LAMBETH COUNCIL this week hit back at a survey by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Radio 4 Today programme which named Streatham High Road as the UK's 'Street of Shame'.
While accepting that, as the 'longest high street in Europe', there was much that could be done to improve facilities, Lambeth said that it was also one of London's major arterial roads.
'Roads like this present difficult challenges, and haven't had the investment needed over many years, ' said Councillor Clare Whelan, Lambeth's executive member for environment.
She added that £790,000 has recently been ploughed into the area to improve signage and street furniture and boost safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Of the 1,018 people questioned as part of CABE's research, 81% were interested in the how the built environment looked and 70% felt satisfied with the appearance of their local area.
The survey also confirmed that peace and quiet was the most important factor in making areas a pleasant place to live. Only 9% thought better road maintenance, pavements and street lighting would improve their area.
The survey compared Streatham High Road with 'good examples' such as Grey Street, Newcastle, a 19th Century terraced street designed by architect John Dobson.
A spokesman for Lambeth Council rejected the comparison: 'Streatham High Road cannot be compared to city centre cul de sacs, ' they said. 'Tackling crime is a higher priority for funds.'
INFOPLUS www. streetsofshame. org. uk