Kingston and Richmond Covid-19 Update: June 3
I was delighted to hear from ten year old Saffron this week, who emailed me this lovely story:
"During lockdown I missed my friends & family very much. I thought about drawing daises and asking friends to post them in their windows. This inspired me to think about the elderly neighbours in my own avenue and how they must be feeling. I created a daisy chain, I painted 67 daises and posted them to each household with a card asking them to put them in their window to signify they are ok. There are tens and tens of daises in our avenue now."
I thought this was a lovely way to spread kindness in the community. You can see Saffron's video about her project here
QUESTIONING THE GOVERNMENT ON BRITISH AIRWAYS
I spoke in the House today, asking the Department of Transport what they are doing about British Airways' treatment of their employees. You can see my question and the Undersecretary's rather dispiriting response here: https://www.facebook.com/saraholneyld/videos/756647831540428/
I hope that with continued pressure the Government can be made to hold British Airways to account for their actions, especially in light of the public funds they are receiving from the Government.
RAMPING UP TESTING AND TRACING
I spoke to Bloomberg Radio today about the Government's response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need to get the new testing and contact tracing programme right. You can hear our discussion in this podcast:
PROTESTING RACISM IN THE US
I have had many phone calls and messages from constituents about the protests in America, Donald Trump's actions, and the Black Lives Matter movement. I condemn the police culture there that costs so many African-Americans their lives, and the aggressive acts of Trump's government against peaceful protesters. The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to review exports of security equipment to the US, including rubber bullets and tear gas, given the evidence that they are being used to target unarmed citizens.
LONDON WETLAND CENTRE IN BARNES REOPENING
The London Wetland Centre is teeming with wildlife and will open again on Wednesday 10 June. They will be strictly the number of people who can visit and have set up an online booking system. Everyone, whether you’re a WWT member or not, must book in advance for the day you wish to visit. Bookings open every Wednesday morning at 9am for the following week, and you need to book the day before you’d like to visit. Inside the Centre they have made some routes one-way to help visitors keep a safe distance apart. Most indoor areas and all play areas are still closed, but some of the hides are open. Toilets are also open, and you bring your own food and drink and enjoy a picnic.
BOARDING LONDON BUSES
London bus routes are starting to reintroduce front door boarding this week, with customers required to touch in with Oyster, contactless and concessionary cards. Transport for London anticipates that all London buses will have returned to front-door boarding by mid-June. In addition to regular cleaning, TfL has added a film layer to driver screens and sealed off gaps around the screen to reduce the risk to drivers of contracting coronavirus from customers.
New limits to the number of customers on board at any one time will also be introduced. Double-decker buses will be able to carry 20 customers. Single-decker buses, depending on the size of the bus, will carry between six and 10 customers. The driver will have discretion to allow more customers on board if they are travelling in households.
NEW BARRIERS FOR KEW ROAD CYCLE LANE
The Council has placed temporary barriers between the cycle lane and the road on the northbound side of Kew Road this week as part of the Council's mandatory post-Covid transport action plan. The parking along this stretch has been removed. These changes were made to encourage travelers to cycle instead of drive, especially visitors to the newly re-opened Kew Gardens. You can see Cllr Alex Ehmann explaining the changes here:
APPEAL FOR SECOND HAND BICYCLES
The Hampton Bike Project has launched a public appeal for donations of second-hand bicycles of all conditions to help get refugees and asylum seekers cycling. Due to current public health restrictions, the drop-off collection service has been suspended. To arrange a donation to The Bike Project please email Mrs. Wendy Salmon at email@example.com
More information is available here: https://thebikeproject.co.uk/
REPAIRS TO RICHMOND LOCK
The Port of London Authority is replacing timbers on the lock gates at Richmond Lock. For more information about the repair project, and the impact on lock users, see their newsletter: http://tidalthames.co.uk/Covid-19-Special-Port-of-London-Authority-News-Week-1-June-2020/Jun-2020-Covid-19-Special-2.htm