Progress made in our campaign for a safer South Circular

Following the tragic death of Dr. Jasjot Singhota at
the zebra crossing on Thurlow Park Road, by Birkbeck Hill, in February, we have
been working to tackle speeding and improve safety on the South Circular.

In March, we organised a walkabout with TfL
officers, local residents, friends of Jas, the local Labour London Assembly
Member Flo Eshalomi, and the local Labour MP Helen Hayes. We discussed a number
of issues with the speed of traffic, the visibility of crossings and the lack
of enforcement when drivers are disregarding road safety.

We have been working with TfL to follow up on these
actions behind the scenes, and while the police inquiry into the tragic
accident is still ongoing, we are able to provide an update on this work from
TfL officers.

We asked TfL to commission a speed survey at the
crossing to give us the evidence we need to push for improvements. This took
place between 18 April and 24 April and the results are here:

Clearly, far too many drivers are exceeding the speed limit – and we are committed to continuing to work with residents to campaign for measures to tackle this. 

We also asked for a collision study, so that we
could gain a better understanding of the dangers of this crossing.

TfL officers say: 

“We have completed a collision study, which revealed at this location
there were five collisions in the 36 months up to 31st October 2016 (which is
the latest Police recorded data available, so it does not include the collision
involving Dr Singhota). Two collisions occurred on the zebra crossing involving
pedestrian’s being struck by a vehicle, whilst crossing the road. One of these
collisions resulted in a serious injury, with the other resulting in slight
injury. Three of the collisions involved vehicle shunt incidents on the
approach to the zebra crossing. Two of these three collisions involved vehicles
travelling westbound, with the other collision involving vehicles travelling
eastbound. All three shunt incidents were attributed to inappropriate speeds
and the driver failing to look properly. Two of these collisions involved cars
only, with the other involving a car and a motorcycle.”

While the ongoing police inquiry has advised that
the highway layout was not being seen as a contributory factor to the fatal
accident in February, TfL have agreed to review the layout to begin to address
our concerns. These are all things which they are able to include in the
ongoing maintenance programme so the required works can be delivered fairly
promptly.

In summary, these works include:

  • The belisha beacon (the pole with an orange ball on top by the zebra crossings) post on the north-eastern side of A205 Thurlow Park Road is solid black, and will be made black and white striped to be consistent with other crossings of this type. This should make is more visible for oncoming traffic.
  • The belisha beacons on either side of Thurlow Park Road will be re-orientated to improve their visibility.
  • Two replacement keep left bollards will be installed on the pedestrian refuge area (island) in the middle of the road.

In addition, TfL have agreed to get in touch with
the police to set up some community-led speed checks under the Community
Roadwatch scheme, which will complement the surveys that TfL have undertaken.
This scheme gives residents the opportunity to work with local police teams,
and use speed detection equipment to deter speeding on their roads. 

Dates are
yet to be finalised for this event – if you would like to be part of this
please sign up here.

TfL are also considering other interventions that
could be made in the longer term and progressed as part of their programme with
the aim of reducing speeds and improving safety along this section of Thurlow
Park Road. They say, “We intend to work with all stakeholders
to ensure that all our roads are safe for all road users.”

Friday 13th October 2017 proved unlucky for some speeding motorists on Lancaster Avenue as LARA ran its first Community Roadwatch event with the Lambeth Safer Transport Team led on the day by Police Community Support Officer Bruce Hay accompanied by two of his colleagues and ably assisted by residents from the Avenue.  

Using a speed gun supplied by the Lambeth police team and expertly handled by one of the residents the Roadwatch team captured 78 vehicles travelling at 25mph or more in just 75 minutes between 4pm and 5:25pm. Of those 78 vehicles, 20 were captured travelling at over 27 mph and the  worst offender was clocked at a staggering 42 mph. 

The registration numbers of all vehicles registering 25mph or more on the laser gun were recorded and have been reported to TfL by the police team. Drivers who are subsequently caught  speeding a second time will receive warnings, which for the worst offenders may involve a knock at the door from Bruce and his team, and further infringements will incur stiffer penalties.

Bearing in mind the presence of a nursery, two care homes and an infant school on our road and the long-standing nature of the 20mph speed limit the speeds some motorists were travelling at really does beggar belief.

PCSO Hay declared the event “very busy by any standard” and plans to return, this time with 2 speed guns, for a further event in the November. He assures us that the need to return so quickly is driven by the evident problem which affects our road and not by the excellent cups of tea and good company supplied to him and his team.

Speeders watch out!

NEW – the Thurlow speed check

There is growing concern among residents in Thurlow Park about road safety. We want our streets to be safe for everyone to walk and cycle so have developed this tool for residents to report dangerous driving and speeding.

This puts the power back into your hands – your reports will go straight into our inboxes and let us know every time there is an issue.

This information will really help us to take action. We can notify the police when there are regular dangerous incidents, use the data to identify hotspots where we can target speed checks and traffic enforcement, and we can easily produce evidence when we make the case for traffic calming measures or speed cameras. See – http://www.thurlowparkspeedcheck.co.uk

We hope you find it useful – if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the site, please get in touch.