'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

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biscuitman1978
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'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by biscuitman1978 » 10 Feb 2016 17:59

Some of you will have noticed that the 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines on Sydenham Road is damaged.

Image

After a lengthy back and forth between TflL and Lewisham Council as they argued about who owned it (Lewisham Council, it turns out), I have now been advised that:
Unfortunately the [Council's] Structural Engineer has confirmed that whilst we apparently do indeed own the sign, we do not currently have the funds to maintain it. I am advised that the repair in this instance would cost around £600. As I am sure you are aware highway maintenance budgets, in common with other Council budgets, are under extreme pressure at present and it is difficult to justify this expenditure as it would simply mean that other more urgent issues could not be addressed.
Understandable, of course, but rather disappointing.

The full saga is available at https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/727677#update_832328

sydres
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by sydres » 10 Feb 2016 19:53

Well done for chasing this - shame the sign has been damaged so soon after it was installed. Although it is sad though not surprising to hear the Council cannot afford to replace it, I think the people of Sydenham can raise £600 between them. How about we start crowdfunding?

MartinH
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by MartinH » 10 Feb 2016 19:58

How about Lewisham Council itemise the "Six Hundred Pounds". I could repair the sign for £250-300 if I knew I was going to get paid !!

parker
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by parker » 11 Feb 2016 10:54

sydres wrote:Well done for chasing this - shame the sign has been damaged so soon after it was installed. Although it is sad though not surprising to hear the Council cannot afford to replace it, I think the people of Sydenham can raise £600 between them. How about we start crowdfunding?
How about Lewisham stop paying the top knobs at the council hundreds of thousands of pounds of OUR taxes and use the money we pay Lewisham to repair things like this and pay people to be on the end of the phone when residents require the services from the council they're paying for. Thought it was a long shot...

angela53
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by angela53 » 11 Feb 2016 11:53

Such a shame as this is not a huge sum of money. The sign now has a negative impact in a prominent place. Would it be realistic to organise some local fundraising? I am sure some of the local businesses/pubs could assist. I would be happy to throw a few pounds into a bucket.

leenewham
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by leenewham » 11 Feb 2016 12:48

I'm not surprised with the reduction in funding for the council.

I'm not sure why people are commenting on how much is costs to fix something like this without knowing what needs fixing and if the enamelled panel needs replacing. They aren't cheap.

mosy
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by mosy » 11 Feb 2016 12:59

I just wonder why they were installed in the first place (no doubt at huge cost) if maintenance budget isn't feasible. I imagine they are a prime target for vandalism, same as bus shelters and phone boxes were. It would gall me to pay to have it mended if it just got broken again.

However, as leenewham says, without knowing more, it could have been struck by lightning for all I know. Can't say I've ever seen anyone looking at it though - maybe it's in the wrong place? People milling near Sydenham Station Approach do ask me periodically how to get to Penge East.

The sign stands remind me of that proverbial notice stuck in the middle of a lake which said nothing more than "Do not throw stones at this notice".

leenewham
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by leenewham » 11 Feb 2016 14:05

They are designed to be vandal proof and are very strong. Although not being hit by a vehicle strong!

I've seen them installed all over London and haven't heard of any being vandalised yet (they appeared in every high street project we have been involved in).

They are handy finding your way around. I've had people ask me where places are when they come out of the station. They are a generic system with each map and info being made bespoke.

If you start saying 'why did they install it because it might get vandalised' then you may as well remove every bench, childrens playground, public artwork, planter, water fountain, street lamp, cycle rack…

mosy
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by mosy » 11 Feb 2016 14:37

A bit unfair as I did say I had no idea as to how it had been damaged - not much would stand up to a vehicle collision. Encouraging to know that it wasn't vandalism :) Also, I didn't say that I didn't like them, only questioning usefulness if that one might be better placed.

If, however, you suggest that this damaged one is an unusual occurrence, then there is an argument for mending it IMO.

FromCtoShiningC
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by FromCtoShiningC » 11 Feb 2016 15:14

I wonder if it was a damaged sign in some other parts of London - would it not be replaced ASAP? I wonder.... (just a thought)

A real shame to see this damaged as it is very much in the gateway to Sydenham as one comes off the train....

leenewham
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by leenewham » 12 Feb 2016 13:18

I wasn't overly criticising you, my tone was supposed to be friendly, although on a forum it could be read in a different way to which is was intended.

All things placed in the public domain can be damaged, vandalised etc. I've worked for companies that have designed Tube stations and was amazed at the complex amounts of calculations that go into things like loading on hand rails etc (they did Oval and Hammersmith). Another friend of mine designed the cycle racks for the Boris (but really Ken) bikes and the way finding signage for Bluewater They are designed to be tough, but as with most things, they aren't indestructible.

You can find out more about Legible London in this report by the excellent Steer Davies Gleave (we worked alongside them in Ruislip Manor, it's worth seeing their high street improvements, especially how they placed benches with planting).

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/legible-londo ... ummary.pdf

chrisj1948
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by chrisj1948 » 12 Feb 2016 16:02

mosy wrote:A bit unfair as I did say I had no idea as to how it had been damaged - not much would stand up to a vehicle collision..
Except for trees! My bike group gets an annual lecture from a group of police accident investigators, suitably illustrated with many harrowing pictures. One of the most striking is of a BMW which had run into a not particularly substantial tree trunk. The car had a V smashed into it up to the windscreen. The tree suffered nothing worse than minor bark damage.

The moral drawn for us is, if you have to run into something, choose anything but a tree.

Regards
Chris

mosy
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by mosy » 12 Feb 2016 16:24

Absolutely. In fact, the only Cadillac I've ever seen was in a repairer's yard with such a V after wrapping itself around a tree - clearly the car came off worse.

biscuitman1978
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'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by biscuitman1978 » 12 Feb 2016 17:23

This chat is all very well, but perhaps we can discuss how we're going to get the sign fixed?!

There are, I think, three options:
- Find a generous single donor (unlikely)
- Wait until further funds are being allocated to local projects by the Sydenham Assembly
- Crowdfund a replacement (as sydres suggested)

Any other ideas? And which one should we pursue?

stuart
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by stuart » 12 Feb 2016 17:44

What has happened to the Sydenham Assembly budget? This is just the thing to spend it on.

Which reminds me - I remember voting for a steam stain remover machine to clear our spanking new pavements of chewing gum. The gum is still there. What happened?

Stuart

JRobinson
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by JRobinson » 18 Feb 2016 15:32

presumably crowdfuding and then getting it fixed ourselves would be more expensive than the cost to whoever maintains it (TfL or Lewisham) - so I suggest that if we do crowdfund then we also agree to send the money to Lewisham (or TFL) with the sole intention for them to use it on their contract with their maintenence company to procure the required repairs to said furniture.

michael
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by michael » 18 Feb 2016 16:25

Can't somebody print a map of Sydenham and tape it to the inside of the sign?
It is an opportunity to include a, 'Illegible Lewisham' sign with details of local independent businesses, and a message that says Lewisham is unable to bother paying for few hundred quid for the repairs to a sign that was part of a £3m overhaul of the high street paid by TfL.

Alternatively if somebody could report that they 'cut their finger' on the sharp pieces of the sign that they have failed to repair, then perhaps this could be considered a health and safety issue which the council has a duty to resolve, rather than leaving dangerous pieces of street furniture in the middle of the pavement.

mosy
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by mosy » 18 Feb 2016 17:00

biscuitman1978 wrote:This chat is all very well, but perhaps we can discuss how we're going to get the sign fixed?!

There are, I think, three options:
- Find a generous single donor (unlikely)
- Wait until further funds are being allocated to local projects by the Sydenham Assembly
- Crowdfund a replacement (as sydres suggested)

Any other ideas? And which one should we pursue?
Why do you not include a fourth option of expecting the council just to get on and repair it?

If leenewham is correct that the signs are robust (and presumably they are or they shouldn't have been ordered in the first place), then presumably it's an occasional one-off, not a budget requirement for £600 per sign for every such sign in Lewisham.

Maybe the inaction is actually being driven by lack of staff time of having "more important things to spend time on". Well, I can think of more important (or worthy) things to spend my crowdfunding money on. Besides, why set a precedent? We could be expected to crowdfund potholes and goodness knows what else going that route.

Had the signs been a local initiative I might think differently, but as a TFL/Lewisham decision it is their responsibility to maintain them in my view.

biscuitman1978
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by biscuitman1978 » 18 Feb 2016 18:18

mosy wrote:
biscuitman1978 wrote:This chat is all very well, but perhaps we can discuss how we're going to get the sign fixed?!

There are, I think, three options:
- Find a generous single donor (unlikely)
- Wait until further funds are being allocated to local projects by the Sydenham Assembly
- Crowdfund a replacement (as sydres suggested)

Any other ideas? And which one should we pursue?
Why do you not include a fourth option of expecting the council just to get on and repair it?
Because they've told me that they won't - see my post at the top of this thread.

JRobinson
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Re: 'Legible London' sign outside Palace Wines

Post by JRobinson » 19 Feb 2016 11:18

I looked at it this morning, it's not dangerous, it's not broken, or knocked over. there's no exposed cables or wires. it just has one side missing. There's a map on the other side showing the same things.
I suspect that the reason that it's expensive to fix is that each map is bespoke - even the map on the opposite side of the same sign is different, as they're designed to be viewed in an exact location so that the top of the map is in front of you, and the bottom of the map is behind you (rather than the traditional and widely accepted method that the top of the map points north). So they might have the map somewhere on file, but they'd have to get it printed to fit that specific side of that sign, and get someone out to fit it.

you are right, we don't want to set a precedent by crowdfunding this fix, especially when it's not that important. Lewisham should really have budgeted for maintenance.

I susgest that Lewisham ask one of their staff to volunteer to take unpaid leave, for an appropriate time, and use the money saved to fix this. preferably someone in the highways department, or procurement, or whoever signed off on not having a maintenance budget.

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