14 January 2009

Let’s Get Forest Hill Moving

We all love to moan about our train services, clogged up roads and poor parking. But with strong ideas and good relations with other local groups, we can make improvements, writes Tony Petim, the new Chair of our Transport Committee.

I moved to Forest Hill with my family two years ago and fell in love with the area. I’ve been involved with local residents’ groups before so I was keen to bring this experience to my new home in SE23.

I worked for a large international telecommunications company for fourteen years before setting up my own residential building company. I’m also the elected National Councillor & Director for the Federation of Small Business in Greater London, as well as its Southeast London Chair.

Forest Hill benefits from the South Circular passing through its heart, but also suffers from constant peak time traffic congestion as a result of it. With good traffic light phasing, and road layout, I believe that motor vehicles and cycles could move more easily and quickly, thus reducing congestion and CO2 pollution emissions.

Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill and Catford Train Stations should be transportation “jewels” in our community’s crown. These could be improved with some imagination.

None of the above can happen without working in harmony with residents, businesses, local MPs, local councillors, TFL and the Borough of Lewisham. We need to respect and understand the differences and dividing lines on opinions.

In my view, the Forest Hill Society is the body best placed to help achieve these goals. I decided to take on the role of chairing the Transport Committee, after being kindly elected, as a way to help drive improvements for residents and businesses in our community.

We shall lobby and campaign:
  • For better road, rail, cycling and bus links,
  • For roads to be friendlier for motor vehicles by looking at possible re-phasing of lights and road layouts,
  • To make road crossings safer for the public
  • To support the long-awaited tube extension line to Forest Hill,
  • To ensure there are no more Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) extensions or introductions in the Forest Hill area, and introduce more & longer free parking bays to encourage cars to stop and buy goods and services from our local shops to help them survive this recession.

If you have any ideas of how to achieve the above, then please contact Tony on: tony@foresthillsociety.com

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