Deputy Mayor backs call for urgent resolution of Ladywell chaos

Earlier this month, a group of Ladywell businesses demanded a quick resolution of the town centre roadworks, which are running behind schedule and damaging their trade. El, from El's Kitchen writes, following her meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Lewisham, the Head of Transport and Tom Connell from Conway, the contractor carrying out the work:

- Conway have a three year, rolling retainer contract with Lewisham Council to carry out new highways work and any maintenance required under a certain job value (approx £1m). They were awarded this job without needing to tender for it and there are no penalties for delays or poor quality work (they just have to re-do the work at their expense). The budget for the work was £700,000 and they have been paid approx £600,000 to date. They are paid in stages by the size of the area they complete so there is effectively no incentive at all for them to meet any timescale given to them.

- The Deputy Mayor expressed his concern with the level of mis-management and poor decision-making by Conway and had witnessed some of the lack of urgency for himself. It was ironic that he was 10 minutes late for the meeting, blaming traffic congestion in Catford due to the diversions away from Ladywell Road.

- The Deputy Mayor was shocked by the level of negative impact that the delays are having on local businesses and urged Conway to meet the new date for Ladywell Road to be re-opened of mid-October. 

- Conway promised to give us an on-site point of contact that any member of the public may speak to. This is Mick Malloney and he has now been introduced to the majority of business owners.

- Conway promised to give us a detailed program of site works with timelines that traders can share with their customers. The first of these was produced on Thursday last week and shows a daily schedule of where works are being carried out to the road and pavements for the next week. They will also post this somewhere on the site for the public to access. We hope Conway will continue to gives us a weekly update going forward.

Since our meeting, work appears to be progressing a quite a pace, with many more workers on site daily and activity continuing on Saturdays and Sundays, so this is a great result. The stretch of Ladywell Road from the junction with Algernon Road to Malyons Road has been re-opened for access to Malyons Road and many of the unsightly and confusing barriers have now been removed from this area. The workmen have also cleared away much of the rubbish and unnecessary materials from the site, making it much easier, safer and cleaner for pedestrians to circulate. 

However, low footfall is still an issue for all the shopkeepers in Ladywell and we urge you to come down and visit the shops while the construction work is being completed, as it would be very sad to see any of us go out of business due to continued, unsustainable losses.