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.”

Thames Water update

There was a 10 inch pipe burst on Thurlow Park rd on Friday 30 June. This caused small flooding to six gardens and one basement. This burst also created a further burst to a nearby 13 inch pipe. Repairs were carried out and the road was opened on 04 July. 

The South Circular Bus Lane will be closed at the Norwood Road junction with Perran Road from Monday 03 July for approximately six weeks. Perran Road will also be closed to traffic, with the diversion routes via Christchurch Road clearly signposted.

Residents will still be able to access their properties. Bus stops outside property number 162 and 385 Norwood Road will also be suspended during this time.

Norwood Road will be closed to traffic travelling southbound between South Circular Road and Elmcourt Road from Monday 21 August for approximately one week. This will include the closure of Palace Road/Leigham Vale at the junction of Norwood Road.

Bus routes 196, 322, 468, 690 and N68 travelling from Herne Hill towards West Norwood will be diverted from Norwood Road, Croxted Road, Thurlow Park Road and Lancaster Avenue before returning to the line of route on Norwood Road. Bus routes 2, 432, X68 and N2 travelling from Tulse Hill towards West Norwood will be diverted from Tulse Hill, Norwood Road/Rosendale Road, Thurlow Park Road/Lancaster Avenue before returning to line of route on Norwood Road. Bus route 68 will terminate at Tulse Hill. We’ll also have appropriate signage in place for cyclists.

Another Thames Water update

There has been another burst water main under Thurlow Park Road which is now being repaired. 

Thames Water have said that they’ll be working day and night this weekend to complete the repair. They will need to dig through thick concrete to get to the pipe, so this will add to the time the work will take, and expect to continue into the start of next week but will do everything we can to get the road reopen as soon as possible.

Local residents should not expect to see an interruption of water supplies, however there is a small chance some properties may have lower water pressure than normal. Thames Water engineers will be managing water flows in the area to reduce the risk of low pressure as much as possible.

Consequently, there will be a traffic diversion in place as the road has been closed westbound between Croxted Road and Gallery Road. The diversion is via College Road, Burbage Road, Turney Road and Croxted Road. This will remain in place over the weekend and into the start of next week while the pipe is fixed. A separate diversion route for heavy goods vehicles will be signposted.

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. 

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.

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