Justine Greening MP Writes to SW18 Residents

With important Olympics info, Southfields Cinema update and more...

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Hello everyone,

It has been a very busy couple of months with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Olympic preparations. There has also been a lot going on locally. I have been busy working with residents on improving Roehampton’s bus service, dealing with Thames Water about the latest Thames Tunnel proposals, I’ve met with Paul Robinson, Director of Children’s Services for Wandsworth Council, and local residents to talk about proposals for new schools in Putney. I also wanted to give everyone a quick update on the Olympics transport plans locally, so read on for an update....


Olympics – Tennis Tournament & Road Race
I am sure everyone will be well aware that the Olympics are nearly upon us, which I am sure will be a fantastic couple of weeks. With such a big sporting event taking place at locations all across London, it’s inevitable there will be some disruption. I have been working very hard with Transport for London and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to keep transport disruption to a minimum during the Olympics. The best way to minimise disruption is make sure you know how the Olympic Route Network will affect roads locally. You can find out how your journeys will be affected on the website www.getaheadofthegames.com

Locally, we have the tennis tournament taking place in Southfields and cycle road races in Putney. The tennis tournament will see some road restrictions in place in Southfields and the Games Lanes along West Hill and Wandsworth, as well as an increased number of passengers on the District Line to and from Southfields.

For the Olympic cycle road race, Putney High Street and Upper Richmond Road will close at 3.00am on Saturday 28th July & 5.00am on Sunday 29th July, and open as soon as it is safe to do so once the race has passed a few hours later. People have been concerned about how we can get from one side of Putney to the other, and during this time there will be two vehicle crossing points in operation in Putney. Residents will be able to cross over Putney High Street from Lower Richmond Road into Putney Bridge Road. Residents will also be able to cross over Upper Richmond Road from Rocks Lane into Roehampton Lane. As Putney is on the outbound and return legs of the race, even these crossing points will need to close at certain points throughout the day;

· Saturday 28th July: the crossing points will close to vehicles between 08.45-10.45 (approximately) and then again between 13.00-16.30 (approximately)

· Sunday 29th July: the crossing points will close to vehicles between 10.45-12.45 (approximately) and then again between 13.45-16.30 (approximately)

Pedestrian crossing will be also be facilitated at all times, except at race critical times, by London 2012 Games Makers and at signposted pedestrian crossing points which will be clearly identifiable with bright pink signs.

If you have any questions about the Olympics and how it will affect your journeys around London you can find a huge amount of information at www.getaheadofthegames.com or email me at greeningj@parliament.uk.



Thames Tunnel

Readers will know I have been working very hard on the Thames Tunnel project with local residents and Thames Water. Thames Water has now announced the findings of the phase two consultation, which contain some real improvements for our local community, particularly at Barn Elms and Thames Water’s commitment to transport more materials by river.

I am delighted that after a strong campaign from local residents, Thames Water has confirmed that a brownfield site in Carnwath Road Riverside remains the preferred site to drive the main tunnel to Acton Storm Tank, saving the Barn Elms playing fields from seven years of major disruption. There will still be some construction works taking place at Barn Elms to connect up the combined sewer overflow (CSO) pipe to the Thames Tunnel. However, these works will be completed in a much shorter period of time and this will stop the sewage currently overflowing in to the river, and instead direct it into the Thames Tunnel for treatment.

Thames Water also confirmed Putney Bridge Foreshore and King George's Park remain the preferred locations to connect the nearby CSOs from, as set out in the phase two consultation. At Putney Bridge Foreshore CSO Thames Water is continuing to consider improvements to the permanent design and layout of the proposals, as well as the nature and location of the temporary replacement slipway. At King George's Park CSO, Thames Water is continuing to consider what improvements can be made, including creating new pedestrian entrances and how the existing historic gates can be used within the park.

To find out more on Thames Water's phase two report you can have a look here www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk


Southfields Cinema proposal & Residents’ Survey

I’ve been working with the Southfields Plaza Group on their proposals for a cinema in the former Riley’s snooker hall. The proposal has lots of local support from residents and local Councillors. I think it would be great for Southfields and I have been trying to encourage the developers, Indigo Planning Consultants, to work with the group to see this proposal become a reality. Since my last update the developers submitted a planning application for a residential development with retail and some D2 leisure space, but not enough for the cinema proposal. Fortunately, this application was rejected with the recommendation that a more exhaustive and inclusive pre-application consultation should be undertaken. However, the developer has now decided to appeal against the council’s decision to the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will hold a public inquiry. I think it is now time Indigo Planning Consultants worked with the community rather than pushing forward with plans that local residents don’t support.

More generally in Southfields, I’ve put out a local residents’ survey to find out what type of shops and developments residents would like to see in the area. I’ve had a fantastic response so far and I will be going through all the suggestions over the summer to look at what steps we can take. You can still fill out the survey online from my website at www.justinegreening.co.uk if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet.


Roehampton Buses

I recently met with Clare Kavanagh, Head of TfL Bus Planning, and Richard Tracey AM, Wandsworth's London Assembly Member, in Parliament to discuss about the bus services in Roehampton. Some months ago I had asked TfL to review demand and capacity in this area in response to complaints particularly from residents on Roehampton Lane, students at the University, and hospital patients about reliability and capacity on local routes. I have also been working with residents on a proposal to lengthen route 22 to Queen Mary's Hospital to ease the overcrowding problems.

TfL has reviewed services and Clare Kavanagh reported back that the number of buses on the 72 route has now been increased, with 9 buses per hour during the morning peaks, and an additional bus per hour in the afternoon peak, which is great. TfL assured me they will continue to review services and agreed to meet with residents directly to talk about their proposal to lengthen route 22. I think we can still see further improvements to the bus services in Roehampton, and if you have continued problems as a regular bus user do let me know and I will keep following up.


Out & About

Despite the weather, it was great to pop along to so many fantastic Jubilee street parties in the area at the beginning of June. Since then I’ve attended the Ashburton Community Networking Day which was fantastic, opened the new Jubilee Playground at the Methodist Church and Lion House School on Gwendolen Avenue, and went along to St Michael's School Centenary Fete. I also had a great time at the Golden Oldies party in Southfields, and the Riversdale Primary School Fair. This week I took part in Our Lady Queen of Heaven's Olympic prize-giving ceremony and met with Sue Rimmer, Principal of South Thames College, to discuss the college plans for the adult learning centre at Roehampton.

I'm always around locally so if you ever need my help please don't hesitate to contact me either by email at greeningj@parliament.uk or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you could come along to one of my MP surgeries. To find out where my next MP surgery is give my office a call on 020 8946 4557.


I hope everyone can make the most of the Olympics, watching the sport or taking part in the many cultural events taking place locally across London – you can find out more here www.molpresents.com and www.london2012.com .



Best wishes

Rt Hon Justine Greening MP



July 23, 2012