would provide better and more suitable facilities inside, reducing the need for people to spill out onto the pavement. He also confirmed results of a travel survey indiciating that 17 per cent of mosque users currently travel by car.

He said the vision for the new building was that it would provide a safe, open and friendly space for the wider Streatham community, with non-Muslims welcome to use its facilities.
The plans will be on display at Streatham Library until Monday 3rd October and can also be seen - along with a Q&A online here. 

 Feedback from local people is actively sought. You can contact the mosque with your feedback here.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Mayor to face question over treacherous junction

Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell is to question the Mayor over the decision by Transport for London to reject plans for a pedestrian crossing for St Leonard's junction - notoriously dangerous for pedestrians.

Ms Russell, who sits on the London Assembly's transport committee, joined local resident Barbara Hartnell, whose neighbour was killed at the junction, and members of the Safer A23 in Streatham campaign to see for herself where two people have been killed and 39 injured - five seriously - in the last five years.

"It was shocking to see this junction which is designed entirely for the benefit of motor vehicles while people have to take their chances looking for gaps in the traffic as there is no green man signal," said Ms Russell. 

"It is not fair that Londoners have to take their life in their hands just to get across the road. I was saddened to hear Barbara speak of her neighbour who sadly lost their life at this junction. 

"I am tabling a question to the Mayor asking him to assess this junction using a healthy street check score and revisit the decision to avoid installing a crossing in the light of the assessment."

Local resident Jonathan Bartley, who was recently elected co-leader of the Green Party, invited Ms Russell to Streatham after news broke on Wednesday that TfL has rejected proposals for a new pedestrian crossing at or near the junction. Proposals for a new crossing were displayed in Streatham Library in November 2015.

The reason given by TfL team leader for traffic infrastructure Mark Griffiths in an email answering questions from the Safer A23 Campaign is that a new crossing would cause "increased congestion to traffic beyond an accetable level". 

The Green Party's Chris Holt, an active member of the Safer A23 in Streatham Campaign, said: "This decision shows where TfL's priorities lie; they believe traffic must be kept moving - even at the cost of people's lives and limbs. We need the new mayor to change TfL's priorities. Londoners have the right to be safe on their streets."

See also for the history at this junction:

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

TfL rejects crossing for treacherous junction

News reaches us that Transport for London have rejected all proposals for a new pedestrian crossing near St Leonard's Junction - site of numerous serious accidents. Two people have been killed and 39 injured - five seriously - in the last five years.

At an exhibition in Streatham Library last November TfL displayed five options for a new crossing at the junction - where Streatham High Road meets Tooting Bec Gardens and Mitcham Lane outside St Leonard's Church. It is is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, with currently no safe crossing place as it enters "the dip" down towards Streatham station.

But in a letter sent to local MP Chuka Umunna in April - today forwarded to the Safer A23 in Streatham Campaign - TfL writes:

"Traffic modelling unfortunately shows the proposals discussed at the exhibition are not currently viable, particularly in the weekday PM peak hour that was assessed. The proposals were likely to lead to increased congestion beyond an acceptable level based on the current level of traffic demand. This was a point that TfL made at the time of the exhibition. We need to mitigate for the delays for traffic, including buses, created by the potential introduction of any proposals, including the effects on pedestrians at adjacent crossings.

"In order to address this, we need to investigate a larger area of Streatham High Road and consider complementary measures so that the corridor can work reliably for all of its users.

"Our collision data over the last 10 years for this junction does not show a significant number of collisions compared to the London average. As such, we are looking at these wider measures, but this will involve a longer timescale than the programme communicated previously.

"Some proposals, which were not presented at the exhibition, have been designed to assist bus reliability. We intend to discuss these and other findings with Lambeth Council officers shortly to determine a way forward."

It is deeply disappointing that TfL continues to place a higher priority on traffic flow than on pedestrian safety in the heart of Streatham. The diffulty of crossing the High Road near this busy junction has been powerfully highlighted in this BBC news report.

The Green Party locally will continue with its long-standing campaign, with challenges over the accident data TfL is using in its assessment of the junction safety.

See also for the history at this junction:

Quietways road closure trial to go ahead

Artists impression of traffic filter at Streatham Common station
The trial closure of Estreham Road to northbound traffic is to go ahead, following results of the public consultation carried out by Lambeth Council.

Estreham Road is part of the proposed Quietway 5, providing a safer cycle route between Waterloo and Croydon. In Lambeth its route would run north from Ellison Rd along Estreham Road, under the rail bridge on Potters Lane and then onto Conyer’s Road towards Waterloo.

Currently, Estreham Road is used by over 3000 vehicles  on an average working day and is seen by some as a rat-run to avoid Streatham High Road.

During the consultation earlier this year, local residents raised concerns about access to people's homes, congestion on surrunding roads and the design and siting of the traffic filter, which will allow two-way access to cyclists. Around 56 per cent of the 139 people who responded supported or partially supported the trial closure.

In an email to residents on 31 August, Lambeth writes:

"The scheme is intended to be introduced as a six-month trial in order to assess the impact of the changes. Lambeth Council will conduct pre and post implementation monitoring during this period.

The six-month trial period will form a further public consultation period in relation to the proposals, and any representations received during this period in support or opposition to the scheme will feed into the assessment process.

At the end of the six-month trial period, the council will take a decision as to whether to make the scheme permanent (by introducing a permanent traffic order), or to remove the one-way closure. 

Construction of the scheme is planned to begin in September/October 2016. Lambeth Council will write to local residents and businesses with details of the planned works."

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Festival time in Streatham this week

It's festival time in Streatham this week, with the second Streatham Free Film Festival running from 17th-24th September and Little Big Peace, celebrating the idea and culture of peace, 21-24 September.

Both festivals are run by local volunteers and all events are free. The White Lion pub hosts he Little Big Peace event launch on 21st Sept and several films too. Other venues getting involved are Turnstyle Records, Batch and co.Coffee, Deli Lama and many more local favourites.

Green MP's solo challenge over Southern Rail franchise

In case you missed it, this was Green MP Caroline Lucas's lonely stance in support of long-suffering Southern Rail commuters when she called on ministers to strip franchises from the failing rail company.

On 13 September she was the sole speaker from the opposition benches in the house of Commons. 

People using Streatham, Streatham Common and Streatham Hill stations, are among thousands who are suffering deteriorating services, delays and cancellations while the rail company reports profits of nearly £100m.

Transport minister Paul Maynard criticised the recent industrial action, saying Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - the company Southern Rail works under - was forced to cut services.

But Green MP Caroline Lucas hit back saying many of the guards she had spoken to were striking “very reluctantly” and were only doing so because they “genuinely believed there are safety concerns with driver-only operation”.

Later Lucas joked in a post on Twitter: "If only it was this easy to get a seat on @southernrail"

The Huffington Post picked up Lucas' lonely efforts. You can read its report here.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Mayor urged to be more transparent over Streatham Crossrail 2 “let down”

News Release 
Caroline Russell
London Assembly Green Party Member

Mayor urged to be more transparent over Streatham Crossrail 2 “let down”

Caroline Russell has called on the Mayor of London to be more open about why a Crossrail 2 station will not be built at Streatham.

At the London Assembly Transport Committee meeting on 13th July 2016, the Deputy Mayor for Transport said that consideration for a Crossrail 2 station at Streatham “was ruled out some years ago.”

Caroline Russell said, “The people of Streatham deserve to know why, yet again, they have been let down when it comes to crucial transport investment. Streatham has already missed out on the Bakerloo and East London Line extensions, on Tramlink, on the Victoria line and Northern Line spurs, on the Overground and on Trams.

Streatham Common is the 6th busiest on the Southern Rail network, and Streatham stations which are at capacity in rush hour won't support the expected population growth.

A Streatham Crossrail 2 station would cut congestion and pollution on local roads - including the dangerous A23 - improving the quality of life for local residents.

I’m calling on the Mayor to be more transparent and to release all modelling work relating to Streatham to Lambeth Council and to Streatham Action’s transport group, as soon as possible.”

Editors Notes

Caroline is available for interview

Caroline Russell was elected as a Green member of the London Assembly in May 2016. She has been a councillor for Highbury East ward in Islington since 2014. 

The written question is available here, and the answer will be provided within one week of the meeting:

The Story in Lambeth

Green Cllr in Lambeth, Scott Ainslie, asked fellow Green, Caroline Russell to ask this of the Mayor as attempts by the community voice for Streatham, Streatham Action, have been thwarted.

Cllr Ainslie & joint Green Party leader, Jonathan Bartley, have been long term campaigners for improved public transport links to Streatham. They met whilst serving on the board of Streatham Action - the community voice for Streatham.

Within months of being elected, Cllr Ainslie called a public meeting to bring all political parties and community groups together to hear what the people of Streatham wanted. They knew that people were tired of professional politicians promising to improve rail/tube/tram links to Streatham during every election campaign only for the issue to disappear until the next election cycle.

The meeting was held in July 2014 and was chaired by life longer transport campaigner, John Stewart. The panel included representatives from all political parties including Darren Johnson (Green GLA).

The people of Streatham agreed overwhelmingly that the matter of improved public transport infrastructure should be driven forward by Streatham Action - which would work on a cross and/or non party basis.

further meeting of Streatham residents, senior local politicians and Council officers in June, 2016 asked for the Mayor and secretary of state for Transport to do a proper, up-to-date assessment of the needs of Streatham, as it came to light that the evidence CR2 had used to base their decision was outdated and did not take into account the 'Streatham Factor' i.e. population growth and station entrance/exits up by over 50% in 6 years. The assessment they made used data from 2009.

Quote from Cllr Ainslie'Streatham has been overlooked for major public transport infrastructure improvements since 1926. The A23 is one of the most congested and polluted route in London. To ease the loading of the Northern Line at Tooting and Balham and Victoria Line at Brixton by Streatham residents, we need CR2 to pass through here. There is a site ready for development and the public support it. It's time the Mayor was open and transparent about the selection process for the route of CR2 in South London.'

Friday, 9 September 2016

Streatham and Brixton Hill bus lanes - have your say.

Transport for London are consulting on proposed changes to bus lanes on Streatham Hill and to buslanes and some junctions on Brixton Hill.

The deadline for giving your views is September 14th and it's very easy to do so on line.

See Streatham Hill plans here.
See Brixton Hill plans here.

Lambeth Cyclists are disappointed the opportunity is not being taken to introduce segregated cycle lanes on a busy cycle route between Streatham and Brixton. Other road-users, including pedestrians, parents with buggies and wheelchair users may be concerned at the proposed reduction in pavement space on Brixton Hill.

Whatever your view, have your say by Wednesday, September 14th.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Green MP calls for 'emergency summit' over rail chaos

Caroline Lucas has called for an 'Emergency Summit' between key stakeholders including Government, Southern Rail/ Govia Thameslink and Network Rail.

It follows another day of rail chaos effecting Streatham stations.

The Green Party MP is demanding an 'emergency response' to the train crises gripping Streatham and covering much of Southern England.

Yesterday there was serious overcrowding and people were stuck on trains for long periods in the baking heat.  
The MP wants the Government to step in and call an urgent summit immediately. 

Caroline Lucas MP said: “This is an emergency situation which requires an urgent response. I'm seriously worried that someone could be injured or worse. The Government must immediately call an emergency summit between all key stakeholders including Network Rail, the train company and Ministers”

“I’ve heard reports of passengers fainting and being stuck on sweltering trains on an extremely hot day. The failures yesterday were caused by a combination of problems with Network Rail, some of which were unavoidable, plus the usual delays on the service. 

“I’m doing all I can to meet with the Minister responsible for trains later today to demand action to repair this failing service. Passengers have suffered for many months now and, with a new Government in place, it’s time for real action to address the multiple problems with this service. As a start the Minister should signal his intent by taking the service into public hands so Government can truly get a grip on it.”