Two open forums held on 1 and 3 March presented the results of the survey. 457 people – some 7.5% of the recipients, a good response in terms of Market Research, had completed the questionnaire. About 50 people had joined “Living Streets” (formerly the Pedestrians Association) in walking the high street to pinpoint problems for pedestrians using Sydenham Road and the Space Syntax map of how residents actually cross the roads, avoiding the prescribed crossings did not come as too much of a surprise to most of us.
Atkins Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, the recently appointed successful bidder to take the project into the design stage, were introduced. Atkins were the project managers for the design consultants team and provided all detailed landscape design, transport planning, traffic and civil engineering services for the major transformation of Trafalgar Square into its current World Square status.
In 3 break-out groups, people discussed what they wanted to see done to improve the high street. An opportunity was given to everyone to express their aspirations and concerns which were noted and will be taken on board by Atkins as they design the scheme. Matters raised included planting trees, the roundabout at Cobbs Corner, Station Approach, where crossings and bus stops should be sited, safety issues, lighting and waste management.
At the final plenary session there was feedback from each break-out group and an account of the next steps. Atkins is tasked to come back to the community with a draft design later in the summer for further local consultation before a bid for funding is made to Transport for London, who will be underwriting the improvements to the tune of £2m. It was noted that as Transport for London would be paying for improvements they will also need to be satisfied that any improvements will not impede their raison d’etre, which is to ensure satisfactory movement of traffic through the high street – especially buses.