Lambeth Council has launched a new kerbside strategy that will allow residents to apply for a parklet outside their home.
In what it describes as one of the first initiatives of its kind in the UK, the council is aiming to repurpose the borough’s kerbside space, re-allocating it away from car parking and towards more sustainable and community uses.
Under the new plans, there will also be changes to parking charges, with larger and more polluting vehicles charged more.
Other measures include electric car club vehicles on every street, e-cargobike hire in every neighbourhood and shared electric vans for high streets in the borough.
Launching the new strategy, Cllr. Rezina Chowdhury said it would mark a shift to a fairer use of public space.
“Lambeth’s kerbside would stretch from London to Edinborough if you lined it all up. But 94% of it is used to provide and manage car parking. That’s not fair when three out of five households don’t even own a car,” she said.
“We are transforming our streets into places for people, not just cars.”
Reaction to the strategy has been mixed, with Oliver Lord, UK co-ordinator for the Clean Cities Campaign at the Transport & Environment consultancy, praising the new initiative on Twitter.
“This will go a long way to addressing health inequities and it’s fair to say that Lambeth is now a climate and clean air beacon for towns and cities across Europe,” he said.
Local campaign group Safer Streets for Tulse Hill also reacted positively, writing: “We can’t wait to see what we can do with all the new space.”
But not everyone has been so enthusiastic, with some residents claiming the council should concentrate on providing basic services first.
“How about you clean the kerbside first?” said one local resident called Adz on twitter, adding: “My street hasn’t been cleaned since December 20th.”
Another resident, Tom Inwood, agreed. “You need to do a much better job at keeping the streets clean. There’s rubbish and dog **** everywhere. Who wants to sit in a ‘parklet’ on a road covered with rubbish?”
Lambeth Council did not respond to requests for comment.
Featured image credit: Marc Rothman