New smart bench on Dartmouth Road



Dear all,

The Council has a partnership with an organisation called Strawberry Energy that allows them to install ‘smart benches’ on Council-owned land in the borough. A solar panel on the benches powers free wifi and phone charging facilities, and they also offer local environmental data on noise, air quality and weather to anyone using the associated app. 10 smart benches have been installed around the borough in various locations (including just near the Town Hall in Catford) as well as in Southwark and Islington and elsewhere in London.

There is now a suggestion of a bench being built by the mini -roundabout at the top of Dartmouth Road / Kirkdale (in front of the cafe), and we have been asked for views. I’d appreciate hearing residents’ thoughts - whether concerns, expressions of support or suggestions of alternative locations. Locations are identified bearing in mind likely usage, as well as issues such as conservation, planning, highways etc.

You can reply on this forum or email me at

Councillor Sophie Davis


Thanks @SophieDavis. The smart bench sounds fantastic - especially with the environmental monitoring features, hopefully enabling the council to measure the effects of its policies.

Given that this is at the #kirkdale end, you may also benefit from posting this on the Sydenham forum

I’ll share this on social media.


There’s a long thread on smart benches (previously proposed for near the Pools) which you might also find useful.


I would expect an uptake in the wifi option for sure. I often see people on the library doorstep getting as close as possible to the building to pick up the free wifi (especially when library is closed). Certainly at Kirkdale the space by the roundabout should allow for this without getting in the way of people passing but likely also useful to have another one more central to Dartmouth Road.