I received the following response to my email of the 8th October from Cllr Peck, who has cabinet responsibility for road works at Lambeth Council.
Thank you for your email. Cllr Reed asked me to respond on his behalf, as this is my Cabinet responsibility. I’m very sorry for the experience that you have had getting in contact with the Council and Network Rail and the communications, I agree that this could have been better on all sides. I understand the issues you’ve raised about safety and disruptions and I’ve asked the Council’s transport and highways team and Network Rail to look into these and provide a fuller response.
Network Rail is responsible for the work but we have been working closely with them. The work to extend the platforms at Streatham Common station is to allow longer trains and more passengers. But the work will mean that the railway bridge at Greyhound Lane will need to be closed, first partially until November 2nd and then fully in both directions until April 29 2013. Local councillors and council traffic officers have held meetings with representatives from Network Rail to try and make sure disruption is kept to a minimum. A public meeting was held by Network Rail in Streatham Vale on 4 October. We have put a news item on our website and information about the diversions and traffic management plans can be found here.
We will be keeping watch on this extremely closely to monitor traffic levels and are seeking regular meetings with Network Rail and local residents to monitor progress and share any concerns as the work progresses.
The Council has also set up an email address for enquiries relating to the traffic management around these works:
Cllr Lib Peck
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategic Housing
Not a particularly impressive response, ‘we could have done this better’ but no offer of action. I made the following reply:
Dear Cllr Peck,
So far as I can see the plan as a whole is weak, ill conceived, incompetently executed, utterly destructive to the local economy and dangerous to pedestrians.
The complete failure to communicate the plan to local residents in advance of the works starting is yet another demonstration, if one were needed, of the expensive incompetence of Lambeth council.
There is no sustainable argument for extending the platform underneath this road bridge. I therefore formally request you suspend the bridge closure plan immediately until it can be properly considered by the community and a fit plan can be made.
If you would like to discuss this please contact me on [number removed]
His response was:
I understand that you are meeting with Network Rail tomorrow. It is clearly their project and their proposals so you will have an opportunity to discuss the soundness of it with them tomorrow.
Network Rail has also been leading the communications. However as I said in my earlier mail I am sorry that you have found the Council equally unresponsive. I am hoping that following the public meeting where there were many suggestions about improving the Council’s communications Lambeth will be able to improve its information to residents.
Councillor Lib Peck, Thornton ward
Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategic Housing