Healthy Streets challenges for Turney & Burbage residents

Burbage RA Secretary Louise Woods has set out the challenges for Turney and Burbage Road residents in this remarkably clear piece.  Residents must make a decision – and the decision is very much one for residents – about the immediate future nature of our neighbourhood.  Currently plagued by heavy traffic and fumes with air quality levels regularly breaching recommended levels and with increasing evidence about the effect on our health, we have the opportunity to make things better.  What are the options which would do this?  Read on…………………………..

Background

The Healthy Streets initiative is driven by well established resident and schools groups and builds upon much of the consultation work which has taken place in recent years in Dulwich Village. This has been backed up with new data analysis which demonstrates high traffic flows leading to poor air quality, particularly –  but not only –  restricted to school and rush hour times (weekdays 7-10am and 3-7pm).

The opportunity now arises to use funding from TfL, together with that from Southwark, to implement structural changes to improve our environment. Other parts of London, including Lambeth, Croydon, Lewisham, Camberwell and Peckham are also implementing measures designed to enable more active travel.

You can see the proposals, including supporting traffic data and maps on this link:

But for a fuller briefing I urge you to attend one of two upcoming consultation sessions:
Saturday 29th February, 9am to 12.30pm at Herne Hill Baptist Church, Half Moon Lane at the corner with Winterbrook

Wednesday 4th March, 6.30pm to 9pm at JAGS Your views can be sent to Southwark via the attached questionnaire:

The consultation process for this phase ends on the 29th of March.

Implications of Areas A, B and C ( See map) 

In essence the proposals amount to creating an area within Dulwich where vehicle access is relatively open to residents (and other permit holders) but limited to others on a (to be agreed) timed basis. By doing this cycle and pedestrian travel within this area should be safer and healthier, through-traffic and commuter traffic would be discouraged.

The aim is that, though there would be some traffic displacement to neighbouring areas, there would also be an overall reduction in traffic, as has been experienced elsewhere (Waltham Forest, for example).

The proposals for Area B on the attached map have arisen directly from previous consultations and received considerable support.

Councillors and other groups have argued strongly however that these plans should not be implemented without consideration for the surrounding areas:Area A in East Dulwich but also Area C which includes us and neighbouring Stradella & Winterbrook, Turney and Dulwich Village.  

Without inclusion, Burbage and other roads in Areas A and C are all likely to become significantly worse as traffic rat runs, commuter car parks, effectively very unhealthy ‘smokey corridors’. Measures already planned for Lambeth will inevitably exacerbate the traffic pressures on Burbage, Stradella, Winterbrook and Turney.

Residents calling for measures in Area B may not necessarily be depended upon to support mitigating measures in Area A and C. But the current opinion from our neighbouring RAs in Area C is that these knock- on factors are likely to lead to strong support for the proposed scheme to operate Village-wide, ie Areas A, B and C.

The conclusion from the above is that Burbage is highly likely to be affected by changes not only to Area B but also to Areas A and C, whatever the opinion of our own residents.

Burbage Road

The feedback from Burbage residents in response to all previous consultations (including our own parking survey last year and our AGM) is that traffic issues have become significantly worse in recent years. You have also consistently told us that you want a Village-wide and co-ordinated approach to traffic and associated environmental problems.

The current proposals for Burbage Road are deliberately not precisely defined, but are potentially major (see map)

  • Restrictions on Burbage Road – either a northbound no-entry to all cars (south of the junction with Stradella Road) or a permeable road closure ( meaning no access to motor vehicles, only bikes and pedestrians) south of Stradella Road.
  • No entry restrictions eastbound on Turney Road, between Burbage Road and Dulwich Village.
  • Timed access restrictions northbound on Burbage Road and Dulwich Village (at the junction with College Road), to reduce the volume of traffic taking short-cuts through Dulwich Village.
  • The introduction of parking controls to prevent commuters taking advantage of Burbage as a gateway to the Village.

These raise concerns about more speeding associated with a one-way road and potential access problems for services, health and sports facilities and businesses. Also they may affect the integrity and feel of our road. Turney have flagged that permeable closure nearer Croxted Road may be preferable to controls at the junction with Burbage. Close cooperation with Turney, Stradella and Dulwich Village would clearly be needed for any solution.

We would like to know your views

Given that Zone B is likely to go ahead:

  • Do we want Burbage to be part the proposed changes for Dulwich wide Healthy Streets ? (Are we prepared to accept permits and consider parking restrictions as a consequence of this? )
  • If not, what are the likely consequences for us?
  • If we do participate, what is the preferable configuration? (What would be our non-negotiable conditions for such a scheme?)

In any eventuality, the RA will advocate fully evaluating any outcomes before setting them in stone, weighing equally the opinions of our businesses, their employees, our health and sports facilities, our carers, visitors and workers and last, but not least, the less physically mobile members of our community.

In order to exert our influence the RA  will need to have a clear steer from residents on all of these.

Next steps

As a first stage our committee members are aiming to speak to as many of you as possible before the next consultation meeting. A meeting of all residents and/or a poll are also being considered. You can always contact me or any committee member directly, I hope to hear from you.

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

 

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

Don’t miss the street party – Sunday 16th

The final preparations for the party are well underway and more details are below, including the request for more people to offer some time to Steward at the junctions.

Turney will remain open but Burbage will be closed from the Viaduct to the roundabout. The party will be from 12, noon to 6pm which is when we will need volunteer Stewards at the Viaduct, both sides of the Turney/Burbage Junction and the Roundabout end of Burbage.

Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help with being a Steward but we could do with a few more so that we can easily cover the hours required.

There will be lots of games such as street art, quoits, table tennis, street hockey, boules and giant chess to challenge your neighbours and a wonderful strawberries, cream &  tea tent as well as  classics such as the Burbage v Turney tug-of-war.

Don’t forget to bring your own picnic, drinks and chairs.  Trestle tables will be provided.

Also bring your tickets,  which are peel off name badges for you to wear.

If you haven’t started planning your cakes for the bake off competition, start practising now as Christopher’s and Dulwich Storage have given us six wonderful prizes. Entries by 2pm.

Prizes are also awarded for the best photographs taken of Burbage Road in the run up to, and including, the party …post your picture on Instagram and use the hashtag #BurbagePhoto

Try QiGong in the road  ( like Tai Chi ) in the morning at 10am, it’s free and everyone is welcome.

 

Dulwich Village Junction – latest

Southwark Council has completed 12 months of monitoring the new junction layout in the Village.  Its full findings are at:

QW7-Dulwich Village junction Monitoring Report May 2019

Rush hours are obviously the biggest problem as there is a high volume of vehicles through the junction in those hours.  This is especially the case during school times.  The improvement in the school holidays is remarkable.

The council finds that there have been gains from the new layout: better driver lane discipline despite reduced junction capacity.  Pedestrians have gained less congestion at the school gate, reduced crossing width and a countdown timer.

Not so successful are: right turn into Calton Ave, longer vehicles queues at Calton Ave/Court Lane, motorists ignoring the Calton Ave northbound stop line, pedestrians crossing Calton Ave (400 between 8 & 10am and 3 & 6pm).

The council concludes that it will now engage with residents on measures to

1) introduce loading and waiting restrictions on Court Lane and Calton Avenue to remove pinch points during the rush hours.

2) explore measures to improve safe access to the southbound cycle gap on Calton Avenue.

3) explore measures to address concerns about pedestrians tripping over raised kerb upstand at signal crossing

4) work with residents and stakeholders on measures to prioritise active traffic and reduce through traffic in the wider area as part of Our Healthy Streets-Dulwich scheme.  This area wide approach will ensure the impact of any changes to promote active travel and discourage through traffic is assessed carefully in the local area.