The streetscape work by Wandsworth Council to repave the remaining length of Lavender Hill is proving to be pretty much what we were hoping for, with decent quality work now nearing completion.
The new slabs are a smooth ground finish (rather than straight concrete) which should prove more durable and stay reasonably clean. As part of the works the original granite kerbs have been realigned, and the existing cast iron bollards have been somewhat redeployed in a more logical arrangement, and the scruffy seating area east of BAC has had a few repairs to make the steps at least safe.
Rumour has it a few new trees are on the way along the central stretch of the street as well, which should – with the smarter and more consistent paving – make this a rather more attractive environment for pedestrians.
Slightly surprisingly, the rather scratched and dented guardrail (that’s TfL jargon for pavement railings) at the eastern end has been kept – the general thinking is now very much to remove these where possible, as their net effect on safety seems to be negative. Maybe this is because there are steps at the other side, and it makes sense to prevent people starting to cross if they can’t access the pavement opposite, but it seems a waste of limited pavement space.
Reassuringly, in most cases the privately-owned shop forecourts that aren’t already restaurant terraces are also being repaved (by agreement with landowners) – in either small block paving or a few cases tarmac. All in all a decent effort that has rather transformed the appearance of some sections of Lavender Hill. We’re still optimistic that the dead end streets at the eastern end can be improved further, and that some of the pedestrian crossings at the side streets can be much improved – but this is a very good start.