Archived on 6/5/2022

New smart bench on Dartmouth road / Kirkdale

20 Feb '19

Dear all,

The Council has a partnership with an organisation called Strawberry Energy that allows them to install ‘smart benches’ on Council-owned land in the borough. A solar panel on the benches powers free wifi and phone charging facilities, and they also offer local environmental data on noise, air quality and weather to anyone using the associated app. 10 smart benches have been installed around the borough in various locations (including just near the Town Hall in Catford) as well as in Southwark and Islington and elsewhere in London.

There is now a suggestion of a bench being built by the mini -roundabout at the top of Dartmouth Road / Kirkdale (in front of the Woodman) and we have been asked for views. I’d appreciate hearing residents’ thoughts - whether concerns, expressions of support or suggestions of alternative locations. Locations are identified bearing in mind likely usage, as well as issues such as conservation, planning, highways etc.

You can reply on this forum or email me at

Councillor Sophie Davis

20 Feb '19

I think it’s a great idea.

20 Feb '19

Excellent - the environmental data will be so useful in measuring the effectiveness of council policy and improving outcomes.

20 Feb '19

No issues with the installation of a smart bench here.

19 Mar '19


  • Good idea
  • Bad idea
  • No strong opinion
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

19 Mar '19

They sound a great idea, but in practice are not so positive. They are not consistent with disabled access legislation, as the seat is to low for many people, and are hard to clean under for the same reason. The branded connection point blocks one seat, and the whole thing is covered in advertising. How can a council allow the installation of disabled-unfriendly street furniture?

24 Mar '19

A good idea, but not better positioned on the high street?

29 Mar '19

There is already one on the high street opposite the Sydenham Centre.

This article just popped up regarding one in New Cross where locals had one installed and now want it removed -

Just thought might be of interest.