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  • hilly 11:11 am on February 9, 2016
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    River Crossing consultation closes on Friday 

    Evening rush-hour traffic on Plumstead Common Road

    Evening rush-hour traffic on Plumstead Common Road

    There are just a few days left to tell TfL our opinions about their proposed new river crossings at Gallions Reach and Belvedere: the consultation closes this Friday, 12th February. We can respond through an online survey with just 5 questions at:

    https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/rivercrossings/east-of-silvertown/consultation/subpage.2015-09-03.3976631085/view

    We can also tell TfL what we think by email to rivercrossings@tfl.gov.uk or by  writing to FREEPOST TfL CONSULTATIONS’.

    It’s an opportunity to tell Transport for London of our concerns about the increased traffic congestion in our area that their own traffic models predict will come as a result of the new crossings: congestion that will lead to even more dangerous air pollution and the health problems that it causes. The excellent Bexley Against Road Crossings web site has many more suggestions about what to say to TfL.

    The threat of traffic related air pollution is not hypothetical. The No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign undertook an extensive citizen science project to measure Nitrogen Dioxide levels across Greenwich in 2014. A snippet of the results, which was also published on the No to Gallions campaign web site, is shown below.

    No to Silvertown Tunnel pollution study results from 2014

    No to Silvertown Tunnel pollution study results from 2014

    The NO2 results map shows that the UK Air Quality Strategy and EU legislation  40 µg m³ limit for NO2 was exceeded at most measurement locations in Shooters Hill and Plumstead: at two sites along Plumstead Common Road and all sites along Shooters Hill and Shooters Hill Road. The cross roads at Shooters Hill Road and Academy Road, close to the Greenwich Free School and just down the hill from Christchurch Primary School  had an NO2 level 162.5% of the limit. A similar level was detected down in Woolwich at the junction of John Wilson Street and Wellington Street, close to Mulgrave Primary School. The level near Greenslade Primary was only just below the limit. Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of NO2 from traffic pollution.

    Upside Down Tube Map - with North/South reversal from not Geofftech.co.uk

    Upside Down Tube Map – with North/South reversal from not Geofftech.co.uk

    I’ve never really understood TfL’s argument justifying new crossings by the fact that there are many more road crossings to the west of tower bridge than to the east. It seems obvious to me that you would have fewer bridges closer to the sea because the river gets wider at it nears its estuary. A better comparison might be the difference in public transport, such as the tube, between north-west and south-east London. This is illustrated by the tube map variation from Geofftech, shown above, which reflects the tube map across to the south-east. If we were as well served as the other side of London we would have tube stations at the Rotunda, Woolwich Common, Shrewsbury Park and Plumstead Gardens, and the tube network would stretch as far as Tunbridge Wells.

    TfL would have far more chance of reducing traffic congestion and pollution by improving our current very unreliable and overcrowded public transport and creating new public transport links than by building more roads which will attract more traffic. It’s well worth reading former Greenwich councillor Alex Grant’s very informative post: The supporters of new roads across the Thames are stuck in the past. Without rail links they’d be a disaster for east London for more on the history of east London river crossings, how other modern European cities have tackled the problem of congestion and the recurrent fears that a motorway will be built through Plumstead, Woodlands Farm and Oxleas Wood.

    Transport for London seem determined to push ahead with their planned crossings: a recent e-mail from them said:

    Last week Transport for London’s Board gave approval for us to submit a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State for Transport for powers to implement the Silvertown Tunnel scheme.  Our application will include a Consultation Report, which will set out our response to all of the issues raised in our recent consultation.  We received more than 4,000 responses to the consultation and these are continuing to help inform our final plans.
    We plan to submit an application for powers to implement the Silvertown Tunnel scheme in the spring 2016, and we will contact you again at this time once we are in a position to publish our Consultation Report.
    If our application is accepted by the Secretary of State, there will be a public examination on the scheme managed by the Planning Inspectorate. In that case, you will have an opportunity to make written representations and take part in hearings as part of the examination. We will explain how you can take part in the examination when we write again, later this spring.

    If you’re concerned about how these new crossings will affect traffic congestion and pollution in south-east London then you might like to attend the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign’s annual general meeting which is at Mycenae House, Blackheath, on Thursday 18 February at 8pm. They ask that anyone planning to attend sign up at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/no-to-silvertown-tunnel-agm-2016-tickets-21083026901

    Oh, and complete the TfL East of Silvertown consultation before Friday.

    Orange fug over London at time of high air pollution

    Orange fug over London at time of high air pollution

     
  • hilly 9:08 pm on February 3, 2016
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    Woodlands Farm February: half-term activities, bird watch and St Valentine walk 

    Woodlands Farm February Half Term Events poster

    Woodlands Farm has activities for everyone during February: there is the Big Farmland bird count next Monday 8th, a St. Valentine’s Walk on Sunday 14th and their children’s activities during half term week from 17th to 19th.

    Hannah, the farm’s Education Officer sent details of their February half term events for children:

    Wednesday 17th February    Sparrow Detectives    1pm-3pm
    Where have all the sparrows gone?  The numbers of house sparrows in London have decreased but why? Become a detective for the afternoon and go on our farmyard trail to find out what has happened and how we can help the sparrows.  £2.50 per child.  No need to book just drop in between 1pm-3pm to collect your detective pack.  For more information call 020 8319 8900
    Thursday 18th February        Farmer Duck Day    10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
    Join us for a day all about the story of ‘Farmer Duck’.  We will start by reading the story of Farmer Duck and finding out about all the jobs he has to do on the farm, before going for an explore of the farmyard to visit all the animals from the story.  The make your own farm animal to take home with you.  £4 per child.  Booking is essential, to book call 020 8319 8900
    Friday 19th February         Get Wild in the Woods        11am – 1pm and 2pm-4pm
    Come and join us in the woods as we learn how to survive in the wild. Have a go at shelter building, wild cooking over a fire and learn what animals need to survive. £4 per child
    Age 7+  Booking essential, to book call 020 8319 8900

    For more information, see our website or contact Hannah Forshaw on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

     Long-tailed Tits feeding at Woodlands Farm

    Long-tailed Tits feeding at Woodlands Farm

    Hannah also sent a reminder of Monday’s Big Farmland bird count:

    Just a reminder that it is the Big Farmland bird count next Monday 8th Feb.  We will meet in the farmyard at 9.30am before heading out to the fields for the half hour count.  Please bring binoculars with you, but we do have some we can lend if you don’t have any.

    This is the farmers’ equivalent of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, but is organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. Last year the farm’s volunteers did the count over two days and spotted 17 different bird species:

    Monday 9th February
    1 Black headed gull
    2 Blackbirds
    11 Carrion Crows
    6 Common Gulls
    5 Long tailed tits
    18 Magpies
    2 Ring Necked Parakeets
    1 Green Woodpecker
    5 Greenfinch
    1 Sparrowhawk
    1 Stock dove
    38 Wood pigeon
    2 Feral Pigeon
    Tuesday 10th February
    1 Blackbird
    3 Blue tits
    5 Carrion crows
    8 Common Gull
    1 Great tit
    1 Lesser black backed gull
    12 Magpies
    3 Ring necked parakeet
    1 Robin
    3 Greenfinch
    60 Wood pigeon

    Then the next of the farm’s series of free monthly guided walks is the St. Valentine’s Walk on Sunday 14th February, starting at the green Education Building at 10am.

    And if this all sounds far too energetic then just drop in and see the pregnant ewes in the barn waiting for the lambing season and Lambing Day on Sunday 10th April.

    Coal Tit at Woodlands Farm

    Coal Tit at Woodlands Farm

    Female Chaffinch at Woodlands Farm

    Female Chaffinch at Woodlands Farm

     Dunnock at Woodlands Farm

    Dunnock at Woodlands Farm

     
  • hilly 6:28 pm on January 30, 2016
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    Marathon Dan 

    Mo Farah in the London Marathon 2014 at Ha Ha Road

    Mo Farah in the London Marathon 2014 at Ha Ha Road

    Shooters Hill Councillor Danny Thorpe will be running the Virgin London Marathon on 24th April to raise money for the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice. We can sponsor Danny through his justgiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/Danny-Thorpe1/

    Danny’s page provides some background:

    As part of the Mayor of Greenwich’s Marathon Team, I’m really pleased to be running for this AMAZING local organisation, the Greenwich & Bexley Hospice. Lots of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another, and this money will help the hospice to build a new sensory garden, a place for patients and their families to enjoy.

    The Mayor is also raising money for the Early Dove School in Zambia.

    Also in the Mayor’s team are: Councillors Mehboob Khan and Chris Lloyd and Vicky Nock. It’s a great cause, let’s hope they raise lots of money.

    London Marathon 2014 at Ha Ha Road

    London Marathon 2014 at Ha Ha Road

     
  • hilly 5:07 pm on January 19, 2016
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    Film Night at Shooters Hill Local History Group 

    Entrance to Beresford Square Market

    Entrance to Beresford Square Market

    Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s next meeting at Shrewsbury House this Thursday, 21st January at 8.00pm is a film show featuring three locally-made local history films. Steve wrote asking me to post a reminder:

    It would be appreciated if you could provide a brief update about Thursday’s film show featuring:
    ‘The Catherine Wheel Dig’ – the archaeological search by members of the Shooters Hill Local History Group and friends for the “Catherine Wheel” ale house at the crest of Shooters Hill, which predated the “Bull” as a stop for stage coaches on the road to Dover.
    ‘This Girl went to Market’ – a young lady researches the history of Beresford Square market and finds her future (real life) husband.
    ‘The Plumstead Make Merry’ – the preparation for this popular local festival and the many aspects of how people enjoyed themselves at the two day event on Plumstead Common.

    All are welcome. There’s a small visitor fee to cover the cost of the room.

     
  • hilly 4:48 pm on January 17, 2016
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    Falconwood Miniature Railway Public Running 2016 

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society  have just announced their programme of public running dates and other events for 2016, as their web site says:

    We look forward to welcoming you back in 2016 for another summer of nostalgia, riding behind our steam and electric locomotives. The dates and timings have now been confirmed.
    The railway and clubhouse will be open from 2:00-5:00pm. Train rides will be available for children and adults(!), with the last ticket issued at 4:30pm. Refreshments are available in the clubhouse.
    Sunday April 10th 24th
    Sunday May 8th 22nd
    Sunday June 5th 19th
    Sunday July 3rd 17th 31st
    Sunday August 14th 28th
    Sunday September 11th 25th
    Sunday October 9th (last running)

    Portable Track Events 2016
    We will be running Portable Track events at Hayes Fair on Saturday 11th June and Chelsfield Village Fete on Saturday 9th July.
    Santa Special 2016

    The Santa special is planned for Sunday 11th December 2016, subject to WDMES remaining on the site. Tickets will be sold on 25th September and 9th October, and will be limited to 4 tickets per person.

    Before heading down to Falconwood it’s worth checking the Welling and District Model Engineering Society web site for any updates or late cancellations.

    Details of how to get to the WDMES site, plus a sound recording and video of the miniature railway in action can be seen in previous posts about the model railway.

    It’s great that the society are still hanging on to their home at the electricity station site near Falconwood railway station, despite uncertainty about the site’s future. Long may they continue.

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

    Welling and District Model Engineering Society public running

     
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