Local news

Motspur Park Station - February 2024

Our committee member, Dick Coleman, continues to liaise with Network Rail's team responsible for the accessibility works taking place at the station and can assure our members that some structural erosion noted (which has been flagged by a resident to Merton, via “fix my street”) is being dealt with by the contractors as part of their remit. We are grateful to Dick for keeping his eye on the process and for keeping in touch with Jack Wharton, who has overall responsibility for the project.

Local Concerns - February 2023

These concerns have been recently raised by members:

1.                Poor lighting in parts of Coombe Lane, safety issues. 

2.                Inadequate lighting near Motspur Park Station, safety issues. 

3.                New parking arrangements at the AELTC ground which backs onto Grand Drive. 

These issues, which have been brought to our attention by concerned residents, will be included for discussion at our next committee meeting. All of these items are serious, but we are particularly concerned about item (3) because, despite assurances made to us by AELTC over 18 months ago, residents in the small strip of “cottages” situated along Grand Drive are having their lives disrupted by dirt, noise and general delay.  We are also puzzled by the new parking arrangements which appear to back directly on to the small back gardens of the cottages.

Storm Henk heralds in 2024

After a particularly wet, windy and grey Christmas break, the New Year brought Storm Henk to Cannon Hill Common.  Early morning dog walkers were met with fallen trees, broken branches and general sogginess underfoot.  However, by 9.30 am Edwin had cleared a lot of the broken branches and he and Dave from the allotments had moved the fallen trees from the paths alongside the allotments and had begun the task of moving and cutting up one very old and large tree which had fallen across Edwin’s Path.   Dave and Nick have also cleared the ditches enabling the water from the common and allotments to drain away and Dave has also built up the sides of the ditch with wood chips which will hopefully help drain the area.    

We are grateful to Sheila for the above report from Cannon Hill Common and for keeping us informed about local events, and once again, we thank Edwin for his attention to the common, and to Dave and Nick for their hard work.

2023 A-Level and GCSE Successes

 

Raynes Park High School - Students’ Hard Work Rewarded 

A” Level Successes 

Congratulations to the pupils at RPHS for their encouraging A level results.

The return to pre-pandemic assessments has led to a nation-wide fall in results, so it is a tribute to the work of the pupils, teachers and support staff that, when set alongside to the last comparable assessments, the 2019 results, the pupils achieved more highly in all areas, and a result, students have secured their desired places at universities, colleges, and vocational placements.

 

Merton’s GCSE Successes 

Here are some of the highlights from Merton schools:

  • Raynes Park High School – ‘strong’ pass grades at (5-9) in GCSE English and maths are in line with 2019, and the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) has increased.
  • Ricards Lodge High School – the percentage of students achieving ‘strong’ pass grades (5-9) in GCSE English and maths, is significantly above 2019 school outcomes and similar to those in 2022.
  • Rutlish School – the percentage of students achieving ‘strong’ pass grades (5-9) in GCSE English and maths is well above 2019 school outcomes.
  • St Mark’s Academy – the percentage of students achieving the EBacc has increased significantly compared to 2019.
  • The Ursuline High School – the percentage of students achieving ‘strong’ pass grades (5-9) in GCSE English and maths is significantly above provisional national outcomes.
  • Wimbledon College – the percentage of pupils achieving a ‘standard’ pass in GCSE English and maths is 20% higher than the 2023 provisional national outcome.
  • Melbury College, Canterbury Campus – a very significant increase in the percentage of pupils achieving both ‘standard’ and ‘strong’ passes in GCSE English and maths compared with 2022. 

Congratulations to all the pupils and staff for working so hard to overcome the setbacks encountered during the “Covid Years” – we are proud of you all.

 

Motspur Park Station - December 2023

Email from Jack Wharton, Senior Public Affairs Manager, Network Rail Southern 

Subj: Railway Improvement Works – Access for All Scheme at Motspur Park Station 

Date: 5 December 2023 

Dear Stakeholders,

 Further to my last update in September,  I would like to update you on the next phase of our work on the Motspur Park Access for All Scheme.  Thank you for your continued cooperation.   

As part of the next stage of works, we’ll be excavating for the retaining wall and constructing the footbridge foundations as well as other preparation works. 

Using specialist equipment designed to minimise the noise we create, some of our equipment and machinery may still cause noise disturbance on Sunday 10 December (daytime) and you’ll notice some increased traffic from delivery vehicles. As well as this, up until February, engineers will be working during the evening throughout Monday- Friday. We do appreciate how impactful this night time working will be during this period and every effort will be made to minimise any excessive noise while this work is carried out. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. 

Work will take place as follows alongside our standard day-time working hours: 

Date                                       Time                    Work to be carried out 

Sunday 10/12/2023 to        00:00 – 03:00    Footbridge foundation construction, drainage

Monday 11/12/2023           (27 hours)          installation, retaining wall excavation – noisy

                                                                   Overnight and Daytime work.

 

Mid-weeknight working      23:00 – 05:00   Facilitating works (transporting materials to

(Mon-Fri) until                                         island platforms, removal of waste) for safety

February 2024                                         reasons, needs to be done when trains are not

                                                                moving. 

If you have any questions, please do let me know. 

Kind regards

Jack Wharton

Senior Public Affairs Manager 

Network Rail Southern

1 Puddle Dock, London, EC4V 3DS 

networkrail.co.uk/southern

Motspur Park Stn - Sept 2023

As can be seen from the photo below, which was taken by Dick Coleman, our Advertising Manager, the accessibility works are progressing apace. 

 It is a difficult time for those living nearby the station, but the end-result should be worth the disruption. 

However, it is ironic that as we move towards improving the actual station, giving elderly, disabled and other vulnerable residents better access, the threatened closure of ticket offices and planned staff reductions will seriously hamper the effectiveness of this work. Hopefully, the results of the consultation will lead to a re-think.

Raynes Park Stn - Cattle Arch Works

Bridge Maintenance at Raynes Park Station (North end of “Cattle Arch”) 

Network Rail is to carry out work at the station entrance and the pedestrian archway known as the "Cattle Arch".  

The work should hopefully represent some improvement to the current state of the station entrance - something the Raynes Park Association has been campaigning on for years!
 

This is the message from Network Rail:

The work will involve high-pressure jet washing, mechanical preparation, and bridge repainting with the use of a mobile elevating work platform (MEWPS), as well as water tankers.
 
To carry out these works safely and working with the council, a footpath closure with diversion route will be in place at the bridge for the duration of the works although the footpath diversion will only be in place between 10pm till 6am.
 
Please kindly note that once our team have cleaned the structure, if any structural issues are identified, this work may be extended which would impact the dates provided below. Safety is our priority and we’re sorry in advance for the inconvenience this work may cause the community, but we will let you know if there are any substantive changes to the programme below. We’re incredibly grateful for your cooperation whilst this essential work is carried out.
 
The work will take place from Monday 16 October to Saturday 25 November 2023.  During this time, every night from 22.00 to 06.00 there will be no pedestrian access to the arch.  The alternative route is via the road bridge to the east.  Additionally there will be work undertaken overnight and all day on Sunday 22 October.  There will be additional work all day and overnight from 00.01 on Sunday 10 December to 06.00 on Monday 11 December - again with no pedestrian access from 22.00 to 06.00.

If you are using the station during this time, you can, of course, access the London bound platforms via the ‘country’ bound platforms and to go across the bridge (and vice versa).

ends.

Fix My Street

Information and advice from one of our Road Stewards

 

I was walking the dog at around 8.45pm when I noticed our street sign had been tagged. On returning home, I reported it using the FixMyStreet.com website, and was amazed to receive an update at 8am telling me it had been cleaned off! 

I’ve also used it to report fly-tipping by the green at Motspur Park/West Barnes Lane, and on the street at Blakes Terrace and Byron Avenue, each time collected within 24 hours.

I’m so impressed by the process, and I think it’s important to not only acknowledge when Merton does well, but also to share that it really is worth reporting even the small things.  

We all want our neighbourhoods to look their best. If I hadn’t reported it, the graffiti might have been there for far longer. I encourage all residents to enable the maintenance crew to address streetscape issues by using the website or app whenever you spot something amiss, so that it’s on their radar and can be prioritised.

London Buses - Superloop

October 2023

A member has drawn our attention to a cheap, convenient way to get to Hatton Cross Underground and Heathrow Airport. The SL7 can be boarded at the 131 bus stop at The Fountain, opposite the Environmental Centre, New Malden.  

 

The SL7 is an updated version of the X26 green line, with frequency doubled and low fares maintained. 

http://www.londonbusroutes.net/times/SL07.htm 

The Superloop is a huge TfL development of express bus services, which forms part of the Mayor’s commitment to improving the bus services in outer London.    There will eventually be ten routes, with four already in operation, two more to begin this year, another three in 2024 and the final one in 2025. When complete it will circle the entire capital, connecting key town centres, stations & transport hubs.  

All valid concessionary fares apply, e.g., freedom passes. 

Meanwhile a recent bus journey on an old style “boneshaker” railway replacement bus reminded us how fortunate we are to have the new, wonderfully smooth, quiet 163 buses transporting us to Wimbledon and Morden.

Access for All - Motspur Park Station

Update - April 2023 

The ‘Access for All’ upgrade at Motspur Park Station is here! Extensive improvement works to provide step-free access across the station will soon start, making travel easier, not just for those with mobility issues, but for all passengers. 

Three new lifts, a new enclosed footbridge and a new station building will be built. 

The work is set to begin in early April 2023, and is due to complete by February 2024. Station Road itself, and the east entrance to the station will be closed for a large part of the programme – access to the platforms will be via the Claremont Road (west) entrance. 

Inevitably there will be service disruption, inconvenience and noise at times, but we hope the end result will make it worthwhile. More details are available here. 

Meanwhile, we continue to urge Network Rail to move forward with similar improvements at Raynes Park Station. 

Dick Coleman

Our Local Shops

One of our members, Rosemary, always an ardent supporter of local causes, shows that there is no need to travel into other areas to buy gifts and cards. Most residents are already aware of the amazing choice of cafes and restaurants available to us, but this selection of shop windows is an invitation to browse and appreciate the variety of small shops in the neighbourhood. This selection of photos celebrates the small shops in the Raynes Park area, all thanks to Rosemary.

Preventing Theft of Your Car

A family living in Parkway, who do not wish to be identified, have sent us an account of no fewer than three car thefts (over the past three years) from outside their house, the latest of which occurred recently. 

Apparently, whilst the police assured the household that they have not been personally targeted, they have reminded us that many criminals return to crime scenes, confident that they can steal replaced items.  So, despite taking all the precautions advised in the past, such as putting the car keys in a Faraday pouch (in a fridge) at the rear of the house, the family were in despair as to how to deal with the situation. 

Fortunately, in the latest case, and through the vigilance of the met police, the stolen car has been found in Essex in an Ilford Car Park, well known as a “resting place” for stolen cars prior to illegal re-sale. In this case, a happy ending for the owners, but the local police advise car owners to fit a ghost immobiliser, a full steering lock and a tracking device.

 

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