Burst water main on the Dulwich Village section of the South Circular – Update

As many of you will be aware, on Thursday afternoon – 15th October – a major water main burst beneath the South Circular just outside the more westerly entrance to Dulwich Park resulting in considerable damage to the highway and pavement and copious flooding. The road has been closed in both directions between Lordship Lane and College Road since the incident resulting in gridlock throughout the entire area. It has been advised that there is now a signposted diversion via Croxted Road, Norwood Road, Half Moon Lane, Village Way, East Dulwich Grove, Lordship Lane.
Officially, we have been advised that the repairs will take at least until Sunday evening to complete. Meanwhile, a Thames Water engineer on site this morning indicated that the works could well extend into next week and that the extent of damage to the highway would mean that it is likely to remain closed to motor vehicles in both directions for the duration. Access to pedestrians and cycles will be maintained throughout. 

Update on Southwark’s Plans and our Complementary Proposal

A fair amount has happened since our last report on  Southwark’s ‘Covid-19’ road schemes.

Southwark are pressing ahead with their plan, combining the 24/7 Village junction closure (already done) with a brace of timed camera restrictions designed to relieve Dulwich Village of the standing traffic jams caused by that closure.  They have added an extra camera restriction on Burbage Road at the junction with College Road, which will stop that road being used as a bypass to Croxted Road, but does amplify the access issues for our residents.

They have started installing the cameras; we are not sure when they will ‘go live’ but expect end-October or thereabouts.

We have developed what we call our ‘Complementary Proposal’ – first outlined in our last mail – which is designed to tweak Southwark’s plan and create a more fair and balanced outcome for our residents, for the shops and restaurants in the village, and importantly for the streets around us.  This involves re-opening the village junction and installing a westbound camera on Calton Avenue at the Village junction, and implementing an access scheme for all Southwark residents.  The proposal is set out in some detail in a slideshow which is available below.

Southwark have reshuffled their cabinet and Richard Livingston has been replaced by two new Cabinet members – Catherine Rose (catherine.rose@southwark.gov.uk) is the new Cabinet Member for Leisure, Environment & Roads and Radha Burgess (radha.burgess@southwark.gov.uk) is the new Deputy Cabinet Member for Low Traffic Southwark, together they assume responsibility for the road closures, restrictions and so on.

We have met with Catherine and Radha and presented our proposal to them.  It was a constructive meeting and they seemed open. We are sending a delegation to Southwark’s Cabinet Meeting on 20 October, which is addressing a petition to remove the various road closures, see link below for the petition (count to date: 2,558).  In the interests of balance, there is also a petition to support the closures, also via the link below (count to date 44).  We understand the Cabinet meeting proceedings will be ‘live-streamed’ on Youtube so we will send out a link when we get it for anyone interested.  There is no guarantee our delegation will be called on to speak but we are hopeful, in which case we will outline the issues caused by the current plan and how we think it could be amended rather than abandoned.

We have also met with The Dulwich Estate, the Dulwich Society and One Dulwich and presented our proposal to each.  We are aiming to agree a ‘cross-community’ position which will be harder for Southwark to ignore.

We will update after the Cabinet meeting next week.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns or if you would like to get more involved in this effort, please do reach out.

Link for Southwark petitions:

DVRA presentation Draft 12Oct20

Phase 2 measures – Go ahead given

Please click the link below for the record of decision for Batch 3 Dulwich Village schemes.  Cllr Richard Livingstone wants the schemes to go ahead as per the report and explains his rationale & how he intends to review the impact of the changes going forward. No firm date for implementation has been given.

Record of decision

Village junction closure and phase 2 measures

We met with Southwark last week to discuss the impact of the Village junction closure and the proposed phase 2 restrictions.

Southwark’s Cabinet Office minister for Transport is due to make a decision next Tuesday (1 September) on whether or not to proceed with the phase 2 measures, and if he decides to proceed, the precise nature of those restrictions.

If you have a view on the phase 2 measures (http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=50023654&Opt=0) please e-mail the Cabinet Office minister at richard.livingstone@southwark.gov.uk – ideally TODAY so he has your representation while he deliberates tomorrow.  We must each follow our consciences, but we think that the major concern is around access – see below.

As a reminder, Southwark plan the following camera-controlled restrictions which would apply weekdays 8am-10am and 3pm-6pm; these restrictions would not apply to buses, taxis or emergency vehicles but they would apply to residents (ie if we go through the restrictions, we would be fined):
– Northbound restriction on Dulwich Village road, north of the the roundabout/ junction with College Road
– Northbound restriction in Burbage Road, north of the junction with Turney Road
– Eastbound restriction on Turney Road, east of the junction with Burbage Road

– Northbound restriction on Townley Road, at the junction with East Dulwich Grove

A further plan to re-phase the traffic lights at the Dulwich Village/ East Dulwich Grove junction, to allow traffic headed north on Dulwich Village to clear, seems to be delayed pending discussions with TFL.

In summary, we expressed the following views which reflect the balance of opinion among the 40+ residents we have spoken to:
– the junction closure has caused significant issues and in some cases real hardship for residents, particularly those living on Dulwich Village
– the phase 2 measures are needed to fix a problem which Southwark should not have created in the first place
– the key issue for our residents arising from the phase 2 measures is access; in combination, they mean that during the restricted hours, it will be very hard for residents on Dulwich Village to access their homes by car from the south, or for residents on College Road/ Woodyard Lane to head north (for instance to Kings Hospital)
– this raises many issues around carers, deliveries, hospital visits, mini-cabs

– we also pressed for increased frequency of the P4 bus, though in practice steps being taken by TFL are likely to reduce access to the P4

To help gauge the impact of the restrictions on access for residents, we have marked up a map of the Dulwich area to show the required detour for a resident trying to get to their home on Dulwich Village from the South – either via Lordship Lane or Croxted Road, see link below.  Note that displaced traffic on these routes – together with further traffic reduction measures planned for the Herne Hill junction – are likely to make them increasingly congested and slow to navigate.

Click here to view and download map

We have urged our Councillors to be imaginative and come up with some simple scheme for resident access – see the attached mail.

Dear Richard,

As requested here is a link to the description of the Hammersmith & Fulham scheme.

In summary, cameras have been installed on certain roads and access is only for Hammersmith & Fulham residents – the camera simply checks the registration against DVLA records and if the car is registered in the borough, access is allowed.

In the context of the current Southwark plans for Dulwich, we feel that such an approach has the following benefits:
– it is simple to apply and does not require expensive infrastructure to validate and issue permits; DVLA records suffice
– it would achieve a massive reduction in through traffic passing through the village, without dividing the community and with significantly less disruption to businesses
– it could be positioned, if Southwark wished, as an interim solution pending a tighter ‘permitised’ system being introduced alongside a CPZ at some point in the future

We would strongly urge Southwark to pursue this or a similar option.  The access issues faced by residents will, after phase 2 has been implemented, be very real and a solution is needed.  A resident on Dulwich
Village would, during restricted hours, need to take a huge detour to get to their house from the south, and given the steps being taken elsewhere to restrict traffic, as well as congestion from displaced traffic, the journey will soon become so impractical that it will be moot as to whether residents continue to retain ‘access’ to their homes at all.

As discussed on the call today, resident access would mean that our residents would no longer have as their only northbound ‘access/escape’ route the proposed open route via Burbage/ Turney/ Croxted and thus remove the tension with South Burbage/ West Turney who have expressed a valid concern that their streets will become rat runs to Croxted if the restrictions do not apply from the DV roundabout.

We never wanted to be set against our neighbours in this way.