Healthy Streets challenges for Turney & Burbage residents

Burbage RA Secretary Louise Woods has set out the challenges for Turney and Burbage Road residents in this remarkably clear piece.  Residents must make a decision – and the decision is very much one for residents – about the immediate future nature of our neighbourhood.  Currently plagued by heavy traffic and fumes with air quality levels regularly breaching recommended levels and with increasing evidence about the effect on our health, we have the opportunity to make things better.  What are the options which would do this?  Read on…………………………..

Background

The Healthy Streets initiative is driven by well established resident and schools groups and builds upon much of the consultation work which has taken place in recent years in Dulwich Village. This has been backed up with new data analysis which demonstrates high traffic flows leading to poor air quality, particularly –  but not only –  restricted to school and rush hour times (weekdays 7-10am and 3-7pm).

The opportunity now arises to use funding from TfL, together with that from Southwark, to implement structural changes to improve our environment. Other parts of London, including Lambeth, Croydon, Lewisham, Camberwell and Peckham are also implementing measures designed to enable more active travel.

You can see the proposals, including supporting traffic data and maps on this link:

But for a fuller briefing I urge you to attend one of two upcoming consultation sessions:
Saturday 29th February, 9am to 12.30pm at Herne Hill Baptist Church, Half Moon Lane at the corner with Winterbrook

Wednesday 4th March, 6.30pm to 9pm at JAGS Your views can be sent to Southwark via the attached questionnaire:

The consultation process for this phase ends on the 29th of March.

Implications of Areas A, B and C ( See map) 

In essence the proposals amount to creating an area within Dulwich where vehicle access is relatively open to residents (and other permit holders) but limited to others on a (to be agreed) timed basis. By doing this cycle and pedestrian travel within this area should be safer and healthier, through-traffic and commuter traffic would be discouraged.

The aim is that, though there would be some traffic displacement to neighbouring areas, there would also be an overall reduction in traffic, as has been experienced elsewhere (Waltham Forest, for example).

The proposals for Area B on the attached map have arisen directly from previous consultations and received considerable support.

Councillors and other groups have argued strongly however that these plans should not be implemented without consideration for the surrounding areas:Area A in East Dulwich but also Area C which includes us and neighbouring Stradella & Winterbrook, Turney and Dulwich Village.  

Without inclusion, Burbage and other roads in Areas A and C are all likely to become significantly worse as traffic rat runs, commuter car parks, effectively very unhealthy ‘smokey corridors’. Measures already planned for Lambeth will inevitably exacerbate the traffic pressures on Burbage, Stradella, Winterbrook and Turney.

Residents calling for measures in Area B may not necessarily be depended upon to support mitigating measures in Area A and C. But the current opinion from our neighbouring RAs in Area C is that these knock- on factors are likely to lead to strong support for the proposed scheme to operate Village-wide, ie Areas A, B and C.

The conclusion from the above is that Burbage is highly likely to be affected by changes not only to Area B but also to Areas A and C, whatever the opinion of our own residents.

Burbage Road

The feedback from Burbage residents in response to all previous consultations (including our own parking survey last year and our AGM) is that traffic issues have become significantly worse in recent years. You have also consistently told us that you want a Village-wide and co-ordinated approach to traffic and associated environmental problems.

The current proposals for Burbage Road are deliberately not precisely defined, but are potentially major (see map)

  • Restrictions on Burbage Road – either a northbound no-entry to all cars (south of the junction with Stradella Road) or a permeable road closure ( meaning no access to motor vehicles, only bikes and pedestrians) south of Stradella Road.
  • No entry restrictions eastbound on Turney Road, between Burbage Road and Dulwich Village.
  • Timed access restrictions northbound on Burbage Road and Dulwich Village (at the junction with College Road), to reduce the volume of traffic taking short-cuts through Dulwich Village.
  • The introduction of parking controls to prevent commuters taking advantage of Burbage as a gateway to the Village.

These raise concerns about more speeding associated with a one-way road and potential access problems for services, health and sports facilities and businesses. Also they may affect the integrity and feel of our road. Turney have flagged that permeable closure nearer Croxted Road may be preferable to controls at the junction with Burbage. Close cooperation with Turney, Stradella and Dulwich Village would clearly be needed for any solution.

We would like to know your views

Given that Zone B is likely to go ahead:

  • Do we want Burbage to be part the proposed changes for Dulwich wide Healthy Streets ? (Are we prepared to accept permits and consider parking restrictions as a consequence of this? )
  • If not, what are the likely consequences for us?
  • If we do participate, what is the preferable configuration? (What would be our non-negotiable conditions for such a scheme?)

In any eventuality, the RA will advocate fully evaluating any outcomes before setting them in stone, weighing equally the opinions of our businesses, their employees, our health and sports facilities, our carers, visitors and workers and last, but not least, the less physically mobile members of our community.

In order to exert our influence the RA  will need to have a clear steer from residents on all of these.

Next steps

As a first stage our committee members are aiming to speak to as many of you as possible before the next consultation meeting. A meeting of all residents and/or a poll are also being considered. You can always contact me or any committee member directly, I hope to hear from you.

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