Drivers in Southwark fined for leaving car engines running!

Drivers in Southwark face spot fines for leaving engines running in the street as new research highlights the link between vehicle emissions and premature death. This will be a great benefit for Dulwich Village schools as well as others where busy roads pass by and drivers routinely keep their engines running when stationary.

Drivers could be hit with £20 on-the-spot penalties for refusing to turn off engines when cars are stationary by the roadside. In some areas, residents are being asked to report motorists who leave engines running, including providing the registration number, colour and car model of repeat offenders.

As well as Southwark, measures have been adopted by Norwich, Wirral, Reading and Camden.

Research has found that people living near busy roads are at risk of developing dangerously swollen hearts.

A study by King’s College London projecting the impact of vehicle emissions on life expectancy estimates that the measures to cut car use and promote more active lifestyles would lead to a reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels of up to 25 per cent between 2013 and 2020. Children born in 2013 would be expected to gain seven weeks of life as a result of the measures to cut car use and promote more active lifestyles.

It is an offence under laws introduced in 1986 to leave a “vehicle engine running unnecessarily”. New powers were handed to councils under the road traffic regulations 2002 in England to issue fixed penalty notices of £20 if motorists refuse to turn off engines when asked by traffic wardens or police. It can increase to £40 if unpaid after 28 days. Similar powers were introduced in Scotland and Wales in 2003 but most councils have previously opted not to exercise them.

According to the RAC, idling engines can produce emission levels twice as high as those in motion and it welcomes a focus on idling engines, expecting drivers to be fined if they failed to turn off.

Westminster council in central London was one of the first to adopt the fines as part of a concerted campaign. Last year, the authority said that it wanted to get even tougher on drivers by issuing parking charge notices of £80 to those leaving engines running. Westminster allows people to report repeat offenders, using the authority website to log details of cars involved.

Let’s hope it makes an improvement in Dulwich.

For a fuller story see The Times:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drivers-face-20-on-the-spot-fine-for-leaving-their-motor-running-g396c99wd?shareToken=31846811fa77325bab70d24dce42286e

Dulwich’s New Health Centre is being built – hooray!!

The new Dulwich Health Centre will definitely be built after decades of delays.  The traditional ground-breaking ceremony was carried out on Friday 20 July by the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Catherine Rose and Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes.

The health centre will cost £16.8 million and will provide primary care, children’s service, diagnostics, physiotherapy, renal dialysis and community mental health services.

A new health centre was first proposed some 30 years ago to replace the very old red-brick Dulwich hospital and has gone through several potential versions  There has been a lot of consultation with the people of Dulwich during which there has been tough questioning over the use of the original buildings and whether they would be retained.  The old Dulwich Hospital, where many local residents have been treated and had their babies, is a sad shadow of its former self and now houses a limited number of NHS services including the blood test unit and the out-of-hours GP service.

The new school shares the site and is appearing quickly.  The new Health Centre will follow right behind.

St Christopher’s Hospice Capital Campaign

This year St Christopher’s Hospice is celebrating the 50th year since Dame Cicely Saunders opened the hospice at Sydenham. So beginning the hospice movement, now with over 200 hospices in the UK and 500 worldwide. Her work focused on the trilogy of care, education and research.

In the last few years the wards have been completely refurbished and the communal areas of the hospice.   To recognise this major milestone the hospice has decided to focus on the learning aspect of her trilogy.

It has opened a special Capital Campaign to focus on building a new world class Centre of Learning.  Here the hospice will develop its educational programme to train many more people to care for the dying, and to develop the most effective ways to help individuals and their families at the end of their lives.

St Christopher’s is probably the biggest provider of training and learning for end of life care (EoLC) in the world.  But there is so much more to be done. This new centre will not only train many more professionals, but also offer opportunities to families, friends, and carers to develop the skills and confidence they need to care for their loved ones at home.  This learning will not only be face-to-face, but will utilise all the advantages of the internet to widen access nationally and internationally.

Our neighbour, Dr Tyrrell Evans, has been a Trustee of the hospice for many years until very recently, and he would like to invite friends and neighbours in Burbage Road to an Information evening about the plans for the Learning Hub and the future of the hospice at his home on Sunday January 14th between 5-7pm. Refreshments will be provided.

Anyone interested and able to come that evening should email him at tyrrellevans@doctors.org.uk.  If you cannot make this date but would like to learn more about the Campaign please let him know so he can arrange an alternative opportunity for you.

Quietway – delayed??

Residents have received a letter through their doors saying works to install the Quietway will start next Monday 7 August.  This came as a surprise as the Council has not yet decided to proceed with the Quietway.

Council officers have made their final proposals and it is expected that just a rubber-stamp formal decision will be made, as we were previously told, by 27 July by the relevant Councillor.

That decision has not been made, so maybe there are further thoughts being had at the Town Hall.  Maybe Cllr Wingfield whose responsibility it is to make the final decision is having doubts.  Or perhaps he has just been too busy on a host of other matters which have taken precedence.

It seems the letters to residents have come out too quickly and before the decision has been made.  Village Councillor Jane Lyons tells us she expects  a decision TOMORROW and that the works will NOT start on Monday!

High air pollution in Dulwich Village

London Air has issued the following urgent health warning for HIGH levels of pollution along main roads and locations such as Dulwich Village:

An area of high pressure over the UK is resulting in calm, settled and cold conditions and poor dispersal of local pollutants.

Thursday is forecast to be slightly less cold with winds picking up a little which should lead to the currently elevated pollution levels clearing during the day. However, another cold night tonight with light winds is likely to result in further ‘moderate’ nitrogen dioxide at busy London roadsides on Thursday morning before conditions start to improve. There is also a chance of further ‘high’ and ‘moderate’ PM10 and PM2.5 if pollution is slow to clear.

Friday, early mist and fog will slowly clear to leave a mainly cloudy day with the possibility of patchy light rain in the east later. Even lighter winds than of late, and the early mist will likely cause another day of pollution build-up, escalated by the already elevated pollution levels.  Consequently, ‘Moderate’ levels of nitrogen dioxide are expected to occur close to busy road locations.

Furthermore, air will begin to arrive from the North-East later in the day and may import some polluted air as it passes near to industrialized areas of Western Europe. This incoming air will add to London’s local pollution burden and is likely to result in ‘Moderate’ levels of PM10 and PM2.5 particulates.