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.

Quietways call-in FAQ

We have been asked a number of questions regarding the
call-in and thought it would be useful to circulate answers. We will continue
to update these as more residents email with questions.

What does a call-in mean?

From time to time, the Cabinet may take a decision that
causes concern to some councillors to such an extent that they believe the
decision should be changed. The Local Government Act 2000 requires every
council to establish a mechanism which allows for executive decisions made but
not yet implemented to be ‘called in’ for consideration by scrutiny. This
includes decisions taken by Cabinet (collective or individual) or decisions
delegated to Chief Officers.

In Lambeth, a call-in can be made by councillors to ask
Overview and Scrutiny to send the decision back, or let the decision stand but
make recommendations, or approve the decision.

The call-in will be considered by members of the Overview
and Scrutiny Committee. If they deem it valid, a public meeting will be
organised to discuss the decision and the reasons given for calling it in.
Members of the public can also take part.

How can I take part?

Call-in meetings are public events and anyone can attend.
Members of the public can also request to ask questions or make short points at
this meeting.

Your local councillors will be representing you at the
meeting too, and would value your input. You can provide this input in a number
of ways –

Who called in the decision?

Your local councillors, Anna, Max and Fred, called in the
decision.

Calling in a decision should be a last resort, so we waited
until we had held a meeting with the cabinet member and senior officers to see
if there was a quicker way to resolve the various issues and outstanding
questions without escalating the matter to Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

We found out after the call-in deadline had passed that the
councillor for Clapham Common, Cllr Briggs, also called in the decision,
although we are unclear why a representative from a different part of Lambeth would
take a new interest in West Dulwich and West Norwood without the courtesy of
discussing with the cabinet member or local councillors, given a lack of previous
interest shown to any local or cycling matters.

Why are local councillors calling in the decision?

We want Rosendale Road, Turney Road, and the surrounding streets to be safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and children walking to school or crossing the road. It should be a pleasant environment to live and work in, and the local community should have some say on, and ownership over, how this is developed. 

We think the plans fail to take into account the feedback that residents gave in the consultation last year – and as a result do not achieve the safety and environmental improvements the community need. We do not want to cancel Quietways but we do want to make sure that local changes are as good as possible. We have asked for the proposals to be improved and for a full final consultation before the plans are signed off. 

In particular, we want a much safer proposals for the junction at Parkhall,

to ensure good access to the Rosendale Allotments,

better safety at the junction of Turney and Rosendale for children travelling to school, and sufficient greening the length of the route.

Why does the call-in focus on the design rather than the
overall route chosen?

The route was decided in 2013 by Andrew Gilligan, the then
Cycling Commissioner. A call-in must be specific to a particular decision, and
taken within a very limited time period after that decision is made (5 working
days). At a local level, councillors at the time report that they were not
included in this decision, although Cllr John Whelan was the leader of
Lambeth’s Conservative Group at the time and will have had the ability to have
questioned the choice of route had he chosen to.

This call-in is to challenge the decision made on 12 June
which is about the design. We think that the route along Rosendale Road means
there will be a unique investment in our local neighbourhood – which we would
welcome should the proposals deliver genuine improvements in safety for
residents, cyclists and pedestrians, and should the community have genuine
input into the design.

Therefore, the scope of the review by Overview and Scrutiny
will focus on the design as detailed in the decision published here

Does this delay improvements to Rosendale Road?

Yes, inevitably it takes time to review a decision and make
recommendations. However, we hope that any delay to works starting will be
mitigated by a much improved design which will deliver greater local benefits.
We will be working closely with the cabinet member and officers to ensure
delays are minimised.

Our Quietways call-in

On 12 June, Lambeth Council’s website showed that a decision had been published regarding the design of Quietway 7 – the route along Rosendale Road and Turney Road.

This Quietway has been a fraught process since the outset, and we have worked closely with residents and community groups to ensure that we achieve a design that makes the road safer for cyclists and pedestrians, but that is acceptable to people living, shopping and working nearby too.

We ensured the original proposal to close Rosendale Road to through traffic was taken off the table and organised a full consultation in 2015, with public meetings, co-design workshops and exhibitions of proposals. There was an online consultation on plans in March 2016 and we have continued to push for changes since – in particularly to retain parking near to Turney School, to ensure continued access to the Rosendale Allotments and to ensure the Parkhall/ Rosendale junction does not change in a way which speeds up cars or causes additional traffic queues.

When the decision was published, we were concerned that the public feedback during the consultation and our contributions on residents’ behalf had not been taken into account as plans appeared unchanged except for the reinstatement of parking on Turney Road. And as cyclists, we don’t believe the scheme delivers the safety improvements that cyclists and pedestrians need either.

We met with the cabinet member and lead officers to express our concerns and discuss how we can address those, and will continue to meet regularly. We are meeting with TfL officers regarding the route and the junction on the South Circular too.

We have also decided to request a “call in” on the decision – this is a formal challenge to the decision and could result in the decision being sent back to rethink, or modified before it can be implemented.

Our “call in” asks for plans to be changed so that they reflect our concerns and community feedback, and for a full consultation on new plans – both online and in public workshops. Scrutiny committee are meeting in a few days to consider our request, and if it is accepted there will be a public meeting to discuss the decision and make recommendations.

Update on Quietways next steps – changes we’re pushing for

Last Autumn a surprise announcement of an experimental road closure on Rosendale Road mobilised the community. As your local councillors, we worked with businesses, residents and community groups to oppose the closure and successfully got it taken off the table. We organised a series of codesign workshops to make sure that TfL, Lambeth and Sustrans listened to residents’ concerns and ideas. We have consistently said that we are keen to encourage and enable cycling, but that this should be done collaboratively with local communities, not in a way which creates conflict between cyclists, local residents and local businesses.

Once the feedback from workshops was brought together, the designs went to public consultation – advertised online as well as in letters which went to 4,200 addresses in Thurlow Park. Over 250 residents responded to the consultation, and many got in touch with us too.

Residents who contacted us were also keen to understand the next steps, and we’re aware that there has been a long period with no updates on progress. The mayoral election caused some delay, but mostly the volume of responses meant it has taken officers a long time to process everything. Their published report will provide a detailed response to every query raised by you in the consultation.

Timeline:
September – The report with answers to queries raised in the consultation and a breakdown of people’s answers will be published
September-October – New proposals will be published and put to formal consultation
January – If the new proposals are agreed from the second consultation, work will take place

From talking and corresponding with many of you, we’re aware that there is still a lot of unhappiness with the proposals. We have been pushing for changes to the proposals ahead of any new designs being put forward. We’ve met with the cabinet member and officers in Lambeth, and highlighted the changes we need to see in any new designs for the scheme to be acceptable to local residents as well as improving cycling.

In particular, we are working on:

  • Significantly reducing the number of parking spaces lost
  • Ensuring good access to the allotments
  • Greening at the junction of Rosendale and Turney Roads
  • Tackling rat running on Dalmore Road and Carson Road
  • Preventing any changes to the junction of Rosendale and Parkhall Roads which make traffic worse