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.

 

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

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

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.