Monday, 7 November 2011

Transport inclusion to be at heart of Lambeth & Southwark campaign

Green mayoral candidate Jenny Jones joined with me and other local people, including members of Lambeth and Southwark Green parties on Friday, for a flashride in Camberwell.

Together we staged a “go slow” of cyclists calling for a 20mph speed limit and safer streets along the new Cycle Superhighway 5.

This new Cycle Superhighway will run from Lewisham to Victoria along busy roads like Peckham High Street and Camberwell New Road with traffic driving past at up to 30mph, making it dangerous and frightening particularly for inexperienced cyclists. Many cyclists and potential cyclists are too frightened and daunted by the prospect of getting on a bike in the Capital.

It marked the start of the Green campaign in Lambeth and Southwark, which aims to highlight issues around inclusion and local transport.

Our research has found that the boroughs get one of the rawest deals in London when it comes to transport, with large numbers of local people excluded, pushed out or discouraged from using parts of the transport system through fears about safety or inaccessibility. Notably:

• Lambeth and Southwark account for half of the ten most dangerous locations in London for cyclists.

• Of the 32 boroughs in London Lambeth has the second highest casualty rate for both pedestrians and cyclists. Southwark has the fourth highest overall casualty rate.

• Of the 8 tube stations in Lambeth only 1 (Brixton) is wheelchair accessible. A freedom of information request that I submitted uncovered that the lifts at Brixton station have been out of order for 164 days since 2006.

Eight out of eleven overground stations in Southwark could soon be impacted by cuts leaving them unstaffed and “no go areas” for many travellers. This is likely to make it the hardest hit area in the whole country if the proposals go ahead.

• Both Lambeth and Southwark’s Taxicard schemes, providing subsidised door-to-door transport for people with mobility impairments, have been slashed by 33% and 25% respectively. ( Details of Lambeth Taxicard cuts here. Details of Southwark Taxicard cuts here )

There is an apartheid that runs throughout our transport system which excludes whole sections of London, and nowhere is this more true than in Lambeth and Southwark - and the situation is getting worse not better.

During the election campaign, Greens in Lambeth and Southwark will highlight the different features of the exclusion, and put forward proposals to tackle it.

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