Work begins on the Norwood Road zebra crossing

We are thrilled that work has started on the new zebra crossing on Norwood Road, next to Harpenden Road.

Road safety is our top priority and we have been really disappointed by the delays to the delivery of this scheme. Initially, a complaint held up the delivery, and then complications regarding road traffic orders. These have been resolved, and in the meantime we organised for the contractors to be on site every morning with stop/go signs to help students cross the road to school.

The zebra crossing was a key aspect of Streetworks, designed by the community in workshops and receiving significant support during extensive consultation. We worked with Elmgreen School as well as local groups like the Norwood and Tulse Hill Forums and the Business Improvement District to ensure residents had many opportunities to have their say including meetings, workshops, market stalls, in-person surveys, social media and letters through every local door.

Harpenden consultation results
Results from the final consultation on plans for the new zebra crossing

 

Zebra crossing campaign success

We are thrilled to let you know that after a number of months delay, the zebra crossing on Norwood Road, by the junction with Harpenden Road, will be installed this Easter.

We have been pushing for a safer crossing on this section on Norwood Road for the last three years, as it is a busy and dangerous place to cross for many Elmgreen students travelling to and from school, and residents using the bus stops and local shops.

We secured funding from TfL as part of the Streetworks improvements to West Norwood, and the design for the crossing was developed collaboratively in workshops and public events with students, parents, local residents and businesses. Around 15,000 leaflets were distributed across West Norwood over a period of many months inviting residents to regular consultation and design events.

Hundreds of you took part, and this showed in the formal consultation when 82% of respondents supported the final plans, as shown in the breakdown of results below –

Work began to install the new crossing with the removal of the central reservation. However, a late complaint stalled the continuation of works while it was investigated.

As your local councillors, we have been very concerned that despite hundreds of residents and students taking part in designing the proposals, and the overwhelming support for it during the extensive consultation, one complaint has held up its construction. The scheme being put on hold while this one complaint is investigated means the crossing is even more dangerous than it was before. We have had hundreds of emails from parents and teachers frustrated with the situation.

The delay has been exacerbated by local Conservative and Lib Dem candidates trying to use the complaint to score political points. We don’t believe that it is right to put party politics above young people’s safety on our roads.

As your local councillors, we called for urgent work to install the community’s original plans for a zebra crossing, and for local opposition to put safety before political point scoring. We are really grateful for the support of parents, staff and students at Elmgreen School in writing to officers and Lambeth’s cabinet to speed up the delivery of a safe crossing – and we’re thrilled that your work has paid off! Work to install the crossing will start in the Easter holidays.

Better Streets

Back in November 2017 we wrote on this blog about the exciting work we were undertaking to try and bring about better ways to help residents improve their streets. It is hoped that with resident engagement we will help to make local streets a better place to live; whether through greening, more trees, traffic calming measures, and improving road safety more generally.

After much discussion with both officers and residents we have been able to secure a drop in event for local residents on Saturday 24 March in the Salvation Army between 12:00 – 15:00. 

Flyers like the one below have been distributed across Thurlow Park, and we invite you to attend to share your ideas. There will be light refreshments available, Officers will be on hand to answer questions, and residents can complete the questionnaire which will also be available.

If you are not able to attend please do complete the online questionnnaire (www.lambeth.gov.uk/thurlowpark) or visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/ourstreets to find out more. The consultation will close on Friday 06 April 2018.

Thurlow Park Road: junction improvement works planned

Transport for London have written letters to local residents to inform them of plans to improve the junction at Thurlow Park Road and Rosendale Road. TfL will install new pedestrian and junction signals, repave the footpath at the junction and improve cycle facilities. Works begin from Thursday 01 March. This is part of their Quietways programme.

Works will take place from 08:00 until 18:00 and 20:00 until 05:00 on Mondays to Fridays, and from 08:00 until 16:00 on Saturdays, between 01 March and 10 April. The noisiest works will be completed 23:00.

TfL will signpost diversion routes during any closures, though the advice is to plan ahead, and allow more time /use alternative routes where possible. Visit tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews or follow @TfLTrafficNews on Twitter for live road travel updates.

Bus routes 201 and P13 will be temporarily diverted and bus stop Lancaster Avenue / West Dulwich, which serves these routes, will be temporarily closed. We will place notices at the affected stops to guide you to the nearest alternative. Visit tfl.gov.uk/bus/status or follow @TfLBusAlerts on Twitter for live updates.

Please visit tfl.gov.uk/roads for more information.

Quietways – update from the drop-in surgery this week

Surgery this week for Rosendale and Turney Road residents

This week we organised a surgery for residents on Rosendale
and Turney Roads, who will be directly affected by the Quietway going past
their homes – it was an opportunity for those residents to have a one-to-one
discussion with the scheme designers to work through any potential issues with
access to their homes or driveways once junctions are redesigned or speed bumps
put in. Designers will use residents’ feedback and local knowledge to ensure
the scheme doesn’t inadvertently cause issues for individual residents. Anyone who couldn’t attend, we have offered to visit individually – do let us know if you would like us to come and meet with you.

This surgery follows a number of meetings that we convened over
the summer between designers and stakeholder groups like the Rosendale
Allotments and the businesses on Rosendale Road to revisit designs and make
sure their concerns are taken on board. We have also doorknocked residents and
had individual meetings with anyone who wanted to discuss the plans but has
been unable to attend meetings.

The feedback from these meetings is being used by the
designers to revisit plans and draw up suggested changes to the design which
take on board local residents’ and stakeholders’ input.

Full public consultation in September

These new designs will come to full public consultation –
which will be four weeks of on- and offline opportunities to see plans,
comment, and speak with officers and councillors throughout September. We will
organise public exhibitions in Thurlow Park ward and Gipsy Hill ward, and will
circulate plans by email and on the Lambeth website.

This work to involve the local community follows our “call-in”
to the designs which went to a decision in June – we didn’t feel these designs
accurately incorporated local feedback and asked the cabinet member to withdraw
the decision to enable us to get the designers and residents round the table to
revisit sections where the designs weren’t good enough. We were also concerned that cycling groups didn’t support the designs either. 

We have consistently,
for the last two years, championed the importance of involving local residents –
from the start, we challenged a road closure that hadn’t been consulted on and
got it taken off the table. Over the last two years, we have organised many
public meetings, design workshops, stakeholder meetings with businesses and
other groups of residents, doorknocking, online surveys, public exhibitions and
walkabouts.

Changes we have secured to the design

So far, we have ensured that parking is retained by Turney School, and that the changes to the Turney Road/ Rosendale Road junction meet the
access needs of the allotments. 

We continue to be unhappy about the proposal to
make Rosendale Road a through road at the junction with Parkhall, which would
involve removing the existing roundabout. We believe that this will encourage
traffic to speed up and will cause queues on Parkhall, without delivering the safety benefits that cyclists need – this is being
re-examined by designers who will come back to us with some new ideas. 

The
designers are also looking at adjusting the location of the proposed zebra crossing
by Scotch Meats so that we retain shopping parking spaces, following our meeting with businesses.

Investment to tackle speeding we are pleased about

However, the scheme isn’t all bad. We have shifted the focus
of the officers from just a cycling route to a scheme which delivers wider improvements for
everyone, with a much greater focus on walking, reducing speeding and air
quality than was possible when Boris was Mayor. 

The investment in Rosendale
Road is a unique opportunity to make sure we do get some changes made that
residents have asked us for – new zebra crossings, putting in a lot more cycling parking, getting rid of the useless “cushion”
speed humps we have now which encourage cars to swerve and speed and replacing
them with gentler humps which go across the full width of the road, more
planting and trees put in, and raised informal crossings on the side roads so
that cars must slow down instead of swerving round corners. 

As cyclists and pedestrians ourselves, we think that reducing average speed and preventing excessive speeding will have the greatest positive impact on Rosendale Road in terms of it being and feeling safer to travel along. We’re pleased that we will be able to invest in cycle parking and greening, and to work with businesses to improve the area outside their shops further. 

And while we’re happy to see these improvements on the table, we will continue to champion residents’ and businesses’ concerns about all the other
issues raised such as shopping parking and the Parkhall roundabout. We are also
keen to work with residents who live on the side roads, who experience high
levels of ratrunning traffic, to secure additional investment to help them to
reduce speeding on their roads too.

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. 

Our South Circular safety campaign

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, but we want to work with Transport for London and local residents to make it the last.

This crossing is particularly dangerous – vehicles speed  from the lights by the gyratory, the road narrows from two lanes to one, and the crossing is obscured by the hill and the railway bridge.

Together with local residents, we would like to find a way to improve safety at this dangerous crossing and across the South Circular, so hopefully further loss of life can be avoided.

Please join us, Jaz’s friends and neighbours, local residents and parents, TfL officers and our local Assembly Member Flo Eshalomi on 21st March for a walkabout to show the problems of the unsafe crossing and speeding on the South Circular, and then a meeting to discuss potential solutions and campaigns.

Everyone is welcome – you can let us know you’re attending here southcircularwalkabout.eventbrite.co.uk