Teresa welcomes TfL announcement on new bus safety measures

Teresa has today welcomed a new Transport for London announcement on bus safety measures.

Transport for London has announced plans to test new safety technology on London buses. The full TfL press release announcing the measures can be found by clicking here.

Automatic braking and audible warning systems will be trialled alongside measures including new mirrors to improve the driver’s vision.

Earlier this year the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, set out a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger in his draft transport strategy. It aims for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041.

Speaking about the measures, Teresa said:

“I welcome Transport for London’s announcement of independent trials at the Transport Research Laboratory to assess potential bus safety measures, which could ultimately lead to a new standard of bus safety in London.

“The research will hopefully identify practical bus design improvements that will lead to greater safety for bus passengers, road users and pedestrians.”

All of the new technology will receive a completely independent trial at the Transport Research Laboratory. Their leading engineers and technical specialists have been appointed to work with TfL, bus manufacturers and operators to trial a range of innovative safety measures including:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems that allow the vehicle to detect its surroundings and automatically apply the brakes
  • Features to alert pedestrians and other road users of the presence of buses, such as lights or audible warnings
  • A re-design of the front of buses, which could reduce the impact of a collision
  • Changes to bus interiors to improve passenger safety, such as higher-grip flooring and softening sharp corners
  • Improvements to vision for drivers, including improved mirror design
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Policing Consultation

Last week the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service published a Public Access and Engagement Strategy for consultation, which identifies some of the changes that may need to be made to ensure that our police force can continue to operate efficiently and to continue to keep us safe.

This follows years of cuts to our local police force’s funding by central government. The consultation documents note that on top of the £600m already saved from the Metropolitan Police Service’s budget, a further £400m worth of savings has to be found in the coming years. £200m of these savings have already been identified, but it is clear that tough choices will have to be made.

Some of the proposals which could affect my constituents include the proposed moving of the 24/7 counter service from Bexleyheath Police Station to Marlowe House, Sidcup. It is then proposed that Bexleyheath Station will be disposed of. It appears that the statistics around police station effectiveness seem to focus on number of crimes reported at the station desk but the public go to a police station for many more reasons than that. I think we need to look again at all of the reasons why the public go into Bexleyheath Police Station and how they will be effected by its proposed closure and I will certainly be asking a number of questions about that.

There are also proposals around the replacing of 4 Safer Neighbourhood bases at Joyce Dawson Way, Thamesmead; Limestone Walk, Thamesmead; Pier Road, Erith; and Lakedale Road, Plumstead. These bases are proposed to be replaced by hubs allowing for the police to be much closer to the communities they patrol.

There is also a commitment to wherever possible, protect frontline police officers, to invest in the equipment needed for a truly 21st century police force, and new measures to investigate new and emerging crime types such as cyber-crime.

There will be a new way to report crime online and a commitment to enhancing the role of dedicated ward officers – who have a specific responsibility to engage with their local community. I often hear from people concerned about slow response times from the police and any new ways of working that make it easier for the public to contact the police and get a response should be welcomed.

Nobody wants to see police stations close, and I strongly believe that our emergency services need as much support and investment as possible so they can continue to keep us safe. Yesterday’s news that police officer figures across England and Wales are lower than ever before, while the number of reported crimes has gone up by more than 10%, and even higher rises for violent crimes and murder, will undoubtedly heighten concern at the savings that are having to be made.

There are obviously questions that need answering further, particularly around the potential closure of police buildings , and the impact that could have on operational issues such as response times, public facing services and back office facilities and on police officers themselves. I will certainly be writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to raise these questions, but I would urge everybody to read the consultation documents and have your say.

The consultation will close on 6 October 2017 at 5.30pm and you can respond by visiting www.london.gov.uk/public-access or emailing consultation@mopac.london.gov.uk or in writing to: Public Access Consultation, MOPAC, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA.

And as always, if anybody wishes to raise an issue with me directly they can email me on teresa.pearce.mp@parliament.uk

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Summer Southeastern Closures

As you may know, this summer between 26 August and 2 September, there will be no Southeastern trains to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge due to continued works as part of the Thameslink Programme.

These works are coincided to time with the Bank Holiday weekend to minimise the number of working days impacted. For the four working days affected Southeastern will be running fewer trains into London, which will, on the Dartford lines, travel to Cannon Street and Victoria.

Southeastern are running a public awareness campaign about these changes and you may have seen advertising from them. They have now launched an online tool where passengers and commuters are able to see the specific impact to their station and plan their journey accordingly. This tool can be found at southeasternrailway.co.uk/Thameslink

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Important Rail Timetable Public Consultations

IMPORTANT RAIL TIMETABLE PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS

There are currently two live public consultations about train timetables affecting our area from 2018 after the rebuild of London Bridge station is complete. I am responding to both consultations as your MP, but I would also urge you to make your views known.

i) Govia Thameslink service second phase consultation

The new Thameslink service will run twice hourly from Luton through St Albans, West Hampstead, St Pancras, Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge and then down the Greenwich line to Dartford and beyond to Rainham. It is a stopping service, but under the current proposals trains will not stop at Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith.

It will replace the current fast service from Charing Cross to Gillingham, which will mean change for those passengers who currently use the Charing Cross service.

The second stage of the consultation closes at 5pm on Thursday 27 July 2017.

Respond via the website: https://www.transformingrail.com/

Respond by email to: gtr.timetableconsultation@gtrailway.com

Write to:
GTR 2018 Timetable Consultation
East Side Offices
Kings Cross Station
Kings Cross
London
N1C 4AP

Meet the managers” events:

London Bridge Thursday 22 June 2017 07:30 – 09:30
London Kings Cross Tuesday 27 June 2017 07:30 – 09:30
London St Pancras Int Wednesday 28 June 2017 07:30 – 09:30
London Blackfriars Thursday 20 July 2017 07:30 – 09:30
London Victoria Tuesday 25 July 2017 07:30 – 09:30

ii) the Southeastern Trains May 2018 Timetable Public Consultation,

The Metro service section of the consultation is probably the most relevant.
The consultation does not show full timetables for services, but rather indicates proposed train service patterns.

During the morning and evening three hour peak period there will be:
7 trains to Charing Cross, which is a reduction of 3 trains from the 10 currently.
12 trains to Cannon Street, which is a reduction of 1 train from the 13 currently
6 trains to Blackfriars, which is an increase of 6 trains because it is a new service.

Off peak hours
During the off peak period there will be:
4 trains per hour to Cannon St,
2 trains per hour to Charing Cross,
2 trains per hour to Blackfriars.

Travelling in the Dartford direction, there will be no direct Off-Peak services from Cannon Street to Dartford. Passengers from Cannon St will be required to change at London Bridge.

Saturdays

The services will reflect the Monday to Friday Off-Peak pattern.

Sundays

2 trains per hour from Charing Cross to Dartford via Lewisham and Charlton calling at all stations,
2 trains per hour from Cannon St,
2 trains per hour (Thameslink) via Blackfriars and London Bridge.

Deadline for responses is 23.59pm on 9 August 2017.

Responses by email to: timetablemanagement@southeasternrailway.co.uk
Write to:
Southeastern May18 Timetable Consultation
Friars Bridge Court
41-45 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NZ

Posted in Consultation, Local events, News

Update: Grenfell Tower

I have been contacted by many constituents following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, North Kensington last Wednesday.

 

Many who have contacted me live in tower blocks across the local area, and are concerned at the safety and security of their own buildings. I, alongside local councillors, have been in touch with various housing stakeholders across Erith and Thamesmead to see what action, if any, is being taken to re-assess fire risk and to communicate with residents in tower blocks.

 

Greenwich Council have provided reassurances that fire safety is of the highest priority and that the Housing Service has a framework in place for management of fire safety, was comprehensively reviewed following the Lakanal Tower fire in Southwark. All the 93 high rise blocks across Greenwich are fire risk assessed annually, and the council are carrying out additional checks on the cladding materials used for external wall insulation on eleven of their high rise blocks.

 

Bexley Council have published a statement noting that although they do not own or manage any high rise tower blocks, they have contacted all of the main housing providers in the borough to ensure that they are all complying with the relevant fire safety requirements. They have also joined a pan-London team working with the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea offering the services of trained Council staff to work at a rest centre in the area.

 

I note that Peabody have issued a statement and are writing to residents in tower blocks including details of extra inspections, how residents can stay safe in their homes, re-confirming what to do in case of fire, and to confirm that they are reviewing proposals to clad the outside of existing tower blocks in Thamesmead. Detailed questions have also been raised regarding the design of the towers in Thamesmead and I await full responses to those questions.

 

Orbit have provided reassurances that all of their maintained blocks have up to date fire risk assessments in place and have visited the 10 high rise blocks they maintain in Bexley to give reassurance to residents.

 

My thoughts remain with all those affected by the fire in West London last week, and I pay tribute to the emergency services who responded with such courage and professionalism. I am pleased that the Prime Minister has now decided to hold a full and independent public inquiry into the fire, and I look forward to the publication of its terms of reference and to reviewing its final recommendations.

 

In recent years in Parliament I have been a member of the All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, and have proposed amendments to legislation to ensure that fire safety is integral to all building and housing. In April 2016 I contacted the Minister regarding the outstanding review of Building Regulations Approved Document B which covers fire safety and was told that they would make an announcement of their plans in due course. Sadly no announcement has come forward. I will continue to pressure Ministers to urgently come forward with plans to ensure that building works are done to the highest possible standard and with concern for everybody’s safety at their heart.

 

If you live in a tower block and have concerns about your block, please do contact me and I will raise your concerns with the relevant local authority or housing association.

 

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Teresa re-elected with increased majority

 

Teresa was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Erith and Thamesmead with an increased majority and vote share at the General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017.

Speaking about the result, Teresa said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have been re-elected as the MP for Erith and Thamesmead. I would like to thank everybody who once again placed their trust in me to serve and represent our community in Parliament.

 

“The country and our local area face enormous challenges, whether it is Brexit, the housing crisis, Southeastern rail, or the NHS and social care, and I am looking forward to working in Parliament and in the local area to support and represent local people.”

Posted in News, Press Notices, Quotes

Teresa Slams Flawed Rail Franchise Consultation

Consultation and Response from the Minister

Consultation and Response from the Minister

Teresa has today slammed the flawed Department for Transport consultation on the future of the South East Rail Franchise.

The public consultation document – ‘Shaping the Future – March 2017’ sets out the existing service, the challenges facing the South Eastern Service and future proposals regarding South Eastern rail network.

The consultation document detailed the likely increase in population in South-East London and the impact upon rail services. However the number of new homes considered is significantly underestimated at 36,000.

teresa-pearce-mpTeresa wrote to the Department for Transport for clarification regarding this figure, who acknowledged that the figure was too low and that the correct figure is around 68,400. The consultation documents have not been changed to reflect the admission of this error.

Speaking about the flawed consultation, Teresa said:

“We all know the historic issues of delays, overcrowding and cancellations on the current Southeastern service, which is why it was so shocking that in 2014 the Government renewed their contract, to the ire of commuters and rail users across the south-east. Since then these problems have continued, and with the contract due to end in 2018, there is an opportunity to bring the service up to scratch.

 

“Sadly this flawed consultation on the future of the service is based on incorrect information and massively underestimates the number of new homes to come in the local area and the number of people who will be using the service in the future. Failing to assess the service level needed accurately will only exacerbate the problems and leave rail users paying more and more for less and less.

 

“I am not confident that the future demand for rail services in South East London is being fully considered and consulted on, and if they have made mistakes on this, what else have they made mistakes on?”

The consultation document also makes a proposal to limit the choice of central London destinations for rail users, so that trains on some lines would only go to one central London station, such as Cannon Street.

Speaking about the proposal for trains terminate, Teresa said:

“This proposal would drastically limit the choice and options for rail users in my constituency and across the South-East. It would significantly increase journey times, and would lead to major problems of overcrowding and further pressure on already busy interchange stations like Lewisham.

 

“Losing direct connections to certain central London stations would be a major change to the service and I would encourage everybody to respond directly to the consultation on the Department for Transport’s website.”

You can respond to the consultation on the Department for Transport’s website here, or by email to BetterSouthEastern@dft.gsi.gov.uk, and sign the petition against the proposal here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/190894

 

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Teresa pledges to help end the ‘cold homes crisis’ in Erith and Thamesmead

 

EndFuelPoverty

Teresa (centre) with Labour’s Shadow BEIS Ministers, Alan Whitehead MP and Gill Furniss MP.

Teresa is supporting charity National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day by pledging to do more to ‘tackle cold homes’.

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is a national campaign to highlight the problem of fuel poverty, which currently sees over four million households unable to afford the energy they need to stay warm and healthy in their homes. It is a particular problem for those in low incomes living in energy inefficient homes that are difficult and expensive to heat. Fuel Poverty Awareness Day will be held on the 17th February 2017.

Speaking about the crisis, Teresa said:

“Living in a cold damp home can lead to extremely poor health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long term sickness and disabilities. Not only will it be causing misery for millions of people this winter, but also placing a huge strain on our already stretched health services. In Erith and Thamesmead, 3531 households are believed to be in fuel poverty.

 

“More needs to be done nationally, however I know that there is excellent work going on in my constituency and across the UK to tackle this issue, and I look forward to working alongside others in the community to help raise awareness of the problem and the solutions available.”

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of National Energy Action commented:

“Fuel poverty is a serious problem and one that we cannot tackle alone. I am delighted that Teresa Pearce MP is supporting the campaign and helping to ensure that her constituents can live warm, healthy and happy lives.”

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Teresa urges constituency groups to apply for National Lottery First World War Centenary money

 

teresa-pearce-mpTeresa has today urged local community groups to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) money available for projects exploring the First World War during the current Centenary commemorations.

At present, no groups from the Erith and Thamesmead Constituency have received money from the Fund.

Following the phenomenal success of its community grants programme First World War: then and now, HLF has made £2 million available this year for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War. Grants are available between £3,000 and £10,000.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the Centenary such as: researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover.

Teresa said:

“Community groups up and down the country have been using the Heritage Lottery Fund to commemorate the Great War and run fascinating events based on local histories of the war. Erith, Belvedere and the surrounding areas have a rich local history and there is a fascinating story to tell about our local area and the Great War.

 

“It is so important that we remember the impact of this war one hundred years on.  There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone with an idea for their own project to get in touch with the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

There are now more than 1,620 First World War projects taking place across the UK, thanks to more than £82million of investment from HLF.

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at www.hlf.org.uk

 

 

 

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Teresa raises awareness of new funding pot for local charities

 

teresa-pearce-mpTeresa has said that 2017 could be the year for local charities to help get a special project off the ground by applying for a share of a £6 million funding pot, raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The funding will be allocated through three Trusts, which support different categories of projects. There will be two opportunities for groups to apply in 2017 (January and August) and £3 million will be available for each funding round.

The application process is simple. The first round – which opens from 23 January until 10 February 2017 – starts with organisations being encouraged to submit an ‘expression of interest’ form. Charities will then be shortlisted to complete a full application for funding.

In August, interested groups and organisations can apply or re-apply when a second pot of £3million will become available. The maximum a project can receive is £20,000.

Teresa urged local charities to tap into this exciting funding stream:

“2017 could be the year to get a special project off the ground to benefit the local community.

 

This funding will be allocated to lots of different types of initiatives and it’s such a fantastic opportunity for local charities to get additional support. Don’t miss out, apply now.”

 

People’s Postcode Trust seeks applications for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights, equal rights and conflict resolution for some of society’s most vulnerable groups. Postcode Local Trust supports wildlife, sustainability and volunteering initiatives. Postcode Community Trust focuses on grass-roots sports, arts, recreation and healthy living programmes.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £168.4 million to date for over 2,800 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

For more information on how to apply for funding, please visit the Trusts’ websites: www.postcodetrust.org.uk www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk

 

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