Southend Road and emission-based parking

The footbridge over the railway line from Southend Road, East Ham. Picture: Google

The footbridge over the railway line from Southend Road, East Ham - Credit: Google

Area left to fester with neglect

Catherine Wardle, Springfield Road, East Ham, wrote to Wall End councillors and Stephen Timms, East Ham MP:

I am writing to alert you of the disrepair and revolting state of the bridge going over the railway tracks and surrounding area on Southend Road, E6. 

Children and families from Wall End utilise this bridge daily for school runs and it is beyond me that nothing has been done to improve a situation, that I am certain most right-minded people would find completely unacceptable for any child to have to endure.

The safety mirrors are smashed, there is a build-up of refuse and cement at the bottom of the stairwells and the stench of human urine and faeces is eye watering. Swift action must be taken.
Is it not time that the bridge’s design be overhauled so that our kids can journey to school and our residents go about their day, without being confronted with the horrors of alcoholics and junkies every morning and afternoon? 

The bridge needs a dramatic redesign. It needs to somehow be more exposed, so that anti- social behaviour is less likely to occur. Currently this behaviour is completely hidden from view.

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Perhaps wire fencing along the side rather than concrete slabs? 

I would be more than happy to join any debate in the future concerning this issue.

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Which brings me to the Southend Road side of the tracks. Once you have reached the bottom of the rancid stairwell you are then confronted with the recycling bottle banks. An area that has become a magnet for fly-tippers and is, more often than not, ankle deep in torn open bags of household waste, used nappies and rotten food. Another revolting experience for our children as they make their way to school.

The bottle banks need to be moved to a more conspicuous location which would prevent their misuse and surely encourage more recycling in the ward.

I find it incomprehensible that the council has allowed this part of the ward to degenerate in this way. 
How are we supposed to uplift the lives of children in this area if we continue to allow them to wade through filth? And finally, how do we expect anyone to care and invest in this area when it is left to fester with neglect?

These issues require decisive and forward thinking solutions.

Electric cars are not a silver bullet

Penalty charge notices affixed to several cars left in restricted parking bays on a road near Gatwic

Newham Council wants to base its parking permit charges on emissions - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ian Sinclair, McGrath Road, Stratford, writes: 

Husen Khandhia’s letter opposing the new car parking charges introduced by Newham Council seems to be based on an erroneous assumption - that electric cars are the silver bullet which will fix Newham’s shocking air pollution levels.

In fact, in July 2019 BBC News reported, “The government’s Air Quality Expert Group said particles from brake wear, tyre wear and road surface wear directly contribute to well over half of particle pollution from road transport.”

In terms of the climate crisis, in a letter recently published in the Guardian, Chris Barker from Future Transport London noted, “as with all cars, embodied carbon in the production of vehicles and batteries generate greenhouse gas emissions”. 

Furthermore, he notes: “There are also other problems associated with too many cars of any type.

The greater the level of traffic, the greater the danger of death or injury and the need for more and wider roads, creating no-go areas for people and cutting off communities from each other. Too much reliance on cars promotes a sedentary lifestyle and brings health risks.”

Rather than focusing on private electric cars, a forward-thinking transport policy should promote walking, cycling and public transport as much as possible.

Don’t take us for fools over parking

J Short, Newham, full address supplied, wrote to the mayor of Newham: 

I’m writing with a grievance to your new emission based parking permit scheme, going under the guise of ‘cleaner air for Newham’ and the flaws in how you are trying to sell it to the people.

My first point is democracy. Democracy is putting your ideas to the people, looking at the pros and cons of the people and going with the majority of the people, democracy is not just notifying the people that this is what we are going to do and hoping that they will accept it, without seeing a shred of evidence of a majority verdict.

My second point is “Cleaner air for Newham”.

How can you achieve ‘cleaner air for Newham’, when you have a major road, laden with heavy traffic, day after day, like the A13 running through the very heart of Newham, of which none of the users have to pay a penny more to drive on.

How can you achieve “cleaner air for Newham”, when London City Airport has been granted (by Newham Council) substantial expansion, so that it can operate more flights and aircraft?

I have received a letter proposing the development of a new bus garage across the road to me, which will accommodate 151 buses. I trust that these are carbon neutral electric buses? If not should I oppose this?

We have factories like Tate & Lyle spewing out emissions from their chimneys on a daily basis, we have more building going on than any other London borough, which means heavy polluting construction vehicles and machinery. I could go on and on.

Please do not take us all for fools, you are our mayor, stand up for us and do not abuse the power that the people of Newham gave to you.

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