The London Borough of Southwark held a cabinet committee meeting last night (20/10/2020). One of the items on the agenda (Item 8) for discussion was petitions that have been submitted about the road closures in Dulwich. There were two petitions considered – the first one which collected 2,475 signatures asked for the immediate removal of the road closures while the second one which supported the closures received 29 signatures. One would have thought that was a pretty conclusive view of public opinion in Dulwich.
Councillor Catherine Rose who is responsible for “Leisure, Environment and Roads” spoke in support of the closures. Her speech was full of platitudes about the need to tackle climate change and reduce air pollution.
The problem that the closures of roads such as Burbage will prevent east-west travel in Dulwich and divert traffic onto the South Circular is being ignored. Businesses in Dulwich village are clearly being adversely affected. It seems unlikely that the closures will be removed soon, if ever.
Item 22 on the agenda was consideration of a report on Air Quality and the recommendations therein. These include:
A – The roll-out of a School Streets programme (i.e. timed road closures near schools).
B – To “drive down” total private vehicle usage by 2030 so that only a few electric vehicles remain.
C – To lobby for expansion of the ULEZ not just to the South Circular but wider – as far as the M25.
D – To increase the cost of car parking, and reduce parking provision by 50%.
E – To implement Low Traffic Neighbourhoods borough wide.
F – To lobby for the introduction of road user charging by the GLA.
These measures, if adopted, will mean the death of the use of motor vehicles in Southwark. Southwark is of course a large borough which stretches from central London to Dulwich in the south. Some parts are much better covered by public transport than others. The needs of those who rely on motor vehicles, or the preferences of those who live in the wealthier parts of the borough are simply being ignored. Those people too old to cycle or walk far are advised to leave the borough, sooner or later.
It is in summary a good example of the extremism that is now pervading the councils of some London boroughs.
You can watch the Cabinet Meeting on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/southwarkcouncil
Or read the agenda and supporting documents here: http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=302&MId=6663
You can “follow” this blog by clicking on the bottom right in most browsers or by using the Contact page (see under the About tab) to send us a message requesting. You will then receive an email alerting you to new posts as they are added.