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.

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.

How will residents of Dulwich vote?

Southwark Council’s ‘Our Healthy Streets’ proposals to exclude through-traffic from some Dulwich streets have grabbed our attentions and there is furious debate taking place.

Early signals are that Burbage and the Village residents are feeling strongly for closure of their roads.  Meanwhile Turney residents appear to be more passive and favour no change.

The changes on the north side of the village appear to be supported by residents there as these were worked up from a previous engagement process.  So we might assume that the junction at Carlton and Court Lane will be closed and that Townley will be a School Street.

So…….The Council is suggesting that traffic is not allowed northbound on Dulwich Village from the roundabout at the top of Burbage with College and Gallery Road.  If Turney were shut eastbound in the mornings at the junction with Burbage traffic would be allowed to go northbound on Dulwich Village at the roundabout at the top of Burbage to the East Dulwich Grove lights. This would be the route to East Dulwich but there would not be long queues through the Village or along Carlton Avenue and Court Lane.

If the above happens and there is no eastbound closure the only way through the village will be Turney and this would seem to mean more traffic for Turney.  At the lights in the village the traffic will turn left out of Turney along Dulwich Village, as Southwark for a couple of reasons cannot allow a timed no left turn at the lights.

Southwark are being asked to reduce the levels of pollution certainly near schools so with that pressure and from the early views of residents it appears there will be changes.

So how will Turney residents respond?

Dulwich Village new traffic proposals

Southwark Council has opened a consultation on its next round of proposals for managing the increasing traffic problems confronting the Village.  The proposals are wide-ranging and include closure of parts of Burbage Road or one-way entry as well as on part of Turney Road.

The proposals are part of the Council’s ‘Our Healthy Streets’ Programme and are available to read on the Council website.  It is an easy read with an illuminating diagram of the possible road changes.

The Council has found that we have particularly busy streets which at times carry the traffic levels of ‘A-roads’ – more than 7000 through journeys per day.  Much of this is commuter traffic – though this observer can’t help noticing too that traffic drops off markedly at school holiday time as vehicles delivering pupils disappear.

Of course, high traffic levels bring air pollution, especially as many vehicles are trade vehicles which are almost all diesel-fueled, as are many of the pupil delivering vehicles.

The Council is seeking comments from residents on the proposals throughout the period to 29 March 2020.  There is an online questionnaire and documents which may be downloaded from the Council’s website where there is much more information.

 

We each create 24.9Kg e-waste – where does it go?

A report in the Financial Times  gives Southwark residents answers to what happens to the vast amount of e-waste we each create: 24.9Kg per person in 2016.  This is greater than the wasteful US citizen: 19.4Kg and is way above the world average 6.1Kg.

Southwark’s e-waste finds its way to the sorting centre off the Old Kent Road run by Southwark’s contractors, French company Veolia.  This is not typical of the entire country and we are fortunate to have this very large waste sorting facility.  Veolia has plants which will receive our metals and lightbulbs and recycle them.  It has also re-opened an HDPE plastic recycler in Dagenham which had closed for lack of Government support.

In the UK we recycle very little plastic and e-waste.  Until recently we sent the plastic to China but China now refuses it.  So the rumour is that we are landfilling or burning it instead.  The FT article says the country produces 50m tonnes of e-waste a year, adding to the world’s fastest growing waste stream.  Just 20% is recycled.  80% is undocumented.  This is hazardous waste containing heavy metals and chemicals which pollute water supplies and the food chain.  The UK is Europe’s worst offender for exporting this to developing countries, particularly Africa.

Large e-items find their way to recycling centres.  But we put smaller items into our doorstep bins and they will probably not be recycled.  There is an obligation on manufacturers to take back and recycle their e-products but they try to pas this duty onto local authorities.  With the rapid rise of online retail the take-back obligation has weakened.

The increase in e-waste is so great that some question whether it can ever be recycled and there is pressure to repair items but this has been slow to take off.  There are local Restart schemes which repair.

Residents can recycle their e-waste by taking it into Currys PC World which recycles without a purchase.  It is very simple.  Just take the item into the shop and give it to the counter staff.

The AGMs – a record attendance at Bell House

The AGMs of our two streets on 16 November had a strong attendance from residents, local Councillors and neighbours.

Highlights of the joint meeting included reports on the successful year-long Exit:Burbage celebrations, Dulwich’s Healthier Streets, brown bin changes, Belair licensing application, implementation of the Quietway, the probable extension of the Croxted Rd CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone), a possible CPZ in the Lambeth stretch of Turney Rd and the new Village Orchard.

Priorities for 2020 are dealing with the escalation in crime, updating Codes of Conduct with neighbouring sports facilities, participating positively in ‘Healthier Streets for Dulwich’ and improving communication using Mailchimp and WhatsApp.

There was much interest and resident participation in the discussion of traffic and parking.  The Associations had carried out a survey which revealed that parking pressures were being caused by non-residents including builders, commuters and people leaving cars while on holiday and that speeding cars were a concern.

In a discussion of CPZs, Councillor Leeming pointed out that there were trade-offs to be taken into account but he supported CPZs as a way of deterring freeloading parking and it was pointed out that our position at the end of TfL (Transport for London) Zone 2 makes commuter parking attractive.

The Healthy Streets initiative is funded by TfL to take traffic off roads.  There has been a 83% increase in the volume of traffic over the last 4 years and air pollution data is showing unacceptably high levels.  TfL has been consulting on residents’ views about this and will report later.

Representatives at the meeting gave reports from SCST (Southwark Community Sports Trust) which runs the sports ground backing onto Turney Rd south-side, DSC (Dulwich Sports Club) behind Turney & Burbage Rds north-side, EAC (Edward Alleyn Club), behind Turney & Burbage Rds and the Dulwich Society.

THE FULL REPORT OF THE AGMs CAN BE FOUND HERE: 2019 AGM Minutes

Turney & Burbage Road AGMs – Sat 16 November

Residents have received notice of the AGMs by direct email.

It takes place at the new ‘events’ venue at Bell House 27 College Road 10am to 11.115am. 

Traffic, environment and parking issues will be discussed as will a review of the successful ‘Exit Burbage’ festivities during the year.

Our Residents Associations are always keen to recruit new committee members.  The job is not onerous .  The more involved the greater the impact we make.

Clean Air has shot up the agenda for many people as we learn more and more about how bad it is and how it is affecting our health.  The following initiative is being taken by petition to Southwark Council.  We’ll discuss it at the AGM.

School Street petition between Turney and Village Way/East Dulwich Grove

 “In case you have not seen this, several Society members have raised with us the change.org petition for a School Street along Dulwich Village between Turney Road and East Dulwich Grove – see attached screenshot and  https://www.change.org/p/southwark-council-school-street-timed-road-closure-on-dulwich-village?recruiter=158884230&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

The petition (to Southwark Council and TfL) has been started by the “Clean Air for Dulwich” group campaigning to eliminate air pollution in Dulwich.  We don’t know whether the schools are involved with the petition.  The standard process for applying for a school street and more information is at  https://www.southwark.gov.uk/transport-and-roads/school-street-road-closures

Residents may want to support the petition or have views they would like to pass on.  Comments to Cllrs Richard Leeming Richard.Leeming@southwark.gov.uk and Margy Newens, Margy.Newens@southwark.gov.uk or contact highways@southwark.gov.uk or comment to @ClearAirDulwich on Twitter.”

Turney Road Secretary Michael Wilkins says:

Whilst I personally support the drive toward less pollution this approach does not suggest what happens to the traffic that uses the route. So whilst it reduces pollution on that stretch of road it may increase it elsewhere. My initial thought is that Turney and Burbage are likely to be impacted and many children going to the local junior and infant schools walk along Turney and Burbage so they could still be suffering from the pollution. So please respond with your thoughts. Also please respond to the Southwark Healthy Streets Consultation which closes on the 31st. https://www.southwark.gov.uk/transport-and-roads/roadworks-and-highway-improvements/street-improvements/our-healthy-streets-dulwich which gives an opportunity to think Dulwich wide.

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING LOTS OF RESIDENTS ON SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER

 

Two large noisy Events in Brockwell Park next summer

Attached are details of two proposed large events that are being planned for Brockwell Park next summer. Those who use the park and live closer than we do are concerned for the following reasons:

Together with other planned events, such as the Lambeth Country Show and the world Cycling Revival ( http://cyclingrevival.com )  this will form a virtually continuous stream of large scale outdoor events in this firmly residential area.

The noise from existing events in this Park ( including an electronic music festival last summer) causes considerable upset as it carries across gardens and into homes, especially in the summer months when people are enjoying being outdoors most.

The events include music into the late evening (11pm). Again this is entirely inappropriate for a residential area.  Many children will be undertaking public exams and school work during the proposed June event.  The increased pressure on parking in residential streets and public transport will be considerable.  Local trade in the Herne Hill area will be adversely affected as locals stay away. Traders are already adversely affected by works around Herne Hill Station.  The pressure on policing and safety will be unacceptable. Of particular concern are personal safety and drug availability.  The disruption to roads during the setup, festival itself and clear up will put immense pressure on busy routes through Herne Hill, Brixton and Tulse Hill.  The limitation on access to significant parts of this public amenity in the light spring and summer months for local families seems to be against the public interest, especially the young and those who do not have access to gardens or green spaces of their own.

Should you wish to have a voice on these events, the planning applications are under consideration by Lambeth and you can influence the outcome in several other ways:

  1. Email as part of the community engagement process  BrockwellParkCommunityPartners@gmail.com
  2. Sign the change. org petition:

https://www.change.org/p/lambeth-council-pledge-to-keep-brockwell-park-events-sustainable-and-proportionate?recruiter=198942271&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_email_responsive

  1. Sign the Brockwell Tranquility pledge http://www.brockwellstreets.org
  2. Lobby Lambeth Councillors –  SWinifred@lambeth.gov.uk also Cllr Freda Cowell and Cllr Anna Birley
  3. Lobby Dulwich Councillors – Jane Lyons, Michael Mitchell and Anne Kirby: http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=TABLE&PIC=1
  4. Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/797965553719266/about/
  5. Lobby Herne Hill Forum, Herne Hill Society and The Dulwich Society

Street Party – Friday 15th

This year we are holding a September Sundowner a great chance to catch up with neighbours on the terrace of the Edward Alleyn Club as the summer draws to an end. (Or maybe it will finally start? )
 
James Freeman, the Club Manager has been picking local blackberries to make homemade blackberry gin for the welcome cocktails. Micky the magician will be performing at 6.30pm for the youngsters and local legend, Amanda Greatorex will be at the turntables for a family disco as dusk falls.
 
Bring a light picnic or take advantage of the pay BBQ.
 
Tickets are being sold door to door currently. Please support us if you possibly can: £15 for family (extended family most welcome) or £10 for couples and £5 for singles.
 
Nelly’s Nursery have kindly funded children’s dance prizes and entertainment and Pedder Properties have also continued their support with the complimentary welcome cocktails. We’re really grateful to them both.

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.