350 new bicycles for hire have appeared on the streets of Southwark this week, with many of them in SE16.
Unlike TfL’s Santander Cycles (aka ‘Boris bikes’), Mobike and ofo bikes can be hired and parked anywhere, not just at designated docking stations.
Although Mobike and ofo bikes operate across the borough, the initial launch has been focussed on Rotherhithe and Camberwell, two areas beyond the reach of the Santander Cycles scheme.
The two rival firms joined forces for a launch event in Deal Porter Square at Canada Water on Monday morning.
Mobike has brought 150 bikes to Southwark whilst ofo has launched with 200 bikes. Both firms charge 50p for half an hour’s use. Bikes can be unlocked using iOS and Android apps.
Southwark Labour’s 2014 manifesto included a pledge to “work with the Mayor to extend Bike
Hire across the borough” and this latest initiative comes less than two months before the next local elections.
Oddly, the council’s own performance report for 2014/15 to 2017/18 – approved by cabinet this week – says that “We continue to work with TfL and other partners to extend the bike hire scheme to more parts of Southwark, with plans to extend the scheme from Rotherhithe to Peckham announced this year.”
However, no announcement of any TfL-backed bike hire expansion in Southwark has yet been made.
We asked Cllr Ian Wingfield – Southwark’s cabinet member for environment and the public realm – whether the council had given up on bringing Santander Cycles to SE16 at Monday’s launch event. Hear his answer here:
This week Southwark Council agreed to move forward with its development agreement with British Land for the Canada Water development, including the sites of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, the former Harmsworth Quays printworks, the Mast Leisure Park, the old dock offices and the former Rotherhithe Police Station.
The first of a number of new Relish wireless broadband masts have been installed on council-owned buildings in Rotherhithe as part of the ongoing efforts to tackle the poor speeds experienced by fixed-line broadband users in SE16.
The council has signed a number of lease agreements with broadband provider Relish, enabling them to install wireless aerials on residential council buildings, which will deliver up to 40Mb broadband speeds across 70 per cent of the borough.
Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, said: “We are delighted that more people can now access superfast broadband, particularly in Rotherhithe where the issue has been so acute.
“The rollout of wireless aerials is just one step in the council’s commitment to improve connectivity for residents and make Southwark a truly digital borough.
“Our ultimate long-term goal is a full rollout of fibre optic broadband across the borough and we have already made a start by submitting a joint bid with TfL, the GLA and several other local authorities for funding from central government, as part of a national £200m challenge fund for broadband projects.
“If successful, the funding will be used in Southwark to improve digital connectivity in areas of the borough with poor broadband speeds, particularly in the Rotherhithe peninsula.”
In total, 23 new aerials and masts have been approved for installation across the borough, including four in Rotherhithe, with half already delivering Relish’s wireless broadband service.
Anyone can check if their home can be connected to Relish by using their online postcode checker at www.relish.net
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched a new £45 million Young Londoners Fund while visiting the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey this week.
“Salmon has been reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years,” said Sam Adofo, Director of the Salmon Youth Centre.
“We believe every young person has potential and we work intensively to inspire young people to reach this potential by improving their Health & Wellbeing, involving them in positive Community Engagement, and preparing them for Education and Work. We very much welcome The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund as it means youth centres like ours will be able to continue the work we do and impact many more young lives.”
19-year-old youth work apprentice Gabrielle Famobio said: “I’ve been coming to Salmon since I was 7 years old. Salmon is an amazing place. I’ve grown so much here, I’ve learnt so much, and most recently I’ve become an Apprentice here. I really don’t know where I would be without Salmon – I probably won’t have a job, income, or even a home! The staff here are like family to me and I love the young people and the work I do here as an apprentice.“
The Night Overground service on the East London line will be expanded next weekend as services extend north to Canonbury and Highbury & Islington stations from Friday 23 February.
The new service will link the Night Overground to the overnight service on Victoria line for the first time .
The Night Overground has run on Friday and Saturday nights between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate since December last year.
TfL says that already more than 35,000 journeys have been made on the route.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Following our hugely successful launch of the Night Tube, I’m delighted that we will be able to extend the Night Overground service to help even more Londoners.
“This extension will connect the Night Overground to the Night Tube. These night-time services are providing a huge boost to our economy and a safe and reliable way for people to travel across the capital, helping all those working hard during the night or out enjoying everything the capital’s nightlife has to offer.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last month announced six new cycle routes including a new link from Rotherhithe to Peckham.
City Hall says design work will begin immediately but it could take up to five years for the plans to come to fruition.
One of the six proposals is a 4km route which would link Canada Water and Surrey Quays with Peckham and connect up other cycling routes such as Quietway 1 and the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4.
Dr Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “High-quality cycling infrastructure cannot simply be an option available to a minority of Londoners, and our new Strategic Cycling Analysis shows that there is huge potential for getting more people to cycle all across the city.
“Backed up by the Mayor’s record investment, we’re working in close collaboration with London boroughs to design six new cycle routes that would connect key town centres, join up existing cycle infrastructure, and start to create a genuinely pan-London network of cycle routes accessible to millions more Londoners.”
Southwark Council has revealed plans to lease space on the roofs of council housing and other public buildings to broadband operators including Relish, O2 and Vodafone in a bid to bring better internet connections to local residents.
10 additional trains on the Jubilee line would allow for a 36 trains-per-hour service.
Val Shawcross (deputy mayor for transport) and David Hughes (London Underground) will face questions from AMs on Wednesday 8 November at 10am. The meeting will be streamed live at www.youtube.com/londonassembly
Val Shawcross is a former London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark and a past chair of City Hall’s transport committee.