Agenda item

Theme for the meeting: Traffic, Transport and Road Safety



·  Road safety: Local traffic routes, pedestrians, pedestrian crossings, buses, cyclists  and rat running


·  Safer routes in Southwark: School travel plan


·  Air quality and traffic pollution  


·  Making streets safer – physical measures, e.g. better lighting and tree cutting (including hedges) Parking control


Officers and representatives


Ernst Eramus, Southwark Parks and Open Spaces


Stephen Inch, (GLA) London Assembly (air quality and traffic pollution)


Bill Legassick, Southwark Environment Protection


Yvonne Bastien, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Environment and Leisure


Southwark officers from the Environment and Leisure department


Representative from Transport for London (TfL)




1.  Identify streets where lighting, hedges, overgrown trees, rubbish, that cause problems for pedestrians, push chairs, wheelchairs.


2.  Identify rat running routes, or roads where speeding is a problem.


3.  Identify schools where parking on zigzags etc. is compromising children’s safety.


4.  Suggestions for improving safety/encourage cycling and walking/ car sharing etc.


5.  Concerns about air pollution in your ward.


6.  Report Potholes.


7.  Driver education how to get the best from your vehicle driving in town.


8.  How to get something done about road safety issues by Council/Police/TfL.


The chair introduced the theme for the meeting which was on traffic, transport and road safety.  Officers from environment and leisure were available to address the meeting and to respond to questions.


Matt Hill, Head of Highways responded to a question concerning the road closure at Camberwell Grove which was due to the repair works at the railway bridge. Matt mentioned that the council had been working with Network Rail to get the road re-opened in 2017. The council and TfL have to work on a design and check the availability of funding options from TfL.


Air quality and traffic pollution


Bill Legassick, Environmental Health Officer, spoke about the air quality and its strategy. He announced that the council would be carrying out a consultation in mid- December 2016 to the beginning February 2017 on the air quality action plan.  He said the council were continuously monitoring air quality around Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road.


Bill addressed provided visual displays by way of a PowerPoint regarding the levels of air quality and the safe levels of pollution in parts of the borough. He explained that Southwark had joined 11 other boroughs to participate in the anti-idling project.


Anti-idling project:


People were asked if they wanted to become a volunteer to help improve the local air quality.  More information was available at: or email


Making streets safer


Yvonne Bastien, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, was available during the meeting to speak to local residents.


Safer routes in Southwark


Gary Douglas, School Travel Plans Advisor, spoke about his role which was to encourage schools to develop a school travel plan. This meant encouraging children to walk, cycle or ride a scooter to promote healthy living. Gary said the school travel plan was also designed to reduce congestion during school times. The council also encouraged more children to cycle or walk to school. It was noted that some schools in the borough were accredited to encourage pupils to walk or cycle. Gary referred to an initiative Bellenden School did which was “build a bike programme”. This enabled young people to build a bike from recycled bike parts and gave them the opportunity to keep the bike free of charge once it was built. Gary said it was important to keep people fully engaged and involved in order for everyone to remain healthy and safe.


Southwark parks and open spaces


Ernst Eramus, Arboricultural Officer presented information about the number of trees that are proactively managed by Southwark (57,000). He said the tree section manages trees on highways, housing estates and parks/cemeteries. Trees in Nunhead Cemetery are also managed on an adhoc basis.

The council carries out a full visual tree assessment and survey of trees every 3 to 5 years recording the height, spread, condition, and hazards and recommending works.

The council maintains approximately 300 trees in the borough through planting and providing support and advice to other council departments relating to trees.


The reasons for removing a tree would be: If the tree was dead, there was a lot of decay, if there was damage to walls and properties or inappropriate planting, narrowing footpaths or root damage.


The council’s responsibility for pruning a dangerous tree would be lamp columns, low hanging branches and subsidence.


The chair thanked all officers for their presentations.


The ward based workshops were held afterwards.