14 October 2006

Further notes from Sustainable Development Select Committee

Blushingsnail posted some additional notes from the meeting on www.se23.com/forum

Here’s a summary of relevant points made at Lewisham Council’s Sustainable Development Select Committee, 5/10/2006. Please remember that this is based on my personal note-taking and has not been seen or endorsed by the participants. Official minutes will eventually be available on Lewisham’s website.

Paul Dean (Head of Rail Planning, TfL): TfL’s long-term transport strategy is called Transport 2025 (86 page document here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025.pdf and 92 page slide pack here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025-slide-pack.pdf )

Richard Bourn (London Campaigner, Transport 2000): supports what TfL are doing but has issues with the general approach of Transport 2025, ie the predicted growth in the amount of travel, rather than the number of people travelling. Solutions to ease congestion are locating jobs away from the centre; meeting needs locally and reducing the need to travel; and contra-peak travel, ie encouraging travel in the opposite direction to peak travel.

Darien Goodwin (Head of Transport, Lewisham): 2025 looks to make best use of the rail network to increase capacity but this will have downsides for users, eg long trains means further to walk to the ticket barriers, and more standing room means fewer seats. The perception of journeys may become worse because it’s capacity that’s being addressed, rather than customer experience. Destinations who want a Metro-style service, such as Lewisham, may not benefit in the way they expect.

Cllr Mark Bennett: assumption that fewer people will want to go to London Bridge?

Cllr John Paschoud: do non-stopping trains that go through Forest Hill stop at New Cross Gate? If so could this be a London Bridge/ELLX interchange – which would increase passenger capacity to LB?

Cllr Philip Peake: ELLX would run on the same corridor as Thameslink – is there a proposal for an interchange?

Paul Dean (TfL): would be looked at as part of the ongoing RUS.

Cllr Philip Peake: short platforms at existing ELL stations – is ongoing development taking into consideration future expansion? Would the new stations have longer platforms?

Paul Dean (TfL): ELLX will remain a 4 carriage railway. Didn’t know about the new stations – would need to check and respond back.

Darien Goodwin (Hd of Transport, Lewisham): issues about Mayor’s powers over long-distance trains, eg enforcing extra stops. It had almost been decided to close Wapping etc stations as part of the ELLX project.

Paul Dean (TfL): the Mayor had wanted them to stay open and therefore the project had to go ahead on the basis of a 4 carriage railway.

In response to questions on station accessibility, Paul Dean (TfL) replied that, to his knowledge, no major changes would be made and there would be no substantive work to introduce step-free access at this stage. TfL would be responsible for a basic level of facilities at stations – "making stations presentable" – and would concentrate on safety and security.

The Committee later decided to invite representatives from Network Rail (a rep had been invited to this meeting but had been unable to attend) and TfL to their meeting on 9 January 2007 for a rail review update.

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