Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Egg Whisk has Arrived

Good things come to those who wait, or so it is said. The proposal for this was first reported here in July 2010. It was erected this morning, Wednesday 4th March 2015, and the photograph was taken from upstairs on a 128 bus at approx 12:05pm.

When I got to O'Neills, (the Irish bitter is quite passable) which is where I was going, I was told by a knowledgible Redbridge council officer that Gants Hill roundabout was one of the first to be provided in England and that it was modeled on one in France, (who drive on the wrong side of the road), and that is why it has never worked properly.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Rethinking London – Future Cities

This passed me by last year, well it was launched on April 1st but it is not a joke. There is a campaign to create a Greater London National Park with all the protection that status gives. This might seem bonkers at first but some of the statistics fly in the face of the media representation of our capital as a concrete jungle bursting at the seems with people and traffic.
  • 47% of London is green space
  • it is over 60% if you include blue and open space
  • there are 8 million trees, the same number as people
  • over 1,300 sites of Importance for Nature Conservation covering 19% of the capital
  • home to more than 1,500 species of flowering plants
  • home to 300 species of birds

Last December the London Mayor took the first steps along this road to safeguard the city's green spaces, waterways and natural treasures - and open them up for people to enjoy.

While National Park status will not protect London from Fracking there is still a major debate to be had about housing needs and how and where to accommodate them. This should be about looking forward at the type of city we want to create for future generations in the light of climate change, resilience, food and energy security and sustainability.

Part of this means a re-think about how we move around and the impact on air quality and quality of life. It seems that here in dear old Blighty we are reluctant to take on new ideas, especially those that emanate from across the English Channel, but sooner or later we are going to have to ditch the car. This is a growing trend across Europe and it’s heading our way, whether you like it or not, public transport (and feet) is both the past and the future.

Meanwhile, Martina Juvara of Urban Silence Ltd, writes in her article: “Rethinking Cities in 2015 – Food for Thought on Devolution” regarding the lack of any link between environmental stringency on climate change legislation and a nation’s GDP, citing the Economist article, ‘Green Tape’. She also highlights the World Bank report that indicates that 2015 will be the year for new urban technologies and it will be the year in which there will be a peak of working age population (at 66%) probably followed by demographic stagnation and then decline in the second half of the 21st century.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A Safer School Run

This is a message from the Fullwell Safer Neighbourhood Team
A request to all those who take part in the school run. We are receiving numerous complaints from all of our Primary Schools in relation to inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour when dropping children off too school. If parking is at a premium in the immediate vicinity of the school then please allow sufficient time to find a parking space and get your children to school safely. We know that this is a stressful time and that the roads are extremely busy, but it could be your child who is injured if you don’t address this issue.

There has been a significant increase in the trend to stop and drop, where the driver just stops in the middle of the road and lets the children get out there and then. Not only is this practice causing an obstruction of the highway (yes this is a traffic offence with penalties), but most importantly it is also putting these childrens' lives at risk. We have recently had a child knocked over after getting out of a vehicle that had stopped and dropped, very fortunately their injuries were not serious, but it could have been a lot worse.
And here’s a comment from a mum via London on Toast
Personally, I’m glad to have seen two Community Police persons during our school run yesterday, standing on the pavement near the gates. It simply amazes me how many people park right over the yellow lines or climb kerbs on the road right in front of my daughter’s school at peak drop-off time.

Here are some other things that can help improve safety during the school run:
  • Don’t make three-point turns in the roads around school.
  • Don’t park over peoples’ driveways.
  • Park on an adjacent street and walk a block to the gates.