Monday, December 18, 2006

New Loampit Vale Medical Centre Officially Open!


On Wednesday Mike, Ute and I attended the official opening of the new Loampit Hill Medical centre (next to the colourful local landmark that is 62 Loampit Hill pictured).
Personally, I think the exterior of the medical centre is rather ugly, but inside it is very modern and spacious, without the steep, pokey staircases which are a feature of so many doctors’ surgeries that are converted houses rather than custom-built. Mayor Steve Bullock gave a speech about how good he was getting at pretending to cut ribbons/turn on Christmas lights while posing for photographers, then dutifully cut the ribbon.
A number of patients attending the opening expressed concern and surprise that there was not any parking for patients, in particular no disabled parking spaces. Seems a little strange, although I understand that residents of Somerset Gardens expressed concern at the planning stage about parking for the development. Ute is going to follow up on this with highways/planning and see if anything can be done.

2 comments:

Mark Morris said...

Sue,

You rightly express the concerns people have about the Loampit Vale Medical Centre not having disabled parking provision, but in relation to all the facilities that will exist in the town centre you advocate on your blog:

" - make it a car-free development"

I accept that the DLR is a step free form of public transport and that Lewisham train station will also become a step free train station, which will dramatically improve access. At the same time Lewisham town centre is well served by bus routes and is obviously within walking and cycling distance for thousands of people.

However, a car free development is exactly that. Surely you will accept that at the very least there should be good provision for disabled parking in one or more places in Lewisham town centre?

Cllr Mark Morris

Sue Luxton said...

Hi Mark
Of course there should be car parking for the disabled within the town centre development, and also the acceptance that for some bikes are a mobility aid and they shouldn't have to dismount and lock them up at the edge of the development. I'd also like to see car clubs for residents within the Gateway development, but that is still a far cry from the current plans which propose 500 car parking spaces. I don't think either a car club with a v small number of cars or disabled parking would detract significantly from any decision to make the development car-free, as far as possible.

Ideally, disabled people should have equal access to public transport as the rest of us, but clearly we are some way from that being the case in London. In any case there will probably always be some disabled people for whom private transport is more appropriate.

BTW, the new medical centre is a fair bit further up the hill from Lewisham station than the planned Gateway development - quite a walk for the less physically active, particularly if you are feeling ill.