By Davina Hyde
Residents say they will face huge disruption after a decision to scrap parking bays outside their homes in favour of a 24-hour red route bus lane.
The bays along the eastern side of Kennington Park Road affect 50 five-storey housing blocks, and have been suspended by Transport for London (TfL) for 18 months to trial the red route.
Lucy Cleeve, a representative of the Kennington Park Road Residents Association, said: “We’re concerned about the impact of these new parking restrictions on local residents, especially the most vulnerable in our community, who have been particularly adversely affected.
“We are also alarmed at the way TfL and councils are using emergency Covid legislation to impose sweeping changes on Londoners without proper consultation and without evidence of any benefit.”
Without the bays, the residents are unable to accept deliveries, drop off or pick up elderly relatives or small children, maintain their properties, or even move in or out of their road.”
Carl Callaghan, 60, a Kennington Park Road resident, said: “My mother lives in this house, she is 91, and she suffers terrible pain.
“Instead of being able to collect her outside, we now have to put her in a wheelchair and push her 400 yards along the pavement to get her to our car.
“There appears very little benefit in suspending the bays. It is just taking a couple of seconds off the bus journey, and any time that is saved is lost if the traffic lights are red at the end of the road.”
Kennington Park Road resident, Pauline Carroll, said: “I am currently in the throes of urgent repair and renovations to my property which started before lockdown.
“Now it is a complete nightmare trying to get any of the necessary materials delivered and the great deal of rubbish taken away.”
Kate Macmillan, a Kennington Park Road resident, said: “Vulnerable, elderly people are being harmed by this change.
“It is vital to their well-being to be able to get out easily outside rush hour, not only to medical and other essential appointments, but also to experience the joy of this great city beyond their own four walls.”
Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said: “TfL owe a huge apology to people in Southwark who live on this major road but were not even told about changes to parking bays.
“TfL’s commissioner also owes me a reply to correspondence on this issue. I wrote to him last month but he seems as incapable of finding his keyboard as he is of finding Southwark on a map.
“There is a great deal of confusion about the changes, particularly as TfL’s consultation document lists all of Kennington Park Road as being in Lambeth when in fact the affected area runs into Southwark, too.”
TfL has been contacted for a comment.
Pictured top: Kennington Park Road (Picture: Google Street View)
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