Drivers in Southwark fined for leaving car engines running!

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:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drivers-face-20-on-the-spot-fine-for-leaving-their-motor-running-g396c99wd?shareToken=31846811fa77325bab70d24dce42286e

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

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.

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/