The Beckenham Town Working Group (set up by the Council to identify potential improvements for the town) on which the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association sits met on Thursday 9 August the following points were raised:
Street lighting – The Working Group had previously expressed a preference for the heritage style lamps with hanging baskets. However such lamps may not cast enough light downwards so extra lamps may be needed which will increase street clutter. Other options may include; lights set on buildings (this required the owners’ permission), lights at different levels for the carriageway and the pavement, or catenary lights (on wires) where additional lighting is needed.
Carriageway & Pavements – TfL requires a minimum carriageway width in A roads of 7.3m, this means the pavement can be widened along the High Street. Bus stops and loading bays can potentially be moved to get the best pedestrian and traffic outcome. The designers are proposing a nearly level carriageway/parking area/footway, with the different areas separated in the surface by different materials rather than painted lines, our association expressed concern about not having a clear/structural delineation between parking bays and the pavement.
Markets – There were various potential sites for a market, including Beckenham Green and Kelsey Square and the area near the toilets in Kelsey Park Road. In some locations the footway could be widened, but for safety reasons there needed to be a clear separation between pedestrians and cars.
Conservation Areas – A single conservation area for the town centre would help to protect and enhance the character of the town and control shopfronts in particular. This is being pursued.
The bid for TfL funds – Is due to be submitted by 7th September.
Christmas lights – The Town Centre Manager is looking into fixed Christmas Lights, funded by the Council,it will not be possible to get them in time for this Christmas so temporary lights will need to be installed.
Improving the junction of the High Street/Rectory Road/Southend Road/Albemarle Road – Unless a new bridge was built over the railway at a cost of several million pounds it would not be possible to alleviate congestion, however there is part solution that will assist large vehicles making turns from Rectory Road into Southend Road and provide increased footway width in the High Street and enhanced facilities for pedestrians crossing Rectory Road at a viable cost (in the region of £150-£175k.) The Working Group supported pursuing this option.