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?
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.
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.
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
On Eastlands Crescent residents are fighting a planning application to demolish one of the original 1930s detached homes and replace with x2 new houses. (Southwark application no. 19/AP/0946).
Eastlands is a complete street of 1930s houses built on the site of the old Eastlands House. The house in question is one of a group four identical detached 1930s homes on the street and shares the plot with a large protected Oak tree.
Unfortunately Southwark Council has already indicated to the developer that 2x new houses would be acceptable in principle (and therefore demolition of the existing home) and Dulwich Estate have no power to stop demolition, but the good news is there is still time left before the council make a final decision.
There are many negative aspects to the development such as its massive scale, asymmetric and incongruent design, inappropriately high density and the significant loss of amenity, but most worrying is the fundamental threat to the preservation of Dulwich Village conservation area if an original period single dwelling of nearly 100 years old is allowed to be demolished, setting a precedent for other speculative developers looking to make a profit in Dulwich.
If residents feel they would like to support Eastlands Crescent residents feelings on this matter and make a comment, then follow the link below to the Southwark Council website. The statutory expiry date for comments was coming Monday 19th May, however comments will be accepted thereafter until a decision is made.
To make a comment on the application:
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.
Drivers in Southwark face spot fines for leaving engines running in the street as new research highlights the link between vehicle emissions and premature death. This will be a great benefit for Dulwich Village schools as well as others where busy roads pass by and drivers routinely keep their engines running when stationary.
Drivers could be hit with £20 on-the-spot penalties for refusing to turn off engines when cars are stationary by the roadside. In some areas, residents are being asked to report motorists who leave engines running, including providing the registration number, colour and car model of repeat offenders.
As well as Southwark, measures have been adopted by Norwich, Wirral, Reading and Camden.
Research has found that people living near busy roads are at risk of developing dangerously swollen hearts.
A study by King’s College London projecting the impact of vehicle emissions on life expectancy estimates that the measures to cut car use and promote more active lifestyles would lead to a reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels of up to 25 per cent between 2013 and 2020. Children born in 2013 would be expected to gain seven weeks of life as a result of the measures to cut car use and promote more active lifestyles.
It is an offence under laws introduced in 1986 to leave a “vehicle engine running unnecessarily”. New powers were handed to councils under the road traffic regulations 2002 in England to issue fixed penalty notices of £20 if motorists refuse to turn off engines when asked by traffic wardens or police. It can increase to £40 if unpaid after 28 days. Similar powers were introduced in Scotland and Wales in 2003 but most councils have previously opted not to exercise them.
According to the RAC, idling engines can produce emission levels twice as high as those in motion and it welcomes a focus on idling engines, expecting drivers to be fined if they failed to turn off.
Westminster council in central London was one of the first to adopt the fines as part of a concerted campaign. Last year, the authority said that it wanted to get even tougher on drivers by issuing parking charge notices of £80 to those leaving engines running. Westminster allows people to report repeat offenders, using the authority website to log details of cars involved.
Let’s hope it makes an improvement in Dulwich.
For a fuller story see The Times: