Kill Puffins

Transport for London has decided to stop installing Puffin crossings. Horray!

The UK is the only western country to have such a signalled crossing design un the Puffin crossing where crossing pedestrians have no indication or display to give them confidence of their status while crossing the road. Attitudinal research over the last decade has shown that Puffin crossings are unpopular with the public. I can absolutely see why.

Puffin crossing also preclude pedestrian countdown displays being installed which the public do find helpful. To know how long you’ve got to cross after the green man has gone is really reassuring. Several times I nkow it has stopped me crossing when I was tempted to.

For East Dulwich we have several Puffin crossings – Lordship Lane outside the Coop shop, Lordship Lane close to the junction with East Dulwich Grove, Grove Vale clsoe to Goose Green School.

With TfL changing its position we just need Southwark Council to change its position on Puffin crossing so that we once and for all kill them in East Dulwich and upgrade to Pelican crossings with pedestrian countdown displays. This would help improve the walkability of the East dulwich area.

What other measures do you think we could take to make the area more attractive to walk around?


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?

Lordship Lane Challenge

We need to find ways of making Lordship Lane an even better place to shop, socialise and serve the local community.

As Lib Dem East Dulwich councillors we’ve ensured much improved pedestrian facilities – making it 20mph, two signalled crossings, an extra zebra crossing at Goose Green, raising side roads to make Lordship Lane level, hanging baskets.

We’ve talked to five cinema providers and we’re delighted the Picturehouse Cinema are working to make a cinema happen by Christmas.

We’ve improved North Cross Road and the market.

What next? The junction of Lordship lane and North Cross Road will be revamped during the summer with money we’ve allocated from our devolved capital budget. This should solve an crash hot spot and make the market more inviting.

We also need to:

– Lordship Lane pavements improved. This will mean helping small businesses with the pavement they control. Currently they look terrible.

– Free wifi which will be free if done on a Southwark wide basis.

– Legible London signage to make it clearer where everything is and draw people from East Dulwich station along to our high street (via Grove Vale).

– Town Centre loyalty card.

– Season banners on lampposts.

What do you think we need to work on to make Lordship Lane better?

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?

3 seconds

Living Streets have just launched a campaign to ensure the rules around how much green crossing time is allowed for pedestrians reflects research by University of London. This research shows  that most people over 65 years old can’t walk quickly enough to cross in time allowed. It’s also a dangerous problem for parents with buggies, young children.

Locally in East Dulwich we have the dreadful crossing points at the junction of East Dulwich Road with Crystal Palace Road and Adys Road. Immediately adjacent to this junction on the north east side is a great playground. 200m to the north a popular local school, Saint John’s and St Clement’s CoE Primary School. So it’s also a necessary route to school for many.

Do you support enough green time being allowed to make this junction safe for everyone crossing?

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