Traffic, and the volume of it, is a perennial discussion point in Dulwich - but several things that are, or are about to happen. around us should be concentrating our minds. We have yet to see the promised changes in school coach routes (though hopefully they will be with us early next year) and it would probably be fair to say that the recent Junction alterations in the centre of the Village have not had universal approval. It appears to have made pedestrians crossing to the adjacent schools safer but many motorists feel that the junction is more dangerous (partly because of confusion over the priority cyclist traffic lights), and some cyclists are also questioning what are the benefits for them - the recent installation of a yellow box to overcome misunderstanding over road priorities is a case in point. (you can submit feedback on the junction https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/quietway-7-dulwich-village-feedback/). It also now appears that TfL are having second thoughts about funding the continuation of the Turney Road Quietway into Lambeth and the consultations on the new Quietway along Court Lane, and the Cycling Super Highway, which was due to come through Dulwich Village, have gone quiet. And what has happened to the ‘holistic’ traffic report on Dulwich that the Council recently funded?
But one thing that is coming to the fore is Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). Whatever your views on them - there will be more in our area. Those that have them like them (ask anyone who lives in the North Dulwich Triangle), but many of those that don’t remain ambivalent, some even seeing it as a Council money-making exercise. Turney Road residents have suffered from the impact of teacher and commuter parking displacement from North Dulwich, and this will not be made any easier by current plans to extend the CPZ there to include Village Way. In addition, following requests from residents, Lambeth are starting a consultation on Croxted Road to the west, and Southwark is about to start consultations to the south and east - in the area around Dog Kennel Hill and from Goose Green south along Lordship Lane. The latter will have implications for Beauval Road, Calton Avenue and Dovercourt Road, and also, potentially, Woodwarde Road and possibly Court Lane. To the west, there is already a CPZ on the roads between Thurlow Park Road and Herne Hill, so Turney and Burbage Roads could suffer even more.
You would think that the Council should have learned by now that controlled parking in isolated areas merely moves the problem somewhere else. They must be reviewed over a whole area, in conjunction with other measures. How can we make sure that you can park outside your house when you come home - why should many of our elderly residents be reluctant to use their cars because they fear not being able to park nearby when they return? How can we stop people parking their cars and leaving them on our streets while they go on holiday (it happens regularly, sometimes for months on end)? Why should parents bringing children to our schools think that they can park in our streets while they then commute to work? How can we reduce pollution near schools? How can we reduce traffic in our roads so that pedestrians feel safer and cyclists don’t feel the need to ride on the pavements? How can we stop mini-cabs and the ever-increasing number of delivery vans driving up our narrow streets merely because their sat navs tell them to?
In short, how can we all make Dulwich a better place to live? Southwark Council needs to bring the ‘holistic’ plan out of the drawer and start discussing it with the local community - rather than imposing ideas, it needs to listen to what residents actually want.
To start the dialogue off, the Dulwich Society has arranged a public meeting on Saturday 12th January at the Herne Hill Methodist Hall (starting at 2.30pm). Local ward councillors will be attending as will Richard Livingstone,/ the Cabinet member for Environment, Transport Management & Air Quality.
The theme is ‘A liveable Dulwich’ and the aim is to have a general discussion on how residents see the future of traffic in the area, what improvements they want, what are easy fixes, and what will take a bit longer - whatever you view, please come along, the community needs to pull together on this or we will all suffer.