Quite a short update this week. Parliament is in recess until October 16th and I've spent the first part of my week at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Bournemouth.
Manor Circus Roadworks
Residents in Richmond and the surrounding area continue to be plagued by the impact of the ongoing roadworks at Manor Circus. I was pleased to join a community Zoom meeting on Thursday night with senior staff from TfL and Richmond Council, giving residents an update on the work and the efforts to reduce the disruption for residents. Nearly 400 residents dialled in to feed back to TfL and the Council, and to raise their concerns.
Both Nick Owen, the Head of Network Performance at TfL and Cllr Alexander Ehmann, the Chair of the Transport Committee at Richmond Council, apologised to local residents for the terrible disruption that has been caused to the road network around Richmond due to the roadworks. Nick Owen confessed that TfL had miscalculated the impact on surrounding roads, but had moved quickly to close the entrance of Sandycombe Road onto the roundabout, which has had a positive impact. Buses are reporting a halving of delays since last week, but TfL continue to monitor the area.
The work is critical to prevent the further deterioration of the waterproof membrane between the road surface and the roof of the bridge. This is necessary to prevent a possible catastrophic event, such as concrete falling onto the railway tracks below.
TfL are taking the opportunity to increase safety at the roundabout. The crossings on all four approach roads will be changed from zebra crossings to signal crossings and greater space made for pedestrians and cyclists. The goal is to reduce collisions by 50%.
The most disruptive phase should be completed by mid-December.
Cadent Gas have timed their gas main replacement works to take place at the same time, in order to reduce future disruption - an estimated 35 days of further roadworks has been saved. Any other works that can be pushed back have been done so. Thames Water's work on the A205 should be completed by today (Friday). An embargo has been placed on any non-urgent works in a mile radius, but works such as the Cadent gas works on Mortlake High Street are in response to a suspected gas leak and can't be delayed.
Contractors Eurovia are looking at work plans and working hours to see if 24/7 working can be achieved. This does not always gain the expected efficiencies, but the numbers are being looked at and will be presented to TfL in due course. The contractors approached the owners of the Homebase site, Sainsbury's and London House to see if any of this surrounding land can be used to move contractors' equipment off the carriageway, but these have all been refused.
TfL are continuing to monitor the performance of the bus network and are putting in mitigations as they can.
Royal Parks have no plans to reopen Sheen Gate.
If constituents have questions or comments about the works, please do let me know and I will pass them on to the Council or to TfL. This will ensure that they continue to have an up to date picture of how the works are impacting people's lives, and that all possible mitigations can be considered.
I was delighted to attend the opening of London's largest 'bug hotel' at the Thames Tideway site in Barn Elms last Friday. The bug hotel is fronted by a stunning piece of artwork 'A Way from Heaven' by Adam Chodzko. The work plays with codes - both modern and historic - to reflect the area's connection to Sir Francis Walsingham, the chief spy to Queen Elizabeth I. The site is located in the south east corner of the Barn Elms Recreation Grounds, close to the river. More information about the site, and the Tideway project, can be found here.
BBC POLITICS LONDON
I appeared on BBC Politics London last Sunday, as a panellist, discussing policing, the cost of living and online safety. You can catch up with the programme here:
I was privileged to attend Barnes Bookfest for their opening event on Friday evening. Editor and presenter from Channel 4, Matt Frei, talked about his view on the current and most pressing issues. It was very insightful to hear his perspective on different world events. I hope many of my constituents went to the other interesting events hosted by Barnes BookFest over the weekend.
Cabaret fundraiser - St Richard's Church, Ham
St Richard's Church in Ham is raising funds to restore the roof of its iconic building, and is holding a fundraising cabaret night on October 7th, from 7.15 to 9pm.
The confirmed lineup includes London-based duo NightShades, featuring Rebecca Moult; the Hanwell Ukulele Group and favourite local fiddlers, Mad Stick Dog
Book your tickets here, with suggested entry £12.