Report of the Town Hall meeting on 22 November 2022

Dear Resident

A Town Hall meeting organised by five local Residents’ Associations was held on Tuesday, 22 November 2022 at St Barnabas Parish Hall (Dulwich, SE21) and attended by over 250 people, leaving the hall as standing room only once all the chairs had been filled. A key purpose of the meeting was to allow the community to express their views to the elected representatives.

Despite no elected representatives accepting the invitation to hear from their constituents about their thoughts of further road closures in the Dulwich LTNs, an open and thoughtful debate was conducted.

Chaired by John Stewart, national Chair of the Campaign for Better Transport, local residents were able to come together to ask questions, share stories and express their opinions about Southwark Council’s plans for further road closures in Dulwich.

Southwark Council has never held any in-person and open Town Halls in relation to the LTNs and the Dulwich Village councillors have yet to organise any in-person meetings. Too often Southwark Council has attempted to divide the Dulwich community by offering some quiet roads, whilst forcing displaced traffic on to others. This must stop now.

What the audience discovered last night was that the community, whether for or against the closure of Turney Road, is appalled by the displaced traffic on to neighbouring roads like Croxted Road and East Dulwich Grove. Southwark Council has not offered any solution to ease the congestion and pollution on to these roads which have our local schools and nurseries on them. We cannot stand idly by whilst some of our community are being forced to endure such pollution and congestion just so that a few quiet roads will benefit. Burbage Road has suffered an 18% increase in traffic according to Southwark Council data, Councillor Catherine Rose stated this increase was an unintended consequence.

We welcomed such a strong sense of community and democracy at the Dulwich Town Hall, where all were heard with respect, highlighting that discussions of this nature are possible to be had without descending into name-calling or threats.

It was noted that the those who attended last night wanted to know what can be done next. We look forward to working with the community and Residents’ Associations to find solutions that fit all of Dulwich. Solutions that don’t pit one road against another, or force one road to take the brunt of traffic, congestion and pollution so others remain empty.

Please email dulwichtownhall@gmail.com for any further questions.

The Residents’ Associations at the meeting were:

  • Turney Road
  • Burbage Road
  • Croxted Road
  • Court Lane and Court Lane Gardens
  • Dulwich Village, College Rd, Woodyard Lane Residents’ Association and affiliated members living on Pickwick Road, Aysgarth Road, Boxall Road and Village Way.

Some Residents’ Associations have conducted surveys of their members about the Turney Road closure. The results of these were:

  • Turney Road: 86% want to keep Turney Road open.
  • Dulwich Village survey showed 90% against closing Turney Road
  • Burbage Road survey showed 72% against the closure.

Further notes:

Since the Dulwich LTNs were introduced in 2020, traffic on some roads in Dulwich has increased dramatically.

From the latest Southwark data:

  • Traffic along East Dulwich Grove is up by 17% in comparison to pre-covid traffic counts (JAGS, Alleyn’s and Charter School. The Tessa Jowell Medical Centre and two nurseries).
  • Dulwich Village now averages over 10,000 vehicles a day (it has two schools for under 11s).
  • Cycling on Dulwich Village has dropped 30% between February 2022 and June 22. In the same time period, cycling has increased over 300% on Croxted Road which is now heavily congeste during the ANPR timed restrictions.
  • Turney Road residents were not consulted or even told by the council that their road was to be closed prior to the sudden Southwark announcement.
  • In February Southwark were forced to reduce ANPR timed restrictions by 50% to try and ease congestion on Croxted Road and East Dulwich Grove.
  • Southwark is apparently no longer monitoring Turney Road so there will be no way of knowing how the closure will impact the surrounding roads and the increases in traffic, congestion and pollution.
  • The Dulwich Village end of Turney Road is also inside the ANPR timed restrictions. This means that for 2.5 hours a day (8-9am and 3-4.30pm, Monday to Friday), Turney Road residents will not be able to access their homes. Although Southwark has not issued a concrete solution as to how residents will gain access, one idea they introduced was ANPR cameras on Pickwick Road, Aysgarth Road and Boxall Road for residents and Turney Road residents, so they are able to access their homes. This means difficulty for visitors, carers, doctors, nurses, deliveries etc to their homes. Southwark has also not provided any data as to how closing these side roads to residents only will impact the surrounding roads and parking.
  • TfL published a long awaited report in July about the congestion on Croxted Road and Herne Hill. TfL stated that the Dulwich LTNs were the “root cause” of the congestion. Croxted and Norwood Road congestion caused by LTN says TfL report – Southwark News
  • In February 2022 Southwark were obliged to open the Calton Avenue/Court Lane junction to emergency vehicles, which previously had been delayed by this closure and forced to make detours on to already congested boundary roads. Between February and June, 74 emergency vehicles have driven through the junction. (Southwark data)

Other articles:

‘Chaotic LTN junction’ brings fire engine to a halt – Southwark News

We can’t open our windows and can’t have visitors due to frustrating council driving rules | The Sun

‘Catastrophic, harmful and savage’: Dulwich’s elderly say they suffer under Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme – Southwark News

https://southwarknews.co.uk/news/environment/shocking-filler-ltn-outrage-in-dulwich/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/12/our-communities-are-being-blighted-by-low-traffic-neighbourhoods

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11358439/LOUISE-PERRY-reports-creeping-waragainst-motorists.html

Southwark town hall raked in £6million while trade plummeted in low traffic neighbourhood schemes – South London News (londonnewsonline.co.uk)

“Like a red rag to a bull”: Emails reveal Council feared impact of Dulwich LTN report – Southwark News

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9895083/LTN-killed-business-Locksmith-second-London-trader-forced-premises.html

Businesses hit as customers stay away due to traffic measures – South London News (londonnewsonline.co.uk)

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-sunday-telegraph/20220515/281809992495690

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