Southwark's Proposals

Southwark’s Our Healthy Streets proposals – implications for Dulwich Village, College Road and Woodyard Lane Residents Association members


The Healthy Streets proposals are seeking to reduce traffic and therefore pollution in the Dulwich Village area.  Dulwich Village and College Road are not ‘A’ roads; Dulwich Village is currently carrying more traffic at peak times than either Lordship Lane or East Dulwich Grove, both major ‘A roads’ (according to Southwark data).As background there are apparently consultations on similar schemes going on in various areas around us – so when thinking about displacement traffic, we need to be aware that we may be on the receiving end if some of these schemes go ahead.Southwark have put forward proposals covering 3 areas.  Area A is around Melbourne Grove and is not really relevant for us.  Area B is the region bounded by East Dulwich Grove, Townley Road, Lordship Lane, Court Lane and Dulwich Village.  Area C is the larger area bounded by Half Moon Lane, Dulwich Village, College Road, Court Lane, Dulwich Common (A205) and Croxted Road.  Most RA members live in Area C. We (the Dulwich RA Committee) have met with our ward councillors Margy and Richard, and are meeting with the various other RA’s in the affected area next week. We plan to survey your views more systematically in due course – see Next Steps below; in the meantime please let us any thoughts or concerns you have, positive or negative, as this is extremely valuable as we formulate a response.  In particular, any ideas you have as to how to control peak time Southbound traffic would be very welcome. There will be a General Meeting of the Residents Association on Monday 9 March at 7pm, at the Crown & Greyhound (meeting room upstairs), to discuss this topic - please mark this in your diary!

Area B proposals

Area B was the focus of the last consultation.  For us the key proposal for Area B is to close the Calton Avenue/ Court Lane/ Dulwich Village junction (to vehicles) and to prohibit turns into Townley Road during peak times.  It’s suggested these proposals have support from Area B residents so our working assumption is that they will go ahead.

Area C proposals

Southwark have recognised that implementing the Area B proposals will likely have significant implications for Area C through displacement traffic – vehicles passing through north-south which previously used Calton Avenue and/or Court Lane, or east-west via Calton/ Turney may be displaced into Area C.  They have therefore put forward proposals to reduce/ eliminate options for drivers trying to use Dulwich Village as a cut-through

1. Close Burbage Road south of the junction with Stradella (to vehicles)
2. Restrict the east section of Turney to westbound traffic only
3. Implement peak time ‘permit holder only’ northbound restrictions at the south ends
of Dulwich Village and Burbage Road (via number recognition cameras).

Southwark have not said formally who would get ‘residents permits’ to drive through the northbound peak time restrictions, but from informal discussions it appears that the current thinking is that at least everyone resident in Area C would get a permit, and likely everyone resident in Areas B and C would get permits for all permit-only restrictions in B and C.

Impact on our roads Dulwich Village and College Road (to the A205)

On the face of it if drivers can’t use Burbage, Calton, Court Lane or Townley, they will try to re-route via East Dulwich Grove/ Lordship Lane, Croxted Road or Dulwich Village/ College Road – with Dulwich Village often being the shortest option.  The northbound peak-time restrictions would mean that Dulwich Village would have significantly reduced northbound traffic during peak times, but it would be the only way to avoid Lordship and Croxted when travelling southbound (any time) or northbound (outside of peak times).

Your Committee’s preliminary views

- We recognise the growing issues associated with increasing traffic and air pollution in the Dulwich area, in particular given the residential nature or our streets and the presence of schools and school-bound children on our roads, and we therefore welcome steps that seek to effectively address this problem

- Dulwich Village and College Road are residential roads not ‘major’/ A-type roads designed to carry through traffic; any steps which effectively start to channel traffic down our roads (northbound or southbound), or in other ways start to treat them as ‘major’ through roads, would not be acceptable

- We would not support, and would be very concerned about, any plan to implement the Area B proposals without appropriate mitigating measures in Area C

- Peak-time permits should be available to all residents to avoid residents having to take wasteful detours around restrictions

- The proposals should be combined with, and conditional on, improvements in public transport – for instance more regular P4 buses

- The implications of the proposal point towards us needing a CPZ; if Dulwich does become harder to travel through it will likely become even more attractive to all day/ station parkers 

We have met with our councillors and raised our concern about traffic being channelled down our streets; this has been referred to Southwark’s traffic team, who we will hopefully meet with in due course.

Next steps

-Committee meet with Southwark traffic team (Clement; date tbd)

- ‘Summit’ of residents’ associations in the affected area, 27 February; the aim of this meeting is for the Chairs of the associations to share concerns and agree areas of common interest

- Public consultations 29 Feb (9am-12.30pm @ Herne Hill Baptist Church and 4 March (6.30pm-9pm @ JAGS

- General Meeting of our Residents Association 9 March (7pm at Crown & Greyhound)

- Survey of members of our Residents Association (10-17 March approx.)

- Southwark Healthy Streets consultation closes 29 March

More details

For more details please consult the Southwark Healthy Streets website which contains an overview of the proposals and links to supporting documentation


Based on the public consultation meeting on Saturday 8 February, and discussions since then, here are the answers we have so far to obvious questions:

Will traffic and pollution just disappear or be displaced elsewhere?

- The impact on traffic flows and pollution will be modelled once the proposals go to formal consultation

- Currently, Southwark expect a significant amount of traffic will disappear, perhaps after a period of chaos.  They cite i) the experience at Waltham Forest, where a large amount of traffic does seem to have disappeared, though they accept that Waltham Forest is a more outlying area with less through traffic, and ii) the closure of Champion Hill, where the initial build-up on Dog Kennel Hill has subsided.  They don’t seem to have a strong view on the issues at Loughborough Junction.  The Cairns study referenced by Southwark on their FAQ indicates a median 11% overall traffic reduction from road closure measures (including main roads), though makes clear that each case is very specific.

When is ‘peak time’?

- Indicated as 7am-10am and 3pm-7pm though this is to be confirmed

Who is paying for this?

- TFL have made available money for the changes to Area B.  The changes to Area C would come from Southwark community funds

Why no Southbound restrictions on Dulwich Village at the East Dulwich Grove junction?

- TFL will not allow permit-only restrictions at ‘signalised junctions’ due to the high risk of driver confusion.  Also ideally there is a roundabout before the restrictions so drivers can ‘escape’ at the last minute

Can’t they introduce the changes temporarily?

- The Cairns study does advise that restrictions are introduced in stages and are reversible so that they can be adjusted to how things play out in practice

- Southwark plan to introduce all of the changes at once, it is felt that while junction closures can be done reversibly, camera recognition systems and traffic light phasing changes are expensive and cannot be done provisionally

Why not just wait until the Greater London ULEZ is implemented next year and then see what measures are needed to tackle traffic and air pollution?

- Part of the answer to this lies in the timing availability of funding for the proposed scheme from Tfl; we don’t have details but our understanding is that such a delay would mean a loss of this source of funding

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