CALL FOR ‘CLEAN BUSES’ BY LAMBETH COUNCIL / SUNDAY BUS SERVICES FOR 354 AND 352 ROUTES? / MOTORWAY SERVICE CHARGES FOR TIRED DRIVERS SLAMMED / BORIS’S LATEST GRAND PLANS SLAMMED
CALL FOR ‘CLEAN BUSES’ BY LAMBETH COUNCIL
‘CLEAN BUSES’ should be installed by Transport for London on every route that runs through Brixton Road and Streatham High Road.
The call comes from Lambeth council which says in a statement that Brixton Road’s air quality is amongst the worst in London – and that its monitoring station exceeded acceptable annual pollution levels just three weeks into the year.
Routes which use Brixton Road include the numbers 3 and 322 and 432 which all run to Crystal Palace.
Lambeth’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite says: “These cleaner buses are already in operation up in Oxford Street and in Putney.
“But here in Lambeth, where we are arguably the borough most reliant on buses, we have these old, gaz-guzzling, carbon-spewing buses clogging up our roads and harming our residents.
“Every day I see cyclists held up behind these buses and school children getting on and off, breathing in really harmful fumes.
“Cleaner Buses would make a huge difference to the air quality around our busiest roads and create a much healthier environment.”
Cllr Brathwaite has written directly to Boris Johnson and his senior environment advisor Matthew Pencharz asking them to look at installing the buses on every route that runs through Brixton Road and Streatham High Road.
She has also written to politicians, schools and cycling groups in the borough to increase support.
In their statement Lambeth say Public Health England has estimated that 112 deaths a year are connected to poor air quality in Lambeth.
A petition has been launched on change.org and it is hoped that Lambeth residents will sign up to strengthen the call to TfL.
If you wish to sign the petition, please visit; http://goo.gl/EtES8l
One signatory has commented; “I cycle on Brixton Hill every day doing my bit for the environment. “Cleaner buses would make a huge improvement to my daily commute as well as to all those living in Lambeth.”
Lambeth is also implementing a 20mph speed limit on all council-controlled roads over the next 12 months, in a bid to cut emissions and make roads safer for cyclists. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)
SUNDAY BUS SERVICES FOR 354 AND 352 ROUTES?
Proposals to introduce a Sunday timetable for bus routes 352 and 354 have been welcomed by Bromley council.
The Transport for London (TfL) proposals could see Sunday buses running later this year, with formal consultation taking place shortly.
“These proposals will be warmly welcomed by everyone who has involved themselves in the campaign for the change” said Cllr Colin Smith, executive councillor for environment.
“Visitors and shoppers visiting Bromley town centre will now have greater travel choice and critically, people travelling very locally in the western part of the borough, including Beckenham, Penge and West Wickham, will be able to take advantage of these new services too.
“I would encourage everyone with an interest to respond to TfL’s formal consultation to help ‘seal the deal’ when fuller details emerge over coming months.”
Currently, both the 352 and 354 bus route operate a Monday to Saturday service, with the 352 travelling from Bromley North, to parts of Hayes, West Wickham and Beckenham, leaving the borough and terminating in Sydenham, in Bell Green.
The 354 route travels from Bromley North to parts of Beckenham, Clock House and Anerley, terminating in Penge.
A Bromley council statement said the move follows lobbying by the council and resident groups to improve the Sunday bus timetable along both routes. (Source: Bromley council press release.)
MOTORWAY SERVICE CHARGES FOR TIRED DRIVERS SLAMMED
Tired drivers should not have to pay to take a vital and life-saving rest at motorway service stations, an MP and a road safety charity have said.
David Davies MP and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have hit out at charges imposed by private firms on motorists who stop for more than two hours to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
Mr Davies has teamed up with the IAM to call on the government to change its policy on the two-hour free parking limit, which service station operators have to comply with.
The Monmouth MP, who previously worked in the haulage industry as a continental lorry driver, wants longer hours set before parking charges apply.
He argues that drivers should be allowed to rest properly instead of opting to go back on the road to avoid having to pay hefty fees.
“Charging large amounts of money to park could be increasing the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue,” said Mr Davies.
“This is profiteering plain and simple. “There is no justification whatsoever for making a charge.
“It is bad enough that motorists pay over the odds to buy a coffee or snack at a service station without the worry of paying vast charges for taking forty winks.
“Limiting parking time at motorway service stations is clearly contrary to the main reason for their existence – to provide rest stops.”
Mr Davies’ campaign has been backed by the IAM which says the Department of Transport suggests that almost 20 per cent of accidents on major roads are sleep-related.
Sleep-related accidents are more likely than others to result in a fatality or serious injury; and men under 30 have the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel, said an IAM spokesperson.
“Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) information suggests one-fifth of accidents on motorways and other monotonous types of roads may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.”
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “Service areas are meant to be about safety and taking a break on a long boring journey.
“All too often these days they are more about selling things at inflated prices to a captive audience.
“The two hour parking rule leaves many drivers confused and worried that they may inadvertently go over the time limit if they stop for a break, which is not a good recipe for safer motoring.” (Source: IAM press release.)
BORIS’S LATEST GRAND PLANS SLAMMED
Commenting on the Mayor of London’s proposal for major roads to be diverted underground, Labour’s London Assembly transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross said:
“Boris Johnson has a habit of mooting these kind of grand plans but as ever the detail on how this proposal would actually work is suspiciously absent.
“The costs of a project like this would be staggering – not to mention the dramatic impact and disruption building works would cause.
“Blue sky thinking is one thing, but the Mayor putting forward unfunded ideas like this only months before he checks out of City Hall is only going to leave Londoners disappointed.
“Only last year the Mayor promoted plans for a 22-mile ring-road tunnel under London which would cost £33bn to build.
“Since then we’ve heard nothing of the project. “Londoners need a Mayor who can follow through on proposals not just chase headlines.
“Whilst we need innovative congestion solutions in places like Hammersmith, “Boris would do well to learn the lessons of Boston’s Big Dig which saw spiralling costs, major disruption and years of delay to the project.
“The Mayor would be much better focusing our scarce public investment on improving public transport, cycling and walking than on underground motorways.”
Val Shawcross is the Labour London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark. (Source: GLA Labour party press release).