Streatham Guardian Report on the Public Meeting

Great report from the Streatham Guardian

Frustration over an upcoming six-month road closure was vented at a public meeting hosted by Network Rail last week in Streatham.

At least a hundred residents and shopkeepers raised concerns about dwindling trade, road safety and congestion when a section of Greyhound Lane, over the railway bridge, closes in November.

Small businesses have already reported that their takings are down due to a partial closure in order to start work to extend the platforms at Streatham Common station.

Jan Czarnopolski, owner of the family-run Village Card Gift and Balloon Shop, said concerns voiced at the meeting ranged from children getting to school to emergency services accessing the area.

Mr Czarnopolski said: “There were a lot of unhappy people there and a lot of frustration because people did not know anything about this until the closure started.”

He said Town Centre Manager Angelina Purcell put across the fears felt by small businesses cut off from trade at the meeting at Granton Primary School on Thursday.

He added: “If we get no help then bleak would be an understatement. Over a few days we are 50 percent down already.”

Councillor Alex Davies, who attended the meeting, said other alternatives should be looked into to minimise disruption.

Mr Davies said: “I’m not sure we are ready to accept it is fait accompli.

“What is in the balance is really serious disruption for people in Streatham Vale and the whole of Streatham.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We have committed to keeping local people informed through an enhanced communications programme including leaflets and information on the council’s website.”

He said the traffic management system was agreed with the local authority and amended with more signs and pedestrian crossing signals.

He said: “Combined with a wider local knowledge of the works and the fact that motorists are often using alternative routes, the new arrangements are now working effectively.”

At Streatham Common Station the work involves cutting back the existing road bridge supports to extend existing platforms underneath and beyond the road bridge.

A half road closure of the bridge will continue from May to June, according to the Network Rail presentation given last week.

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