I met with Network Rail, Lambeth Traffic Management, and Volker Fitzpatrick at the Streatham Bridge site this evening. I’ll update this post with complete details as soon as I can, but the meeting was very disappointing.
Lambeth Council do not accept that the pedestrian crossing on the Vale side of the bridge is unsafe, at one point told me that residents should ‘grow up’ regarding the crossing point, and don’t seem to accept that the disruption is already affecting local businesses. When I raised the issue of the gas supply to Funky Medusa being delayed by two months it was literally laughed at and blamed on the gas installer, they simply don’t understand the problems their ‘plan’ is causing.
All parties refuse to suspend the works until a competent plan can be put in place and Network Rail outright refused to discuss compensation for local businesses, saying only that they will discuss it on a case by case basis – don’t phone us, we won’t phone you!
Network Rail did apologise for the incompetent communication plan, but their attitude is ‘we are where we are, we must move on’ – I can’t tell you how many times I heard that phrase.
I wish any of it surprised me. I don’t believe that a single person at the meeting, other than the Volker Fitzpatrick representative (who was offended at being called out over his unbelievably stupid plan for the works), really believed that any of the agencies concerned had done the right thing.
Tomorrow I will be meeting Norman Baker, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department for Transport – I hope he can help the local community out!
Updates to follow.