Earlier this year, one of our local residents, Jaz, was tragically killed crossing Thurlow Park Road on the zebra crossing at the bottom of Birkbeck Hill. This is not the first accident on the South Circular, and we want to work with Transport for London and local residents to make it the last.
Together with local residents, we want to find a way to improve safety at this dangerous crossing and so arranged a walkabout in March with Jaz’s friends and neighbours, local residents and parents, TfL officers, our local Assembly Member Flo Eshalomi and MP Helen Hayes.
The walkabout was attended by around 25 people and was followed by a meeting to discuss potential solutions.
During the walkabout a number of points were highlighted; the possible need for a countdown timer on the crossing, the general speed of drivers rushing to ‘get away’ from the gyratory junction, the fact that the two lanes moving away from Tulse Hill move into one lane occurs fairly quickly with little signage pre-warning drivers of that change, the shift in speed limit around the neighbouring roads between 20mph (Lambeth) and 30mph (TfL) and lack of driver awareness of the change, that the sunlight both in the morning and the afternoon can be blinding to drivers as they approach the bridge /crossing, which makes it hard for drivers to see people waiting to cross, and that cycle lane improvement might also help.
During the meeting that followed the walkabout there was a general conversation about what TfL thought was causing the safety concerns, the data surrounding TfL’s understanding of the safety concerns, and what the local community could do to support TfL’s understanding of the safety concerns.
Otherwise, there was also a conversation about what necessary criteria was required for TfL to make certain safety changes, while there was also a discussion about whether some test speed measures could be put in place down.
Furthermore, the group talked about the general need for better signage and better visibility for drivers and pedestrians, the need for a wider culture shift amongst road users while parking was also raised.
In terms of follow up we will continue to work with TfL, Flo Eshalomi AM, Helen Hayes MP, and the local community to try and make the crossing safer for everyone.