Local Greens listening to residents' concerns about transport
‘Are you happy with the way you get around? Is there anything you’d like to change?’ Visitors to the ‘Travel Clinic’ at the Brunswick Park TRA fete in August got a free personalised calculation of their travel costs and tips about how to save money.
Eleanor said, ‘It was really interesting hearing people’s ideas at the fete. There are some great free or very cheap offers from community organisations and the council. Get in touch if you’d like one of our info packs!’
We all know the strain of travelling through noisy, polluted streets and the worry it causes when journeys are delayed. But shifting away from the most polluting forms of transport takes political action.
That’s why we are asking the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to put cleaner buses on the 17 routes that run through Camberwell: www.change.org/p/sadiq-khan-cleanair-for-camberwell.
Neither the Mayor nor Southwark Council goes nearly far enough in their plans to tackle traffic fumes. We need politicians who are prepared to face up to the reality of the air pollution crisis that is killing 9,500 Londoners a year and stunting the lungs of children. This public health crisis needs action now. We can’t wait till 2040!
Southwark Green Party put together a simple document on some of the steps Southwark Council could take to make cycling easier, safer and more attractive for everyone, age 8-80. Download it here. (Image credit: Adam Hypki)
This week Southwark Green Party submitted comments to Southwark Council on the planning application under consideration for the Elephant & Castle area. SGP objected to the application on a number of grounds and fear that the application could be another failure by Southwark Council to properly follow their own planning guidelines and consult communities on development in their areas.Read more
- Walk or cycle instead of driving – pollution levels can be higher inside a car than on the street because the ventilation intake is close to the exhaust of the cars in front and fumes build up inside a closed car. And it helps cut emissions too.
- Choose a low pollution route. Back routes can have 50% less particulate pollution. Use sites like Breathe London to plan a route
- If your workplace or school is near a main road, ask the building supervisors how air pollution is minimised. If there’s air conditioning, are the filters effective ones?
- When shopping, close the door – it keeps the heat in and pollution out.
- At home, make sure gas boilers and heaters are serviced regularly. If you have fires in an open fireplace, check that you are buying ‘smokeless’ coal, not ‘traditional’ or ‘house’ coal. It’s illegal to burn house coal in London – and it’s bad for the health of people inside the room as well as outside. Check that any woodburners are approved for Smoke Control Areas. It’s also illegal to burn logs on open fires.
Picture: It's illegal to burn 'traditional' House Coal - 'smoke-free' briquettes are a happier choice
The strategy acknowledges the severe impact of air pollution on the health of Southwark residents, noting in the introduction that ‘poor air quality disproportionately affects the young, old, ill and poor’ (page 5). But this recognition of the serious public health challenge is not matched by actions.
The plan is not strong or bold enough, and it does not provide enough detail of those actions the council does propose to take. We are dismayed that so many items lack clear targets, timescales, objectives and means of measuring success. This is particularly noticeable in comparison with Southwark’s previous plan which included timescales and indicators for each planned measure (Air Quality Improvement Strategy 2012-2017 and Action Plan 2012-2017 (AQIS 2012)).Read more
Air pollution is a recognised public health emergency. Southwark Council needs to take action. Or rather, actions. There’s no one solution, but the actions taken need to be both immediate and substantial.
Southwark is consulting on its updated air quality plan. Responses need to be in by 31 January. Southwark Green Party will submit a detailed response and publish it here. But in short – we think the plan talks a lot about meetings and monitoring and not enough about ideas and action!
We encourage you to respond individually. It’s a very simple form - the one question is quite open: ‘What do you have to say about the Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan?’ So why not use this space to explain to the council how air pollution affects you and why you want the council to do more? Please copy your response to us too at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read on for some suggestions about what councils can do…Read more
On Thursday 22 December, Southwark Green Party member Tom Venner-Woodcock will appear at Ealing Magistrates Court. He was part of a group of 15 people who blockaded a road near Heathrow last month. His protest highlights the serious risks that airport expansion poses to Londoners' health and the global climate.Read more
Southwark Green Party has responded to Southwark Council's proposals for the Old Kent Road. We will be keeping a watching brief on plans for the area and working with local residents and businesses. The full response is below.
1. Do you agree with the overall vision for the Old Kent Road? YES/NO
Southwark Green Party welcomes the development of the Old Kent Road based on appropriately scaled development, backed up by improved transport infrastructure, sufficient social housing, high quality public spaces and built to zero carbon standards.Read more