Repair and improve Sun-in-the-sands roundabout

Following damage caused to Blackheath’s Sun-in-the-sands roundabout, earlier this year, Conservative London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon has been chasing Transport for London (TfL) for progress on the repairs and seeking possible improvements to the general appearance of the pedestrian section of the roundabout after local campaigner Thomas Turrell raised the issue with him.

The railings of the roundabout were damaged in March after a lorry crashed into them. Although a temporary barrier has been put up, no work has yet started.

TfL has responded to Gareth, confirming it is aware of the damage, but is waiting for repair cost estimates to come back from the contractors. Gareth’s office has responded to TfL, urging the repairs to be carried out as soon as possible.

At Thomas’s request, Gareth’s office also pressed TfL on replacing the pebbles next to the pedestrian footpath with plants, which can help reduce both air and noise pollution from the roundabout. Replacing the current concrete with soil would improve natural drainage on the slope. TfL has said it cannot make a firm commitment to do this, but it will look into raising the matter of the slope, where heavy rain could cause the plants and soil to block the pavement. 

Commenting on the response Thomas said: “I’m pleased TfL is open to the idea of replacing the pebbles with plants. TfL has recently been planting more greenery along the side of Rochester Way, so this in line with work it is doing in the wider area.”

In 2014, Gareth helped chase TfL over more serious damage to the railings on the Charlton Road bridge, which led to the barriers being replaced by stronger railings on both Charlton Road Bridge and the Old Dover Road Bridge. Conservative councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward, Geoff Brighty, said: "We are fortunate to have Conservative GLA Member Gareth Bacon to take these issues up and he is always very helpful when it comes to Greenwich borough matters.”