Mapping the future: Lewisham Council wants your help to improve its streets

Lewisham Streets map
Lewisham’s map is quickly filling up with suggestions

Lewisham Council is asking for ideas for improving its streets for walkers, cyclists and public transport users by asking residents and visitors to submit suggestions on an interactive map.

The Lewisham Streets map invites users to make as many comments as they like by placing pins on a map of the borough.

Council officers will look at the ideas when putting together the borough’s next transport strategy, which begins next year.

The council says: “Lewisham Council is on a mission to create streets and spaces that are vibrant, safe and welcoming for everybody. We are developing a new transport strategy for the borough which will set out how we will achieve this.

“To do this we need your help – we are gathering as many ideas as possible to improve transport and streets in the borough, from the people who live and work here. Using the Commonplace map we want you to identify issues and/or opportunities in the areas you know to help us deliver transport schemes that make a difference.

“They don’t have to be big suggestions: anything from accessibility problems such as a missing dropped kerb to new cycle routes to much bigger opportunities such as improvements to a town centre street design are welcome suggestions. Over the coming months we will be able to build up a picture of what issues are out there in Lewisham and develop schemes that aim to address these.”

The map can be seen at lewishamstreetsmap.commonplace.is. Ideas already submitted include dealing with dangerous road crossings, flytipping and speeding traffic.

Manor Lane, Lee
Manor Lane in Lee was improved by Lewisham Council last year

While there are serious issues with parts of Lewisham’s public realm – such as flytipping and potholed roads, provision for cycling has been lacking in recent years, and the road changes in the centre of Lewisham have been much criticised – the council has been more proactive than Greenwich in finding money for small neighbourhood improvements.

A recent improvement to Manor Lane in Lee has helped enhance a local shopping parade and protect a bridge over the River Quaggy while removing street clutter and attempting to cut traffic speeds.

Manor Lane, Lee
Lewisham protected this bridge over the Quaggy with a raised kerb

Meanwhile a comparable scheme in Greenwich to protect a railway bridge at Victoria Way, Charlton produced something far uglier which reinforced the street’s status as a rat-run.

Victoria Way, Charlton
Greenwich stuck railings up in 2015 when protecting this bridge in Charlton

Lewisham has also imposed a borough-wide 20mph speed limit – something Greenwich has shied away from.

Greenwich has done much smaller consultations on streets – online as part of the limited Low Emissions Neighbourhood scheme and on paper maps at cycling forums, and does consult by post on some schemes – but nothing as widespread and as open as this.

Lewisham’s map is open to suggestions until 13 August.

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