Sunday, May 14, 2017

10 reasons why the Mortlake Stag Brewery redevelopment consultation is a con

The ex-Watneys, ex-Budweiser Stag Brewery has closed in December 2015, putting an end to 6 centuries of brewing in Mortlake.

The site is going to be redeveloped, a great opportunity to revitalise the Mortlake riverside and link it to East Sheen. However, as it now seems to be the norm, developers are making a mockery of the consultation process and the council seems happy to wag its tail to prevailing winds.

Here are 10 points you won't find in the consultation.

1. Once more, the consultation process is abused by the use of unpractical surveys (why no online poll on the council's page?), lack of real alternatives (which shade of grey do you prefer?) and closed questions.

2. The size of the development is H.U.G.E. Nine hundred and eighty dwellings. 980. That’s way over 1700 people in the best case (1.8 soul / home). That’s 400 cars and probably as many kids.

3. The traffic plans are just laughable. Chalkers corner is widely known as a local bottleneck, yet no mini-tunnels or drastic changes -just one more filter lane. It can take as much as 12 mn for a pedestrian to cross it and about as much for a car to pass it from Mortlake onto the A316 (on a Sunday morning!!!!). What do they propose? An extra filter lane.
- No cycling lane. Zero. Nits. Oh, and on cycling, no mentions of bike sheds in the development.
- No more “staking” capability on Westbound A316. They highlight that as a problem, don’t suggest a remedy. What that means is that cars will still be stuck as soon on Lower Richmond road (Mortlake side) BEFORE reaching the A316.
This Mickey Mouse city planning has unfortunately become a local trademark.

3. No cycle lane, did I write this already?

4. Not any more provision of extra transport of course. How are those people going to commute? The trains are already full in Mortlake...

5. Nothing about the playing fields, they seem to have vanished in the school playground. 

6. No ice rink either of course. (there was an ice rink of international fame in Richmond, which was developed over and the council promised to erect a new one with the proceedings of the land sale. That was back in 1992...)

7. No mention of high-environmental, sustainable building capability. But lots of 6 and 7 storeys designed to max developers ROI. 

8. Primary schools? The council is once more adopting a fairy land approach: build new houses, only to discover there’s no primary school places, then no secondary school places. Surprise…

9. Speaking about school, the space for the secondary school looks tiny. And with no parking.

10. Parking? Is CPZ the answer to all traffic issues for the council?

Yet ANOTHER smash at black spot junction

Residents are up in arms after another smash today Saturday 13th May 2017 around 1830 at the junction of Bicester road and Somerton avenue, in North Sheen.

Following years of discussions with the council, double yellow lines were painted only a few weeks ago but according to residents, this is not satisfactory.

Two black Fords were seen on the crash scene, badly damaged and with airbags deployed, proof of the violence of the crash.

The two drivers, ironically going to a wedding and hen party, as well as a young passenger girl were shocked but unharmed.

A Met police car showed up but stayed less than 2 mn onsite after pushing one of the car which was obstructing the junction.

This junction has seen a number of crashes as cars fail to give way. Deficient signage could be a factor and Richmknd council has been working, for a while, on upgrading the painted yield lines into a stop sign.

On the crash site, Ludovic, a resident and witness to the crash commented:  "yellow lines actually make the problem worse as cars now travel faster across the junction. What we badly need is a raised junction."

According to another residents who preferred to remain anonymous, there are complaints that this junction and roads are "used as a rat run around Chalkers corner". In addition, local garage Westlake Motors, was mentioned as upsetting locals by frequently using roads to test their cars at speed.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Another near-fatality at North Sheen level crossing

Here's a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

Unfortunately, this level crossing is a known problem.

1. There's a long list of near misses, broken barriers, suicides or accidental deaths at this crossing, in Mortlake, in White Hart lane and Vine road -4 level crossings in about a couple miles or so.

2. There was a footbridge and Network Rail took it down in the 90ies, it was then reinstated a few years ago -but on the wrong side of the road (meaning if you're coming from the South side, you'd need to go up and down 4 times to get to the station, without ramps for prams or buggies and w/o side railings to take bikes up.

3. We live in a dense urban area, level crossings should not be. Period. 
Not only it's dangerous, but you can wait 15mn to cross. There are often huge queues along Manor Road, all the way back to Upper Richmond road on the South side and to Manor circus (A316) on the North side. Things are about to get much worse if the Stag Brewery in Mortlake gets redeveloped with 900 flats...

To your questions, I don't know who the chap is (no one seems to know him around here). He's certainly nearly won the Darwin Awards.

Including why it's an issue for emergency services, past accidents, etc.