BS resident Anna Odrich received this response from Lambeth to the petition she organised around pedestrianising and de-paving Bonnington Square.
Although the response is negative, it does seem from the final paragraph that, if extra funds can be found, solutions may be considered.“From: “Greene,Theresa” <TGreene@lambeth.gov.uk>
Date: 11 May 2016 11:17:35 BST
Thank you for your petition regarding more permeable paving in place on Bonnington Square.
A permeable solution hasn’t been considered as there is no evidence that flooding is an issue in the area. A permeable option is not usually considered on planned resurfacing works (unless necessary) as it is a more expensive material (depending on the material) and the construction cost tends to increase due to the excavation depth needed. Gravel is not suitable for footways on the public highway as it is too difficult to maintain, and residents will drag the material into their homes.
The solution of having a shared space is really interesting where walkers, cyclists and cars all have shared priority.
The works which are being carried out in Bonnington Square are planned highways improvement works. Looking to pedestrianise the whole area would not be covered under this type of funding as it is based on upgrading the footways
The idea that the road would be a shared space for people to walk alongside cars and bikes, would mean that the traffic order for the area would need to be changed. There would also need to be considerable infrastructure investment as we would need to ensure that any scheme implemented was properly implemented with the safety of all road and footpath users considered. Upon looking at the collision data, it doesn’t seem that Bonnington Square has a problem with road traffic incidents. As it is not a through road there does not seem to be a problem with passing traffic.
In reality, making the area into a pedestrian zone could be achieved with some signage and implementing a traffic order. However, this alone would not achieve the aims which you have set out as a desired outcomes for Bonnington Square.
To achieve those aims we would need to partial depave the area as you have suggested. Depaving the area would be a whole other project, we do support depaving as a council, however, we do not tend to implement it on the public highway where people need to walk. The map which you provided unfortunately would not be something which the council would support as it would be very maintenance heavy and would also impede access for people with disabilities. The maintenance budget which the council has is already under strain and we cannot afford to have further planned maintenance works in place. Additionally, we cannot make parts of the footpath difficult for people to walk on.
In conclusion, as the area will already have some permeable material in place around the tree pits, as it is not a flood risk area and as the funding only covers highway improvement works to protect the council against reactive maintenance works, then the proposed works would not be feasible. I am not aware of any funding which is allocated to your area which can be used for pedestrianising the area. However, if you are aware of additional funding which could be sourced, please let me know and we can look into this.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Environment Project Manager
Communities, Housing and Environment
London Borough of Lambeth
Phone: 020 7926 9796
Blue Star House
234-244 Stockwell Road
Lambeth- a cooperative council