Network Rail are undertaking essential work in Thurlow Park rd

Network Rail are undertaking essential works in the ward this month and are part of their Railway Upgrade Plan. Essential ground investigation works, which surround the existing railway bridge in Thurlow Park Road will be conducted in order to assist Network Rail in planning any future works.

In order to undertake these works footpath diversions and a series of lane closures are required in Thurlow Park Road.

To minimise disruption our works have been planned to be undertaken over four phases:

• Phase 1 – Lane closure on Thurlow Park Road between the junctions of Norwood Road and Elmcourt Road. Works will be completed between 22:00hrs – 05:00hrs on Friday 17th March 2017, Saturday 18th March 2017 and Sunday 19th March 2017.

• Phase 2 – Footpath diversion beneath Thurlow Park Road rail bridge. Works will be completed between 08:00hrs Monday 20th March 2017 and 18:00hrs Friday 24th March 2017. Our working hours will be 08:00hrs until 18:00hrs.

• Phase 3 – Lane closure on Thurlow Park Road between the junctions of Norwood Road and Elmcourt Road. Works will be completed between 22:00hrs – 05:00hrs on Friday 24th  March 2017, Saturday 25th March 2017 and Sunday 26th March 2017.

• Phase 4 – Lane closure on Thurlow Park Road between the junctions of Norwood Road and Elmcourt Road. Works will be completed between 22:00hrs – 05:00hrs on Friday 31st March 2017, Saturday 01st April 2017 and Sunday 02nd April 2017. 

If you have any questions /comments please contact us or visit www.networkrail.co.uk/contactus or telephone our 24-HourNational Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

Network Rail investigating long term solution to bridge strikes

Anyone who lives near Tulse Hill station of commutes to work will know that the bridge over Thurlow Park Road is regularly hit by lorries who are too tall to travel underneath.

We have been championing this issue with Transport for London and Network Rail. TfL have installed new technology which has reduced bridge strikes by a third, which means the trains are less disrupted and the South Circular is shut and completely rerouted down Lancaster Avenue  less frequently.

However, oversized lorries are still sent down Lancaster Avenue, which is a residential street and inappropriate for large articulated vehicles.

We are very pleased that Network Rail are exploring longer term solutions, in partnership with TfL, and will be conducting ground investigation works around the railway bridge to help them plan future works as part of their Railway Upgrade Plan. This includes boreholes, bridge abutment examinations and trial pits.

While in the long term we hope this will lead to them investing in either raising the bridge or lowering the road, in the short term we appreciate it may cause some disruption. Local residents will shortly receive a letter from Network Rail setting out the local impact.

As it is important for train passengers, road users , residents and staff to be safe, this type of work can only be carried out when trains are not operating and therefore they will mainly be taking place overnight and at weekends. We have been assured by Network Rail that staff and contractors have been briefed on how to work responsibly with the local community but would encourage you to get in touch with us if you experience any problems.

Some success in our campaign to end bridge strikes – a south circular technology upgrade

Many of you will be familiar with the regular delay and disruption caused by bridge strikes to the railway bridge over the South Circular in Tulse Hill. It is the most regular hit bridge in the UK – the regular collisions have caused over 200 hours of delay to Southern and Thameslink passengers in the past 12 months.

The impact of a bridge strike is incredibly disruptive – the roads are blocked, the trains are delayed and traffic is routed down residential streets. After years of inaction from TfL and Network Rail, we have been working hard to raise the profile of the problem and get some investment in solving it. We have been working with local residents, TfL officers, our MP and the London Assembly member, Flo Eshalomi AM.

The bridge’s location, near to the Tulse Hill station platforms, means it isn’t possible to raise the level, so we are petitioning for long term investment to instead lower the road in order to ensure all vehicles can fit underneath without any collision. This is a significant engineering challenge and will require substantial investment.

In the meantime, we have successfully lobbied for better technology and signage to prevent oversized lorries from attempting to go under the bridge. A detector system has been installed which is triggered by overheight vehicles. This will set off an alert to drivers that they need to stop or turn off the road before the bridge. We have had additional signage installed on the bridge, steel beams to protect it and engineers based nearby at peak hours to inspect the bridge quickly if needed, to minimise delays to train services. We have also successfully pushed for CCTV to be installed.

The cost of installation and future maintenance has been shared by TfL and Network Rail, and the systems are linked to TfL’s London Streets and Traffic Control Centre. That means the condition of the system can be monitored remotely and if a fault occurs it can be dealt with immediately. The LED signs are low energy.

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Having been successfully elected Florence Eshalomi AM follows up Lancaster Ave resident association walkabout about the Thurlow Park rd bridge with question to Mayor. 

As local residents ill be well aware the railway bridge over the South Circular is hit by HGVs more than any other railway bridge in the UK. Every time a lorry drives into the bridge, trains to and from central London are delayed and traffic is redirected down residential streets. In the meantime, large vehicles are indiscriminately redirected down Lancaster Avenue.  It is disruptive and dangerous, and we have been working with residents, TfL, and now our new Assembly Member as we want to do something to solve the problem.

‘TfL has invested in a number of measures such as clearly signing an alternative route, installing larger bridge height restriction signs on the bridge itself.  In collaboration with Network Rail, it has painted black and yellow chevrons on the bridge to highlight the maximum height available to vehicles and added large “Low Bridge” signs to the structure. In addition, new electronic over-height warning systems were successfully commissioned on Friday 15 July 2016, which use infra-red beams and a sensor in the carriageway to detect when a tall vehicle approaches the bridge, triggering a warning message on a nearby sign to advise them to divert’.

Please find Florence Eshalomi AMs question to the Mayor of London and the response here – http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_288872

Reducing bridge strikes on Thurlow Park Road – work starts next week

The railway bridge over the South Circular is hit by HGVs more than any other railway bridge in the UK. Every time a lorry drives into the bridge, trains to and from central London are delayed and traffic is redirected down residential streets. In the meantime, large vehicles are indiscriminately redirected down Lancaster Avenue.  It is disruptive and dangerous, and we want to do something to solve the problem.

We have been working with TfL to address the issue. Officers met with residents a couple of months ago, and recently our new London Assembly Member, Flo Eshalomi, visited the ward to discuss this issue ahead of her election.
In the short term, we have pushed for better signage – which takes into account the actual height of vehicles to ensure oversized vehicles are targeted. In the long term, we want the road to be lowered so that no vehicle is at risk of hitting the bridge, and so that no lorries are diverted down Lancaster Avenue.

We are pleased that action is being taken this week. London Highways Alliance Contract (LoHAC) workers, on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), are planning to modernise the Overheight Vehicle Detection Systems on the A205 Thurlow Park Road, on both approaches to the Network Rail Bridge near Tulse Hill Gyratory. The contractors will be installing new Overheight Vehicle Detection Systems and associated loop sensors, ducting and electrical connections, in order to give overheight vehicles more advanced warning of the low bridge and to divert them via alternative routes.

Works are planned to start on Tuesday 24 May 2016 and will be phased over approximately 10 weeks, depending on weather conditions. Footway works will take place from Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 18:00, and on Saturdays between 08:00 and 14:00. Carriageway works will take place from Mondays to Fridays between 20:00 and 05:00, nights only, with noisy works completed before 23:00.

Ahead of 2016 GLA Assembly election we arranged for the Norwood Forum Chair, Noshir Patel, and Labour GLA candidate for Lambeth & Southwark, Flo Eshalomi, to conduct a walking tour of Lancaster Avenue and Thurlow Park Road with the bridge strike issue and subsequent road diversion the main topic of discussion.

As many of you may know, the bridge on Thurlow Park Road is the most hit in the country and the impact has been of growing significance to residents and business alike. The economic cost of delayed train and car journeys, the negative effect on air pollution, the impact on road safety, the actual damage to the bridge, and the cost to train operating companies.

As a reminder, we met with TfL and LARA residents last December 2015 and discussed a rage of short and long term strategies to help residents better cope with the ongoing issue. In the short term we had hoped to see better signage being installed. These would be “smart”, triggered only by oversized vehicles which should mean they are more effective. Otherwise, we had also hoped to see CCTV being installed to monitor and measure impact.

In the longer term we understood that TfL would be developing a business case for lowering the road as a way to prevent bridge strikes and to remove the need to divert any traffic down Lancaster Avenue. This will take some time because it is a complicated engineering challenge thanks to bridge foundations and the sewer. It will also have a huge impact on the road, as it would have to be closed for the works to be completed.

Florence was diligent in her questions and understood the need for something to be done as quickly as possible. She was keen to help and said that she would raise the matter, if elected, during Mayor’s question time.