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Jakub
On June 18, 2021

This month, three schemes in the Dulwich area are being consulted on as part of a big review. At Southwark Cyclists, we think there is a lot to love about the schemes, with some of the measures leading to amazing increases in walking and cycling. But for the schemes to be considered really successful in achieving the council’s worthy aims, certain tweaks are needed, and more measures need to be introduced.

You’ve got until 11 July to respond to this really important consultation from Southwark Council. 

  • Read our response guide here
  • Respond to the consultation yourself here
  • Continue reading to find out more about the scheme

Responding to the consultation shouldn’t take too long, and think about the many hours of safe cycling it will allow you to enjoy if we are successful. That’s a seriously good pay off!  Remember, improve it, don’t lose it.

Respond to the Southwark Council Consultation, and don’t let the vocal minority scrap the schemes.

Don’t lose it, improve it

Southwark Council, with the strong backing of Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, and the Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, introduced a series of emergency, experimental measures across the borough over the last year.

The area under review covers 14% of the entire borough. If we can secure the measures in Dulwich, we will make a huge step on the path to our vision of rolling out Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the borough. However, if the measures get removed it would be a massive setback – not only for people walking and cycling in Dulwich, but also for efforts to secure Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across Southwark and beyond. In short, this is a biggie, and we need your help!

As with so many schemes across London, there is a vocal minority trying to get the whole thing scrapped, which would be disastrous for public health, and for Southwark’s response to the climate emergency.

As we know from poll after poll, and historic examples, a silent majority support Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. We need to make our voices heard. It is very important that as many people as possible respond in a supportive way (albeit with constructive suggestions) to the review. 

What has the council done so far?

The Dulwich Review invites views on three separate schemes. Find out more about the schemes here.

  1. Dulwich Village: A permanent filter was introduced at the junction of Court Lane/Calton Avenue/Dulwich Village. A series of time-restriction measures were introduced on other streets, these prevent motor vehicles from travelling northbound between 8-10am and 3-6pm Mon-Fri.
  2. East Dulwich: A series of streets have been “filtered” of motor traffic to create a mini Low Traffic Neighbourhood. These are Melbourne Grove, Tintagel Crescent, Derwent Close and Elsie Road. 
  3. Champion Hill: Champion Hill itself has been closed to traffic northbound. The closure operates 24/7.

A quick assessment of the measures

Area by Area assessment

  1. Dulwich Village scheme
    • The permanent filter on Calton/Court Lane is brilliant, but the 4 timed restrictions are a huge disappointment, so the impact is significantly less impactful than other interventions in the borough eg Walworth, Brunswick Park. The camera restrictions are not good enough as they do not enable safe cycling 24//7 and even during times of operation, continue to let too much traffic through.
  2. East Dulwich section
    • This is an excellent section with quality 24/7 modal filters that have made a major improvement to residential streets
  3. Champion Hill scheme
    • This is ok. There can still be too much traffic eastbound so a permanent two-way closure would be better.

Overall assessment

The timed restrictions aren’t working and need to be made permanent filters. The permanent filters that have been installed are absolutely fantastic and desperately need your support. However, sadly the good stuff is too patchwork and much of the area has seen no improvements. The result is that the collection of schemes has failed to create a cohesive network that is essential for enabling mass cycling. Therefore, the schemes fail to fully achieve the Council’s stated aims. The intention is good, but not at the scale needed, especially compared to schemes further north in Southwark, and the more progressive councils, like Islington, Hackney, Waltham Forest where you can now cycle long distances in multiple directions on virtually traffic free streets.

What improvements do we want to see?

The council needs to introduce a comprehensive network of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, with permanent 24/7 modal filters preventing through-traffic, and cycle tracks and other measures on main roads.

In practice, that means:

Changes to experimental schemes

  1. Retain the Champion Hill filter but enhance it so vehicles can’t travel southbound, and add more planting and seating.
  2. Replace the timed restriction on Burbage Road and Turney Road with permanent 24/7 modal filters and add more planting and seating.
  3. Replace the timed restrictions on Townley Road and Dulwich Village with permanent 24/7 filters (but allow buses through)

Additional measures required

  1. Install a modal filter (bus gate) on Red Post Hill
  2. Introduce additional modal filters to prevent rat running on streets parallel to Red Post Hill, i.e. Beckwith Road, Holmdene Avenue, Howletts Road, Ruskin Walk
  3. Install cycle tracks on all the through-traffic roads in the area: East Dulwich Grove, Half Moon Lane, Village Way, Lordship Lane, Croxted Road, Denmark Hill, and Dog Kennel Hill

Why do we want these extra measures?

  1. Change is needed
    • The status quo isn’t working: there is too much traffic. Dulwich has some of the highest car ownership in London. A massive shift from motor traffic to walking and cycling is an essential component of the change we need. At the moment, streets are simply not safe enough to create that shift.
  2. Our proposals would create a joined up network of safe routes that more people can use at all times of day
    • Filters on Turney Road would complete an important east-west route, connecting the schools and playing fields in West Dulwich to the safe route on Calton Avenue and Green Dale. It will also fill a key missing link of Cycleway 17 that takes people to Burgess Park and Borough.
    • Filters on Dulwich Village and Red Post Hill would make a safe north-south cycle route all the way from Sydenham Hill station to Ruskin Park
    • Cycle tracks on the main roads would provide direct routes in all directions. They are especially important in the Dulwich area as there are so few parallel back street routes, and importantly, many back-street routes don’t cross main roads directly, so cycle tracks on main roads help with dog leg junctions etc. And of course, they would enable people to cycle safely to the many destinations on the main roads.
    • By making the modal filters 24/7 and in both directions, people are enabled to cycle safely at any time of day – they can be guaranteed that if they leave the house in the morning they can cycle home safely whenever they want.
  3. These proposals will allow streets to be used more effectively. A road filtered of traffic can:
    • Accommodate more people travelling – motor vehicles take up far more space – often what looks like a busy junction might only have 10 people queuing. On bicycles, 10 people fit into one car space!
    • Enable more play – without dangerous vehicles, streets can be used by kids (and grownups too!) to have fun playing out.
    • Be a boon for local businesses – modal filters can create more space for outdoor business activities like outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants. More generally, it creates a destination so attracts shoppers, just look at Station Square by Herne Hill.
    • Help us adapt to climate change – the climate emergency will lead to more flooding and higher temperatures. Filtered streets allow more land to be used for critical measures like sustainable drainage and shade that will be vital in years to come.
  4. Achieve the council’s aims! A comprehensive network of modal filters and cycle tracks on main road would achieve all the following aims that the council has set out:
    • Improve road safety.
    • Help tackle the climate emergency
    • Make walking and cycling enjoyable, safe and easy ways of getting around.
    • Reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing 
    • Reduce the amount of cut-through traffic
    • Reduce parking pressure for local residents
    • Encourage people to shop local to help businesses and reduce car use.
    • Create a greener and healthier environment by improving air quality and reducing pollution and noise levels.
    • Make more space on our pavements for social distancing to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Respond to the consultation now. The future will thank you

We have produced this response guide drafted by our members living locally in the area.

Respond to the consultation today!

 

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