Capital Projects: The South Bank Spine Route
7 Jan 2015
The South Bank Spine Route (Belvedere Road, Upper Ground and adjacent roads) was regenerated in the 1990s as one of SBEG’s early flagship projects.
Conceived as an alternative to the Riverside Walkway, it has become key to pedestrian, cycling and vehicle movement in the South Bank as well as servicing the cultural organisations and businesses along it. However heavy use, wear and tear and utilities works have left it in a state that is not fit for purpose.
Major development works will be undertaken in the next few years and the South Bank Employers’ Group is now leading a refurbishment and improvement project to tie in with these developments. Project designs were commissioned to leading landscape architects Gross Max, with the aim to complete a holistic redesign of the streetscape and road finishes of the South Bank Spine Route to achieve a world-class urban environment.
During 2014, consultation with stakeholders took place which has resulted in the completion of a draft concept design. Further consultation and detailed design work is due to be undertaken in 2015.
One key achievement in December 2014 was the reinstatement of the banners and lighting columns in front of the National Theatre, temporarily removed during the National Theatre Future building work.
The New Our South Bank Website
7 Jan 2015
In October 2014 the South Bank Visitor Management Group (VMG), a public-private partnership between major organisations in the South Bank and Lambeth Council, successfully launched the Our South Bank website.
The site is focused on keeping employers, residents and visitors up-to-date with issues and developments affecting the public realm in and around South Bank, in the areas comprised between Lambeth Bridge and Oxo Tower Wharf and further South to St. George’s Circus. It gives visitors, employees and residents alike a voice with a handy tool to report on problems such as graffiti and potholes, for these to be acted upon as swiftly as possible by VMG.
The website also includes a Points of Interest page highlighting new developments, construction works, road closures, planning applications and upcoming outdoor events to keep the public informed about what’s happening in the local area. In addition, a detailed Estate Map shows land ownership in the area, with contact details of each landowner.
Such an informative, interactive tool has not been seen in the neighbourhood before and will play a significant role in mitigating the impacts of the proposed major construction projects due to affect large sections of the area in the next few years.
Security Update: Unlicensed Street Trading
7 Jan 2015
A strategy to tackle unlicensed street trading on the South Bank has proved to be a success in 2014. A total of 415 prosecutions have been initiated against unlicensed traders in the period between April 2013 and December 2014. We have achieved this by developing an effective delivery model using dedicated enforcement officers from the patrol team, the secondment of a Lambeth Enforcement Officer and the provision of police officers under a Special Services Agreement with the Metropolitan Police.
Critical to this success has been putting in place operational support in terms of cleansing and secure storage of seized ice cream vans and food trolleys. We have also been supported by the courts that have recognised that unlicensed street trading is an organised and profitable enterprise undertaken by a number of persistent offenders that undermines legitimate traders and has a detrimental impact on the image of the South Bank.
The increased level of fines and costs imposed by the courts reflects this understanding. Finally, recognition needs to be given to the hard work and motivation of the team in 'making it happen'. As a result of this hard work, the cycle of profitability for unlicensed street traders has been broken.
Our key to success was for SBEG to review its 'on the ground' tactics. Previously, the reality was that, on the approach of the enforcement team, ice cream traders drive off. If an attempt was made to lawfully seize a stationary vehicle it was verbally and physically resisted.
With the support of the police exercising their powers to lawfully stop, seize and retain vehicles it has severely impacted upon the ability of unlicensed traders to trade and make a profit. Our key learning is that a sustained zero tolerance enforcement regime works. Unlicensed traders have at least for now deserted the South Bank area.