The road junction in the centre of Dulwich Village is used by schoolchildren, parents, cyclists, shoppers and commuters. It is very busy at peak times and has long tail backs on pavements and roads. Air quality is dangerously unhealthy and we want to do something about it.
Lengthy consultations by Southwark Council to introduce a cycleway through the junction as part of a route from the Elephant & Castle to Crystal Palace have confronted local opposition. However the Council has decided to go ahead. Concern is centred currently on the Council’s re-design of the Dulwich Village junction. Some feel that it will be no more successful than the current layout in making the junction safe and minimising delays for all users.
The Council has agreed to consider an alternative proposal but time is very short. An alternative proposal is to do away with the traffic lights as it is argued that however they are phased they sustain a stop-start, fast-slow traffic pattern which is frustrating and dangerous. The alternative proposal is for a ’roundel’ design used in many places. Lights are replaced with a series of small roundabouts or ’roundels’ which enable drivers and cyclists and pedestrians to negotiate their way through the junction. Evidence elsewhere suggest that it works more effectively than traffic lights in congested multi-user village-type situations like this.
It is argued that a ‘low-speed environment’ junction like this in Dulwich Village would:
- give pedestrians and cyclists priority over cars
- help less confident cyclists
- allow traffic to move slowly but continuously
- respect all road-users
- respond to variable traffic flow at different times of day or year
- suit a high street in a village setting in a conservation area
- unite the two sides of Dulwich Village rather than splitting the community in half
- be free of delays introduced by traffic lights
- remind vehicles that they are guests in a residential area
- be easy to trial, and possibly cheaper to build
To progress the idea, a group of residents is seeking to raise funds for traffic experts to draft a design to persuade Southwark Council and Transport for London to take it seriously. You can read more about this and watch a video of how it works and make a contribution to the crowd-funding project to raise £4000 quickly at Dulwich Village Forum.