DRAG Meets Mayor's Walking & Cycling Commissioner

IMG_4533-640x480.jpgDRAG and a representative from neighbouring Gellatly Road were lucky to be able to host Mayor Sadiq Khan's new Walking and Cycling Commissioner,  Will Norman.  We were supported by the Deputy Mayor for Lewisham - Cllr Alan Smith, local Ward Councillor Luke Sorba and our GLA member Len Duval.

After a walk around the neighbourhood, to demonstrate the challenges faced by residents, there was a discussion of DRAG's suggested actions to improve pedestrian and cycle safety.


DRAG Proposes an Exemplar Scheme


DRAG have proposed an exemplar scheme to make our streets safer to cross, reduce pollution in the area as a whole and encourage more people to walk, cycle and access public transport.  please click here to see our detailed presentation

Ideas discussed included better crossing points, pedestrian routes to parks and schools and removing HGVs by improving signage and limiting their ability to rat-run through Telegraph Hill

The deputy Mayor for Lewisham, Cllr Alan Smith, advised that the Council had commissioned a report to look into how best to achieve this and to ensure that HGVs use suitable routes that do not cut through any part of Telegraph Hill.

DRAG are keen to have feedback from residents and has launched its 2017 Survey so that you can have your say.
We also intend to organise a local event to give residents a chance to discuss these issues together.

Watch this space and please continue sending us your pictures and reporting incidents, as we develop a scheme to improve the streets for everyone.

DRAG's solution: better designed streets

Street calmedDrakefell Road suffers with speeding traffic, which makes it difficult to cross, and results in cars being damaged by speeding lorries and vans. It also suffers with congestion during the late afternoons and early evenings, which also makes it difficult to cross between the parked cars on the pavement, and the limited gaps left by frustrated drivers.

Residents have commented in the online survey that they are often forced to make dangerous detours into the road, as the pavements are blocked. Mothers with pushchairs have to take their lives in their hands by venturing into the road when the pavements are blocked.

However DRAG is proposing to Lewisham Council that we deal with the problem of speeding traffic, limited opportunities to cross the road safely and blocked pavements, by developing solutions to deal with all these problems at once.
The answer to these problems is - better designed streets. By re-designing the street for residents, we can rebalance the street towards a fairer allocation of the limited space towards residents, making it easier to walk and cycle.
Bike standWe are not calling for a ban on all traffic, we want a better designed street which enables safe parking for cars, 2 metre pavements and traffic calming measures with safe places to cross. This would make a tremendous difference to the way we use the street; drivers would be forced to slow down – to within the 20mph limit. It would not only be safer, it would also reduce noise and vibration. And there would be a change in attitudes, where streets are improved, drivers change their behaviour – they would be more respectful if they were forced to notice us. 

Drakefell Road Neighbours - Have your Say!

In 2014 DRAG submitted and presented a Petition to the Mayor of Lewisham and the full Lewisham Council.
Drakefell Road residents were unanimously behind our proposals (over 180 signatures) to make our street safer, more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists and ban the large Lorries which are blighting the lives of residents.
DRAG representatives were subsequently invited to meet with the Deputy Mayor of Lewisham, Cllr. Alan Smith (Labour) who is responsible for Streets and Transport and one of our ward councillors, Cllr. Luke Sorba (Labour).
The Deputy Mayor was supportive of DRAG's proposals to make our street safer, more accessible and improve the provision for pedestrians and cyclists as well as provide clearly defined areas for parking.   
While there are of course difficult resource challenges across the borough, the council has a responsibility to provide safe streets for all users and is looking at how the changes can be delivered.
DRAG will work with Lewisham to achieve our aims including:

  • A ban on big heavy goods vehicles
  • 2 metre width pavements
  • Slowing of traffic to 20mph

This can be achieved by using good design including raised sections, and safe crossing points which will also slow down speeding vans.  The creation of build outs (see images), as have been introduced in other areas, which are designed to protect parked cars, will help to ensure that pavements are freed up for use by pedestrians only.  And safe cycle parking should be provided; not everyone has a garden or somewhere to park their bike, all across London cycle infrastructure is being improved, we don't want our community to miss out.

As well as the roads and pavement issues, over the summer Skanska who are working for Lewisham to replace street lighting, have erected new street light columns, but this has been done in messy and haphazard way, causing much inconvenience
and further blighting the street due to the inconsistent approach to placing the new lamps along the pavement and the unfinished works.  Coupled with damage to water pipes we need to get this sorted out as soon as possible.

Many of you have contacted DRAG regarding your concerns and therefore we have arranged to meet the ward councillors on Saturday 19th September to enable them to represent our views to Skanka.  We would welcome your views ahead of this meeting and our ambition to redesign the street in favour of residents. You can either do this online at www.drakefell.org. Or email your comments by completing the form here.

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Pavement Parking Bill

The Pavement Parking Bill 2014 - 2015 is currently on its way through the legislative process and due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday 12th September. The Bill makes provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children, and other pavement users and aims to clarify, strengthen and simplify the law relating to parking on pavements in England and Wales; and for connected purposes.


UK Parliament web page on the bill - click here.  To read a copy of the Bill - click here.