Southwark Council publishes further Covid-19 – Post lockdown highway schemes

Southwark Council is planning further highway schemes supported by the Government and Transport for London regulation and funding.

The proposals cover various parts of the Borough and include Dulwich Village, Turney Road and Burbage Road.  For our roads, they are recognisable from the recent consultations and public meetings but are confusing as the maps and charts attached to the proposals do not all match.  There appear to be errors in the drafting which will need to be resolved before decisions are made if we are all to know what is intended.

The timeline is that sometime on or after 1 Sep 2020 Councillor Richard Livingstone, the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency will decide whether to proceed with the proposals.

In brief, the three proposals for Dulwich Village are for weekday morning and afternoon restrictions on traffic flowing northwards a) through the Village & b) Burbage Road and c) eastwards along Turney Road from the junction with Burbage Road.  For Dulwich Village double yellow lines will be introduced extending to the lights at North Dulwich.

However, the drafting errors make it unclear a) whether there is a restriction on traffic entering Burbage Road from the south at the War Memorial roundabout and b) whether there is a restriction at the railway bridge in Turney Road.  These two issues are important.  Without these restrictions traffic can enter Burbage Road from the south and proceed to turn left into Turney Road to reach Croxted Road.

The proposals relate to the mornings 8-10 and afternoons 3-6 on weekdays and to northbound traffic, plus east bound traffic in part of Turney Road.  Traffic moving southwards and westwards will be monitored.

The maximum time this experiment can be in place is eighteen months.  The Council says it will consider consultation and feedback during the period of the order and will make a decision on whether to make it permanent, amended or rescinded after a period of normally six to twelve months.

Calton Ave & Court Lane – CLOSED

Calton AveIn a letter dated 19 June the Council explains the closures of Calton Avenue and Court Lane.  A move that took us by surprise.

Cllr. Richard Livingstone Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency
Richard.Livingstone@southwark.gov.uk
Date: 19 June 2020

Dear Southwark resident,
Experimental transport measures in Dulwich Village

The Covid-19 pandemic has required us to introduce measures that fundamentally alter people’s travel patterns and the ways in which we use Southwark’s streets and spaces. Across Southwark, we are taking action to fast-track a variety of transport measures that support increased walking and cycling, allow social distancing, improve perception of air pollution exposure, and prevent motor vehicle traffic levels from rising.

The Dulwich area has been identified as a priority, as it receives a very high volume of through traffic and also, once schools resume, very high numbers of pupils walking and cycling. ‘Our Healthy Streets – Dulwich’ engagement project has identified a number of interventions with broad local support. We have adapted some of these to develop interventions that can be installed quickly and trialled to provide safer routes through the area for socially distanced, active travel.

These are all experimental measures – we will be required to conduct full public consultation before any of these are made permanent, and within eighteen months from installation. The measures are flexible as the experimental nature of the trial allows us to make amendments and changes within the first six months. An option will of course be to return the highway arrangements to the original state if the trial is not deemed to be successful.

We will be monitoring the impact of these changes throughout that period, using counts of motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, we are inviting residents to let us know about the impact on the streets they use – whether positive or negative – on the feedback map at https://dulwichvillagestreetspace.commonplace.is. You are also able to sign up there for regular updates on this project, including the installation date. The site will be live once the measures have been installed.

These are unprecedented times – in collaboration with central government and Transport for London we are taking these urgent steps to ensure the health and safety of our residents. We remain committed to working with you to ensure that all the measures we take work for local people and contribute to enhanced quality of life both at this difficult time and in the future.

Yours faithfully,
Cllr. Richard Livingstone Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency

 

Traffic in Dulwich time to take action – AGAIN

So Southwark have closed the Village Junction at Court Lane and Carlton Avenue and also Melbourne Grove. This has been enabled by the Government’s funding of emergency measures following Covid19. It will take number of days if not weeks for the Satnavs to catch up and people to look for alternative routes so it will be difficult to see the longer term effects until after the summer when Schools are due back fully.  Attached are notes of a zoom meeting with Village Councillors yesterday which hopefully will provide some clarification about what is happening.  As you will see it looks like the loss of revenue and increased costs due to Covid19 has led to the withdrawal of funding for Our Healthy Streets Dulwich. All that is left to get some reduction in traffic is the Government scheme which has been called StreetSpace. Unfortunately it does mean there is not going to be a holistic scheme for the area and interventions will be introduced piecemeal.

For those who wish to see some reduction it is vital to continue to complete the Southwark StreetSpace Commonplace map. https://southwarkstreetspace.commonplace.is/comments. Also write to the councillors Margy.Newens@southwark.gov.uk,  Richard.Leeming@southwark.gov.uk and the decision maker who is Councillor Richard Livingstone  Richard.Livingstone@southwark.gov.uk who is the Southwark Cabinet member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency. Also copy in our MP helen.hayes.mp@parliament.uk 

A number have written already and whilst the response is fairly standard and non-committal it is making sure that this side of the village will be considered in the next round for some intervention. So if you want the road to become quieter and actually be less a main road then please write and complete the map.  Safer routes due to more safer cycling (Turney is meant to be a Quietway), ability to social distance by emptier roads and reduction in pollution through a reduction in traffic are the key aspects to mention alongside the fact that the road is used by many school children walking/cycling to all the schools in Dulwich.  Many residents supported the closure of Turney in the OHS consultation and this may be the last chance for sometime for this to happen and to see what the effect is.  As I write this traffic is streaming past and a few brave souls are trying to cycle on the road, children are coming back from the Schools and nurseries, so different from 2 months ago.

Below are some notes of a meeting with Margy Newens and Richard Leeming Councillors on 29 June 2020 with Michael Wilkins (TRRA) and Charles Newman (BRRA)

Re: Our Healthy Streets Dulwich (OHSD) and StreetSpace

OHSD (Our Healthy Streets Dulwich)is not formally dead but is suspended with very little likelihood of it being resurrected in the future. TfL do not have any funds for it.

The Council is looking at about a 50million deficit because of the impact of Covid19 on revenue and costs. Therefore there is little Council money available for investment in OHSD

What is on offer is some money from Central Government for Covid related experimental measures, a total of £225million across all local authorities on a spend it or lose it deal.

There is more money coming in September under the scheme. This is when further announcements will be made. However the decisions will be made before. The decisions are made by Richard Livingstone, Cabinet member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency, in consultation with our Local Councillors, Margy Newens and Richard Leeming.

The scheme is for social distancing, active travel and safer environments. Southwark are looking at interventions that cover these criteria but also include pollution reduction.

The interventions are under the Emergency Traffic Act and can last up to 18 months and if they are to be made permanent a consultation process has to be carried out. Any intervention can be removed sooner if it is clear that it is unsafe. It is estimated it will take a period of a few months to bed in. Further interventions in the Village Ward will be under consideration. Margy and Richard were positive about what we have done so far to get Turney on the map so if you would like an intervention to reduce traffic in Turney you continue your efforts steadily over the next month. You will need to argue the case within the criteria above. So all the points that have been made about the Quietway, schools, difficulties for making it a safe road for pedestrians with social distancing and the amount of traffic causing pollution are all relevant. It will be important to add further comments or agree with comments on the Southwark StreetSpace Commonplace map. https://southwarkstreetspace.commonplace.is/comments

One difference from OHSD is that because any intervention is for a trial period those interventions that take time to set up and have high costs, e.g. setting up a permit scheme, are not going to be favoured. Cameras maybe included in interventions but it will be blanket coverage and no special access for residents because that would mean a permit scheme.

Regarding Turney and the closure of the Village Junction there are two traffic number monitoring points one near the Village Junction and one near that SCST sports ground entrance. At present there is also one on Burbage below Stradella. Not very useful as traffic can use the Stradella/Winterbrook rat run to avoid the monitor. The broken one near 103/105 Turney has been reported and is known about and is not part of the present monitoring.

Many staff were moved to respond to Covid-19.  This has meant that the results of the OHSD consultation has not been completed and the analysts have been moved to look at the results of the 3000 comments so far on the Southwark StreetSpace Commonplace map. Also as no decisions were made about the plans for area C no modelling has been done.

The costs for planters are £600 per planter plus ongoing maintenance costs although community groups are being encouraged to take over the maintenance of the ones at the Village Junction.

Link Age Southwark – crowdfunding appeal

Can you help Link Age Southwark reach their all or nothing ‘Bloomin’ Lovely’ crowdfunder project target? An all or nothing target means that if they don’t reach their target they receive none of the donations made and the project won’t be funded.

The vision for the Bloomin’ Lovely project is to adapt and expand their gardening service in an extra special way to show that the local community cares about their older friends. As a result of the lockdown most older people have been unable to do any kind of shopping, including buying plants and flowers to spruce up their gardens.

This year, Link Age Southwark’s aim is to adapt their service for those who are shielding, self-isolating or worried about going out, and to bring a bit of colour back into their lives by delivering bedding plants, a bunch of flowers or a houseplant to them.

Link Age Southwark has had to cancel its planned community fundraising events which raise vital funds to facilitate their services. Your support with this project will enable it to make up the shortfall in order to sustain their service provision at a time when it has never been more important.

Link Age Southwark has launched its crowdfunding page project – Bloomin’ Lovely. There are 48 days to reach their all or nothing target of £5,000 and they would really appreciate support with getting the ball rolling on this. There is a Link below to the appeal:

http://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/bloomin-lovely

The first donations have come in. Volunteers, patron and donors are planning to contact five people to let them know about Link Age Southwark and this project.

Please support this important appeal for our community and help to generate some interest in the crowdfunder page.

You’ll see the gardening project and a video that brings the gardening element to life.

Thank you for your help with letting people know about this crowdunding project.

 

Link Age Southwark is a Registered Charity No.1105923

 

Local retailers adapt to deliver local

These are some of the local businesses which will deliver or arrange collection for you.  Take a look at this list.  It’s gratifyingly long and can supply us with a wide range of things.  We must keep our local businesses afloat and they will support us through this stressful time.

Covid19_Local_Businesses_doing_delivery_or_collection_v2_30_3

Burbage Residents to vote on options

The Burbage Road Residents’ Association has sent out  a ‘Our Healthy Streets‘ questionnaire.

Here’s a link to an online supplementary survey for Burbage Road residents which highlights four options in addition to those put forward by Southwark Council in their consultation survey.  The survey offers residents an opportunity to express preferences in relation to a wider set of options, some of which might be described as aspirational, to inform BRRA’s future engagement with Southwark Council on the Our Healthy Streets proposals.

It is very simple to complete and the deadline is 29th March.

Turney Road residents must take ACTION by 29 March

Long-term Chair of Turney Road Residents Association, Michael Wilkins, with the support of neighbours has issued a plea to Turney Road residents:

The Residents Association are asking you to take action before the 29th March, to reduce pollution and make Turney a residential street again where it is safer to drive and cycle, pleasanter to walk, and live.

This is all about Southwark Council’s proposals to reduce in Dulwich Village The plan includes the closure of the junction of Carlton Avenue, Court Lane and Dulwich Village at the traffic lights.  This is calculated to increase traffic on Turney and surrounding roads.  Surveys show that currently up to 700 cars per hour travel along Turney in the afternoon and evening.  The Turney – Burbage route through to Half Moon Lane in the morning is one of the busiest roads in the area. 

The Residents Association is unhappy with the proposals for Area C which includes Turney.  It is concerned that the plan:

  • does not stop through traffic in the afternoon/evening peak hours, a time when all of Turney is busy both ways.
  • creates a one way street at the Village end of Turney going westward all day. This would increase pollution around the Village schools.
  • makes the cycle way along the road more dangerous.

These proposals do not deliver the stated objectives of the Healthy Streets Initiative on Turney Road.

Completing the Council’s online survey:

The Residents Association has agreed alternative options with Southwark Council.  However as the Council Survey was published prior to these negotiations it does not include these options.

So if you support the Turney Road Residents Association then it suggests you complete the Southwark Survey as follows:

  • for the Burbage Road proposals select no change
  • for the Turney Road proposals select no change
  • for the timed access restriction northbound on Dulwich Village and northwest bound on Burbage Road select support.

Use questions 8 and 9 to ask for the two extra options we have agreed with Southwark:

  1. a) a closure of Turney Road at the railway bridge to stop through traffic along Turney, and
  2. b) a closure of both Turney and Burbage Roads at the railway bridges

This will better meet the objective to reduce through traffic on Turney in both directions.

Turney Road has the second highest traffic for a residential road in Dulwich.  Closure will reduce traffic and pollution outside our homes and at the Hamlet and Infant schools and give us safer roads for the many young and elderly who live on it and travel along it.

This is a rare chance to improve our quality of life and make it safer.  It may not be repeated anytime soon.  Southwark Council is listening but we need to make the case.  

Turney Road residents are urged to go online and complete the Southwark Survey at https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/our-healthy-streets-dulwich-phase-3/. This survey closes on March 29th.  The survey can be completed more than once and the last one overrides earlier ones.

Turney residents’ Healthy Streets Options

Some Turney Road residents attended the first consultation on 8 February on Southwark Council’s Healthy Streets responses to community, London Mayor & Government pressure to do something about our heavy traffic load and the poor air quality we are enduring.

The 3-hour discussion has given us an understanding of the background to the initiative and the issues we face.

There are two more consultations.  Try to attend one of them:

Saturday 29th February, 9am to 12.30pm at Herne Hill Baptist Church, Half Moon Lane at the corner with Winterbrook Road

Wednesday 4th March, 6.30pm to 9pm at JAGS (James Allen Girls School)

Following the consultations we are thinking of having a meeting for residents either separately or with Burbage to discuss and look at the pros and cons of possible options so we can present to Southwark our thinking and views. We will also run an online survey about the options as not everyone will be able to make a meeting.

Turney Committee members have met with our two Councillors and they have written to us expressing the Council’s keenness to consider all options.  This is reiterated in the contents of an email ( see below) from Margy Newens one of our Councillors and has also been expressed by Richard Leeming our other Councillor and also by Clement who is the manager of the project in Southwark.

“Dear Michael, [Michael Wilkins the Chair of Turney Residents Association]

This is absolutely an open process.

The background is that TfL [Transport for London – under the Mayor of London’s jurisdiction] came up with some money and a pre-designated area that it wanted to investigate (Area B on the map, plus an equivalent area on the other side of Lordship Lane, i.e. outside Dulwich Village Ward). Our initial response was that it would not work, because it was too limited. However, as the funding could not be extended we had no option but to begin, at least, focussed on that area. 

During Phase 1 we asked people to identify problems in that area – of which there are a multitude. In Phase 2, we reported back those problems and gave people a “toolkit” to deal with them. This toolkit consisted of a range of interventions from doing nothing to closing roads and several options in between. The hundreds of responses received did err towards the radical end of the spectrum. 

At this stage, those responses have been digested and the current Area B proposals put together. In doing so, the merits of our original argument against simply focussing on Area B are clearer than ever. It is precisely for this reason that at this stage we are extending the consultation to cover the lower Dulwich Village/Turney/Burbage area (and Melbourne Grove to the north east, again outside this ward). You are absolutely right that the proposals for Area B have strong implications there and this is why we are asking residents their views on what interventions, if any, they feel are necessary in this wider area. Officers have offered suggestions that will mitigate the effects of the proposals for Area B. 

I emphasise again, this is absolutely open for discussion, just like the proposals for Area B that you see before you today. However, at the same time it must be understood that the proposals for Area B have already received strong support from earlier consultation responses, although they are not set in stone by any means.

I think it is fair to say that no solution is perfect, however, the least perfect solution is to do nothing. Proposals will be modelled properly to highlight any unexpected consequences – there are sophisticated tools for doing this. Nothing is set in stone and things can be tweaked. But we do need to start somewhere. Both Lambeth and Lewisham are developing extensive low-traffic neighbourhood proposals covering a much wider area than the Dulwich proposals and there is a danger of becoming a smokey corridor between the two. The reason they are doing this is that, just as in Dulwich Village, there is an effective public health emergency in terms of the air we are breathing. This has to be addressed.”

Turney residents need to be thinking of what we want to achieve for the future of our road. What type of road do we want to be living in for the future: as it is now, with more traffic and parking issues, less non-residential traffic, more clean air, more or less parking of non-residents etc. How can we achieve what we want whilst continuing to allow reasonable access for ourselves, the services we use, the sports grounds etc.

At present the main themes, coming from Turney residents, include a) having a permeable closure in the road to stop through traffic but allowing cyclists and pedestrians through; and b) having timed closures both ways or one way at different times, not doing anything.  Whatever options we take forward it will mean some changes either through having more traffic in the road, fewer ways out of the road and therefore slightly longer journeys at times. Whilst we do not know whether the suggested scheme for the Village will definitely go ahead we need to be prepared with solutions for Turney and Burbage.  Across London and other cities there is an growing move to reduce motor use and pollution and we need to be sure we are not the last road still being a rat run and car park.

There are further pressures on us to think about the future.  1) On 24 February parking charges in Dulwich Park commence.  2) The extension of the CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) in Croxted Road from the petrol station to the junction with Turney will be going ahead soon.  3) Parking in Rosendale Road will be reduced should the implementation of the Healthy Routes (Quietway) in Lambeth go ahead, which is being consulted upon at the moment.  We need to consider the pressure on parking that is likely to increase following these three sets of parking controls.  Turney Road is free of any parking controls and therefore is free for anyone to park.  Therefore the idea of a CPZ is back on the table. The Survey we ran on parking back at the end of 2018 suggested that there was a fairly equal split at that time in both Burbage and Turney about having a CPZ.

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.