A healthier, safer & active Dulwich

Slowly action is being taken to make Dulwich healthier and safer.  Southwark Council has a programme of work to do this and to learn more about it. A public meeting took place last week on Saturday 12 January GETTING AROUND DULWICH – Towards a healthier, safer & more active future

The meeting discussed how to move forward and make Dulwich a better place to live. Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport Management & Air Quality, Richard Livingstone, plus Village Ward Councillors and experts on the health effects of traffic related air pollution took part.

The possibility of the Croxted Road Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) being extended was raised. This has yet to be consulted upon but a request has been made to Lambeth and Southwark from Residents in Croxted Road, who find it difficult to park near their houses, for the existing CPZ to be extended. At present it runs up to the petrol station from Norwood Road. The extension is likely to take it past the Turney Road junction. Lambeth and Southwark have to agree to run a consultation but it has not yet been confirmed nor whether Turney Road will be included in the consultation. The other roads that join with Croxted Road i.e. Guernsey and Hawarden Grove were included when the existing CPZ was created. How much any extension will impact on Turney is not known but there may be some displacement onto Turney on both Lambeth and Southwark sides.

Southwark is putting together its latest traffic plan now called a movement plan and the consultation is open until 18 February see: https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/movement-plan/consultation/subpage.2018-11-01.3664391771/

The latest status of pollution for the local area can be found at http://www.londonair.org.uk/LondonAir/Default.aspx and there is a phone app.  The meeting highlighted that this invisible pollution is being found, through research, to be impacting on the elderly and young and it reduces lung capacity. It may account in part for the increase in asthma. It was stated that the level of pollution is higher when inside a car than outside.  When walking and cycling it is preferable to avoid busy streets and walk on the side away from the traffic. The amount of pollution at the height of children in buggies is reported as higher than for adults.

Comments made included parked cars/school coaches running their engines (which is illegal), the green screening of Schools or closing roads with Schools in them at  drop off and pick up times e.g. Bessemer Grange and the lack of bus services through the village. Many comments were made about the through traffic in Dulwich and the potential of electric cars to reduce pollution if not the number of cars.

Quietway – delayed??

Residents have received a letter through their doors saying works to install the Quietway will start next Monday 7 August.  This came as a surprise as the Council has not yet decided to proceed with the Quietway.

Council officers have made their final proposals and it is expected that just a rubber-stamp formal decision will be made, as we were previously told, by 27 July by the relevant Councillor.

That decision has not been made, so maybe there are further thoughts being had at the Town Hall.  Maybe Cllr Wingfield whose responsibility it is to make the final decision is having doubts.  Or perhaps he has just been too busy on a host of other matters which have taken precedence.

It seems the letters to residents have come out too quickly and before the decision has been made.  Village Councillor Jane Lyons tells us she expects  a decision TOMORROW and that the works will NOT start on Monday!

London’s toxic air – ‘Super Inquiry’

MPs have launched a “super inquiry” into Britain’s toxic air scandal to force the Government to dramatically step up action to tackle the health threat to millions of people.

In an unprecedented move, four Commons committees are to grill ministers and air quality experts on the dangers from filthy air in London and other cities.

The hearings by the health committee, transport committee, environmental audit committee and environment, food and rural affairs committee will be held as the Government draws up its latest plans to deal with toxic air.

Labour MP Mary Creagh, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “Ministers will face unprecedented scrutiny in Parliament to ensure they finally step up to the mark to ensure adults, and children in particular, do not have their health damaged by filthy air.

Ministers have been forced to draw up new proposals to cut air pollution after judges backed environmental lawyers ClientEarth in two high-profile cases that the Government was failing to do enough to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels.

The draft new plans are due to be published on April 24 and the MPs want to ensure they not only meet legal requirements but also deliver maximum health and environmental benefits.

Source: London Evening Standard 20.03.2017

 

Parking – Crowds -Safety -Pollution

We may think of kerbsides as just space on the public highway next to the pavement.  But they are more than that.  Kerbsides include footpaths by the kerb and which might be widened for tree planting and street seating. They include the white posts and green verges we love in Dulwich.

There is great competition for the kerbsides from vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, house occupants, push-chairs, etc. etc.  We know only too well how busy our kerbsides are at times and how they are hazardous for the unwary, the reckless and those of us who are a unsteady because of age, youth or illness.

Southwark Council recognises the need for a sensible management of kerbsides and is consulting on a ‘Kerbside Strategy’.  Southwark’s Kerbside strategy_Feb’17

The Council makes some important points for us to think about.  Among them are:

Demographic Pressure: The population is growing faster in Southwark than expected. At the last census in 2011 it was 288,000 and today is estimated to be 306,000. The government forecasts it will be 370,000 by 2031, an increase of 82,000 or 28% in 20 years!
Parking:  60% of Southwark households don’t own a vehicle, yet parking in the borough takes up an increasing amount of kerbside space. In our streets, however, many households own multiple cars and large ones at that.  Parking is the issue which sparks greatest interest in our streets.  There has to be an improvement in access to and usage of public transport.
Road Safety and the Environment: The Council wants to improve the lives  of older residents and to enable them to live independently for longer. Older people typically drive less and favour public transport. There are increasing numbers of older people in Southwark.  There is a demand for wider footpaths, more frequent and safer pedestrian crossings, accessible bus stops and uncluttered, pleasant neighbourhood centres to sit and relax in.
Traffic Collisions: More people walking or cycling in Southwark are killed or injured than in any other mode of transport. Road traffic accidents are increasing each year.  In 2015 there were over 1,000 in Southwark with 90 fatal ones.

Air quality:  According to the 2015 King’s College University report, up to 9,500 deaths in London each year can be linked to air pollution. Southwark’s road transport emissions are amongst the highest in London. There are a number of sites that exceed legal levels of NO2 (Southwark Air Quality Action Plan, 2013).  At peak traffic periods, Dulwich Village experiences poor air quality, right by the primary schools.

There are many competing demands which we are making and are set out in the Council’s draft strategy.  The council wants our views.

The consultation period on Southwark’s Kerbside Strategy has just started and closes on 28 April.

Number 3 Bus route is changing

Transport for London is making changes to a number of bus routes in order to cut the air pollution in Oxford Street.  Many bus routes go through the centre of London and are creating hazardous conditions for shoppers and shop staff.

With the support of retailers and others in the West End, buses are being re-routed away from Oxford Circus.  Our own No3 bus running from crystal palace is one of these.

TfL proposes to reroute the No 3 service to Russell Square serving Charing Cross Road and Great Russell Street. Buses would no longer run between Regent Street and Trafalgar Square.

The proposals would create new passenger links between Millbank, the British Museum and the Russell Square area on route 3.

They would also create new links between Millbank and Tottenham Court Road station for easy access to Tube and Elizabeth line services.

There would be no change to frequencies. At the moment buses run between Crystal Palace bus station and Regent Street (Conduit Street) serving West Dulwich, Herne Hill, Brixton, Kennington and Westminster. Buses run every eight minutes during the day Monday to Saturday, and every ten minutes during the day on Sundays.

A linear map showing current and proposed route 3

TfL is consulting on this and other bus route changes and you can contribute at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/bus-routes-3-137-and-n3/

High air pollution in Dulwich Village

London Air has issued the following urgent health warning for HIGH levels of pollution along main roads and locations such as Dulwich Village:

An area of high pressure over the UK is resulting in calm, settled and cold conditions and poor dispersal of local pollutants.

Thursday is forecast to be slightly less cold with winds picking up a little which should lead to the currently elevated pollution levels clearing during the day. However, another cold night tonight with light winds is likely to result in further ‘moderate’ nitrogen dioxide at busy London roadsides on Thursday morning before conditions start to improve. There is also a chance of further ‘high’ and ‘moderate’ PM10 and PM2.5 if pollution is slow to clear.

Friday, early mist and fog will slowly clear to leave a mainly cloudy day with the possibility of patchy light rain in the east later. Even lighter winds than of late, and the early mist will likely cause another day of pollution build-up, escalated by the already elevated pollution levels.  Consequently, ‘Moderate’ levels of nitrogen dioxide are expected to occur close to busy road locations.

Furthermore, air will begin to arrive from the North-East later in the day and may import some polluted air as it passes near to industrialized areas of Western Europe. This incoming air will add to London’s local pollution burden and is likely to result in ‘Moderate’ levels of PM10 and PM2.5 particulates.