TRAFFIC STEWARDING of the business seminar held by Kingsway International Christian Centre in the former cinema at 25 Church Road has been branded a “shambles” by a residents group.
In strongly worded letters to both Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police’s Crystal Palace Safer Neighbourhood Team, Gipsy Hill Residents Association are demanding to know if KICC were given permission to install traffic stewards – and if no such permission was given what action TfL are planning to take.
The Association claim KICC stewards commandeered traders’ loading bays; disabled bays and the bus stop directly outside the venue, for collection points and there were a number of near misses – one with a double decker bus.
GHRA are asking TfL to confirm that KICC was given permission to take over the town centre traffic flow, the bays and the busy bus stop on “a key trading day.”
“If permission was given then the organisation was a shambles and needs due and proper supervision to ensure public safety is not further compromised by inconsiderate and inadequate stewarding. “If this was not authorised can TfL please advise what action it is going to take as KICC intend to host regular maximum capacity events of 1200-plus which attract a high volume of traffic to a venue set on a one way system and which does not have any parking facilities.”
The GHRA’s letter to Crystal Palace SNT (Safer Neighbourhood Team) asks if KICC had permission from the police to have stewards in high-visibility KICC jackets directing traffic along Anerley Hill and Church Road.
“The stewards were paired and stationed at the top of Anerley Hill – one set on the Crystal Palace Parade side of the lights and the other set outside the Grape and Grain pub at the top of Anerley Hill.
“Stationed at the busy junction they caused confusion as members cars stopped or slowed down in order for the drivers to take directions.
“This event attracted a lot of traffic and there was nearly an accident at the end of the day when one car pulled up at the bus stop outside the venue to pick up one of the guest speakers and was nearly in collision with a double decker as it started to pull out.
“It was particularly chaotic around the residential Patterson and Milestone roads at the back of 25 Church Road – with KICC minibuses struggling to navigate the narrow roads. “If this stewarding of traffic was given police permission then in the interests of public safety any future events KICC intend to steward in this manner need police/highways supervision.
“If KICC did not get permission to steward in this manner it would be prudent to remind the organisation of its duties.
“Traffic marshalling rules state that ‘only the police or someone under their direction can legally undertake traffic regulation on the public highway. ‘Consultation is therefore essential to secure the appropriate provision of resources’.”
The rules also state that stewards should receive traffic marshalling training, e.g. safe positioning of the marshal and awareness of visibility problems for drivers of reversing vehicles, adds GHRA..
‘KICC SEES CINEMA BUILDING AS A CHURCH’
KICC most certainly sees 25 Church Road as a church – and is working on making the conversion happen soon.
That is the message from one local resident who attended the dedication service and business seminar held by Kingsway International Christian Centre in the former cinema on Saturday August 25th’
The local resident – who has asked for their identity not to be revealed said that “after the singing (super voices! all songs of christian praise) and dancing (fun! also with a Christian theme) the programme started with the organiser saying ‘we are gathered here for a dedication of this….[then long, pregnant pause] ….auditorium by Pastor Ashimolo in the foyer’.
“The general atmosphere was very cheerful and interactive. “I sat in three different places, and each time ended up in friendly conversation with my neighbour. “The audience was almost exclusively enthusiastic, positive Africans who were very supportive of the speakers.
“Were they really people there for business advice, or were they KICC congregants who would have come to anything put on by their church? “It seemed like the latter.
“The speakers who delivered a religious message along with their economic advice got much larger cheers. “One speaker, Richard Fleming, turned the whole economic and political discussion into an opportunity to quote scripture.
“To the question ‘how do you deal with bureaucracy if you want to set up a business in Africa’ he said ‘ just believe in Jesus and you won’t have any problems’ (huge cheers).
“Another speaker was immensely compelling – Supa Mandiwanzira was an absolutely top level speaker. “He was the only one who provided anything remotely resembling real overview of possibilities for investment (the others just skimmed over generalities of large populations and generally expanding economies).
“I was ready to find out how to invest in Zim diamonds or chickens after he spoke.
“The closing words were practical and regretful – ‘well, for tomorrow (Sunday) we won’t be able to have services here, so we will still be having our services at SW19. So see you at 9, 11 or 1 – (or whatever the times were).
“So there you have it. KICC church is on its way to 25 Church Road Crystal Palace – if they possibly can.”