This is the response Ellie Reeves MP received from TFL last month regarding our request for this crossing to be improved.
Thank you for your email regarding the crossing on London Road, near Forest Hill station.
This crossing was due to be improved during our 2015/2016 Crossing Works Programme. However, due to the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, this did not go ahead and it was put on hold. The scheme was being considered as part of our Healthy Streets Local Schemes (HSLS) and the team had started to carry out pedestrian surveys.
Unfortunately, the Healthy Streets Programme, which this scheme is a part of, has been significantly impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020, in line with Government guidance, we brought all project sites to a temporary safe stop unless they needed to continue for operational safety reasons. As such, the team were unable to continue with pedestrian surveys and this scheme has been paused as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Our income has significantly reduced and we are currently operating on an emergency budget from the Government. The emergency budget will last until October and will enable us to keep running our services during this time. We have recently published a revised budget which will form the basis for our next round of negotiations with Government, for funding from October onwards. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what programmes we will be able to fund for the subsequent months.
I can confirm that this scheme is being considered to restart, should we receive sufficient funding from the Government in the next funding agreement. I know this will not be the response that you were hoping for, but I hope it provides some explanation for why this scheme cannot proceed any further at this stage.
I’m going to have a chat with Ellie’s team about a few things this week (including issues with Thames Water/Leaks/London Road) and I’ll suggest that we write back to TFL to ensure we get a response following the signing off of their revised budget from October. Fingers crossed there’ll be enough money in the coffers to finally carry out this Crossing Works programme.
Cllr Leo Gibbons
P.S. London has been the only major city in western Europe that hasn’t received direct Government funding to run day to day transport services since it was cut by the last Government.. This is thanks to a 2015 agreement between then-chancellor George Osborne and then-mayor Boris Johnson that London’s transport network should be self-funding…