Shooters hill free school plc

The idea of setting up a new free school in the area has just been announced in a local leaflet in which potentially interested parents of (near) school age children are invited to complete a questionnaire on their website.

It seems that this whole enterprise is very much in the early stages and it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going on, but if it does manage to open in September 2011, it will be the first free school to be set up by a plc (skyeward) rather than parents (hampstead and dearne).

The news section of the website reports that premises have been found at adair house (opposite the old herbert hospital), and the company “… have gained a better understanding of the needs in se18, greenwich”.

Currently the school is being marketed, measuring potential numbers of children, dates of birth, and postcodes as part of the campaign to start the school – they are also looking for parental support in this regard. The curriculum appears a little odd as it runs to 5pm on weekdays, so presumably it will be a fee paying school, with some tax funding on the side.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this pans out; could it be that Shooters Hill becomes a test case for the future privatisation of education?

Eaglesfield Park Open Air Gym/Green Flag Status

Today I received some campaign materials from Clive Efford MP, which included the news that Eaglesfield Park is going to have its own Open Air Gym (?!) and improved signs and paths in order to meet the criteria for the prestigious Green Flag Award.

The concept of an open air gym seems quite strange to me as I’ve become happily accustomed to the idea of people getting their endorphins behind closed doors on those bizarre W. Heath Robinson style contraptions that allow you to run nowhere, lift nothing and so on – walking the streets is certainly much more pleasant now than it was at the height of the jogging craze; these days I can happily amble around in a reverie without sweaty spandex clad neurotransmitter freaks huffing and puffing at me from all directions.

The money itself is going to come from an Olympics Legacy fund. I assume the idea is to use the events to enthuse local people about sport at the same time as giving them an outlet for all their newfound enthusiasm – this is the legacy, and surely a good thing if it gives people something to do other than moan about the bankers nicking all our money. I’m personally looking forward to the target sports at the artillery barracks, and will be watching as much Robin Hood as I can in the run up to the games. I’m not sure if local people will be able to get tickets though, quite possibly not, and even if they can I’ve heard that they change hands for thousands of pounds.

As for the Green Flag award, it sounds quite good considering the recognition that the Plumstead Common Environment Group have earned as a result of their award winning restoration of the Slade Ponds. It certainly bodes well for the Lily Pond plans as being able to write “Green Flag Status” on grant applications helps to make a good impression on the potential future funders by demonstrating that there is a precedent of time and money being invested in the park.

Traffic Modelling


Is Shooters Hill still safe from Ringway 2?

On Tuesday June the 30th I was on the way to work and saw a police biker at the roadside pulling over drivers so they could be interviewed by traffic surveyors modelling journeys on behalf of tfl.

According to the researchers, this particular survey is a routine exercise, and will provide London’s traffic managers with an insight into the toing and froing in this area. This sounds plausible and even sensible, however, it also transpired that similar ‘routine’ inspections are being carried out in east london. Perhaps I was wrong to infer the link, but the utterance of the words east london, south east london, and traffic modelling in one sentence immediately made me think of Ringway 2

Traffic designs linking the south/north twistulars completing an inner london ring road go back at least as far as the now infamous Ringway 2 blueprint of the 1960’s, and they seem here to stay, in design form at least. These plans were succesfully blocked by the people of south east london in 1973, 1993 and 2008. Things looked especially bad for Shooters Hill in the early nineties, but the area did ultimately fare better than Wanstead and Twyford Down…

On past form at least, Shooters Hill does appear to be safe from the bulldozers for at least another ten years. However the surrounding area may not be, as attention has now shifted to Blackwall. Clive Efford is currently lobbying for a third blackwall crossing, which would include a doglands light rollercoaster to north greenwich and onwards to eltham. His campaign has its merits, primarily it doesn’t have ill intentions for the woods, secondly it makes use of pre-existing links to the south/north twistulars and A2 (which was the original justification for the oxleas woods bypass linking the A2 at falconwood to the crossing at woolwich), and thirdly, the inclusion of a public transport link is a very smart idea as it improves the image of what is, first and foremost, a road building scheme. There are probably some potential traffic problems to be worked out however, and this will be done with traffic modelling!!

If the link at Blackwall gets improved, will it attract more traffic? Will the approach roads and residential areas on each side be able to accomodate extra through traffic?… Furthermore, Blackwall has never had a particularly good record on pollution, air quality measurements at woolwich flyover routinely fail to meet the air quality objectives, what will the building of new roads do for air quality? (Actually for balance it should be added that most of London fails to meet its pollution targets – not that that makes it alright for blackwall to be as bad as it is).

On that note, here’s the survey debrief:


This survey has been commissioned by Transport for London (TfL). Colin Buchanan is conducting it at this site on their behalf.

In order to address transport problems, we need to know more about current travel patterns and so are conducting the survey. It is taking place at a range of locations across the study area. It will last only one day at each location. Stopping vehicles in this way is the only effective way of establishing the volume and types of journeys being made on a typical day.

Thank you for taking the time to provide TfL with this important information.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the survey. Every effort has been made to minimise disruption and congestion, but it is not always possible to achieve this as successfully as we would like.

The data you provide will only be used for transport planning purposes by TfL, its agents, London Boroughs and other agencies involved in transport planning.

Should you require any further information about the survey please contact us using the details below. Phones are not continuously manned, but calls will be returned within 24 hours.

Transport for London

T: 02071261423 E:

Colin Buchanan


Three days ago I emailed the supplied contact details to enquire about the motivations for this survey, if I hear back, I will comment further…