We've just responded to Southwark Council's consultation on proposed changes to streets between Burgess Park and Commercial Way. Some of our members took part in the three public walkabouts and workshops last year to identify problems in the area.
Eleanor said: 'It was the first really integrated transport consultation process I'd taken part in - thinking about walking, cycling and parking together. There was also valuable input from Dutch transport consultants who brought a very positive attitude and some new ideas.'
Problems identified included:
- the dangerous crossing of Peckham Road from Kelly Avenue to Lyndhurst Way, where cyclists get no clue as to when it's safe to cross,
- the hostile atmosphere for cyclists on Commercial Way - especially noticeable when other sections of the route (Kelly Avenue, Chandler Way) are pleasant for walking and cycling because there's access for residents and deliveries in motor vehicles but no through traffic,
- lack of capacity for an increase in the number of people cycling via Burgess Park - and thus the need for safe routes on the parallel roads (East-West on St George's Way and North-South on Wells Way),
- the need for cycle routes that are safe 24 hours a day, i.e. benefitting from the 'eyes on the street', rather than being directed through Burgess Park,
- commuters parking on St George's Way early in the morning before heading into central London, with vehicles blocking parking for local residents,
- vehicles for sale parked up on Wells Way.
It's really good to see how the proposals have taken on board the observations made by people on those walkabouts.
What's more, the council is making use of an 'experimental' approach with its suggestion for changes to St George's Way. The changes will be open for public comments for 18 months before a decision is made whether to make a permanent change. This is a really welcome approach. Local residents can experience the difference, rather than having to make a decision based on drawings.
You've got till Friday 11 January to respond - do send in your comments if you live in this area or walk/cycle through (or would, if only it was safer). It doesn't take long, and you can choose just to answer on sections relevant to you.
Read on for details of our response ...
We strongly support the scheme as it will bring many improvements for walking and cycling in the area and improve links to existing cycle routes.
1) We support the introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone
We have noticed that the introduction of a CPZ around Champion Hill has made the streets feel safer for cycling and walking as sightlines are better for crossing, and there is more space for cars and bikes to pass each other. We feel the same is likely to be true here.
2) improved Wells Way junction with St George’s Way
This is a really important link from Burgess Park, crossing Wells Way to continue along St George's Way, and we strongly support the measures to allow safe east-west travel by cyclists.
We asked whether the entrance to Burgess Park could be made slightly wider to make it easier for people exiting the park to turn left (north) onto Wells Way, especially if using non-standard bikes, and to accomodate the likelihood that there may be large flows of cyclists and pedestrians at rush hour.
The sections of cycle track in the park should also be wide enough for cargo bikes (and other non-standard bikes) to use.
3) St George’s Way junction with Chandler Way
This is an excellent proposal to close St George's Way to through motor traffic. We feel this will help to reduce potential conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on the parallel canal path through the park and will allow for substantial increases in people making cycle journeys in the area. It will make the route much safer, allowing for age 8-80 cycling, and will help make other cycle routes work better, including National Cycle Network route 425 to Durands Wharf as well as the Southwark Spine.
4) new section of two-way cycle track on Commercial Way
This is a very good addition - at present the experience of cycling on Commercial Way is a real low point between the good experiences of Chandler Way and Kelly Avenue.
5) Commercial Way junction with Moody Road
We support this change but asked how Moody Road can be protected from being blocked by parking - perhaps with bollards and double yellow lines?
6) Kelly Avenue junction with Peckham Road
Transport for London controls Peckham Road. We urge Southwark Council to ask TfL to make urgent improvements to this crossing. Kelly Avenue is an exemplary people-friendly street, but cyclists emerging from it are given absolutely no guidance as to when to cross Peckham Road.
Cyclists crossing should be given a traffic light phase for joining and exiting the route, and consideration should be given to placing the 'waiting area' for the cycle crossing so that it is not in conflict with pedestrians walking along Peckham Road or using the pharmacy on the corner of Kelly Avenue.