Loughborough Junction trial – 8 week feedback from Lambeth Cyclists

Lambeth Council is seeking feedback on the Loughborough Junction trial. There is a survey, open until 6 November 2015 at http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/housing/regeneration/loughborough-junction-what-you-need-to-know and it is important that people feed into this process.

Lambeth Cyclists have made the following feedback:  

Political context In the 2014 council elections the Labour administration was elected, with a massive majority of councillors, on a manifesto to be “Fair to everyone, ambitious for all.”

Key pledges within the manifesto on which Labour was elected included:

“Help to keep you healthy by getting more people involved in sporting activities and healthy exercise”

 “Make Lambeth cleaner and greener”, including “Make Lambeth the most cycle friendly borough in London.”

Rebalancing Lambeth’s streets away from motor traffic domination, while retaining access, is not only fairer to those wishing to travel actively but it will also benefit health, air quality, climate change mitigation, and noise reduction.

The most recent manifesto pledges are in line with Lambeth’s long established transport hierarchy which places pedestrians and cyclists at the top. Walking and cycling, then public transport, should be the most straightforward way for people of all ages to make most of their journeys.

The Loughborough Junction trial is an ambitious step towards rebalancing the streets and will inevitably meet resistance from some quarters. We note that Loughborough Road is not even designated as a B road, so should not have the volume of traffic that has been using it. Resistance does not of itself mean that the scheme is wrong, in particular resistance from drivers outside the area preferring to use back streets than the A roads intended for through traffic.

The reasons for resistance need to be checked. If the scheme is not meeting the manifesto aims then adjustments or a review are needed. If, however, the scheme is meeting the manifesto aims then it should be continued. The way these changes contribute to the outcomes pledged and voted for at the elections may need to be explained or reiterated to those opposing the change. Lambeth Cyclists trust that the Council is monitoring motor traffic volumes, air quality, noise and active travel in this area, and expect the facts and manifesto commitments to play a large part in deciding whether to continue with the trial as it is or amending it.

2. Successes and Issues
2.1 The impression we have is that there is significantly less traffic using Loughborough Road and Milkwood Road, but some streets, such as St James’s Road, and Denmark Road, within the cell of the A2217 Coldharbour Lane; A202 Camberwell New Road; A23 Brixton Road appear to be experiencing more traffic as motorists try to find an alternative cut through to avoid using the main roads that are intended to be used for longer journeys.

2.2 The potential of motor traffic diverting to other streets in the cell was included in preliminary publicity about the scheme with the potential for additional measures to be put in place.  We feel some may be needed with regard to St James’s Crescent and Denmark road (albeit in Southwark) for example. A local member’s says his “perception is that the closures have impacted negatively on Knatchbull Road which now has more cars travelling down it (and often speeding as they seek to avoid having to stop for oncoming traffic), also Flodden Road which is joint Lambeth/Southwark feels like it has more traffic as the traffic coming down Denmark Road turns right rather than going straight on. At times Cormont Road at the junction with Calais St also feels more dangerous as people who are prevented from going straight on have to take a left turn - it may be that over time this gets better but it would be good to have a speed table or even pedestrian crossing here as there are always lots of people going to the park.”

We make a cell based filtering recommendation below.

2.3 There may be more traffic on Coldharbour Lane, but road works on it and related temporary lights are likely to also have a significant part to play in any traffic delays here. One local member says that his “perception of traffic on Coldharbour Lane is that it is no more than it used to be - bus journeys at weekends to Brixton and beyond don’t seem to take any longer”. Some traffic will be turning off Milkwood Road as they discover they cannot continue up Loughborough Road; though through drivers may be beginning to use the main roads instead of Milkwood Road as the trial progresses.

2.4 Emergency services are exempt from the motor vehicles bans and have greater ease of movement throughout the cell now there is less motor traffic. The bus route may also experience a quicker journey within the cell.

2.5 Some motorists bypassing or ignoring the road closures are taking advantage of the emptier streets to speed, to the detriment of those wishing to cycle.

2.6 The Padfield Road, Calais Street measures appear to be having a particularly positive effect on the quietness and safety of those streets. “The success of the Calais Street closure is felt more widely - there used to be queues of traffic, speeding traffic  and 'bickering' as cars jostled for space on Calais Street and also Lothian Road heading to Calais St. These benefits are also felt on Langton Road which feels much safer for the many children walking home from local primary schools and St Gabriel’s College secondary as the volume of traffic has been much reduced. The lower volume of traffic means that it feels much safer and more pleasant to walk home along Calais St with my children riding on scooters. Anecdotally I have noticed more local people cycling in the area who previously walked and in particular we know people who now cycle with their five year old to school along Calais St where before they walked.”

The Gordon Grove closure seems to be less successful currently a success – A local member says, “when I am passing along Gordon Grove to Eastgate Street in the mornings and evenings there is a steady stream of drivers passing through ignoring the signs.” Greater enforcement should be considered.

2.7 Parking and ‘bickering’ traffic remains an issue on Loughborough Road between Brixton Road and Five Ways Corner, and in the area generally due to an absence of meaningful parking controls. The parking problem is a major factor in the area - Loughborough Road and the roads around Myatts Fields Park desperately need a CPZ. Look at the difference between a weekday and the weekend to appreciate the value. This problem has got worse in recent years as other areas have gained CPZs and the former Camberwell bus garage staff car park has been built on. Having a CPZ would also address the problem of untaxed and abandoned cars on the roads and the variety of crashed and other unroadworthy cars which are left on Paulet and Knatchbull Roads by car repair garages (generally the ones on Camberwell Station Road and by the bridge on Denmark Road).

2.8   Local Lambeth Cyclists members have been told by some residents that they are switching the way they are making some local trips, to walking and cycling, away from car journeys. However we don’t get the sense a targeted cycle promotion scheme (e.g. cycle loan for adults and children at local schools) has taken place in preparation for and coordination with the road closures.

There may have been a weakness in communication about how the scheme meets the elected body’s pledges. Better communication of how the measures meet the pledges may help dispel some of the opposition. The increase in residents at the new Oval Quarter housing development with low car ownership also gives a very solid reason to balance the streets in the cell, and this needs to be communicated.  Has the developer been involved?

3. Next Steps
3.1 The Council should have and communicate clearly a classification for streets, with three types:
a) Main through roads – Few in number and mainly TLRN. Here, the A23 Brixton Road and the A202 Camberwell New Road. It is in question as to whether the A2217 Coldharbour Lane should be a main through road. To nurture cycling by all ages and abilities, segregated space for cycling will be needed.
b) Connectors – Again few in number, only where needed to allow motor traffic from a cluster of streets to reach a main through road (and potentially more than one, so long as it cannot be usable by general motor traffic as a rat-run). Segregated space for cycling is likely to be needed on Connectors for a wide range of the population to feel comfortable using them. Potentially Coldharbour Lane should be categorised and amended to be a Connector, not a main through road. Loughborough Road, though not a B road, is a connector with or without the current closure as it continues via Akerman and Lothian or Akerman, Patmos and Foxley). It may be that the filter needs to be in another position or supplemented by additional filters.
c) Access – streets that have a low volume and speed (actual, not limit) of motor traffic, and that cannot be used by rat-running traffic. These should be recognisable as streets that parents and carers will be willing to let their children cycle on without segregation. Pedestrian and cycle traffic movement between Access streets also needs to very good – hence the potential need for segregation on connectors.

3.2 The Loughborough Road scheme within the three A roads should be checked against the classification – in terms of what they were before the trial started, what they are now, and what they are planned to become in the future. The current trial should be continued while this is determined, and if the measures in place fit the future plan then they should remain in place for the longer term. If the closures are in the wrong place then they should be repositioned during or following the trial period.

The reasons for change should be communicated and a timeline for implementation established.

3.3 Complementary measures to support cycling, especially for short trips, should be provided in the locality – cycle parking where needed, Dr Bikes, and promotion of the Council’s cycle loan and training schemes. The involvement of local health care professionals, cycle shops etc. should be encouraged.

3.4 It is likely a Controlled Parking Zone should be implemented within the cell, dependent on the borough wide review currently being undertaken.

3.5 Any decision to end a trial of a road filter should be taken on a street by street basis in line with strategy, rather than on an ‘end one, end all’ basis. Again we emphasise the importance of manifesto commitments, clear communication and the need for politicians to maintain a strong stand for the policies they were elected to deliver rather than kowtow to a vocal minority.


Lambeth Cyclists Architecture Ride 31 October 2015 Grand Designs

Join us on Saturday 31 October 2015 for our latest easy going ride around South London. We will be looking at some of the buildings featured in the Channel 4 series Grand Designs.

Photograph Tim Crocker
Back in 2014 Lambeth Cyclists had a dream to design an architecture ride looking at the best ‘Grand Designs’ in South London. But we faced two big challenges. First, would we be able to find the mysterious locations of the glorious houses featured in the Channel 4 series?

Second, and even more challenging, would we be able to persuade the owners of these dream homes to let a bunch of cyclists traipse round their houses on a Saturday in October?

With time running out, and no budget, ride organiser Tessa began to fear that the whole idea was built on shaky foundations, that the ride design was too ambitious and there would be no October Architecture ride for 2015.

Come and find out whether we managed to pull it off, and produce another ‘Grand Design’ for a bike ride.

Meet Saturday 31 October 2015 1.30pm at Queen’s Road Peckham Station for a gentle ride through Peckham, Brixton and Clapham, ending at Brockwell Park at around 4pm, in time for a cup of tea. Please bring locks and lights. All welcome, no need to book. If you have any queries contact ride organiser Tessa Wright on 07949 785258

TfL consults on Clapham Common Quietway 5 proposals

Transport for London are continuing to progress with the implementation of Quietway 5. The Quietways programme aims to offer a series of quieter cycle routes travelling along traffic-free and traffic-calmed backstreets to link key destinations across London. Quietway 5 will run from Baylis Road, Waterloo SE1 through Lambeth to Croydon.

TfL are currently working with Lambeth on the section of the route that passes near to and over Clapham Common. See the Proposed changes to Quietway 5 cycle route - Waterloo to Croydon - Part 2 for more information on the scheme.

Tfl are currently carrying out a consultation on the proposals - see https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/lambeth-q5-2 for further information. The closing date for responses is 19 November 2015.

Lambeth Cyclists will be responding to the consultation, if you use the Common and surrounding streets please have a look at the proposals and respond.

See more about the proposed changes

Lambeth Cyclists monthly meeting this evening

We hope you can join us this evening (Tuesday, 20 October 2015) for our monthly meeting 7:30pm at the Stockwell Community Centre, Studley Road, Stockwell SW4.

At the meeting we will be joined by Richard Ambler, Lambeth's Cycle Projects Manager, for an update on cycling developments in the borough including the progress being made on the Quietways, 20mph borough-wide, the proposals for Rosendale Road and Estreham Road and the experimental road closures around Loughborough Junction.  It will also be a chance to raise any cycling issues and concerns you may have.

The meeting takes place on Tuesday 20 October 2015  7:30-9pm at the Stockwell Community Centre, 1 Studley Road, Stockwell SW4 (behind Stockwell tube station: lots of cycle parking available) 


Lambeth bring forward review of Loughborough Junction road closures

Lambeth Council have announced that the road closures in the Loughborough Junction and Myatt's Fields area will be brought forward - the scheme will now be reviewed at the end of October after eight weeks rather than the original planned 12 weeks. See Lambeth News - Road closure review brought forward

Here Charlie Holland of Lambeth Cyclists reflects on the scheme (originally published on Charlie's blog Kennington People on Bikes)

Making sense of the Loughborough Junction trial

Within a triangle of A roads, in red above, Lambeth Council are undertaking a (potentially) six month trial of one big road filter - the blue blob above - supported by a few smaller ones. The main motor traffic restriction is at the base of Loughborough Road, a B road that bisects the red triangle of A roads. It is an appealing through-route for those coming north from the South Circular Road, via Croxted Road and Milkwood Road, and continuing north towards central London.

I want to emphasise that I am writing this as, relatively speaking, an outsider to this area, though I have cycled through every street in the area on several occasions in recent years. I very seldom cycle through mainly because I travel less in that direction than others, but also because there there isn't a convenient and intuitive route through here that is useful for me, not least due to the Patmos Road / Vassall Road / Langton Road one-way system (the black square above).

Additionally, until recently Loughborough Road was marred by having a painted cycle lane in the door zone of parked cars, which encouraged close passes and had the risk of dooring. When the road was resurfaced a couple of years ago the borough's Cycle Programme Manager took the opportunity to have the paint put back in a better place (tremendous cost efficiency!) and remove the centre line, which made the road more pleasant to cycle along.

I don't know how many of the primary age children at the playground in the photo above cycle along this road. Even though there is some traffic calming (humps and build outs), the width and straightness of this road means some motorists race along it, and there is often quite a lot of motor traffic passing through this area en-route to somewhere else.

The local Loughborough Junction Action Group worked up a plan to improve the area with Lambeth Council assisted by Lambeth based architectural practice DSDHA.

Following an area-wide consultation exercise (PDF), public meetings, and a scrutiny review meeting by Councillors of the Cabinet member's decision, the Council is undertaking a six month trial restricting motor traffic access into and out of Coldharbour Lane, with the exception of buses, emergency vehicles and cyclists. An interim review was required after three months, now to be after eight weeks.

There is no doubt that this is a bold trial by Lambeth Council, given that Loughborough Road was/is a B road. The question, as I see it, is whether motorists from the south should continue to be able to cut through the triangle or should they be required to use the A roads?

A significant consideration should be the development of a lot of new housing (the Oval Quarter) to the north of the triangle. This is designated as low car ownership (as is the area in general), and has excellent public transport and walking and cycling potential. How much traffic should pass through here rather than on the A roads?

The traffic that historically has passed through the triangle now needs to find another route or another mode of travel.

In the first weeks it is clear that motorists used to coming up Milkwood Road will switch to Coldharbour Lane and increase the traffic on this A road, likely to increase congestion on a road that, like much of this area, has plenty of traffic already.

Over time motorists will decide whether this congestion is the best option for them or whether
a) to divert earlier, to Herne Hill / Denmark Hill to the east, or Tulse Hill / Effra Road / A23 to the west.
b) to switch to another mode of travel.

Local motorists also have decisions to make. While through traffic (and associated noise, pollution and risk) in the triangle will be reduced, residents have fewer options of routes to drive than previously (though everywhere remains accessible by car). This, as made clear by the Council during the consultation process, will increase some motor journey times. In particular Coldharbour Lane, pictured above, is likely to have more traffic, certainly in the short term.

Some may be able to, and choose to, alter some of their journey habits - for example, walking or cycling instead for short trips, which most car trips are, or altering their routes (for example, the emergency services may use the area inside the triangle over currently congested A roads, as they are allowed to). Given the continuing population growth (and potential congestion ensuing) and the health benefits of active travel, this is sensibly a desired change sought by the Council, It's a bit carrot and stick, but that tends to be the nature of change.

Public transport - buses in particular - are another important factor though, an essential aid to active travel (walk to the bus stop, take the bus with others, walk to your final destination). The Council need to be monitoring any bus delays and find ways to alleviate them.

A recent public meeting, social media and direct action has made it clear that a number of people resent the measures being trialed.

This doesn't necessarily mean the trial is wrong. The concerns people raise must be checked for validity. Tweaks may need to be made. There may have been some aspects that weren't as well promoted as would ideally be. It may be that residents are happy with the volume of motor traffic (increasing as London's population increases) and want no change, or they may work with the Council to find a better way of reducing traffic here.

What I like about this scheme, warts and all, is that it is a real, rather than a token effort by the Council, and that they worked with a local community organisation to improve things, and I applaud them for that. We expect our politicians to be mindful of the bigger picture, and this includes the need to substantially change travel habits in response to population growth, climate change, and public health needs.

I hope that the Council makes a balanced, considered decision on the back of a sufficiently long trial. If people don't think the current scheme is working then I very much hope they will propose alternative ways to reduce motor traffic in the area, because, like it or not, the status quo cannot be an option going forward.

If you live in, or travel through, the area please email your support or suggestions for improvement to the head of Lambeth's transport team, rmistry@lambeth.gov.uk

As I write this another blogger has just written about public consultations. His post is well worth a read


Car parking to be banned on Waterloo Bridge cycle lane?

Proposals put forward by Westminster City Council as part of the planning for the TfL Quietway between Bloomsbury and the South Bank could see car parking banned across all of Waterloo Bridge righting an anomaly whereby cars are legally allowed to park on the cycle lane  running from the Strand to Waterloo at off-peak times.
Source: Cyclists in the City

Control of the bridge is shared between Lambeth and Westminster. The Southern side of the bridge is administered by Lambeth and has double yellow lines banning parking.

The Northern half of the bridge is administered by Westminster and currently has a single yellow line (see photo showing the middle of bridge where control changes from Lambeth to Westminster) meaning that cars can park on the bridge at weekends and in the evening. It is common at these times to see a line of cars parked on the bridge, meaning that cyclists cannot use the cycle lane.

Now Westminster is proposing a ban on parking on its side of the bridge to comply with TfL's Quietway requirements. A consultation on the Westminster proposals ends on 16 October 2015.

Lambeth Council Leader Lib Peck committed the Council to ensuring 24 hour parking restrictions on Waterloo Bridge in January 2014

Half term young people's cycle training in Brixton, Camberwell and Clapham

Sign up now for young people's cycle training courses over the half term holiday in Brixton, Camberwell and Clapham.
Cycle Confident training image on lambethcyclists.org.uk
Photo: Cycle Confident

Lambeth's cycle training provider Cycle Confident will be running free courses for young people aged over nine in quiet roads near to Brockwell Park, Myatt's Fields and Clapham Common over the half term holiday. The courses will equip the young people with Level 2 Bikeability cycle training skills for onroad cycling.

The courses are offered in the mornings and afternoons of Monday 26 - Thursday 29 October 2015. Attendance is restricted to those who live or study in Lambeth.

To find out more and sign up see the Cycle Confident website


Free Lambeth Dr Bike in Brixton this evening 4-8pm

Lambeth's Sustainable Transport Team will be running their Dr Bike service this evening, 7 October 2015, in Brixton's Windrush Square, SW2 1EF. Come along between 4 and 8pm to get your bike checked to carry on cycling through the winter. As an extra incentive the first 20 people to attend will get free bike lights.
Lambeth Dr Bike service

The Dr Bike team can fix basic problems, adjust your bike and offer advice on further action if required. This is also an opportunity to see the view from inside a lorry cab and talk to Lambeth staff about lorry blindspots to avoid any possible problems. In many cases Police also attend these sessions to advise on security and offer a security registration and marking service.

Further information on the Lambeth website: Dr Bike

Free #OpWiggins bike security marking Wednesday at Waterloo Station SE1

British Transport Police will be security marking bikes at Waterloo Station this Wednesday, 7 October 2015. Bring your bike along to the bike rack near exit 3 of the station to get it marked and registered - 4-6:30pm
This event is part of BTP's Operations Wiggins national bike security initiative

Reminder: Easy-going Lambeth Cyclists Architecture Ride tomorrow

Reminder about tomorrow's ride - all welcome, no need to book: just turn up!

This Saturday, 3 October 2015, join us for an easygoing ride looking at some of London's historic  almshouses.

Join us for the second in our series of leisurely rides exploring London’s historic almshouses.   Sometimes hidden and very often overlooked, these early examples of social housing were built to provide shelter for elderly people in need. Originally paid for by a mixture of city livery companies, wealthy business men and noble women  many survive on the London cityscape today. Some have changed use over the years, but all appear calm and peaceful in our increasingly busy city.

This easygoing morning ride will concentrate on almshouses in Chelsea, Victoria and Southwark.

Meet Saturday 3 October 2015 10:15am for 10:30 start outside Hopton’s Almshouses, Hopton Street SE1 9JJ.  The ride will finish at about 1.30pm at the Royal Hospital Chelsea where there is a cafĂ© for anyone who would like lunch afterwards.

All welcome, no need to book.  If you have any queries please contact ride organiser Lizzy Jamieson (07961 117698)

Join the conversation about the future of Vauxhall Cross

This Friday, 2 October 2015, and Saturday, 3 October 2015, find out about the future plans for the Vauxhall area at a special exhibition at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

Since July Lambeth have been consulting on the future of the area - see the latest thinking about the future and add your voice in support of proposals to make it more people friendly rather than dominated by the needs of motor traffic.

The event runs from 12-4pm on Friday and 10:30am-3pm on Saturday. Refreshments and children's activities will be available. See flyer below

Vauxhall Cross exhibition flyer on lambethcyclists.org.uk