Below is an anonymised version of an email from Victoria (one of my fellow Ward Councillors) to a resident of our ward who contacted us about their concerns regarding the road surface and speed of buses on Ivydale Road. This is also an ongoing issue for a number of people on Cheltenham Road too. The email gives a full and detailed account of this issue and sets out a way forward. Clearly it is now important that we move this issue on by putting together a firm set of actions at the forthcoming Nunhead and Peckham Rye Traffic and Transport sub-committee meeting on the 10th February. More details on this to follow.
Read on to find out more:
I understand that you have also contacted my fellow councillors about this matter - I am cc'ing them in so that they are aware of the latest progress on this issue which I have been dealing with.
I live at 340 Ivydale so am very aware of the problematic road surface and also the impact the buses have.
I guess there are really three different issues with the road but all connected - the road surface, the traffic calming measures and the impact of the buses.
I'm not sure how long you have lived on Ivydale but it's probably two years ago now when residents were surveyed about changing the previous traffic calming measures to the current ones. About 70% voted in favour of change and as a result the old bumps were taken out and the pinch points were put in. The whole process was very delayed and communications with residents were consistently poor. I was torn about the new scheme but the old scheme didn't stop traffic driving over 20mph so on balance I thought we had to try something new. Work on the scheme suddenly ended in early April last year without works being completed. One key part of the scheme that wasn't delivered was the resurfacing of the road. From the letters I received from the council (last one dated March 2010) there was no indication (in fact every indication) that the work would be completed. After being elected in May I have chased to get these works done but there has not been any money remaining to finish the scheme or even resurface the road. The budget for the next financial year will be set in February so I'm now trying to push as hard as possible to get some money for Ivydale. I'm hoping that I will get some feedback next week.
In the meantime, we managed to get some temporary repairs to the speed ramps done a few days before Christmas and the ramps will need a more permanant fix to stop them subsiding/disintegrating. Test holes should be dug very soon so the council can work out how best to repair them. This week I have also reported the new pot hole [on this part of Ivydale Road] and also the holes on the raised ramp with Merttins Road.
Just to quickly say that we managed to secure funding for Cheltenham Road to be resurfaced in October and this work should happen in February or March.
It's clear that many residents are not supportive of the measures that have been put in place and this will be the case even if the pinch points are made 'good' in the coming weeks. I've asked officers to attend a community council meeting in February which I hope that residents will also attend. Once this is finalised I will let you know and would encourage you to attend. With three quarters of the council's highway spend dependent on the central government grant to Southwark (and you'll probably be aware that we received one of the worst financial settlements before Christmas) I think we need to be realistic about removong traffic calming measures that were installed less than a year ago on this wishes of the majority of residents. That's not to say residents who are unhappy won't be listened to but we may have to be realistic about what is possible. Your suggestion about 'redesigning' is probably something worth raising at the February meeting.
On the buses, we are in regular touch with the local Assembly Member Val Shawcross about the speed at which the drivers drive and about the frequency of the service. The 343 has huge capacity issues from Rye Lane onwards, through the Aylesbury etc. which is why the buses are double deckers and why there are so many. The solution might be cutting the route at Rye Lane/Nigel Road with only some double deckers coming this far and having additional single deckers - I don't know but I hope that Val will be at the February meeting to see what can be done. I know she met residents about the 343 service just yesterday evening but she came across very divergent views - people in Peckham and the Aylesbury desperate for more buses, people round here with concerns for the impact on the roads and the noise.
Hope that this is a good update for now - I'll be in touch again shortly and please visit www.peckhamryelabour.blogspot.com for more updates.