Do you know of any mistakes on the War Memorial? – Let the council know by 17 May 2021

As we reported in our last newsletter, the Express Review, Bromley Council have agreed to put an addendum plaque on the memorials in Beckenham and West Wickham to correct the spelling of the name of Private Alfred M Fullex. Private Fullex, a World War I soldier has had his name spelled incorrectly on both the Beckenham and West Wickham war memorials for over 100 years and when this came to light following contact from a relative of Private Fullex.

The council is inviting Bromley residents to come forward if they are aware of other misspellings on any war memorials in the borough so that the council can look into making any further amendments that may be required.

Interested parties should email suggestions to towncentres@bromley.gov.uk by 17 May 2021.

LAST CHANCE – ALBEMARLE ROAD CYCLE SCHEME CHANGES – HAVE YOUR SAY TODAY 3 MARCH 2021

The temporary scheme on Albemarle Rd is being reviewed by the Council (it will be 6 months from implementation in May). Many local residents have provided feedback on the scheme and the Council’s Highways Team have taken onboard some of the comments received and are proposing significant changes. The Council are undertaking a subsequent consultation on 2 options:

OPTION 1 – alter  the scheme by installing traffic lights on Westgate Bridge, make part of Albemarle Rd two way, and keep the trial going

Westgate Road Bridge – 2 way with traffic lights

Our Association raised with the Council that the new cycleway and the closure of Westgate Rd Bridge to road users northbound did not link up with the long-proposed TfL cycle way at Lower Sydenham planned to go along Worsley Bridge Rd. It appeared that the Council had not considered the linkages between the 2 schemes in designing Albemarle Rd.   Cyclists travelling from Bromley from Albemarle Rd to Lower Sydenham would either have to dismount and push their bike over Westgate Rd Bridge where the pavement is not wide enough to do this safely or traverse the hazardous Beckenham Junction which does not have any cycle boxes.

If cycle schemes are to be effective it is essential they are connected to other cycle ways. We are pleased the Council took this on board and have secured funding from TfL put traffic lights on Westgate Rd Bridge so that a more interlinked cycling Quietway can be created from Albemarle Road to Lower Sydenham without cyclists having to negotiate the busy crossroads at  Beckenham Junction.

Our Association understands from the Council that the traffic lights installed at Westgate Road bridge will be ‘smart’,monitoring the traffic and adjusting to avoid unnecessary traffic queues.

This is excellent news for all road users, there are very few places to cross the railway line in Beckenham, and having Westgate Bridge back two-way will alleviate congestion at peak time, whilst encouraging cycle use travelling south to north.

It is important to note that TfL will only fund the traffic lights on the bridge as part of a cycle route – if the Albemarle Rd cycle scheme is scrapped the traffic lights will not be provided.

The exact route of the quiet way from Westgate Road Bridge to Lower Sydenham has not yet been finalised and we anticipate there will be opportunity for residents to give their views.  Our Association will also be engaging with the Council on this.  Please let us know your views at hello@coperscope.org.uk

Albemarle Road to Westgate Road reverts to two-way traffic again

The Council propose to make Albemarle Road two-way between Beckenham Junction and Westgate Road.  This will mean the sharp turn in the road that was installed to direct Bromley Bound traffic off Albemarle Rd and down St George’s Road, past the Harris Beckenham Green School, will be removed and the junction returned to its original configuration.

This is good news for pedestrians who found it difficult to cross over St George’s Road at this point, with cars having right of way. This will also benefit the school, as rush-hour traffic will no longer be funnelled down St George’s Road

Albemarle Road partially reverting  back to two-way traffic, and two-way access over  Westgate Road Bridge, will have a significant effect on traffic flows in this part of Beckenham at peak time.

The Council has confirmed that the cycle lane wands on Albemarle Rd will be retained in the section of road that reverts back to two-way. We are following up about the road cleaning around the wands as debris is already building up around them.

The trial will be extended to assess the changes

The Council has confirmed the trial will be extended to assess the changes above. In a few months time residents will have the opportunity to give their views again on the amended scheme.

OPTION 2 – scrap the whole scheme

As the Albemarle Road Scheme is temporary it can be removed in its entirety.  However this will mean that TfL will not fund the traffic lights for Westgate Road bridge. We understand that Bromley Council do not have funding to do this independently.

Many readers will be aware of the £700k scheme in Kensington and Chelsea that was removed. In response TfL are reported to have said it would be unlikely to fund any schemes in the borough in the near future.  In Beckenham alone there are so many important highways schemes that need funding, a pedestrian phase at the lights by Corner Ways Surgery / Beckenham Theatre, crossings by schools, a crossing by Beckenham Place Park to name a few – none of these are likely to be funded directly by the Council, and without TfL funds may never be realised.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY BY 3 MARCH

BROMLEY VACCINE & COVID UPDATE Feb 2021

BROMLEY VACCINE & COVID UPDATE

An update on the vaccine rollout across Bromley from NHS South East London CCG shows the percentage of each priority group having received a first vaccine dose as of 18 February 2021:

80 years and over – 91.61%

75 – 79 years old – 90.95%

70 – 74 years old – 90.95%

Clinically extremely vulnerable – 85.33%

65 – 69 years old – 75.27%

The NHS is offering everyone in the top 4 priority groups a vaccine and will be contacting the next 5 priority groups, starting with the over-65s. If you are over 65 years old, clinically extremely vulnerable or a health and social care worker, you can book a vaccination appointment: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

Bromley’s infection rate has dropped to 85.5 cases per 100,000 people, its lowest since mid-October. Lockdown has helped ease pressure on the NHS and our local Trust has seen the number of patients in hospital with coronavirus almost halve since the January peak. 

Green Homes Grant cold calling scam – Bromley Trading Standards

Homeowners can apply for a Green Homes Grant towards the cost of installing energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Trading Standards has been made aware that salespeople claiming to be from Bromley Council are calling to make appointments for Green Homes Grants. They are not from Bromley Council.

Only TrustMark Registered Businesses can carry out installation work under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Further information about the Green Homes Grant scheme including How to Apply, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homesgrant-scheme

Bromley Trading Standards advises, as with any cold-call, whether phone or doorstep, not to deal with any traders who approach you this way.
Always select a trader having made checks & enquiries and ideally obtain 3 quotes. Guidance from Citizens Advice can be found here
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/find-a-trader-andcheck-you-can-trust-them/

REPORT
Protect others by reporting incidents. If you or anyone you know have been affected by fraud or any scam
report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk
If you have given out your bank details, contact your bank as soon as possible.
If you need advice contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133
You can also visit www.Bromley.gov.uk/scams

Albemarle Road Cycle Scheme changes – have your say by 3 March 2021

The temporary scheme on Albemarle Rd is being reviewed by the Council (it will be 6 months from implementation in May). Many local residents have provided feedback on the scheme and the Council’s Highways Team have taken onboard some of the comments received and are proposing significant changes. The Council are undertaking a subsequent consultation on 2 options:

OPTION 1 – alter  the scheme by installing traffic lights on Westgate Bridge, make part of Albemarle Rd two way, and keep the trial going

Westgate Road Bridge – 2 way with traffic lights

Our Association raised with the Council that the new cycleway and the closure of Westgate Rd Bridge to road users northbound did not link up with the long-proposed TfL cycle way at Lower Sydenham planned to go along Worsley Bridge Rd. It appeared that the Council had not considered the linkages between the 2 schemes in designing Albemarle Rd.   Cyclists travelling from Bromley from Albemarle Rd to Lower Sydenham would either have to dismount and push their bike over Westgate Rd Bridge where the pavement is not wide enough to do this safely or traverse the hazardous Beckenham Junction which does not have any cycle boxes.

If cycle schemes are to be effective it is essential they are connected to other cycle ways. We are pleased the Council took this on board and have secured funding from TfL put traffic lights on Westgate Rd Bridge so that a more interlinked cycling Quietway can be created from Albemarle Road to Lower Sydenham without cyclists having to negotiate the busy crossroads at  Beckenham Junction.

Our Association understands from the Council that the traffic lights installed at Westgate Road bridge will be ‘smart’,monitoring the traffic and adjusting to avoid unnecessary traffic queues.

This is excellent news for all road users, there are very few places to cross the railway line in Beckenham, and having Westgate Bridge back two-way will alleviate congestion at peak time, whilst encouraging cycle use travelling south to north.

It is important to note that TfL will only fund the traffic lights on the bridge as part of a cycle route – if the Albemarle Rd cycle scheme is scrapped the traffic lights will not be provided.

The exact route of the quiet way from Westgate Road Bridge to Lower Sydenham has not yet been finalised and we anticipate there will be opportunity for residents to give their views.  Our Association will also be engaging with the Council on this.  Please let us know your views at hello@coperscope.org.uk

Albemarle Road to Westgate Road reverts to two-way traffic again

The Council propose to make Albemarle Road two-way between Beckenham Junction and Westgate Road.  This will mean the sharp turn in the road that was installed to direct Bromley Bound traffic off Albemarle Rd and down St George’s Road, past the Harris Beckenham Green School, will be removed and the junction returned to its original configuration. 

This is good news for pedestrians who found it difficult to cross over St George’s Road at this point, with cars having right of way. This will also benefit the school, as rush-hour traffic will no longer be funnelled down St George’s Road

Albemarle Road partially reverting  back to two-way traffic, and two-way access over  Westgate Road Bridge, will have a significant effect on traffic flows in this part of Beckenham at peak time.

The Council has confirmed that the cycle lane wands on Albemarle Rd will be retained in the section of road that reverts back to two-way. We are following up about the road cleaning around the wands as debris is already building up around them.

The trial will be extended to assess the changes

The Council has confirmed the trial will be extended to assess the changes above. In a few months time residents will have the opportunity to give their views again on the amended scheme. 

OPTION 2 – scrap the whole scheme

As the Albemarle Road Scheme is temporary it can be removed in its entirety.  However this will mean that TfL will not fund the traffic lights for Westgate Road bridge. We understand that Bromley Council do not have funding to do this independently.

Many readers will be aware of the £700k scheme in Kensington and Chelsea that was removed. In response TfL are reported to have said it would be unlikely to fund any schemes in the borough in the near future.  In Beckenham alone there are so many important highways schemes that need funding, a pedestrian phase at the lights by Corner Ways Surgery / Beckenham Theatre, crossings by schools, a crossing by Beckenham Place Park to name a few – none of these are likely to be funded directly by the Council, and without TfL funds may never be realised.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY BY 3 MARCH

Our feedback on the Bromley Councils Draft Open Space Strategy

Bromley Council are consulting on their Open Space Strategy which looks at how parks and open spaces are looked after in future years.   You can read our response here and the draft strategy document here.

Following concern from local people that the strategy documents referred to ‘disposal’, ‘ repurposing’ and stating “Being brave enough to recognise when open space should be repurposed”,  the Portfolio holder issued this press release advising ‘Parks are not for sale’ – this clarification is most welcome and we hope it covers all our cherished open spaces (not just parks).

The consultation period on the draft strategy ended on 7 January, but local people may still feedback to ward Councillors.

We are interested in your views, please email us at hello@coperscope.org.uk

Please see links below for further information.

Green space sell off and commercialisation contained in Council’s Open Space Strategy – have your say by 7 Jan 2020

Buried in the detail of Bromley Council’s Open Space Strategy there are some initiatives that may be of concern/interest to local people. These include:

Page 5 has an infographic with small writing that refers to a “10% increase in income (complimentary and sustainable commercial activities)”;  a “1% reduction in grounds maintenance costs” and unfortunately only a “10% increase in Open Space Portfolio land managed for the benefit of biodiversity and ecology”  (hopefully not achieved by reducing the overall portfolio).

Page 12 refers to the “Need to increase residential provision through development and balance this with open space provision”.

Page 24 has a landscape table with an action column that refers to the  possible sale of open spaces: “Identify open spaces that require alteration, investment reassignment(including development or disposal)”.  It also lists Identify optimal portfolio” model as an action suggesting that the existing open space portfolio is not optimal and subject to change.

Bromley Council are consulting on how its parks and open spaces are looked after in future years.  Local people are invited to feed into the Councils Open Space Strategy by 7 January 2021.  We encourage local people to read the draft strategy in detail before completing the simple feedback survey.

Our Association and our Beckenham Green Friends group will be responding to the consultation and we are interested in your views, please email us at hello@coperscope.org.uk Please see links below for further information.

 

Bromley Council Open Space Strategy – have your say by 7 Jan 2021

Bromley Council are consulting on how its parks and open spaces are looked after in future years.  Local people are invited to feed into the Councils Open Space Strategy by 7 January 2021.

The Open Space strategy scope is broad and covers; parks, open spaces, allotments, amenities within open spaces (such as buildings, cafe’s, childcare clubs, exercise equipment, lighting, play areas and equipment, seating, sports facilities etc), Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), bridleways, paths, Rights of Way and cemeteries.

Our Association and our Beckenham Green Friends group will be responding to the consultation and we are interested in your views, please email us at hello@coperscope.org.uk . We would also like encourage local people to respond to the consultation directly. Please see links below for further information.

 

Join the local NHS Patient Network

 

 

 

 

The NHS South East London CCG working in Bromley, which is responsible for commissioning the health services inclduing  ommunity, hospital and mental health service is looking for local people to join its patient network. Some of the members have been involved in decision making about new services in Bromley.

If you would like to get involved please contact Teresa (details below).

If you are a member of our Association it would be great if you could report back to us so we can keep members updated (email hello@coperscope.org.uk).

Frailty survey Princess Royal University Hospital – have your say by 11 Dec 2020


Health care and community services in Bromley are working together to improve care for all patients, in particular those who are frail or who may be living with long-term conditions.

They are working to develop a truly integrated frailty service and would like to hear from people who have had a recent admission to the Princess Royal University Hospital (in the last year or so).

Your feedback will help to develop services and learn from your experience. If you wish to share your thoughts and comments, please complete this short survey by clicking here before 11 December.

Well done to Friends Groups – Bromley now 11th in Good Parks for London List

Well done to Friends Groups across the borough for helping Bromley move up to 11th place (up from 15th last year) in the Good Parks for London 2020 Guide. Bromley Borough has improved its score to 37.5 up from 30.5.  Of course we must also mention the work of Id Verde idverde (who manage Bromley’s Parks) and Bromley Council – lets let’s get in the top 10 next year. Read the report here https://parksforlondon.org.uk/reso…/good-parks-for-london/
Friends Group volunteers (like ours) tend to parks and green spaces. If you would like to help on Beckenham Green please email greenfriends@coperscope.org.uk

Albemarle Road Site Visit Thurs 19 Nov 2020

Our Association visited the junction of Albemarle Road and St Georges Road this morning and at 9am met with ward Councillor Stephen Wells, project officers from Bromley Council and a traffic engineer. Our first impression was of significantly increased congestion on Albemarle Road, which died down at 9.30 when the peak was over. We were told that traffic was running much better than the day before, which is good news.

This is what we noted:

Albemarle Road to St George’s Road

  • Traffic is two-way on Albemarle Road between the High Street and St George’s Road. Traffic coming from the High Street is required to turn right into St George’s Road (by the car park and next to the school). Often vehicles were unable to make the turn as they were impeded by cars queuing the other way (coming out of the one-way section of Albemarle Road). The Council agrees a yellow box will need to be installed here.
  • When gaps in the traffic occurred, and when the traffic had died down after peak time, we noted a few cars taking this turn quite fast. However most vehicles were cautious of the new road layout.
  • There is a significant increase in traffic now being pushed down St George’s Road past the school at peak time.
  • An elderly resident approached us concerned with the difficulty of crossing over St George’s Road to continue walking along Albemarle Road (which they had just tried to do). Vehicles turning onto St George’s Road from Albemarle Road (coming from the High Street) have priority as it’s now one continuous road with a bend (rather than making a righthand turn into another road where vehicles watch for pedestrians) and this could be a real hazard. Our ward Councillor took away this feedback for consideration. Meanwhile, pedestrians crossing here should take extra care.

Albemarle Road cycle lane

  • We felt that there was definitely a notable increase in backed-up traffic heading westbound – although our ward Councillor disagreed.
  • There is a give way sign for vehicles coming out of the one-way section of Albemarle Road (they should give way to the cars turning right into St George’s Road) but many did not adhere to the instruction. However, it is a new scheme, and it will take a few weeks for drivers to get used to it.
  • Frustrated with the significant wait to get to Beckenham Junction, some drivers resorted to going around The Green (by turning on to St George’s Road, right on to Bromley Road and then right again by NatWest to get to Beckenham Junction). This is not ideal.
  • The cycle lane only offers segregated cycling in one direction. Cyclists coming from Beckenham to Bromley are in a safe cycle lane which eventually will have ‘wands’/slim bollards separating it from the traffic (these have yet to be installed).  But for cyclists going back to Beckenham the cycle lane is not segregated, and parking is allowed across the cycle lane, interrupting it with parked vehicles. This does not seem any better than before (not that we are advocating to remove the parking).
  • As a cyclist, turning right into the cycle lane from St George’s Rd feels hazardous especially at peak times.  One of our members felt vulnerable waiting on their bike in the middle of the new bend in the carriageway in order to turn right onto the new cycle lane on Albemarle Road.

Westgate Bridge and Foxgrove Road

  • The traffic engineer commented that since making the Westgate Road Bridge one-way (from The Avenue side), much more traffic was going over it. This suggests that Foxgrove Road and The Avenue are now taking increased traffic (traffic that would have ordinarily gone over the bridge at Southend Road and down Albemarle Road).
  • Traffic coming over Westgate Road Bridge will need to go across Albemarle Road to Westgate Road (difficult to navigate with parked cars on both sides), to join with Bromley Road and continue on towards Bromley. It’s likely this will become a pinch point.
  • Cyclists wanting to travel south to north towards Beckenham Place Park / The Avenue / Foxgrove Road, must dismount and push their bikes on the pavement over Westgate Road Bridge. The pavement here is quite narrow, and it will be difficult to pass someone coming in the opposite direction without having to step onto the road.  And impossible to maintain social distancing! Alternatively they will need to cycle up to Beckenham Junction and make a right-hand turn.

Beckenham Junction

  • Our Councillors have advised they want to put in a right-hand filter light to get more vehicles through when turning from Albemarle Road to Southend Road. This is great and will certainly reduce congestion. We asked the Council Officers when it was likely to be done and were advised they had already been asking for three years, so it’s not likely to be any time soon!
  • Our Councillors advised that they hoped to remove the parking along The Green on Albemarle Road to create a second lane. Let’s hope the Council do this quickly as it will help to reduce congestion.
  • Our Association has asked for the red and white barriers by Beckenham Junction to be reviewed and for the left-hand lane from the High Street into Rectory Road (by the Thai restaurant) to be reinstated. We are pleased that one of our ward Councillors has requested the barriers here be removed on 2nd December.
  • One of our Committee members noted that cycling out of the new Albemarle Road cycle lane towards Beckenham Junction at peak time was not particularly safe. The scheme falls short of the most complex junction which has no cycling infrastructure at all. Our member did the right-hand turn from Albemarle Road to Southend Road bridge and felt quite unsafe with no cycle box at the lights and no clear markings for where to wait in the middle of the junction for a break in the oncoming traffic.

We asked how this scheme was going to fit into the Quietway planned for Worsley Bridge Road (especially now cyclists cannot cycle over Westgate Road bridge to access the quieter roads of Foxgrove and The Avenue enroute to the Quietway) and were told that integration wasn’t in the plans, at least not at this time. We hope there will be a much broader strategy to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure whilst carefully managing traffic displacement and dealing with pinch points and potential pinch points before they occur. AND most importantly to consult fully with local people.

It is still very early days and we expect the scheme will settle down further. The Council are actively monitoring the new scheme and are open to ideas and suggestions to improve it, so please get in touch with them at traffic@bromley.gov.uk and don’t forget to copy us in at hello@coperscope.org.uk .

There has been a petition set up in opposition to the scheme.  You can find out more here.

Update on Albemarle Rd and Westgate Rd changes

Our Ward Councillor, Michael Tickner, has provided the following update:

The Council have advised that their contractor, Riney, expect the cycle lane and crossing works to progress as follows:

  • Albemarle Road from Downs Bridge Road to Westgate Road is due to be opened as one directional, tomorrow -Tuesday 17th.
  • Albemarle Road from Westgate Road (including the bridge section) to St Georges Road will be implemented Wednesday 18th.
  • After this, the “wands” will be installed between St Georges Road and Downs Bridge Road.
  • The last section between Downs Bridge Road to Bromley Road to be completed (lining and wands) will be confirmed when the contactors are confident that the weather forecast is satisfactory. This stretch of road has more on street car parking (parking on both sides).  Riney do not want to suspend parking until they are sure they can carry out the works as the lining is weather reliant.

Bromley Road Cycle lanes

Riney have confirmed they will start preliminaries on Wednesday with a view to starting woks Thursday or Friday.

Valley school crossing

Tactile paving and dropped kerbs have been completed. The belisha beacons are due to be connected next week. Weather permitting the crossing will also be marked out.

 

For reference the biggest problem is the lining/marking which is weather dependent. Riney have other schemes in the Borough which are running behind programme because of the line marking which is having a knock on effect with the Shortlands and Beckenham projects.

Westgate Rd Bridge no one-way to vehicles

As an extension of the Albemarle Rd Cycle Scheme the Council has made Westgate Rd bridge one way – it is will be no entry from Albemarle Rd. Disappointingly the Council have not appear to have undertaken any consultation about this as far as we are aware.  Some residents received the email below from the Council. Any feedback about the scheme can be directed to traffic@bromley.gov.uk . You may also wish to copy in our ward councillors and our association: russell.mellor@bromley.gov.uk, michael.tickner@bromley.gov.uk, stephen.wells@bromley.gov.uk, hello@coperscope.org.uk

 

Dear Resident, 

We have received and are aware of a number of comments and concerns about the proposed changes to Albemarle Road and Bromley Road. We also received comments in support, welcoming the new facilities. All the comments have been noted and we continue to examine feedback as it comes forward, with the scheme being implemented and envisaged to be in situ for the foreseeable future whilst the pandemic continues.

As stated in our letter we have and continue to record and listen to your comments and concerns. As a direct result of this we have made the decision to amend the scheme to include the Westgate Road bridge over the railway line. This particular section has been highlighted and causes conflict between motorists using the bridge. It will be trialled as one directional and traffic will only be able to drive from The Avenue towards Albemarle Road (north to south). It is anticipated that this will help reduce journey times from the Beckenham area towards Shortlands (west to east) we will continue to monitor this throughout the scheme.

It is acknowledged that most schemes that change traffic management in an area, cause some initial disruption during the installation and shortly after they are first introduced. We apologise for any disruption. However, once a scheme has been established, road users, normally, quickly make changes to their journeys and travel patterns and adapt to the arrangements.

Whilst we cannot reply to individual emails regarding this scheme you can keep up to date with any news or developments with this scheme please visit www.bromley.gov.uk/traffic

As a previously stated in correspondence the measures are part of the London wide “Streetspace for London” initiative funded by Transport for London (TfL). TfL announced the initiative during Covid-19 lockdown with the objectives of:

  • providing alternative travel options for users of public transport during the period of reduced capacity on buses and trains, other than car/taxi.
  • providing temporary cycle routes to extend the strategic cycle network, with space used on London’s main roads for temporary cycle lanes and wider pavements for pedestrians so that people can safely socially distance when out and about.

The rationale of this is that if all prior users of public transport in the area switched to a car, congestion would increase, increasing journey times for all. If the rise in car use can be limited with these proposals the rise in journey times may well be less than would occur without changes. A slightly increased journey time for some needs to also be balanced against the many benefits of increased cycling and walking.

Thank you for your understanding and support at this time and be assured that we will continue to monitor the local situation closely as the scheme progresses and following implementation.

Yours faithfully

Traffic and Parking Management Team (D)
Environment and Public Protection 
London Borough of Bromley 

Our letter to Beckenham MP regarding the changes to the planning system

The Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association and West Beckenham Residents’ Association have written to Beckenham MP Bob Stewart outlining our concerns about the Governments changes to the planning system. You can read the full letter here.

Find our more about the changes the planning system the Goverment is proposing here.