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Letters to the editor: 13/10/16

Bus lane petition is not a solution

I write with reference to your report of the petition calling for the closure of the bus lane on Jamaica Road during the closure of Tower Bridge (‘On The Road To Nowhere’ Southwark News, October 6th, 2016)?and particularly with reference to the person understandably angry that he took two hours to make a ten minute journey.

The most obvious response is to suggest that this person walk this journey. However he may be disabled or be transporting a disabled relative and walking may not be practical for either of them. However, closing the bus lane is unlikely to be the solution he feels.

Most cars contain one person (although his, of course, may have contained more) whereas buses typically contain 40-60 people. If those 40-60 people were to get off the bus and into their cars the jam would be much, much worse. I suppose that they could stay on the bus and be stuck in the jam with your complainant but that doesn’t seem very fair. By taking the bus they are not contributing to the jam. Why should they suffer from it?

When jammed up in traffic beside an empty bus lane it feels obvious that if one could speed down the bus lane one’s journey time would be cut – and of course it would.

The problem is that all the other drivers would be able to speed down the bus lane as well, and would already have done so. Instead of waiting 2hrs in a long two-lane jam, your complainant would be likely to wait 2hrs in a shorter 3-lane jam because the roundabout and tunnel access which are causing the hold up would not have widened and the jam (and the time taken to clear it) would remain the same.

All road users are contending with one another for the same amount of road space. It is human to think that others should be inconvenienced rather than ourselves but I do not think that the removal of the bus lane is a fair solution here.

Sally Eva, Peckham



Harriet Harman, we need a hard Brexit

Harriet Harman wonders when the government will be providing £350m weekly to the NHS as promised via the leave bus (Harriet Harman column, Southwark News, October 6th, 2016).

Don’t expect it anytime soon, Harriet. The decision to leave the EU is crazy and stupid.

However, now we’re out let’s go all out with a quick, clean, hard Brexit.

It’d be humiliating and embarrassing for a once great country to go faffing about on hands and knees, pleading and begging for trade terms with the EU. It’s belittling and we’d become a laughing stock.

Whether leaving will work for Britain – who knows?

It’s a heck of a gamble.

Incidentally re the repeated boast that the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world (now contested by California), this prosperity and success occurred while we were members of the EU.  There’s no guaranteee that it’ll continue.

Michael Zehse, Peckham



Southwark isn’t listening to us

There is no demand for Southwark to chainsaw trees and mound over or dig up family graves for burial plots.

The first non-planning application survey on burial in over five years just released shows clearly this.

These graves wouldn’t even be permanent just short-term burial then dug up again for the next one, one in, one out. And the Council isn’t telling ‘new’ burial plot buyers that they are to be buried amongst the remains of the dead.

Southwark burial Councillor Ian Wingfield admitted to the residents’ Cemetery Strategy Stakeholder Group last week that, five years into this project the Council haven’t even begun investigating the alternatives – better, fairer, more environmental and cheaper options.

We implore Southwark to listen to their residents, stop destroying the Camberwell Cemeteries and make them Memorial Park Nature Reserves for all.

Blanche Cameron, The Save Southwark Woods Campaign



New boost will help fight knife crime

Knife crime with injury is becoming a growing problem for our capital.

Last week it was reported that elven people a day are injured by people carrying knives in London.

For some time we’ve been seeing an increase in the number of stabbings in our city. Cuts made to frontline policing during Boris Johnson’s mayoralty have clearly taken their toll. We’ve seen the erosion of those links between the police and communities which are vital in giving local people the courage to report if they know someone who is carrying a knife, or if they witness an incident. As a result there is a question mark hanging over the extent to which young people today trust the police.

Mayor Khan’s decision to boost neighbourhood policing with a second constable in every ward is a positive step in rebuilding those relations. The next step is to step up the work with schools and voluntary organisations to truly educate young people about the consequences of carrying knives.

Opening up these dialogues is essential to understanding why young people carry weapons and identifying tailored solutions to what is a very complex issue.

Florence Eshalomi, London Assembly Member for Lambeth and  Southwark


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