Transport Action Group Meeting
STREATHAM ACTION TRANSPORT SUB COMMITTEE MEETING
Tuesday 17th March 2015
The Manor Arms, Streatham
Neil Salt, Chair (NS)
Kim Caddy PPC Conservative (until 9.30pm) (KC)
Anthony Ellis (AE)
Jane Wroe-Wright (JWW)
Councillor John Kazantsis (Lab Streatham South) (JK)
Louise Abbots, Streatham BID manager (LA)
Charly Lewis (CL)
Sophie Chapman (SC)
Penny Garcev (PG)
Jonathan Bartley, PPC Green Party (JB)
1. Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest – NS opened the meeting. He welcomed CL to the group, she has started an on line campaign regarding safety in Streatham particularly at St Leonard’s junction and the recent fatality on Mitcham Lane. JWW said that PG also has a declaration of interest regarding Southern Rail and Thameslink, she was expected to join the meeting later.
2. Approval of new members to the committee with specialist knowledge relating to Streatham transport – a representative from the BID has been given a position in the group, LA representing the BID today but she may send another representative to some future meetings. ALL agreed with this.
3. Approval of minutes of meeting held on Tuesday 27th January – ALL agreed that minutes were an accurate record
4. Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere on the agenda - all matters are covered in the agenda except Streetscape guidance revision for which no comments were submitted by the deadline of 1st March 2015. However NS felt that funding through either Better Street campaign, Lambeth or TfL might be more relevant and this could be discussed at a future meeting.
5. Feedback from the Streatham Transport public meeting held on Thursday 29th January – the meeting was well attended with over 100 people present. It was chaired by the MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna. Many attendees expressed concern regarding the service of Southern, Network Rail and TfL. NS felt that the representative from Southern gave inconsistent answers and Chuka Umunna has promised to hold the rail companies to account and ensure they follow up on their promises. Southern,Thameslink and Network Rail have since released a Performance Improvement plan which can be found on Southern Railway’s website but it doesn’t given any immediate plans. AE said that since the meeting there is a man with a clipboard at Streatham Common station in the morning who is manually recording train times. Hopefully this means the company are taking punctuality of trains more seriously and this will provide an accurate record of how they are performing.
The TfL representative at the meeting said they intended to review the A23 and NS wants to follow this up, see what the timeline is and work together with them.
LA had attended a recent meeting where it was made clear that there were no plans for Streatham to have the tube, a tram service would be more likely. JK said it was good that the tram extension had not been ruled out but AE said that Croydon council have ruled it out.
6 Feedback from NS on progressing with the committee’s wish to proceed with appointing a firm of consultants to undertake a 360 degree review of transport infrastructure and information systems in Streatham,
AE’s FoI enquiry this revealed there will be no tube as it’s not considered effective enough. There is too much cost involved in extending south and no longer turning around at Brixton. LA said that TfL would prefer to know what the community does want not what we don’t. Streatham Action and Streatham BID board want to commission a 360 degree transport review of Streatham, if this was commissioned cross party, Lambeth might listen. AE has researched funding options and one answer might be the Big Lottery Fund or the BID Relationships with Gatwick have also been explored as well as talking to Connected Croydon. AE has spoken to Andrew Boyle Associates who are one company who could write the report. LA said the BID only has a limited budget but they could use their contacts to help find funding. The Mayor’s High Street fund, although small might be another possibility. JK said it was important to consider what will any report achieve and need definite objectives.
As a starting point a scoping document will be required. NS has drafted one to use as a starting point. He pointed out that TfL are key, need to be pro active with them and give them a project they can buy into. His draft report had been circulated to the group before the meeting.
As BID funding is limited it’s possible that Gatwick might help fund if the report included travelling to Gatwick. LA said she was due to meet Gatwick next week.
Penny Gardev joined the meeting at this point.
AE said it would cost between £15-40,000 for such a report. There will also be a Lambeth wide scoping document sometime after the election. It was felt best to be upfront and let Lambeth know Streatham Acton’s plans.
ACTION POINT: NS AND JK TO SET UP A MEET WITH COUNCILLOR JACK HOPKINS.
AE said it was important to look at bus routes too, Streatham Vale in particular is not well served.
NS asked the group to look through the document, give their comments so it can be amended in time for LA’s meeting with Gatwick.
There was a discussion around particular problems areas in Streatham. ALL agreed that St Leonard’s junction is not working. There was a discussion around various solutions but it was felt best to keep an open mind and not be specific and give solutions to the consultants.
LA also suggested looking at bus stops and their locations for example the one by Manna bookshop gets very busy causing congestion on the pavement so it is difficult for pedestrians to pass.
There are also a lot of traffic lights whose phasing can cause frustration for drivers meaning that when there the road is clear they speed up.
JWW said that the magazine Heart Streatham would be happy to publicise and help engage with the community with focus on under 35 year olds and get their responses. JWW is part of the Engagement committee and also on the Streatham Mums’ Network on Facebook which has around 4000 followers, SC is also a member of SMN.
PG said it was also important to think through any measures and their consequences, for example since Tesco has opened there is more congestion on Streatham Common North.
7 Update on current situation regarding Southern Rail in respect of:
-Update on service situation to and from London Bridge, no one had been able to attend the public meeting held on 4th March.
-Southern Rail and Network Rail’s Performance Improvement plan, this can be found on the website, this was discussed earlier in the meeting.
A general discussion then followed regarding trains in the area. AE said one solution would be for Gatwick trains to stop at Streatham Common at night as the timetable is not so busy on the fast track. NS said much longer term the tube could go through Streatham to Gatwick.
JWW pointed out that the Streatham demographic information has dramatically changed over the last few years, residents are more affluent and use Gatwick for holidays and work.
AE said information flow could also be improved e.g. Legible London maps showing what locations are within a 5-10 minute walk, there is one in Balham. Also not all Streatham bus stops have live information; this is especially true in Streatham Vale. PG also raised the point that there are too few buses to link with the Northern Line at Balham and Tooting. However AE explained that hopper buses are very expensive to run and gave an example of the replacement bus provided during the Greyhound Lane bridge closure.
8 Discussion relating to these aspects of improvement required to pedestrian crossings across the length of Streatham High Road for progression with the appropriate department of TfL
CL and SC are local residents who are particularly interested in this area of the scoping document and want to improve the quality of life for pedestrians with less polluted streets. One quick win SC suggested was increasing crossing times at the Odeon cinema. SC also feels the crossing by Purple restaurant is dangerous as mid way you’re standing on an island between two busy roads which is difficult with young children.
AE also raised the idea of shared space which has been used in Clapham. It is meant to make the area safer and more pleasant.
CL also suggested speed pillows, however as the High Road is an arterial route it was felt that this is unlikely to be agreed by TfL with the A23 being an arterial route although they have been used in Islington.
KC left the meeting at this point.
ACTION POINT: NS AND AE TO WORK ON THE DOCUMENT AND KEEP THE CONTENT GENERAL, DEADLINE NEXT WEEK FOR LA’S MEETING WITH GATWICK.
9 Follow up on aspects relating to key takeaways from the responses received by TfL to AE’s FoI enquiry.
This was discussed previously under item 6.
10 Discussion on how best to see to start to activate our ambitions for longer term infrastructure improvement for Streatham
This was discussed earlier in the meeting.
11 AOB, PG to join the group.
12 Date and time of next meeting