The follow up meeting to the public meeting on 14 March was held on 13 May. Councilor Mark Williams, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport met local councilors and a number of local amenity societies and RAs. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Southwark Council’s plans for the implementation of its borough wide cycling strategy and its implications for the Dulwich Area. This was to include the scope, the likely timetable and the Council’s proposals for consultation and engagement with local residents and community groups.

Council’s Cycling Strategy adoption & upcoming works in Dulwich

After emphasising the overall goals of improved air quality and public health, Mark Williams talked about the cycling strategy, running through the differences between Superhighways, Quietways and the Southwark Spine, etc. He said he recognised that consultation in the Dulwich area hadn’t always been successful in the past, and stressed that the Council wanted outcomes that had the backing of the local community.

He confirmed that for the adoption of the Council’s cycling strategy would be at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 2nd June with a draft available 10 days before that meeting. The major schemes in the Dulwich area were the Townley Road junction improvements, the two roundabouts at the junction of Fountain Drive and Crystal Palace Parade and the implementation of the quiet way from Elephant and Castle to Crystal Palace – whose route would run along Greendale, Calton Avenue and Turney Road.

It was also confirmed that the work on the Townley Road junction improvements would start on 6th July with the aim of completion before the schools returned in September. The works to the roundabouts on Crystal Place Parade had now been agreed by the DCC and work would progress later in the year.

The Quietways are a Mayoral initiative funded by the Mayor and being implemented on London roads by the local boroughs including Southwark. The target completion for the Elephant and Castle to Crystal Palace Quietway was the end of 2016. This would mean consultation starting in Autumn 2015 with the agreed scheme going forward to the Council’s Cabinet around February 2106 with implementation following.

The Mayor’s North-South Superhighway will also impact Southwark. The main Southwark thoroughfare for this is along Blackfriars Road and it is not due to impact Dulwich.

The Southwark Spine

There was confirmation that this was funded by the Council and that the ‘hard’ route for the Spine would stop at the junction of Crystal Palace Road and Lordship Lane by the Dulwich Library BECAUSE OF THE AGREED EXCLUSION OF DULWICH PARK FROM THE ROUTE The remainder of the route south through Dulwich would be the subject of a separate scheme with a separate timetable, funding and consultation.

There was a brief report on TfL’s new tools for assessing Quietways - “Porosity for intermediate cyclists”.

Local Resident Consultations/Engagement

Copies of the summary of the Council’s agreed future approach to community engagement were made available – these are also available at Southwark officers promised to circulate to all those present an outline of exactly how the consultation process in September would work. It would detail the intention of the workshops, how they will be publicised and set up, how responses will be recorded and summarised, and how the latter will then form the basis of any proposals the Council produces.

The Council’s aim was to have a wide consultation throughout the area in the autumn. There was some discussion on the best ways of maximising local interest and participation – the recent consultation regime on the local flood alleviation works was suggested as an appropriate template. It was agreed that a series of workshops would be the next way forward – they would discuss potential problems for cyclists and pedestrians in the area as a whole and the results would inform the choice of the final cycle routes. The Council would then come up with their specific proposals.

Specific points raised included:

  • If Southwark decides to put forward outline proposals at the workshops, they should ensure that a spectrum of different interest groups and residents is asked to help devise these - not just cycling groups, noting particularly the lack of such input to the original strategy document and its specific local impact.
  • The huge impact of school traffic in the area (plus the new one likely to open on the Dulwich Community Hospital site) and the need to improve public transport across Dulwich (there is apparently a possibility of working with TfL to extend/improve it though funding might be a problem as bus subsidies are under pressure).  Transport improvements should ideally be in place before the new cycling schemes are implemented.
  • The need to take account of local resident knowledge is an important factor as well as officers understanding the surges of traffic in the area during peak times.
  • The requirement for robust traffic and pollution data and statistics relevant to particular peak times in the area, rather than averages across a day or longer periods that would be misleading or useless.
  • The need to consider those in the community who are never likely to cycle or are older or disabled and including the needs of pedestrians.
  • The impact of similar schemes in neighbouring boroughs and the importance of working with those boroughs to avoid expensive duplication of routes.
  • The requirement for good publicity, letting people know well in advance and having the workshops in in accessible locations – and during both during the day (including weekends) as well as in the evening so that younger families and children could attend.

The way forward

All agreed on the importance of getting the largest numbers of local groups/RAs, etc involved so that information about the consultation workshops could be spread as widely as possible. Dulwich Village had a big voice at the meeting, but College Ward and East Dulwich were not really represented.

Southwark agreed to provide the Dulwich Society with their current list of consultation groups so that the DS list of local groups could be added to it.

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