Questions from the Public for Oral Response:

1) Kelsey Park Bridge. Can the Council clarify why there have been so many delays and periods with no action being taken since the first bridge closed in February 2021?

When the bridges were first closed in 2021, initial investigations by the Council’s contractor idverde did identify certain options for replacement bridges, however on further investigation it became apparent that the process for replacing the bridges would be significantly more complex than was originally anticipated. Resources were approved to take this work forward, and subsequent stages have been completed as quickly as possible in compliance with the council’s processes for robust governance. This has included:

  • Procuring specialist contractors to undertake surveys
  • Produce costed designs
  • Work with stakeholders to obtain feedback on the designs
  • Ecological and arboricultural surveys
  • Finding contractors and obtaining costs
  • Going back out to market to ensure value for money
  • Considering all options against a backdrop of high inflation and council budgetary constraints.

I’m very pleased to say that we will discussing a way forward tonight and if approved, the project can push forward.

2) Kelsey Park Bridge. Can the Council estimate how much extra costs for the works are now likely to be then they would have been if they had started the process of replacing the bridge immediately after it was declared unsafe almost 2 years ago?

Prices were initially obtained back when the bridges were first closed, however these did not take into account the various items outlined in your previous question, for example, the site constraints and substructure requirements, so any comparison would not be meaningful. The additional work undertaken to date has been necessary to inform design options and the wider business case.

3) Given the high cost of either repairing or replacing these two bridges did the Council make any applications for extra funding from other funding streams; e.g. Lottery, London Mayor’s funding so that both bridges could have been restored to their previous conditions?

We have considered grant funding options for supporting the replacement of the bridges, but we are not recommending proceeding with an application because local authorities do not qualify for a number of community grants and the time it would take to secure the grants would delay us starting works onsite. Officers have also investigated the availability of s106 of CIL contributions but there is nothing currently available to support this work, but we will pursue CIL money if it does become available. I have told the Friends Group, they have our support if they want to fundraise to repair the second bridge.

Supplementary: The bridges have needed repairing for some time. There are various funding streams, so why not apply for funding earlier?

This matter is not straightforward as there are many criteria that need to be matched to successfully source commercial funding.

4) There are many maintenance activities required to keep the infrastructure of Bromley’s parks in good condition. The bridges are a good example of some considerable neglect over the years. The water in the lakes in the park is at such a low level that the birds are walking on mud and rats are frequently reported. Benches need re-varnishing and toilets renovating. What is the Council’s budget for park maintenance and how is it prioritised?

The council’s budget for maintenance of park assets has historically been met and managed under the annual operational maintenance budget, with works across the whole of the council’s estate prioritised to manage risk. The total operational maintenance budget for 2022/23 is £2.314m. However, when setting the budget for 2022/23, the council also put aside an additional £2m in a Building Investment Fund, and an allocation of £250k was specifically made for park infrastructure. idverde have responsibility for managing health and safety in the borough’s parks and open spaces and this includes cyclical inspections of park assets, such as the Kelsey Park Bridges, with recommendations made on repairs.
In addition to this, there are some minor infrastructure repairs that are funded through the council’s contract with idverde for the provision of parks management and grounds maintenance, such as bench maintenance, with items prioritised as a result of condition and risk assessments.
The council has recently launched the Parks Platinum Jubilee Fund which will see investment of up to £1m in the borough’s parks and open spaces allowing for community-led prioritisation of this investment.

Supplementary: Does the maintenance Fund get priority?

Not in terms of repairs. The Council is currently reviewing all of its park assets, this includes toilets.

Questions from the Public for Written Response:

1) Has the Council achieved the 2022 target of having “25% of Borough’s stations served by new or upgraded cycle infrastructure” as per the Local Implementation Plan (page 102)?

Of the 26 stations in the Borough, 9 (35%) have secured cycle parking/hubs, 16 (61%) have sheltered cycle parking, and 19 (73%) have cycle parking provision.

2) As recommended by the Govt in their Active Travel Local Authority Toolkit (updated August 2022) have the Council developed a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan? If so, has the Council produced, “A prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment in the short, medium and long term.” ?

Please refer to the Council’s LIP3 document and to the report at 13d on the PDS agenda.
Local Implementation Plan (LIP3) –London Borough of Bromley

3) Having arbitrarily removed parking meters from roads around the Town Centre, is it the Council’s intention to also remove machines from the large car parks in the Borough? If so, what other technology will they install, so as not to discriminate against users that cannot “pay by mobile” for their parking?

Please refer to the report at item 13th of the PDS committee agenda, and also the EIA published on the Council’s website. A mobile phone can be purchased for less than £20 and can be used to text or ring Ringo to pay for parking.

4) I’m enquiring about the public toilets in Keston in Cobham Park which is shut at the moment he has been closed for several years now I will be interested in converted into a coffee shop and also provide a public toilet for the people who uses the park could you advise me on this matter.

Officers believe the building to which you refer is currently in use by the Friends group there and is used for storage. Officers have had some contact with the chair of this Friends group and understand that they are potentially open to changing their use of the property. The council is always interested in income generating uses that compliment the green space in which it is based. However, there is a process that the council must go through if they decide to introduce commercial uses in its property. Under section 123 of the Local Government Act, the council has a duty to seek best value in relation to its assets. Therefore, if the council did decide to allow this property to be used as a café, we would need to market that opportunity so that all prospective tenants have the opportunity to bid. It should be noted that it would be for any incoming tenant to secure any planning consents and undertake any capital works needed to set up their business in the property. Marketing properties can be a resource intensive activity, so before we instruct our property department to take this forward, we will first need to do some work to check the viability of a proposal at this site. Officers will look into this and to update you in due course.

5) Please provide breakdown of number collisions and related casualties by severity (killed, seriously injured, slightly injured) on (a) Rural A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ & ‘U’ roads separately, and (b) Urban ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ & ‘U’ roads separately in LB Bromley for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The Council does not hold the information requested in regard to these classifications. You may wish to refer to the DfT website: Road accidents and safety statistics – GOV.UK (

6) Please provide breakdown of number/type of recycling bins installed at Council’s 39 recycling sites (excluding Churchfields and Waldo Road), and number of reports via FMS or otherwise in last 12-month period of flytipping at each recycling site by (a) members of public, (b) ward councillors, (c) council officers, (d) Veolia staff.

Table below shows current recycling bring bank assets by type and location (see p31-32 of this document). Please note, latest count of location assets recorded in April 2022. Next count due in April 2023.

7) La Niña Winter World Weather Patterns Put U.K. at risk of Severe Floods this February 2023. During Flood Action Week, the Met. Office and the Environment Agency have warned of severe flooding in the UK in February, due to Climate Change. The severe drought has increased the risk of increased runoff on baked soils. What is the Council doing to educate and inform people to assist them in coping with this crisis?

Bromley Council has not taken any direct action to educate people regarding climate change or surface water runoff from baked soils. The Bromley Council web site Flood Risk Management pages direct residents to the detailed information published by the Environment Agency.

8) Bromley’s Flood Risk Strategy with regard to the October 2021 Flooding in the Crays. The Council failed and refused a request to carry out an investigation despite the responsibility to do so. LFB and Housing Association data demonstrates that at least 20 properties were internally flooded, in an identified Flood Path. What Is the reason for this scandalous neglect?

This question is disallowed on the basis that the same question was asked at the June 2022 meeting.

9) Has the Portfolio Holder for Transport disbanded Bromley’s Road Safety Panel and, if so, (a) why? (b) does he have the authority to do this? and (c) is this appropriate given the report discussed at the June Environment committee meeting indicating a 26.7% increase in KSIs above the Council’s target?

The Council’s concern for road safety is undiminished, but as time moves on processes need to change. At one time there were three Road Safety Panels. As membership numbers declined the three Panels were, with the agreement of the Chairmen, amalgamated into one Panel.

The Road Safety Panel(s) provided helpful feedback to the Council about road safety concerns in the neighbourhoods of their representatives. However, with the increased ability of residents to report matters directly to the Council, for example via Fix My Street, reports from the Police to our professional officers and the local knowledge of ward councillors the need for a Panel, in my view, is no longer needed. The Panel last met in 2019 and the Police had not attended for many years. The cost of running the Panel in officer time and resources cannot be sustained when the Council faces a growing budget deficit.

10) According to the report “Air Quality Information for Public Health Professionals – London Borough of Bromley” (published by GLA in February), 57 Bromley schools exceed the interim WHO guideline for PM2.5, and all Bromley schools exceed the WHO guideline for Nitrogen Dioxide. Does Bromley Council support air quality monitoring at schools?

The National Air Quality Objectives and Air Quality Standards Regulations set the limit and target values. All of our schools comply with the national air quality regulations. We are working to improve air quality and reduce air pollution via implementation of our Air Quality Action Plan. This includes actions relating to schools and at our monitoring locations. Air quality monitoring is not undertaken at schools however all monitoring stations within London feed into the LLAQN network and the subsequent model, which the report stated in the question relies upon. Based on actual monitoring London wide, a high degree of confidence can be had in the modelled data.

In October 2021 the WHO updated its recommended guidelines for air pollutants. For NO2 guideline annual levels were reduced to 10µgm -3. For PM2.5 it tightened the recommended annual average guideline to 5µgm -3, while retaining 10µgm -3 as an interim guideline which the Mayor of London has committed to meet by 2030 (the legal annual average limit is 20µgm -3). The revised WHO recommendations were made in late 2021 and this report published in early 2022, whether such levels are practical or achievable is still to be considered. The Environment Act 2022 requires National Government to set target levels for PM2.5, we are waiting on this level to be set, early indications are that this is likely to be 10µgm -3 by 2030 for PM2.5.

11) Buckhurst Road – The replacement LED street lamp casts a harsh white spotlight which is so intense you cannot see beyond it and are taken by surprise if someone/something suddenly appears within it. It is far too bright for wildlife. Please could either the bulb be replaced or a cover fitted to modify the light from white to amber?

The lantern has been installed as part of the Council’s investment project and meets the design requirements for this type of road. The lanterns are designed to direct light downwards to minimise light pollution, and a shield has recently been fitted. Unfortunately, it would not be possible to install coloured cover, but the light produced by the lantern is a warm white which is more wildlife friendly than the cold white used in some areas.

12) How can it be that following a road safety audit, the zebra crossings on Crofton Road, especially near to the entrance of Pound Court, are more dangerous than they were before the installation of the cycle lanes? The central bollards have been
removed in several places and this means the whole road has to be crossed, rather than one side. Traffic seems to be far more reluctant to stop at the crossings now there are no central bollards.

This question is disallowed as it was submitted after the ten day period and does not seek clarification on a report to the committee.

13) Despite a range of data sources highlighting the volume of residents including young children crossing South Eden Park Road, the absence of a safe crossing between Langley Schools and Unicorn School and the assurances given to residents following a meeting with Christine Harris and the previous Portfolio Holder for Transport in July last year, we have been told that a road crossing on this dangerous stretch is not a priority. Could the portfolio holder please explain why a road with no crossing places or pavement on one side in one section is not a viable candidate for a crossing?

This question is disallowed as it was submitted after the ten day period and does not seek clarification on a report to the committee.

Building on my previous questions, what, specifically, would need to happen for this location to be prioritised for a crossing?

This question is disallowed as it was submitted after the ten day period and does not seek clarification on a report to the committee.

16) Noting the Traffic and Road Safety Policies set out in the agenda, could you (a) provide example costs for implementing 20mph on residential streets, (b) explain why Bromley Council believes the marginal gains in creating safer streets that are achieved from introducing 20mph (that could make the difference between life and death for someone hit by a speeding driver) are not worth pursuing, and (c) explain why the Council believes it cannot enforce speed limits? Why wouldn’t you do it?

a) Although the Council has not undertaken a study, the cost of implementing a
borough-wide 20mph scheme would be well in excess of £1m
(b) Reducing the number of casualties on Bromley’s streets has long been a priority for this Council, with resources being targeted at vulnerable road users and at locations where data tells us that there is a greatest risk of road casualties. Once we have successfully tackled the locations where, unfortunately, serious incidents are currently occurring, other high-risk locations can be addressed. The experience the Council has from the various parts of the Borough where area wide 20mph limits have been installed in the past is that we receive very many complaints about speeding, despite the lower limit. Research commissioned by the DfT showed that following the introduction of signed-only 20mph limits the median speed fell by just under 1mph and found no significant change in collisions and casualties. In light of the lack of evidence that introducing widespread 20mph limits is effective, Bromley has no plans to introduce such area-wide 20mph zones. However, in light of evidence that drivers respond better to warnings or regulations where they can see the reason for them, part time advisory 20 limits are being introduced
around schools in the Borough, on a case by case basis.
(c) The Council does not have powers to enforce against speeding – this is a function undertaken by the Police.

16) The ECS performance overview notes car use on the school run has decreased from 31 to 27%. This is positive. Can the Council please share an overview of where this decrease in car use has occurred (e.g. which schools or wards)?

I have asked the Travel Plan Team to investigate this, and I will respond when I receive their reply.

17) The ECS performance overview notes that a significant number of schools are “committed to increasing active travel”. This is also positive. But what tangible changes have there been?

Of 116 eligible schools in the Borough, 83 have an accredited travel plan, with 58 at Gold level, 11 at Silver and 14 at Bronze. Accreditation only comes with action that demonstrates a commitment to active travel and Gold level indicates an increasing numbers of active travellers. This year we have seen an increase in the number of schools who are taking part in the Junior Travel Ambassador scheme, which sees pupils in years 5 or 6 running road safety projects in their schools. The scheme is popular amongst schools and this year saw the return of the in-person event, which was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Bromley.

Our Smart Movers scheme rewards pupils who travel actively to school with a collectable badge. They must walk, scoot or cycle to school at least 10 times a month to receive a badge. The badges have a different theme each month. School Streets have overall seen even more pupils ‘park and stride’ to school, the closure of roads has led to the visibility of more cycling and scooting amongst the primary age group. Cycle storage fund in 2020 gave schools the opportunity to apply for racks and shelters for bicycles and scooters.

18) Kelsey Park Bridge Report. Why have the bridges been allowed to deteriorate so much when the replacement costs are so high? What other facilities in the park need replacing and why?

Although there are no formal records concerning the installation of these bridges, it is believed that they were installed approximately 50 years ago. The bridges have an
estimated life of circa 40 years and therefore it is likely that they have come to the end of their durability. The council has undertaken cyclical inspections of the bridges and have undertaken repairs where necessary. The second part of the question has been rejected as there was no reference to the Kelsey Park Bridge report.

19) Kelsey Park Bridge report. What funds are available from central government and or the Big Lottery and the Greater London Authority to replace the poor quality public toilets in Kelsey Park.

The Portfolio Holder has rejected this question as there was no reference to the Kelsey Park Bridge report.

20) On what date did the council officially close the bridges, what is the estimated date for reopening both bridge A and bridge B, and what estimate has the council made of the increased costs of replacing the bridges between when they were first closed and now?

Both bridges have been closed permanently since December 2021 following the recommendation of the structural assessment, however the larger footbridge had been closed for periods before this. The estimated reopening of the bridge is for around July 2024, following the advised indicative programme outlined in the committee report that takes into account several factors and conditions on site. Prices were initially obtained back when the bridges first closed, however it later became clear to officers that the repair would be more complex than originally anticipated and need to consider various factors (e.g. the site constraints and substructure requirements). Therefore, any comparison with these original prices would not be meaningful. The additional work undertaken to date has been necessary to inform design options and the wider business case.

21) The Council proposes to only replace one of the bridges with the cost being funded from the Investment Infrastructure Fund and the Healthy Bromley Earmarked Reserve. What is the total available funds in both the fund and the reserve?

The funds are projected to have a combined total of £3.39M remaining at 31 March 2023.

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