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.

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.

 

Temporary Closure of College Road and South Circular

Transport for London will be carrying out works at the junction of College Road and the South Circular in July to enable eastbound school coaches to turn left into College Road in the future, thus avoiding Calton Avenue. The work includes the relocation of a pedestrian crossing, the installation of new traffic signals and the construction of an enlarged pavement area, and will be conducted in TWO phases

Phase 1: This phase will be undertaken between 8 July and 22 July 2019 and requires a full road closure during this period. The works include the demolition, relocation and construction of the traffic island northbound on College Road, and there will also be changes to the kerbing, footway paving, fencing, line markings, and a new traffic signal on College Road southbound.

Phase 2: This work will be undertaken in early to mid-December and include the demolition, relocation and construction of the traffic island eastbound and westbound on the A205 Dulwich Common (South Circular).  There will also be changes to the kerbing, footway, carriageway paving, line markings and new traffic signals.

TfL will write to residents in November 2019 to confirm in more detail any temporary road closures that are needed to facilitate this second phase of work. We have been told that the break in the work phases is a result of close liaison with Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark councils who all have planned street works taking place. The works are being phased to avoid any potential conflicts.

PHASE 1 – UPCOMING CLOSURE, 8 July 2019 – 22 July 2019:
TfL will need to close the northern part of College Road in both directions. The aim is to minimise disruption. Work will largely be undertaken between 08:00 – 17:00, though some work will take place at night during the weekends when the roads are less busy – TfL will ensure the noisiest work is completed by midnight.

  • College Road will be closed 24 hours a day.
  • Access for pedestrians will be maintained throughout works.
  • Buses will be diverted during this work phase. Routes P4 and P13 will be temporarily diverted and bus stops between Dulwich Common and Dulwich Village will be closed. TfL will place notices at affected stops to guide customers to the nearest alternative stop.
  • Temporary traffic signals will be in place for duration of the works 24 hours a day
  • TfL will signpost local diversion routes during these closures, and local access for residents and businesses will be maintained at all times.

TfL have said that they will make every effort to finish the works on time, although poor weather conditions may mean they need to reschedule at short notice. Visit tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews or follow @TfLTrafficNews on Twitter for live road travel updates.

See more at Dulwich Society

What changes are being made to the Village Junction?

This week the council’s contractors have started on the long-planned changes to the layout of the Dulwich Village crossroads.

Many changes have been made to the junction over the years to try to accommodate the many pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, lorries, vans, coaches, buses and cars which use it.  The junction is on a popular road route in and out of the centre of London and for traffic going east/west across south London.  By and large it is a manageable junction – until school term starts.   Then thousands of schoolchildren and their cars, cycles and coaches converge and join in the morning and evening rush.

Changes made in the past to enable the mixed traffic to move more easily have included changing the phasing of the traffic lights, lengthening the time allowed for pedestrians to enter the junction, changing road traffic priorities (several times}, narrowing the entry to Calton Avenue, building a road platform on Court Lane entry, inserting bollards.

Under the previous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, creating better roads for the fast increasing number of cyclists became a priority.  Cycling Superhighways were developed elsewhere in London as well as ‘Quietways’.  In Southwark, the Mayor encouraged the creation of a ‘Quietway’ between the Elephant & Castle and Crystal Palace.  The route has been planned for over two years and has generally been welcomed north of Dulwich but has met fierce opposition here.  Following extensive consultations and many meetings Southwark Council has resolved to proceed with the Quietway and in the Dulwich section has started with the new layout for the Village junction.  The re-design of the junction is in the following link:  Dulwich Village Junction changes 2017

Changes to Calton Avenue and Turney Road will follow in 2018.

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!

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.

Herne Hill Velodrome Trust – new Trustees wanted

The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is seeking new trustees and is particularly keen to see applicants from the local community.  After rescuing the famous velodrome from dereliction and threat of closure, some trustees are retiring and the team needs strengthening.  The Trust has done a fantastic job.  As well as a new track which is increasingly heavily used by both top cyclists and locals including children, a new Pavilion will open soon.

For further information see below:

Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is a charitable and not for profit trust which maintains and develops the Herne Hill Velodrome on Burbage Road as a sustainable  and vibrant community-based facility for healthy recreation, principally, but not limited to, track cycling and mountain biking, accessible to users of all ages, capabilities and abilities from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds.

The Trust is looking for additional Trustees as it moves to take responsibility for the operation of the site now the new pavilion is nearing completion.

All Trustees share collective responsibility for delivering the objects of the Trust, working in line with the requirements of the Charity Commission. The Trust will operate through two bodies – a Trading Company, to oversee the operation of the Track, and a Fundraising Committee to plan a long-term and sustainable financial future for the site.

The Trust is looking for local residents to join the Trust.  it needs people with significant relevant skills, in particular in the operation of a charitable Trust and in fundraising.

More details about the Velodrome are available at  www.hernehillvelodrome.com.

If you are interested or want to discuss what is required, please email our Secretary Trustee, Simon Burton, at sburton@hhvt.org

 

Quietway – breaking news!

At this week’s Dulwich Community Council (DCC) the meeting chair read out the following statement regarding Quietway 7.

“The cabinet member requested officers, following feedback at the last community council meeting, to reconsider various aspects of the design and related issues.  In particular officers were asked to conclude the Foundation Schools Coach service study (working in partnership with the Foundation schools) and this work has now been completed and an action plan around the high priority issues has been developed.  It is expected that this will lead to significant improvements in the impact of the service on the local community, including the removal of 10 of 11 coaches from Calton Avenue each morning and significantly less coach congestion on Townley Road in the afternoon.

He has also secured a commitment from Transport for London (TfL) to attend a stakeholder meeting in Dulwich in the coming weeks, and if the Quietway proposals are to proceed, the cabinet member is committed to continued working with TfL and the community on a holistic study of traffic issues in the Dulwich area over the next year.”

 

Herne Hill Velodrome Trust – Trustees and Chair Wanted!

The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust has helped deliver a huge amount of success in securing funding for, and regenerating the velodrome with the redevelopment of the track facilities and the construction of a new pavilion. This historic South London landmark has once again become a focal point for both the local community as well the ever growing population of cycling enthusiasts.

To maintain this momentum, the Trust is looking for new trustees to help oversee the running of the velodrome and ensure that it is run on a sustainable basis. In particular, the Trust is looking for enthusiastic residents or cyclists (or both!) with a finance & business background to help with the oversight of the Trust and the track activities. If you have this sort of background and are interested in being involved with the Trust Board in running a fantastic site then please contact Hillary Peachey and Javier Faiz (copied herein) for further details.