Ladywell Village Improvement Group AGM

Weds 21 July, 7.30pm at the St.Mary's Centre, Ladywell Road

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group is holding its annual general meeting tomorrow night, with a key item on the agenda their plans for a more pedestrian and business friendly centre.

LVIG has been a dynamic force for positive change in the area since it was established and is working with landscape architects Shape and Lewisham Council to look at making Ladywell Village a better place for local people by improving the roads and pavements - the ‘streetscape’.

They say:

The areas is currently designed to outdated standards that prioritise the needs of traffic moving through the village over the needs of the people who live and run businesses there.

LVIG want these priorities to change.

The centre should be an attractive place that works well for local people using the shops, catching a bus, going to the park or the station, sitting out to have a coffee or pint, or simply reaching their homes.

There is currently far greater road space than is needed for this type of road (according to national highways design standards) and pavements could be significantly widened without creating more traffic congestion. Corner sweeps of the road are designed to allow traffic to move around the corner fast, which is dangerous for people walking, and not appropriate in a village shopping street.

For road users, there is no clear indication that they are entering a village centre, which might encourage more considerate driving and improve trade, and there are few if any places to stop a car, should someone wish to 'impulse buy'. Guardrails prevent pedestrians from crossing of the road where they might like to take the shortest route, for example to the train station.

In places pavements are so narrow and cluttered that it is difficult to pass others. There are few street trees, and little space or incentive to sit outside. In other shopping streets pavements are wider, and more pleasant, and people can enjoy sitting at a pavement cafe - and in these areas shops tend to do better too!

LVIG hope to transform Ladywell Village using a range of measures tried successfully elsewhere in London, like those on Walworth Road, in Waterloo, or in Camden Town:

  • increasing pavement widths and narrowing carriageways
  • introducing raised pedestrian crossings at side road intersections, and a crossing on the pedestrian ‘desire line’ to the station
  • incorporating loading/short stay parking bays
  • planting new street trees in suitable locations
  • seating and cycle parking
  • a safer cycle connection to Ladywell Fields
Initial consultations show wide support for this approach, so now more detailed ideas are being discussed with the Council. Consultation is going on now with local residents, local businesses, and interested groups like those representing the views of cyclists, bus operators, people with disabilities, and others.