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. 

Route 315 Bus service proposal consultation begins

The consultation regarding the Route 315 Bus service proposal began today. The consultation will run from Monday 22 June to Monday 10 August 2015, and we hope you have your say. There is an online survey. Here is the link – http://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/route-315

Transport for London (TfL) will be distributing leaflets next week to addresses within 400m of the current route 315 (east of Streatham High Rd) and the proposed route between West Norwood and Peabody Hill, and in addition to this, there will be an email to current users of the 315 bus.

Furthermore, there will be two drop-in sessions for people to discuss the proposals with TfL staff and we would be delighted if you can take part:

Thursday 2 July, 15.00-20.30, at Aspire Wellbeing Centre, 1 Park Hall Road, London SE21 8EH
Thursday 9 July, 15.00-18.30, at Peabody Hill Centre, Peabody Hill, London SE21 8LA

Proposed Peabody Bus public meeting notes

Dear Resident – below is a copy of the meeting notes which Anna and Max took down while at the Peabody Community Hall public meeting held at the end of March to discuss proposals to introduce a bus service to Peabody Hill. These notes were sent to TfL last week as a way to provide TfL with an insight into Peabody estate and Birkbeck triangle residents’ thoughts, suggestions and questions ahead of the consultation in June 2015.

Dear Peter, 

As you’re aware, we recently hosted a public meeting to discuss proposals to introduce a bus service to Peabody Hill. The meeting came about due to increasing community awareness of the proposals and Peabody Estate’s ongoing maintenance work which included the drawing of double yellow lines and prompted a discussion about parking and the potential impact of a bus service locally.

With the suggested consultation taking place in June, we thought it would be valuable to engage residents early, update them on the proposal as best we could and gauge their views in order to feed into your work. We were really pleased that over 100 local residents from Peabody and the Birkbeck Triangle attended the meeting. We have compiled their questions and suggestions, below, and hope that this will help to shape both the proposal and the consultation.

We think it very important that any proposals consider these points of view as it is an emotive issue for some residents, and hope that the questions can be answered fully before or during the consultation so that residents can make an informed decision.

Bus route:
– Which bus route is being proposed? Where will it come from/ go to?
– Will residents be given a choice of bus route? If not, why is that route being suggested?
– What frequency will the bus visit the estate?
– What time will it start in the morning and finish in the evening?
– Exactly what route through Birkbeck Triangle will the bus take?

Bus stops:
– Where will bus stop(s) be situated? Will residents be offered a choice?

– What will the impact on parking be in terms of exact number of spaces? Can you be specific about where the parking spaces will be lost?
– How will you work with Lambeth and Peabody to mitigate any effects on parking?
– Will you conduct a parking survey?
– How will this align with the council’s review of controlled parking zones in the area?

Impact on residents:
– Do you have examples of buses traveling through other estates like Peabody Hill that you can share?
– Can TfL suggest a low carbon bus to reduce impact on air quality and noise?
– Will noise be measured in an ongoing way?

– How will TfL work with Lambeth to ensure the play street in the Birkbeck Triangle goes ahead?
– What can TfL do to ensure that children playing on the estate or outside their homes are safe?

– How will the narrowness of streets be overcome, eg bus needing to pass oncoming traffic, delivery vans stopped in the street?
– Is it possible for the bus to turn outside the community hall instead of going round the estate? If not why not?
– How will emergency services and bin trucks be affected? How can this be managed?
– What will happen in the winter, as the estate is not normally gritted? Will TfL grit the estate?

– Will you get any advice from the police regarding the impact new bus services have on local criminal activity?

– Will TfL contribute to maintenance of roads on the estate?

– What is the suggested date for implementation?
– What alternatives have been considered?
– How would the bus be financed?
– If a bus goes ahead, will it be permanent? Is there scope for a pilot?

Residents also had some questions about the consultation process:

– How many people must ask for/ use the service to create enough demand for the bus to go ahead?
– How long will residents have to contribute?
– Will residents elsewhere on the bus route, not on Peabody Hill and the Birkbeck Triangle, also be able to have their say, and how will you engage them?
– How will TfL engage residents thoroughly in the consultation to ensure everyone feels included?

We also received feedback regarding the process of consultation and have some suggestions to make this more productive in June.

– Host drop in sessions rather than meetings, as some residents felt intimidated by the atmosphere at the public meeting and weren’t therefore comfortable contributing.
– Events held over a longer period of time will give more residents an opportunity to have their say
– Holding sessions at different times of day would mean people can come during the day or after work
– There should be the option to respond to written information and engage online
– It would be good if residents were presented with more than one option – being asked for “yes or no” for one bus proposal was seen as too black and white. Would it be possible for residents to choose from 3-5 options?

We apologise for the long letter, but many views were expressed and we are keen that everyone can have an input. We hope that considering the above questions and suggestions will improve the proposals and the process.

For your information, a copy of this letter will be forwarded to residents who attended the event so that they are aware of what is happening. We would like to be able to share your response to any of the questions above.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if this raises any questions or if you would like to meet to discuss further.

Best wishes,

Anna and Max