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.

Our Streets – the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme

Phase 3 of the Our Streets programme is planned for implementation in the wards of Streatham Hill, Thurlow Park, Gipsy Hill and Knight’s Hill. 

This Phase of the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme (NEP), is a continuation of previous Our Streets projects that have been delivered in central Lambeth and are currently being delivered in the south of the borough.

As part of future consultation Lambeth are asking residents to share their ideas by completing a survey. This should be happening in early 2018. 

For more information please see – https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/housing-and-regeneration/regeneration/our-streets-the-neighbourhood-enhancement-programme

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!

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.