Liberal Democrats Push for Council to Reconsider Rye Lane Reopening

Southwark Liberal Democrats officially asked the council on Monday night to reconsider its decision to re-open Rye Lane in light of the climate emergency.

The Council plans to allow buses and timed deliveries to access Peckham’s Rye Lane, which has been closed to traffic since July 2020.

Liberal Democrat members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) used the council’s call-in system to request that that decision be brought to the body for an inspection in which officers and the relevant Cabinet Member will be interviewed.

Councillors Victor Chamberlain, Anood Al-Samerai and Humaira Ali were particularly concerned by the lack of consultation and climate impact assessment in the decision-making process.

Campaigners for the pedestrianisation of Rye Lane have told councillors that the council has not sufficiently engaged with residents regarding the re-opening of Rye Lane.  Despite the council calling a Climate Emergency and changing the constitution to mandate carbon evaluations in its resolutions, the Rye Lane decision did not include any assessment of the likely climate impacts it could have.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Victor Chamberlain, who is Vice-Chair of OSC, said:

“Southwark Labour have a habit of not listening to residents and avoiding real consultation on their policies. Two years after declaring a climate emergency, they still fail to consider how their policies are affecting our environment. On the day that the UN called the IPCC report a ‘code red for humanity’ if we don’t face up to climate change, the Southwark Liberal Democrat group could not allow for Rye Lane to be re-opened without properly considering the effects it would have on our climate.

We need to be encouraging more sustainable transport and the removal of unnecessary traffic from Southwark roads. For that reason, as Vice-Chair of OSC, I have called in the decision on behalf of the Liberal Democrat group.


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