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Ramblers in London get up to lots of activities. Check out the individual groups' sites to see what they are up to.

You can see some of what we're up to on Twitter on the side of this page and the articles, below give a bit more detail about what's been going on or is planned in Inner London Area.

2015 Annual Report Cover

Did you know there are more than 12,000 Ramblers members living in London.  More than 4,5000 of those are members of the Inner London Area, either directly or by virtue of their membership of our nine constituent groups.

To get an idea of what we did last year, take a look at our Annual Report (PDF).

London is an extraordinary place for walking.  Nearly half of it is green, including parks, woodland, canal and riversides, and the opportunities for exploration and historical walking are unparalleled.

Over 97% of the population walk and making walking around our city more attractive and easier is the most accessible and cost-effective way of increasing capacity on over-loaded buses and trains, while improving the physical and mental health of the population. 

The Ramblers has more than 12,000 members in London.  We are calling on the next Mayor to follow the current regime's focus on cycling by appointing a walking ambassador to promote London as a world class walking city for all.  We want the next GLA to champion the Thames Path and other routes to ensure they remain safe and open for all Londoners to walk and ensure equality of access to our amazing parks and green spaces, so that everyone has a green space close to their home.

Find out more about the Rambler's London-wide campaign for the 2016 Mayoral and GLA elections here.

Inner London Area Ramblers has backed the feasibility study into The Peckham Coal Line, a proposed elevated urban park built on disused railway coal sidings to form a natural, physical and social link between two high streets.  

The 900m-long route will run on disused coal sidings alongside the railway line through the heart of Peckham. It will complement the urban setting and frame views across London, passing through beautiful Victorian brick viaducts before dropping down to a little-used nature reserve.  It will bridge the gap in a wider network of cycling and walking greenways between Brixton and the Thames.

The Coal Line will transform walking and cycling connections around Peckham, changing the lives of residents and businesses by bridging busy roads and creating a more direct link between two high streets.

Now that funding is secured for the feasibility study, the brief will be drawn up and will go out to tender. The team behind the project hopes to have something to share by next spring.
 
In the meantime, they are hosting some events with schools, colleges and the public to feed into the feasibility study.

We are planning to include the site of the project in some upcoming walks in 2016.

Find out more about the project here.

 Coal Line

 

 

 

On the 15th of July 2015, one of the Inner London Ramblers members who sits on the national Board of Trustees, Moira Fraser, and the Ramblers' Chief Executive, Benedict Southworth, appeared on Radio 4's Today programme to talk about the Big Pathwatch.

Click here to hear what they said:

It's taken 13 years but there is, literally, now light at both ends of the Brydges Place tunnel.

This long-running saga started when in 2002 a local businessman was alarmed to see work to gate (or in this case door) the north/south spur of Brydges Place.

Reputedly the narrowest footpath in London (15 inches at its narrowest point) Brydges Place near Charing Cross runs between Bedfordbury and St Martins Lane and down to Chandos Place. In 2000, a local resident living next to the path obtained planning permission from Westminster City Council to `door' the passageway to Chandos Place, claimed it as private property, and started using it as a parking garage.

This narrow public right of way runs east/west between Chandos Place and St Martins Lane adjacent to the London Coliseum, just up from Charing Cross. It's been in existence, under various names, since early in the 19th century, and whilst it had not necessarily been the most attractive short cut it did serve a number of homes and businesses, as well as an emergency exit route for the Coliseum.

Westminster City Council policy is generally against gating, and previous applications to door this passageway had been refused on the grounds that it was part of the highway and public right of way.

Brydges Place signageHow this application was granted is unclear, but it soon became obvious when Dominc Pinto, one of Inner London Ramblers' campaigners, first got involved in the spring of 2009 that there were some singular features.  Key papers, including the details of previous applications were missing.  Dominic was able to supply copies of those from the local community association files.  That, together with searches of the St Martins Vestry minute book in the archives, backing from the community association, and advice from the Open Spaces Society, got his work on the way. The collection and submission of local residents statements as to the open nature of the alley and passageway, and uninterrupted use going back to at least the 1950s, and the City Council's own highways department also asserting the passageway as highway going back at least 60 years, were all material in getting the matter looked at in detail.

With local councillors involved, and endorsement by the Inner London Area Council to pursue the campaign, Dominic and the local businessman kept the pressure up, working in parallel and co-operation. This culminated, eventually, in a lengthy meeting with the cabinet member and lawyers, and a further review.  Finally, in 2013, the City Council decided to assert that Brydges Place was public highway and gave notice that unless the obstructing doors were removed by the property owner they would take action to remove them.  Early in 2014 the doors came down.

We then pressed for street name signage, that had existed prior to 2002, should be restored, and the private property signs removed. It has taken a further almost 18 months and in June those signs went up.

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South East Walker newspaper is produced quarterly by a small team of volunteers.  It's distributed to Ramblers members across the South East with the glossy Walk magazine and contains more local news and updates about what volunteers and groups are doing across the region.