The other week, some of us rode from Peckham Rye to Dulwich along the proposed new Quietway route with Clement Agyei-Frempong and Joanna Lesak from Southwark Council. This gave us a chance to review it in person, and to hear what the technical challenges were.
If you intend to fill in the consultation, then I hope these comments will help. Please send any further thoughts – agreements or disagreements – to southwark ‘at’ lcc.org.uk, or better yet, post them on the forum for everyone to see.
Our comments and others are viewable here: https://peckhamryedulwich.commonplace.is/timeline.
The crossing of Peckham Rye (B238) is currently not good. The pavement on the west side is apparently very busy at school time, and we don’t want to create conflict by encouraging parents to cycle there too. We suggested widening the crossing southwards, and altering the geometry of the Friern Road junction to make it easy to access the crossing directly from the road, without using the pavement. The crossing should also be raised to slow vehicles as they approach.
Friern Road is already filtered at the junction with Peckham Rye, and at the bend with Upland Road. It would be good for the Quietway to have priority here, but relative flows of cycles and cars make it unlikely in the next few years. Car flows are low enough that this shouldn’t cause a problem. Additional traffic calming likely not needed at this location, despite non-ideal visibility round bend, because the steep bend forces cars to slow.
Raised tables at junctions of Underhill Road and Goodrich Road. Cycle symbols to indicate that the straight route continues to be correct. The current speed cushions should be replaced with full width sinusoidal humps. (This is now standard practice, at least on Clement’s projects.)
Right turn onto Etherow Street. This short bit is busy with buses, but we have no viable solutions.
Junction of Etherow Street and Barry Road. This is a big issue. Regarding the pavement, it should be widened on the west side to allow wheelchairs and pushchairs around the tree, with the dead space on the east side narrowed. (Guard rails currently force pedestrians to cross Etherow Street further back, so they create an bulge off the desire line.) Guard rails replaced with high planters or similar.
Various options were proposed for cycling safety, but the bus movements make each of them difficult. My favourite – I think both the safest and most convenient for all road users – is to install a two-way cycle track along the south-east side of Barry Road. This removes the dangerous right turn from Barry Road, and removes the requirement to correctly position oneself in multiple lanes of traffic heading west. Given the width of the road, this cycle track could extend all the way to the junction with Lordship Lane without removing any current traffic lanes. With a dropped kerb at the base of the access ramp, this would also provide better access to the church for people on mobility scooters, adapted cycles (wheelchairs) and on bikes.
Given the size of the junction, cyclists could cross separate from motor traffic and have space to wait before the pedestrian crossing on Eynella Road on the pedestrian phase; but there are many other options for how the signal timings might work. (Depending on traffic volumes, the Eynella Road crossing might be replaceable with a zebra crossing.)
The protected cycle track could continue past the library to the junction with Woodwarde Road. There is currently disabled parking, presumably for the library, which will need consideration.
Woodwarde Road junction mouth to be substantially narrowed to reduce potential vehicle speeds and make it easier to cross on foot, and provide public space for e.g. greenery. This road is already very quiet.
Beauval Road junction mouth is likewise very wide. You could probably fit in at least another small house. However, a mini green/play space was considered more likely.
The route is not going through Dulwich Park because cycle routes should be usable 24h/day, not closing at 4pm in winter when it gets dark. However, like the library and the church, the park is a local destination, and should be accessible by bike. We didn’t examine that link in detail, but suggested it should be considered with the rest of the route.
Finally, the route itself. This is obviously a very short route, not in a straight line, going over a hill. If you wanted to get directly from one end to the other, there are better ways to do so. However, it is important that cycle routes are not just long distance, but also connect up homes, shops, schools, libraries, churches and more. Making the junction of Lordship Lane and Barry Road cycle-friendly will be a great benefit to those of us who have to go there from either direction.
If you want an improved route directly from Dulwich to Peckham Rye, then come to a Southwark Cyclists monthly meeting and propose it as a campaign. If you are willing to run one, then we’re more than happy to help you!