The success which the Dulwich Society may have achieved in persuading the railway company to increase the frequency of its service on the Victoria line to West Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Stations (see report below), should be tempered with the fact that the comfort of Dulwich rail users continues to be a low priority.
At both West Dulwich and East Dulwich, the platforms are elevated and exposed yet there are only about six seats under cover and none at all along the lengths of the platforms. It is difficult to understand why at least more metal seats cannot be provided or indeed why the sheltered accommodation cannot be extended.
When North Dulwich Station had its commendable facelift in 2004 in which the Society played a central role, and gave £3000 for the forecourt to be paved in York stone, Charles Horton the managing director of Southern trains undertook to carry out a number of improvements to the station which were concerning passengers and also the Railway Heritage Trust which had put up £83,227 towards the restoration.
While some of the promised improvements did take place, such as the redecoration of the ticket hall and improved signage, Mr Horton also assured the Society that the platforms would be repainted and graffiti removed. This, his company has failed to do. The platform area at North Dulwich is potentially an attractive and architecturally interesting space and could do with some TLC.
London has got to address the safety of cyclists. In the space of one week in November two cyclists were knocked off their bicycles in Dulwich Village by motorists and required hospitalisation. It is unacceptable to demand greener forms of transport for either children going to school or adults cycling to work or shops if the roads are too dangerous. One way in which the danger can be reduced is for a portion of every pavement to have a clearly marked cycle path. This is widely done across Europe but less so here.
Certain roads in Dulwich have shared pedestrian and cycle usage - College Road, Alleyn Park, Dulwich Common. This needs to be extended as a matter of urgency. There is no reason why Gallery Road should not receive a similar treatment or indeed Red Post Hill, Sunray Avenue, Croxted Road or Sydenham Hill. Where pavements are too narrow they should be widened. A comprehensive survey of all roads in Dulwich and indeed London needs to be carried out if greener forms of transport like cycling are to be encouraged.