Bermondsey underground station: shiny and spotless on the inside, dirty and grubby on the outside. Opened in 1999, the station provides a real lifeline for residents living north and south of Jamaica Road.
Serving the West End of London in only 12 minutes and speeding to Olympic Stratford in the east in only 17 minutes, the Jubilee line gets Bermondsey residents where they want to go in a flash. The trains are spruced up daily and the platforms are so clean that you could dine on them. So, what has happened to the concourse outside the station?
The pavements are covered in grease and grime, due mainly to a lack of regular sweeping and steam cleaning. While Southwark Council stated in a recent Twitter exchange that they 'have a permanent cleaning presence in this section of Jamaica Rd between 6am and 6pm', our recent visits call into question the quality of the cleaning.
What exactly are they cleaning with: an old Aldi duster? In Bermondsey we know how to clean - we get down on our hands and knees and scrub! Not so long ago, Bermondsey folk used to take pride in cleaning their door steps every day with a brush and a bucket of bleach and soapy water - indeed, some community spirited residents still do. While not wishing to teach Southwark Council how to suck eggs, it is evident that their cleaning department needs a lesson in street cleaning and public realm management, so here goes.
1.Sweep thoroughly throughout the day, without picking and choosing what to sweep up.
2. Pick up cigarette ends and empty regularly the cigarette bin on the wall.
3. Steam clean the pavement every few weeks to remove dirt and grime, wiping walls and street furniture.
4. Scrape up chewing gum - it looks unsightly and is a public health hazard.
5. Use cleaning products that actually clean.
6. Limit the amount of street furniture outside the station including bins, newspaper vending stands and cycling racks. (Why not move the 'Evening Standard' stand at the end of the day?)
7. Stop placing Southwark Council rubbish sacks and resident and business waste sacks outside the station entrance.
Local Lib Dem councillors have put their weight behind a 'Clean Up Southwark' campaign. On our Twitter page @bermondseybeach, prospective Labour MP Councillor Neil Coyle promised to raise the matter with the council lead officer. So, come on politicians - get a move on and clean up our beloved station - get scrubbing!
Further Information and Contacts:
Lib Dem '#CleanUpSouthwark' blog
Southwark Council street cleaning page
Cllr Neil Coyle Twitter account
Southwark Council Environmental Services
Telephone: 020 7525 2000