Transport is the UK's biggest source of carbon emissions. The Lib Dems want to give people in Bromley better transport options with more, cleaner buses, electric car charging and better trains and trams and we're working on a new transport strategy for the borough.
As a first step in our campaign for a new approach to public transport in Bromley we're asking people to fill in a survey so we can find out where and why people use buses, what would make them more popular, and where are the gaps in our network. The link to the survey is here.
Results of Bromley Lib Dems’ Road Safety Survey
Bromley Lib Dems have been out and about asking Bromley residents for their views on road safety.
Our survey results showed that:
- 84% were very concerned about speeding in their area.
- 58% of respondents said they would walk more if the roads were safer, and 59% would cycle more - showing better road safety would encourage cars off the road.
- When asked what particular changes would make them cycle more, the most popular responses were the better enforcement of speed limits, having more designated cycle lanes, and to better control parking in cycle lanes.
The survey asked about any particularly dangerous areas that could be improved, and some dangerous junctions figured high on the list:
In Beckenham, respondents highlighted South Eden Park road, Copers Cope Road/Southend Road, Foxgrove Road and Village Way. In Bromley, Westmoreland Road, Homesdale Road, Hayes Lane and Shortlands Road were the most popular answers. In Penge and Anerley Kent House Road, Whitmore Road and Churchfield Road were particularly highlighted.
Residents were asked how they thought road safety could be improved in Bromley. Overwhelmingly respondents wanted to see better enforcement of current speed limits and more pedestrian crossings.
Like the majority of respondents, the Lib Dems are worried about road safety here in Bromley, and speeding in particular. Lib Dem campaigner Julie Ireland said "Our roads are not safe enough. We want a change in approach from the council - so they are proactively making improvements, rather than reacting after serious accidents have already happened. We can see from this survey that people would walk and cycle more if they felt the roads were safer - taking cars off the road and improving the air we all breathe."
Bromley Lib Dems will now contact Bromley Council to find out what traffic plans are under consideration for the problem areas highlighted in the survey, making sure that they are aware of just how worried local people are about safety here.
Bromley Lib Dems will strongly oppose the proposed re-development of the Walnuts centre. We firmly believe this proposal, in its current form, is not the right way forward.
We have three key concerns, namely:
- The height and size of the development.
- The length of the disruption to complete the work.
- The lack of a plan to invest in services to cater for the new residents.
There is no doubt that Orpington needs sustainable development and investment, and that without investment the Walnuts will continue its fall into disrepair and disuse. However the size and nature of the proposed development - and the height of the proposed towers - is completely out of place in our town. From experience, allowing one tall building often means that other tall buildings follow as developers quote the first as precedent.
The development will mean years of construction work in the area, which will cause massive disruption to residents. In addition, the nearly 1,000 new flats, with approximately 2,000 new residents, will need services: parking, public transport and schools to sit alongside it, for which there is no current plan.
The Lib Dems therefore cannot support a development of this size in the area.
We could however consider supporting a slimmed-down version of the proposed development. But we would need assurances about the necessary increase in services, about easing the disruption for residents, whether there will be a like-for-like replacement of the leisure centre, and importantly whether the apartments are genuinely affordable, rather than investment properties. There is a real lack of detail about the residential units in the existing plans.
The Lib Dems do acknowledge that there are various positive elements in the proposed development: the investment itself is most welcome and the Walnuts is badly in need of revitalising; the developers’ plan to encourage new retailers with a range of different sized units and rental models seems promising; there is potential to improve public spaces and access to priory gardens; the buildings are planned to be net zero carbon with solar power, roofs will be greened, and there will be 1800 cycle parking spaces.
However, without clarity on whether the new housing at the centre of this plan genuinely meets Orpington’s needs, the Lib Dems cannot support the existing proposal.
The Lib Dems are asking for your views - you can fill in the survey here. They will submit the findings to the Council, to the developers and report back online.
In the latest Healthy Streets Scorecard, Bromley comes out near the bottom of the table (27th out of 33 London Boroughs).
So what is the picture for the health of Bromley’s streets?
Bromley has some of the lowest scores in several indicators, from low level use of sustainable modes of transport, high levels of car ownership; the lowest level of roads with a 20mph speed limit (along with Barnet), and low provision of protected cycle track. Interestingly, despite how green and beautiful our borough is, levels of regular cycling are among the lowest across London.
Five per cent of Bromley’s schools now have School Streets, where traffic is restricted at arrival and departure times for the school pick-up and drop-offs (see our recent article about School Streets). This is a real step forward but is still much lower than the London average of 15%.
Bromley has relatively high levels of regular walking and low rates of road casualties amongst those walking, but the borough’s cycling casualty rate is well above the London average.
Bromley Lib Dems believe that there are achievable, affordable measure that can be taken now that will dramatically improve air quality and road safety, boost active lifestyles and reduce carbon emissions protecting residents and make the roads safer and healthier for all of us.
London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard, 2021 Factored Score, https://www.healthystreetsscorecard.london/
Recent visitors to North Bromley will have seen that the Grenfell-type cladding on Northpoint Tower has finally been removed. This must bring some peace of mind to the residents who have had to face 4+ years living in a firetrap and having to pay for a waking watch - even at one point living with the threat of the building being condemned - but they're still facing massive bills and an exhausting fight to get any of the promised Government funding. Lib Dem campaigners Sam Webber, Julie Ireland and Rick Das were out talking to residents in Bromley North on Sunday and it was an issue that concerned both residents and neighbours.
The tower featured on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning - Marr specifically questioned Robert Jenrick (Housing Minister) about Northpoint - even though they qualify for some of the funding to remove the cladding, the leaseholders have been facing huge ancillary costs for which they've received no reimbursement.
The Government published the Fire Safety Bill on Monday (5th July) which offers some hope for victims of the cladding scandal, extending the period during which leaseholders can sue to 18 years. But this assumes that the developer are still in business and that the buildings were constructed after 2006.
Lib Dem London Assembly members have urged the Mayor to do more to support residents in the 590 high-rise blocks in London affected. The Assembly adopted the Lib Dem motion that calls on the Mayor to refuse to work with any developers who have yet to take action to remediate fire safety in their existing stock.
Locally we know that residents of Northpoint Tower have asked Bromley Council to consider reducing their Council Tax - with zero success so far. Given that the flats currently have zero value this seems a small way of helping residents who are facing massive increases in insurance bills, and have yet to see any of the money set aside to help with the cost of the waking watch.