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Which pubs, bars, restaurants and take-aways do you avoid?
messageAre our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Pugwash September 24, 01:20AM

Whilst I appreciate that having trees is essential to our environment and that Southwark does not like cutting down trees but in some cases trees are detrimental to some members of society.

Today I had to push a disabled male relative in a wheelchair to enable him to get to his barbers. Tree roots at the top of Barry Road by the Plough car park had raised the camber of the pavement to such extent that I could not get the chair over this section and was forced to go back a few yards to find a dropped kerb and pushed the wheelchair in the road facing the incoming traffic. Crossing at the lights over Lordship lane was a nightmare and the chair nearly toppled over when a friend came to my rescue and also a young man on a moped stopped to assist. On the return journey, I had to pull the chair backwards across the crossing and again walk in the road until I found a dropped kerb.

The paving stones near this tree are being uprooted and are dangerous for those with limited vision and reduced mobility. I have informed Southwark Highways of this area.

Looking at Lordship Lane in general, I have noticed that with cafes using their forecourts (and beyond) for table as and chairs, there is limited space on the pavements for wheelchairs. I watched as several women with buggies, were standing talking near Farmers and disregarded elderly folk using their 3 wheeler walkers trying to pass them. I was too far away on the other side of the road to suggest to them that they were obstructing the pavement.

I have a number of disabled friends, one with impaired vision, the others with varying degrees of mobility issues who admit that sometimes just going to the shops can be a major hurdle - bus drivers can be impatient if you take too long to get on and off the bus, street furniture, poorly maintained forecourts, lack of accessible WCs in some of the eateries on LL, and sometimes general lack of consideration by other shoppers/visitors to the area.

Southwark wants us to have 'healthy streets' we need to look beyond having strategically placed benches, 'green walls' and see how we can make life easier, safer and better for those who have various forms of disability and mobility.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Miacis September 24, 07:03AM

Agreed. Iíve recently become a wheelchair user and itís really opened my eyes. Simple things like dropped curbs having too big a lip, people parking over them, cobbled streets, small pavers that come up. Tree roots are an issue but the surroundings could be smoothed rather than removing the trees which no one wants.

Othersí oblivious behaviour is more difficult. I just think there are some people who are aware of others and those who live in their own bubble.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by intexasatthe moment September 24, 08:17AM

I agree ,when I had to push my mum in a wheelchair it was really hard . Blasted wheelie bins on pavements where a real bug bear .And overhanging hedges .

I did become more proficient with time ,and realising that the little bars near the back wheels to stand on and lever the chair was a life changing moment . Like you though I often had to walk backwards .

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by singalto September 24, 08:52AM

I agree that there are many obstacles in the way of disabled people being one myself. There are so many things that couldíve tackled before we get rid of trees. Shops pile bags of rubbish on the pavement, the pavements are a danger in places, cyclists on the pavement, people staring at their phones as they walk, drivers blocking the disabled access dropped curbs. The trees are necessary but the pavements around them need to be well maintained.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by intexasatthe moment September 24, 09:06AM

well put singalto . Also I guess an old Victorian infrastructure doesn't help !

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Sue September 24, 12:38PM

Might it be worth posting on councillor James Ash's thread about some of these issues?

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by se22cat September 24, 02:42PM

It really gets my goat when I see people who repeatedly park over the disabled access ramps, most often when they know the parking wardens have gone home, especially those who live on or near the same street as us, who know fully well there are several wheelchair/mobility scooter users living on the same street for who access to them is essential.

The pavement, if you can call it that, on Lordship Lane remains an absolute disgrace both for able bodied people, wheelchair users, and for those on crutches. I fail to see how this issue continues to be ignored.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by worldwiser September 24, 07:56PM

Lordship Lane has always been awful and then, instead of coming to a cost-effective arrangement with the traders' portion of pavements, Southwark massively compounded the issue by repaving only the narrow public sections. It is now highly unlikely this will be revisited in the foreseeable future and, you are quite right, the result is an utter disgrace. Shameful doesn't come close to describing the lack of vision and community-spirit displayed on this.

Another utter disgrace is the now years-long issue of a badly needed crossing at LL and EDG. Something which would benefit everyone and particularly the disabled.

Dealing with these issues is what the council is for and their inaction over a decade and more is inexcusable.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Pugwash September 25, 01:21PM

I have had an email from Highways to say they are now looking into my complaint. I also emailed Cllrs browning and Hartley (Dulwich Hill) and cc the Goose Green Cllrs in.
The tree in Barry Road was 'smoothed over' but the camber is so sleep and uneven that a wheelchair can topple over.

There was at one time a charge for eateries who wanted to put tables and chairs onto their forecourts as an attempt to regulate the number of tables/chairs being set out. Franklins seem to be one of the worse offenders having extended their tables to the pavement edge.

If I remember correctly, James Barber campaigned for the LL/EDG crossing when he was Cllr.

The problem is that shop forecourts are the responsibility of their owners/leaseholders and they are not willing to fork out cash to repair them. I also have a problem with steps going into shops/cafes although some have provided a short ramp for wheelchairs.

In my professional life, I was frequently an advocate for my clients who had seen and unseen disabilities, fostered partially by growing up in a household with disabled adults. My father in his later years was partially sighted and living in a village - became isolated as could not go to shops independently ( 30 mins walk) and later died of advanced dementia. Disabled people value their independence greatly and 'small issues' like pavements/access can have a profound effect on their emotional and physical well being.

Perhaps we should have a group - Disabled of Dulwich and campaign for our healthy streets.!!

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by rch September 25, 02:39PM

Hi Pugwash... I'll have a look at the tree roots to see if I can help come up with a better solution. There is a tree pit treatment called Flexipave that looks like tarmac, but it's made from recycled tyres. It's as solid as tarmac, but flexible enough to accommodate unhappy tree roots... plus rainwater can percolate through the treatment so that the tree gets enough water and doesn't keep pushing roots out of the pavement in order to survive.

I tried a Flexipave experiment with CGS funds a couple of years ago around the ancient chestnut tree on the corner of Lordship and Melbourne Grove (across Melbourne from the Chinese restaurant) and it's been working brilliantly. Maybe have a look?

Ironically, the council now seems to be using Flexipave a lot in the north of the borough but I haven't been able to convince them to use it in the south of the borough where we actually have more older trees. I've been trying to get all the trees on Lordship Lane sealed with Flexipave, but there have been so many politics that I keep going around in circle.

I was thinking of putting in another CGS bid for Lordship Lane... maybe you could put in a Dulwich Hill bid for your tree up on Barry Road?

As a regular local pedestrian (non car owner!) I agree that the council's Healthy Streets scheme is useless. I tried getting the project manager to understand during the last consultation, but she was oblivious. So now more public money is going to be wasted on "improvements" that won't make a difference for most of us...

Twitter: @ex_cllr_rch

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Pugwash September 28, 06:39PM

I heard of another incident relating to the same area

A male wheelchair user was being pushed along Barry Road by his male friend and went over the tarmac under the tree, the wheelchair tilted right but the 'passenger' gripped the chain railings of the Plough car park, however the friend was strong enough to be able stabilise the chair before it completely overturned.

I was talking to a local resident who stated that when she was on crutches following an accident, she did not realise how bad the pavements and roads were around Barry Road/Lordship Lane and that the dropped kerbs at the traffic lights were uneven. She avoided the tree between the Plough/278 Barry after nearly falling over on the uneven camber.

I have heard from Cllr Browning who has raised a member's enquiry with Highways.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by cella September 28, 07:29PM

Totally agree Pugwash. When I posted on this previously there appeared to be little support in favour of reclaiming our pavements, particularly from one shopkeeper who was radically opposed to any such suggestion. It's a range of things in addition to the areas you show e.g. A boards outside shops/cafes, unnecessary street furniture, overflowing rubbish bins, people blocking pavements, cyclists riding on pavements, joggers etc etc.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Pugwash September 29, 05:29PM

Perhaps as local residents we should make a list of hazards to those who have disabilities regardless whether they are on crutches with broken limbs, visually impaired, require a wheelchair etc.

My bugbear is eateries who extend past their forecourts and customers who spread out over the forecourts with their scooters, bikes and prams. Dropped kerbs with 'lips', uneven pavements and roads (especially at traffic lights) shops with steps and heavy doors.
Should we 'name and shame' or just give locations i.e. Whately Road - Bawdale?

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Penguin68 September 30, 10:29AM

When I posted on this previously there appeared to be little support in favour of reclaiming our pavements

Do remember that, e.g. in LL, much of the pavement is not 'ours' but belongs to the curtilage of the shops - some of whom do actually segregate their areas clearly from the pubic pavement but others don't - so that when they are not open (normally), the whole width, including 'their' areas, are available to pedestrians. That explains why the upkeep of these areas may not be consistent (Southwark doesn't work on non-public areas). So some at least of the 'spread' is actually within private areas. The broad pavements - at least on the 'east' side of the Lane - contain both public and private land.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by cella September 30, 05:20PM

Yes am aware. Doesn't help though when pedestrians are forced to squeeze through seating, standing drinkers, A boards, pavements being dug up - sometimes all together - and then someone tries to foist a flyer on them.....

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by ianr September 30, 08:55PM

How much of the pavement outside the Co-op belongs to the Co-op?

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by worldwiser September 30, 10:03PM

I believe James Barber previously posted something about the split ownership of the pavements, given that they're essentially part of a public thoroughfare. I believe he said there was some mechanism that could allow the council to force the private owners to maintain their sections appropriately - at least to keep them flat and level with the council-maintained section - and that, if they did not do so, the council would do it for them at their cost.

At the very least, when they were relaying endless sections of pavement last year, they could have come to an extremely cost-effective arrangement with those owners to get the pavement in order. The additional work involved would have been trifling and of such enormous benefit to the community. But why would we expect Southwark to spend time on such things? They spent a quarter of a million doing a pointless rehash of the entrance to NXR for crying out loud. At some times of the day LL is a total affront to health and safety and Southwark is an affront to us all.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by rch October 01, 10:25AM

Lordship Lane has been a mess for YEARS, with "improvements" being bodged. When I was a cllr in Village Ward, I arranged supplemental funding for shop forecourts on Half Moon Lane and East Dulwich Grove to have their forecourts upgraded in tandem with the public footpath repairs.

But they can't even get the public footpaths repaired properly on Lordship Lane... and now funds are being diverted onto a "Healthy Streets" agenda, which doesn't properly accommodate pedestrians.

Pugwash... I would encourage you name and shame shops that are causing problems. There's one cafe on Lordship whose built-out forecourt wall slightly overlaps the pavement, and then they block the rest of the narrowed pavement with an A-board. The council won't take action against them because it will cost too much for just a couple of inches, but I tend to fold up the A-board by hand whenever I walk by there.

Lastly, the council used to invite residents to public highways inspections on Lordship Lane, so that these issues could be logged in situ and action taken, but I got dropped off the mailing list and haven't heard anything for ages.

Twitter: @ex_cllr_rch

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by bagpuss October 03, 09:50PM

Iím visually impaired and had a bad fall due to tree roots and the pavements
The council have spent money in fancy brick endings at some roads near me which has no benefits to anybody
I find pavements in lordship lane tricky
Iím confused as to why they arenít doing more
They seem to have done pavements in other roads but not the major busy one

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?attachment
Posted by sand12 October 05, 10:29AM

This is the type of dangerous and inconsiderate behavior which makes the elderly, disabled, and families reluctant to walk &/or use public transport. This builder claimed he had a permit to park his van on the pavement. Blocking pedestrians from using the pavement or risk stepping into the road into oncoming traffic and buses turning from Barry Road onto LL (in front of the Dulwich Library). This is a very busy area and yet he felt he has the right to park his vehicle for his convenience here for ease of access to his tools. Never mind the danger to children & adults trying to get on/off the bus on Saturday morning. There should be an easy way to report & fine this kind of endangering of the public. Reported to Southwark, but most likely no consequences since they don't have enough staff to do much.

Found out you can report this here:

If you notice any obstructions on the public highway, please let us know using the details below:

builders' skips or materials (eg piles of bricks, sand, concrete etc)
road works safety barriers that have fallen over
scaffolding or hoardings
signs or advertising boards that are unauthorised
shop goods or tables displaying goods on the pavement that are unauthorised
tables and chairs from pubs, cafes and restaurants
vehicles that are parked illegally or have been abandoned

traders or vendors that are illegal or unauthorised

branches, bushes or hedges that overhang or block
fly tipped rubbish
wheelie bins, trade waste bins
any other obstruction

Please report these whenever you can, because if enough people do, perhaps we can all enjoy our neighborhoods more. Better for the environment and cuts down on social isolation for the disabled and elderly.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was october 05, 11:01am by sand12.

Attachments: IMG_2248.JPG (265KB)  
messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Sally Eva October 05, 02:42PM

Parking on the pavement is an offence throughout London. Southwark enforces this rule.

Phone Apcoa directly on 0207 708 8587. IME they come out rapidly.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by se22cat October 05, 04:34PM

I wonder if any of the revenue from the CPZ will go towards addressing the issues people have raised here in ED?

Probably not.

Considering the very real negative impact these problems have on disabled residents, with them also quite possibly also making them worse or leading to future injuries, one would hope something could finally be done to address them with the huge amount of extra cash that will be fleeced from council tax paying residents.

Is the council also blind to the fact that we are a rapidly ageing society and not making things right now could not only improve people's current quality of life, but also prevent future issues that will otherwise put increased pressure on the NHS too? One of our immediate neighbors became a shut-in during her last years out of genuine fear of falling down outside because of the exact points illustrated in this thread.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by goldilocks October 07, 07:31AM

As above - for parking infringements call Southwark's parking Enforcement on 020 7708 8587. They actually do come out and they're pretty quick (obviously as they represent a cash generating service!).

Pavement parking like the picture attached is never ok - it blocks accessibility for many, its illegal, I'm not aware of any scenario where it would be allowed and it damages the pavements costing us more in council services.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by Cardelia October 07, 09:58AM

goldilocks Wrote:
> Pavement parking like the picture attached is
> never ok - it blocks accessibility for many, its
> illegal, I'm not aware of any scenario where it
> would be allowed and it damages the pavements
> costing us more in council services.

It's very rare but some areas of Southwark do allow parking on the pavement, for example Peak Hill in Sydenham. But those are officially marked bays rather than some lazy sod just leaving their van wherever they feel like.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by goldilocks October 07, 10:12AM

Exactly - if there is no official signage and markings to show this, then no pavement parking.

messageRe: Are our streets disabled friendly?
Posted by MarkT October 07, 11:54AM

Pugwash, above, includes in the list of hazards, dropped kerbs with "lips".

While many of the hazards are due to deterioration, neglect or lack of consideration by other pavement occupiers, the "lips" on the ends of dropped kerbs stands out as total premeditated idiocy.

This seems to be a recent design feature in new dropped kerbs and refurbished pavements, using special rounded stones, specified and manufactured at great expense. The whole principle of a dropped kerb is a smooth transition between different levels, usually created by skilled paviors using standard rectangular units.

So what idiots in Southwark Council have now decided to create this new tripping hazard?

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