Ring Road Money Pit

I was horrified to read that Boris Johnson has asked TfL to work up plans for a £30bn ring road tunnelled under London.

Apart from the traffic generation and extra air pollution it would cause £30bn is a colossal amount of money.

We could build roughly 6 complete new underground lines in London for this sum. Such a huge expansion in tube lines would bring huge benefit to all Londoners not just the tiny minority that drive in central London.

Or we could build 300 new tram lines across London. A revolution in public transport.

Or we could make every street and road in London utterly cycle friendly and still have many billions of pounds left over.

How would you solve London transport problems with £30bn?

Dangerous Junction

The more that I look at the areas around the junctions go Townley Road with Lordship Lane the more convinced I am that we can make it much better.

Currently its crash magnet and a local hotspot for collisions. It’s also an area with really restricted parking for residents. The road has been been made nice and wide and clear of all obstacles. It makes it tempting to speed.

Narrowing the road and the Townley Road entrance would really help reduce speeds and crashes. With kerb build outs we can achieve this while making it possible for residents to be able to park. It would require changing the two stage Pelican crossing to make it more obviously one stage crossing.

What do you think should be done to make this patch of East Dulwich better and safer for roads users and local residents?

St.Francis Road Luck Needed

Years ago the Abbotswood Estate was built. Part of it include some cycle and pedestrian shared paths. But despite asking years ago (when I chaired Southwark Cyclists) they’ve never had a dropped kerb to make them work – you have to be stunt cyclist to use them. So almost no cyclists actually use them.

So I’m trying to get this fixed yet again. Wish me luck.

What other little details block people cycling freely?


Southwark 20mph

Southwark is introducing 20mph speed limit on all roads except those controlled by TfL or the Dulwich Estate.

This has been a long time coming with the strategy agreed when Lib Dems led the council. Richard Thomas was the lead councillor on this years back.

But not much point making our roads 20mph without any enforcement.

The Association of Chief Police Officers have announced a course option for motorists exceeding 20mph as an alternative to a fine and or points on driving licences. The course would be for motorists travelling 24-31mph.
Avon and Somerset Police are the first ti pilot this course.

We need to persuade our Met Police in Southwark to also take this approach.

Do you agree most roads should be 20mph in Southwark?

Council Crashes

Southwark Council officials have recently been suggesting that council vehicles crashing into cyclists 13 time in 1.2million miles driven by staff, who are professional drivers, is ok or even good.

This sounded really odd to me. So after a tiny bit of digging this is what I’ve found.

All car mileage in 2010 was 290billion miles covered by 28.7million cars. That ALL crashes of any severity of injury equalled 209,000 in 2010. Therefore for normal non professional car drivers a total crash rate of 1 crash for every 1.16million miles driven.

Clearly the council spokesperson is at best talking rubbish. If they have crashsed so frequently then clearly something seriously wrong.

The other tail end of the story was the council getting their truck drivers to get Certificate of Professional competence. This is a legal requirement! I should bloody well hope so.

Have you ever been crashed into by Southwark Council staff?

ED Changes for 2014/15

Every year local ward councillors get to decide how to spend some devolved Cleaner, Greener, Safer budget. The scheme started when Lib Dems first led the council in 2002 with only one year when it didn’t operate when the Labour administration wanted to use the money on pet Olympic projects.

I’m particularly excited by the prospect of improving the junction of North Cross Road with Lordship Lane. It’s one of our crash hot spots, doesn’t work well when closed for the street market on Saturdays. The Bike hangars will be a great experiment to see if they can work locally in East Dulwich – fingers crossed. And lastly trialling the Dulwich Hospital phlebotomy service on Saturdays. IT should really make it much easier for people to have blood tests outside of normal work hours and provide a real alternative to being at the hospital before 7am weekdays.

This year East Dulwich councillors have decided to allocate the following:

CGS capital:

–          ED Crime Prevention fund £10,000

–          ED street trees £10,000

–          Lordship Lane secure derelict property £4,500

–          Chesterfield £6,000 for upgrading street lighting to white light, £4,000 for pavement tree pit upgrading.

–          Bike hangars – fund 2 to be decided where most popular by residents £10,000

–          East Dulwich Community Centre (EDCC) children garden area materials £524

–          Bassano Street gating £2,000

–          Dawson Heights tree planting £1,000

–          Upgrade junction of NCR/LL £50,000

–          ED public Automated Emergency Defibrillators £5,000

–          Historic photos project £4,500

Total £112,524


CGS revenue:

–          Give and take EDCC events £1,500

–          Goose Green nursery improvements £1,400

–          EDCC gardening £700

–          WW2 plaques across Dulwich £667

–          Street cleaning machine extra half-time employee £11,605

–          Saturday Dulwich Hospital blood testing trial x 26 weeks (as per separate email) £20,000

Total £35,872

Fewer streets faster traffic?

A chap called Breass discovered the best overall flow of traffic may not be by the most direct route. In fact adding direct routes can slow down traffic. The corollary is removing shorter more direct routes can actually speed traffic up.

Example to demonstrate this…Imagine a single route between A and B that however many cars take this route it always takes them 10minutes. Add a second shorter route that takes 1 minute for every car using it. If everyone, all 20 cars, take the shorter route their average speed will be 20minutes. Chopping this shorter route and diverting them back to the less direct route would half their average journey time.

In New York they’ve produced this affect in real life. 42nd street, the second busiest road, was closed for a day. Instead of expected chaos traffic flowed much more smoothly.

I wonder what road in East Dulwich and Southwark would produce this effect?

ED Crash Reduction Scheme

Police covering our area are leading a scheme to reduce road casualties.

One part is recruiting local resident volunteers to:

–          Conduct speed checks using hand-held speed cameras

–          Speed surveys

–          Collate and report registration of speeding motorists for Police action.

These are non-confrontational, non-enforcement roles and full training will be given. Completely flexible commitment.

If you’d like to help fight local speeding contact Sergeant Stewart Turnbull on 020 8721 2447 eastdulwich.snt@et.police.uk

20mph Police Enforcement

The Association of Chief Police Officers have just released new guidance about speeding.

It now includes enforcement of 20mph with new speed awareness courses being ready from November. The recommendaitons include sending errant drivers to speed awareness courses. Previously the Police counldn’t for 20mph speeding!

This change follows pressure from Lib dem Transport Minister Norman Baker.

Due to technology limitations this actually means people travelling 24->31mph, allowing for +10% +2mph for car speed display errors.

This is great news and should see fewer crashes and less severe injuries on our roads.


Lordship Lane 20mph – at last

This week our long term plans to make Lordship Lane 20mph have come ot pass.

It’s now 20mph between Goose green roundabout and Melborune Grove where it meets Lordship Lane. 600m of high street now just that bit calmer.

We started trying to make Lordship Lane more friendly for locals and visitors walking about in 2006. In 2007 we had a Living Streets walkability assessment done which worked with locals to test the areas walkability.

Why? Because 99.99% of us walk.

We’ve added two extra formal crossings before, had many side roads with raised treatments, improved Goose Green with thrid arm having zebra crossings.

Last year Living Streets produced a report which reenforced our reasoning for this 20mph in particular is a Living Street report called The pedestrian pound. Making the main high street parts of Lordship Lane 20mph should make it better for people to walk around.

Any way the reports key findings:

•Research shows that making places better for walking can boost footfall and trading by up to 40%
•Good urban design can raise retail rents by up to 20%
•International and UK studies have shown that pedestrians spend more than people arriving by car. Comparisons of spending by transport mode in Canada and New Zealand revealed that pedestrians spent up to six-times more than people arriving by car. In London town centres in 2011, walkers spent £147 more per month than those travelling by car
•Retailers often overate the importance of the car – a study Graz, Austria, subsequently repeated in Bristol found that retailers overestimated the number of customers arriving by car by almost 100%
•Landowners and retailers are willing to pay to improve the streetscape in order to attract tenants and customers.