Low Traffic Neighbourhood
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – October 2020 (original post further down page)*
During September and October we ran a survey of residents and people who work in Tulse Hill Ward about local transport issues, traffic and the low traffic neighbourhood. We wrote to residents associations, businesses, schools/nurseries and community/faith groups in the area to ask them to complete the survey and to pass it on to their neighbours, employees and volunteers.
214 people completed the survey and 71% of them backed the idea of a low traffic neighbourhood for our area – whilst around 1 in 5 respondents (22%) told us they “don’t like the idea at all”. Just over half of those who told us they have access to their own car/motorbike etc also supported the LTN (55%). We understand that whilst many people have been in touch with us welcoming the low traffic neighbourhood, others remain unconvinced and some simply oppose it as an idea. We will continue to listen to all residents about their views on this scheme.Whilst this scheme is temporary, any introduction of permanent changes to how traffic moves around would require a statutory consultation. In the mean time, people can continue to feedback their thoughts on the temporary scheme via the dedicated website here.
More widely, the survey told us a lot about how people feel about traffic in the area with roughly two thirds of respondents saying they thought there was too much traffic on the roads, that vehicles went too fast and that more needed to be done to cut down on rat-running. We also learnt about how coronavirus has changed the way people travel around – with about half of the respondents telling us they were making fewer journeys and using public transport less. The survey also clearly told us that people wanted greater enforcement of the 20mph speed limit.
As part of the assessment of the LTN, Lambeth Council is collecting data on the number of vehicles using roads at a number of locations in and around the LTN area. Air monitoring stations have also been used to collect air quality data at a number of points. You can read more about our survey and the results on our website here.
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – September 2020 (original post further down page)*
Lambeth Council has announced the details of a temporary Tulse Hill low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) and set the date for it to begin operation as 28th September. As your Councillors we have sought to let people know that an LTN would likely be introduced here – featuring it in our monthly newsletters and writing over the summer to residents associations, businesses, schools/nurseries and community/faith groups in the area. However, we are aware that some residents may not feel that there has been sufficient notice of this change; might be concerned about any disruption they feel it may cause; or may have questions to ask. Regardless of whether you support or oppose the LTN, we hope that everyone feels able to talk about it in a neighbourly way.
In May, the Government updated its traffic management guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic and set out the expectation for councils to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. The Mayor of London has also announced plans to create more space for cycling on Brixton Hill and changed the bus lanes to operate 24/7 which could also push more traffic onto residential streets in our area.
The vast majority of people living in our area don’t have access to a car and we must ensure safe transport options for everyone – including the large numbers of elderly residents and those with mobility issues who don’t travel by car as well as young people, pedestrians and cyclists. Emergency services will be able to pass through the filters/gates that are being installed on Arodene Road, Leander Road, Elm Park, Upper Tulse Hill, Cotherstone Road and Roupell Road (where the 201 bus will also be unaffected). Meanwhile residents/deliveries/visitors will still be able to get to every property – but the route they take may change.
We stood for election in Tulse Hill Ward in 2018 with a commitment to do something about speeding and rat-running in the local area. We have also held many discussions over the years with residents groups on what can be done. We believe these temporary plans can be part of a solution for our area – but they will change how people get around and some journeys will be slightly longer. There may be some short-term teething problems whilst this temporary scheme beds in – so a live consultation will run alongside it (see the dedicated website here). In other places this has led to direct changes to local LTNs and we urge everyone to take part.
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – August 2020 (original post further down page)*
Lambeth Council has informed us a trial low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) will be coming to the Tulse Hill Ward area (see area ‘QW’ in the below map). Traffic engineers are currently designing the scheme and will soon publish details of where changes to local roads will be made. Work on putting the scheme in place will begin by the start of October 2020.
We want to hear what Tulse Hill’s residents, businesses, community groups and those who work in Tulse Hill think about traffic in our area. We have written to local TRAs. groups, schools etc and you can read the latest version of what we have sent to residents here. You can also find our survey here.
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – July 2020 (original post further down page)*
Restrictions on daily activities introduced as part of the measures to protect people from coronavirus are beginning to be relaxed – with playgrounds reopening, pubs like the Elm Park Tavern being allowed to serve customers again and how council services like libraries are accessed changing. However, our public transport system and how Londoners get around is still under immense pressure – with it continuing to be difficult to ensure safe social distancing at all times.
In May, Lambeth Council announced a six month programme of temporary measures to help people with social distancing whilst they move around and to encourage cycling/walking. This all plays a part in reducing the pressures on the public transport system and those who have no other choice but to use it to get around. Some of these measures involved widening pavements or putting in space for cycling. Others have featured the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, where non-local traffic cutting through areas is returned to main arterial roads.
Tulse Hill is one of the areas where Lambeth Council is looking to introduce a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (see picture below marked QW). As your Councillors we support this as a way to help reduce conflict on the road at a time when people are cycling and walking much more than before. Non-local traffic contributes to most of the speeding and pollution on our streets and often stop families feeling safe walking to school or those who need to get to the Post Office or local shops. Some journeys can be a few minutes longer as the small number of road closures may mean you have to take a different route – but residents, delivery drivers, visitors and emergency services will all be able to access our streets and estates.
Because these emergency measures are being introduced on a temporary basis there will not be a community design and consultation phase. It is likely they will be announced and put in place at short notice, so there are a number of things you can do:
- Visit the webpage for the Oval, Railton or Ferndale Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to see what they include (or better still – visit the areas themselves)
- Use this online map to have your say about what you would like to see happen in our area to make more space for social distancing (add as many comments as you want)
- Get in touch with us directly to let us know what you think about the plans in other areas, what you would like to see happen in our area and whether you would support making our streets safer
- Talk to your neighbours and residents groups so that as many people as possible know that a Low Traffic Neighbourhood might be coming to our area
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – June 2020 (original post further down page)*
Alongside pavement widening on Brixton Water Lane, another emergency local intervention that has been put in place is a temporary road closure on St Matthew’s Road. Connecting Brixton Water Lane with the one way system around St Matthew’s Church – St Matthew’s Road is regularly used as a rat-run by some drivers hoping they can avoid Brixton Hill or Effra Road. With the majority of local residents not owning a car, during rush hour 75-100% of the traffic along the road is non-local traffic, despite it linking the same two places as the main roads on either side of the St Matthew’s Estate. This rat-running traffic often consists of speeding cars and vans that put the local cyclists and pedestrians who also use the road in danger. Closing the road half way down removes the rat-running/reduces speeding and is an important way to make sure that people are able to keep safe whilst social distancing.
Because this intervention, like the pavement widening on Brixton Water Lane, is an emergency and temporary scheme the Government has not required there to be a statutory consultation. We would like to reassure those who have concerns that any permanent change will still require the full range of statutory consultations under road traffic legislation. Furthermore, to ensure the emergency services can continue to reach people, the temporary road closure includes space for them to get through. However, this open section is being enforced by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and fines will be issued to non-emergency service vehicles which use it.
In the long term, low traffic neighbourhoods have a key role in helping us make our streets more enjoyable for everyone, can help reduce serious injury and death on the roads and will make a huge change in the air quality of our area as we all work together to tackle the climate crisis. You can have your say on ideas for a low traffic neighbourhood for the Tulse Hill Ward area by clicking here and adding your comments about what you want to see implemented.
*CAMPAIGN UPDATE – May 2020 (original post further down page)*
Lambeth Council was the first council in the country to launch an emergency coronavirus transport strategy which set out plans to protect residents from new dangers on the road as a result of changes to the way we move about. Since the start of the lockdown we have been using our streets and public spaces differently whilst we try to stick to the 2m social distancing rule and walk/cycle more so we reduce the strain on the buses and trains used by key workers and those on the front line in the emergency services. This plan was vital to ensure that all residents and workers in Lambeth are safe.
The plans include the widening of pavements at some pinch points – like the changes made along Brixton Water Lane from the junction with Effra Road/Tulse Hill to the entrance to Brockwell Park. If you want to suggest pavements elsewhere for widening as part of this scheme, click here. These initial changes are to be followed by more longer-term work to make safe routes to/from the Borough’s town centres so that people can walk and cycle safely as they begin to return to work and so we can support our local economy and the small businesses in Lambeth who rely on local people as customers.
Lambeth Council has also been working with Transport for London to introduce measures on the roads they control – like the pavement widening along the stretch from Brixton Underground Station to Coldharbour Lane. Whilst this is a positive intervention along that crowded area (we hope it will stay once coronavirus is long-gone!), it unfortunately means that some of the local buses that serve the Tulse Hill side of the park have had to be moved beyond Windrush Square. It is unfortunate that TfL made no attempt to consult local people or the Ward Councillors/MP, though perhaps understandable given the time pressures they are under, and we have asked that they review moving the bus stop and try to ensure future plans are consulted on – especially their plan for “Space for cycling… on the A23 between Oval and Streatham Hill.”
Lambeth Council is moving quickly to adapt to the new challenges it faces in helping keep our roads safe during the coronavirus pandemic – but this is all being done on the back of a decade of Government cuts to the Council’s budget and no extra money to support new schemes. As your local Councillors we have been campaigning locally for a low traffic neighbourhood for our area to take rat-running and speeding traffic off our roads. You can read more about the campaign below and if you want to get involved or help in campaigning in your area get in touch with us to let us know.
Tulse Hill area Low Traffic Neighbourhood – April 2020
At the end of 2019 Lambeth Council published its new transport strategy which will help to radically reshape our Borough to clean up our toxic air, make it safer to walk and cycle, and reduce emissions. Local roads are currently dominated by rat-running, mostly by those who don’t live in Lambeth. Our streets need to be safer and more enjoyable for all residents. As part of our focus on tackling the climate emergency, there is an emphasis in the strategy on decarbonising transport in the Borough. We want to radically improve air quality and have a plan for delivering electric vehicle charging facilities within a 5-minute walk of everyone, no matter where you live in the borough.
You may have already seen a number of projects being announced, including:
- improvements to make it easier, safer and more pleasant for people to cycle and walk along the A23/Streatham High Road to Holmewood Road
- funding for a healthy route from Brockwell Park to Gipsy Hill
- the implementation of the Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood (which includes improvements to St Matthew’s Road at the northern end of Tulse Hill Ward)
- 20mph banners going up along Tulse Hill (new signs/road markings will follow later this year)
Many residents have been in touch with us asking for more to be done to reduce speeding, tackle rat-running and make residential roads more enjoyable for those who live there. Under the new transport strategy Tulse Hill Ward will become a low traffic neighbourhood – but what measures come forward need to have the backing of you as local residents. We’re working with residents groups and TRAs across the Ward to pull together local campaigns and ideas for possible solutions. If you live in Tulse Hill Ward and want to get involved in creating a low traffic neighbourhood or running a campaign on your street/in your area – get in touch with us and we can help!