The council is currently running a public consultation (till 13 May) and Cllr Rebecca Lury – the deputy council leader whose portfolio includes parks – insisted at a recent overview & scrutiny committee meeting (video above) that no final decision to introduce charges has been made.
However, income from the new fees is included in the council’s budget for the current financial year.
Plans to close the London Overground ticket offices at Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays have been abandoned.
Rotherhithe councillors were among those who objected to the proposals which were also criticised by the London TravelWatch watchdog.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I am proud of the service the London Overground provides to hundreds of thousands of Londoners every day, and it is vital that we ensure stations across the network continue to operate in a way that best serves the needs of everyone travelling across the capital.
“Proposals were being considered that would have resulted in the permanent loss of 27 ticket offices. However, having listened closely to the views of passengers and to the hard-working staff working at our stations I have asked TfL to ensure that no ticket officers will be closed permanently, and the busiest ticket offices will remain open to passengers exactly as they do now.
“TfL will carry on working closely with Arriva Rail and transport staff to ensure any changes in how stations operate and the adoption of new technology truly has a beneficial impact for all the Londoners who rely on the service every day.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This is a significant victory for RMT members at the front line of the London Overgroundservice who led the campaign to stop this ticket office carnage and jacked up the political pressure to reverse the cuts.
“It proves that trade union campaigning works.
“However we remain vigilant as in our experience once a package of cuts is proposed they remain an option in the longer term. Any backsliding will result in a new blast of pressure from this trade union and our national campaign to staff our stations and retain ticket offices continues.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has defended plans to build a bridge across the Thames linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf.
Mr Khan was speaking at the People’s Question Time event in Bexley on Thursday night where he was challenged from the floor about plans for a “£400 million vanity bridge” at Rotherhithe.
The Mayor said: “I don’t apologise for wanting to make sure that we have a cycle and pedestrian bridge at Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.
“Actually it was one of the campaigns that Caroline Pidgeon talked about during the mayoral campaign.
“I was initially not sure of my views but was persuaded during the mayoral campaign that it was a good idea.
“We have worked cross-party to get this scheme up and running.”
Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said: “It’s so important for pedestrians and cyclists to be able to cross the Thames.
“At the moment on this side of London you have a choice: you go through the Rotherhithe Tunnel – literally taking your life into your own hands – or you have to trek further east and go through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
“We need to make sure that people can get across the Thames in a healthy, safe way.
“I think this is a fantastic project and it will be a real triumph for London to see a brand new bridge at that location.”
This week we reported that Canary Wharf Group is opposing the bridge and favours an improved ferry service instead.
Cllr Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, schools and adult care, was joined by Neil Coyle MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, to mark the official opening of Albion Primary School.
Albion Primary School now has capacity for 420 pupils after the school was completely rebuilt.
Next month the council’s cabinet will award a contract for the construction of new homes on part of the former school site, with work due to start next year.
Making the most of every bit of space available was central to the redesign of the school and this extends to the roof. There is a new, fully accessible, roof terrace with an artificial grass playing pitch, which will be used as a further outdoor learning space but doubles as a play area.
Cllr Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, schools and adult care, said: “One of the real stand-out successes of Southwark Council’s investments into local schools is that education teams have been able to create schools that fit their needs. At Albion Primary School, pupils and staff have a school that works for them. The school is really impressive and the investments from Southwark Council has helped provide an excellent space to teach and learn. Alongside the quality of the school, which has been recognised by industry bodies, there are now more, much needed primary school places. Thanks to the expansion of the school, I am pleased to say that Albion will now be able to welcome 210 more pupils through its gates.”
Karl Bardouille, headteacher of Albion Primary School, said: “Albion has worked closely with Southwark Council and the architects to ensure our children have the best possible facilities .We wanted to ensure that the new school would give the children bigger classrooms, a more accessible building and more common areas that would ensure the best opportunities to deliver our creative curriculum. We are all delighted with the extra teaching and learning space that will help us live up to our motto ‘Learn to do Well’”.
Plans to revitalise the Blue have received a £2.3 million boost from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.
The funds will help Southwark Council, the Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District and Community Opportunity continue their work to enhance the market and cluster of shops at the heart of South Bermondsey.
City Hall says that the grant will support efforts to “turn Bermondsey’s historic town centre and street market into a thriving area, building on the Blue’s identity as the ‘Larder of London’”.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These projects aim to give Londoners of all backgrounds the opportunity to be actively involved in shaping how their city grows and delivering more places to live, learn, work and play.
“I’m so impressed by the range of bids we received – this is testament to the creativity and ingenuity in London’s diverse communities.
“I’m committed to supporting ‘good growth’ by building a city where all Londoners have access to the same opportunities and I look forward to seeing all the positive impacts these projects will have in the future.”
Bermondsey residents living near the ‘super sewer’ site at Chambers Wharf are being invited to have their say on how cash from the project should be spend to improve local open spaces and play facilities.
The project area is shown on the image below. The play study covers the whole area whilst the environmental improvements are focused on the Dickens Estate.
“It’s easy to get involved,” said project team member Julia Plumb. “It’s your area, so tell us what you like or don’t like about the play spaces and green areas, and what you’d like to see happen to them.”
Locals are being invited to contribute to a crowdfund appeal for a project that could see some of Rotherhithe’s most significant buildings lit up at night to acknowledge the area’s role in the story of the Mayflower in the run-up to the 400th anniversary commemorations in 2020.
The scheme has been devised by local resident Clare Armstrong and the crowdfunder has been launched by the What’s on in Rotherhithe Group (WORG).
So far, 60 backers have pledged £1,811 towards a £33,770 target.
The minimum pledge is £2 and you will only be charged if the target is reached by 17 December.
The project has already been endorsed by London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon and from Diane Gorvin, the artist responsible for the Salter statues on the riverside.
A public consultation on plans to shut the ticket offices at Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays Station is currently under way.
The plans have been submitted by Arriva Rail London, the company which runs the London Overground concession for Transport for London.
ARL says that it is proposals include making staff more visible and available at stations, providing assistance and information where it is most needed, and modernising the process for selling tickets to reflect changes in how people are paying for their travel.
As part of this, it is now consulting with rail industry bodies and London TravelWatch about closing ticket offices at 51 stations where there are fewer than 12 ticket sales per hour.
The ticket offices at Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays are already only open for 15 hours a week (weekdays 7am-10am).
London TravelWatch (LTW) is seeking views on the ticket office proposals from passengers and stakeholders on its website until Thursday 11 October 2018 so that they can be taken into account before any decisions are made.
RMT union general secretary Mick Cash said: “I am calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to oppose this retrograde plan for wholesale closures in the strongest possible terms. Ticket offices play a crucial role at train stations.
“London needs to welcome its passengers, visitors and tourists not with a machine, but a welcoming and friendly ticket office who can provide a full range of services.
“This is just the latest attack on a properly staffed, safe, secure and accessible railway for all and RMT is determined to halt these plans in their tracks.”