NOTES FROM MEETING TO DISCUSS ROAD SAFETY

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Crofton Park Residents Meeting 4th August 2021

The meeting was called by ward councillors, primarily in response to residents’
concerns about road safety. The aim was to make sure that the full range of
concerns was aired, to provide an opportunity to ask questions, including about what
more the community, Council and Police might be able to do, and to consider options
for future action. As well as ward councillors, Tauseed Anwar and Chris Barnham,
Deputy Mayor Brenda Dacres and Cllr Pat Codd (Cabinet Member for Environment
and Transport) were also present from Lewisham Council, and PC Shriya Chhetri
and PCSO Francis Nzeza from the Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhood Team. Cllr
Morrison, who organised the meeting, was unfortunately prevented from attending by
Covid isolation.

What Are the Perceived Problems?
In a wide-ranging discussion, a number of issues were raised:

 There was considerable concern about speeding in general, and on particular
roads such as Brockley Road, Manwood Road and Stondon Park. The
problems were worse at certain times (in the night, but also with concerns
around school start and end times)

 There had been several crashes in recent months, which may not be reflected
in the data on collisions that Transport for London (TfL) use to inform their
priorities for road improvements

 Mopeds and scooters were said to be too often illegally using the cycle paths
across the railway at the top of Eddystone Road and Dalrymple Road (despite
improvements such as the pocket park in Eddystone Road).

Motorbikes/mopeds also use quiet roads as rat runs, sometimes without
sufficient care for pedestrians. There was also a general concern that
motorbikes and cycles often flouted the law, and people did not perceive
much in the way of enforcement action.

 The Council had spent a considerable amount of money implementing the
20mph limit, but its enforcement was not strong enough, and the was a
concern that there were not enough speed cameras, and existing ones may
not be working. (It was pointed out that the Council did not control speed
cameras, nor decide on their location – this was determined by a London-wide
body.)

 data on crashes/near misses/accidents/deaths not available for 2021 and
where it is available for 2020 it does not give an accurate picture i.e. seems to
not record near misses. Can we get more up to date data?

 The streetscape improvements around Crofton Park station were welcome,
but so far there had not been enough funds for them to extend further (for
example to Beecroft Garden school), nor to provide better cycling
infrastructure. It would be important to keep those further improvements on
the agenda.

 Residents have raised concerns, and in some cases provided input to
consultations such as on Commonplace, as well as evidence to the police
including license plates and photos. There was frustration that feedback and
action were not always clear, and it would be helpful to know how best people
could support effective action.

What Action is Possible, and What Are the Barriers?
Everyone present was keen to explore ways to tackle these issues. Before
discussing possible ways forward, the meeting considered the practical obstacles
that needed to be addressed, both short and long term. These included:

 The unfortunate impact of the pandemic on budgets – Lewisham’s funding for
road improvements comes from TfL, and the funding for 2021-22 had still not
been confirmed, well into the financial year. When it was, there was every
expectation that it would be far lower than we would like, placing a strict limit
on schemes that could be funded, with a need to prioritise

 This was in the context that the Council’s wider budget had been severely
reduced in the past decade, as a result of central government funding cuts

 Enforcement action on the roads was a police matter – the Council has no
powers here. It was clear that the police were not adequately resourced to do
the job we would want. London Councils are lobbying central government to
let local councils do more in this area. Cllr Dacres noted that she had already
discussed these concerns with the Police Borough Commander, and hoped
that this would raise awareness of the local anxiety on this issue.

 It would be helpful if we could make it clearer to residents who can take
action, and how they should report concerns in a way that will enable them to
be effectively followed up

 Some of the concerns about motorbike issues may be linked to the increase
in home deliveries – training and licensing for workers in the sector may be too
loose, but action on that rests with DVLA and businesses, meaning the scope
to improve things through local action may be limited and/or slow.

That said, there were promising ideas for action, both short-term
and longer-term:

In the light of the concerns raised, the meeting discussed ideas for possible
improvement:
 Inevitably, some problems will take time to solve, and will require effort over a
period of time (although we should pursue short-term wins where possible, as
below). Those present agreed to treat this meeting as a starting point, and to
build action over time. One suggestion was to consider whether the existing
neighbourhood forum should be the vehicle for carrying forward action, or
whether a discrete ‘traffic monitoring resident group’ would be helpful in
identifying longer-term solutions when funding allows.

Action: Councillors to consider next steps and feed back

 Where residents identify dangerous incidents or issues of concern, the Police
urged them to report them using the 101 phone number, or by email to the
Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhood Team. The Police also offered to consider
planning some targeted enforcement action, using the information provided in the
meeting about times and laces of concern (eg. school run times and at night)

Action: all to feed in information, Police to respond

 The Police run a Community Roadwatch scheme, which supports residents to
take action on speeding in their neighbourhoods. Local councillors have already
run some sessions (and are planning others). A wider group of residents could
get involved in this to send a strong signal to drivers about community concerns.

Action: all to consider (information at:
https://www.met.police.uk/notices/met/community-roadwatch/)

 While the financial constraints are severe, there may be small-scale measures
that could be taken in the shorter-term. (For example, specific suggestions
included changing the bus lane outside Beecroft Garden; new signage in roads
such as Manwood Road; etc.)

Action: Councillors to consider what funds could be secured and consider low
cost measures that can be covered and actioned quickly.
All to feed in suggestions.

 For the longer term, a question was raised about the use of funds raised from
parking charges and fines. Might there be scope to use some of that differently.

Action: Cllr Codd to investigate.

 It was noted that ward assemblies would soon be consulted on the use of NCiL
funding (the money collected from developers to improve local facilities). The
amount available to Crofton Park would not be huge, but it would be worth
considering whether it might support road safety improvements, if other funds
were tight.

Action: all to consider in the light of NCIL consultation in the autumn.

 On the specific question of speed cameras, the Council would try to obtain data
on those installed in Crofton Park Ward and whatever information was available
on their operational condition.

Action – police and council