Ladywell councillors write: Many Ladywell Residents will have heard about temporary traffic changes proposed by Transport for London (TfL) the body that runs London’s transport network. Residents in some streets will have received a leaflet direct from TfL.
Councillors were made aware of the proposals just before the TfL leaflets were delivered.Proposals are to construct a new and improved Cycling and Public Transport corridor on the A21 from the Catford Gyratory through to Lewisham Gateway.
As soon as they were aware of the proposals councillors from Lewisham Central, Rushey Green and Ladywell wards convened a meeting with Lewisham Council and TfL Officers to discuss the detailed plans.
All councillors strongly objected to the short notice and lack of prior consultation with local Residents and Councillors.
TfL pointed out they were under strict Central Government timeframes and guidelines on how and when they can finance such schemes. The main focus of these plans were to increase cycling safety and reduce traffic flows.Following discussions two proposals were highlighted as having unacceptable effects on local Residents:
1. No left turn from Ladywell Road into Lewisham High Street. (except for buses, taxis, and cycles)
2. The no right turn from Courthill Road into Lewisham High Street (except buses, taxis and cycles)These changes would mean traffic wishing to go to Lewisham Town Centre, Blackheath, Greenwich and Lee High Road would be displaced on to residential side roads in the ward such as Algernon Road (currently a designated cycling route) and others. Increasing air and noise pollution increasing risk for cyclists and pedestrians due to increased volume and idling in jams.
Similar consequences were considered to be the result on Whitburn Street due to vehicles wishing to access Courthill Road.Meanwhile traffic would be displaced onto other residential streets such as Lewisham Park causing the same results already highlighted, alternatively turning into Ladywell Road onto the streets already highlighted such as Algernon.
TfL agreed to delay their planned implementation to consider our feedback and points, which included feedback we had received from Ladywell Residents. All agreed the need to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage such modes of transport.
Councillors strongly supported the creation of safer cycle lanes but could not support the changes to Ladywell/Courthill Roads.
After further rapid consultation with Lewisham Council and TfL Officers, TfL announced following feedback from residents and councillors they would go ahead with their temporary changes as planned apart from their proposed no turns at Ladywell and Courthill Roads.On 16 September TfL commenced the implementation of the temporary cycle lane construction on the A21 and the other proposals outlined in their scheme.
TfL and Lewisham Officers have committed to contacting Councillors in good time if the Ladywell/Courthill Roads or any other measures are to be considered so we can engage with Ladywell Residents.
Ladywell residents have contacted us with concerns of increased traffic on Algernon and other roads since the changes and we have passed these concerns to TfL and Lewisham Council Officers to monitor and assess.All changes that are being introduced are temporary.
They will be considered, through including a consultation process whether they should be amended, withdrawn or made permanent.We would also like to thank everyone who contacted us or TfL directly on this issue. –
Tfl plans for A21 cycle lane
Transport for London is making improvements to a stretch of the A21 between Lewisham town centre and Catford, including a new cycle lane. Work is due to start on August 24 with the new measures in place by mid-September 2020.
Cyclists and buses will share a lane with a small part of the route completely segregated for cyclists.
To improve safey and traffic flow the road improvements will also include several banned turns including a no left hand turn at the end of Ladywell Road onto Lewisham High Street.
Ladywell councillors fear some of the changes will increase the amount of traffic trying to cut through residential streets in the neighbourhood unless other traffic reduction measures are taken..
They are also worried by the lack of consultation with local people.
But Cllr Sophie McGeevor, Lewisham cabinet member for transport, said the changes showed TfL’s commitment to suporting cycling safety. “Such schemes are really important for inspiring confidence in new cyclists.”
The council says the TfL measures are being implemented with urgency as part of a broader aim to ensure a healthy and sustainable recovery from coronavirus.
The measures are temporary but the council hopes they will strengthen the case for its long term ambition for a fully segregated cycle way along the the A21.
The scheme will include the following features:
– Existing bus and cycle lanes to be extended to 24/7 operation, to keep people cycling separated from other motor traffic around the clock and to reduce bus journey times for people using public transport
– A new 20mph limit throughout to reduce the risk of collisions
– New sections of protected cycle space, including segregated cycle lanes using cylinders along Molesworth Street and parts of Lewisham High Street. This will involve reallocating one of the traffic lanes to cycle use only.
– An increase in the total length of bus lanes on the corridor
– A bus stop bypass to protect people cycling from having to overtake buses by entering the main traffic lane. Cyclists instead pass between the bus stop and an area of ‘floating’ pavement from which pedestrians board the bus.
– The introduction of a number of banned turns to reduce the risk of collisions between people cycling and motor vehicles, including a left turn ban from Ladywell Road to A21 except buses, cycles and taxis, a right turn ban from Courthill Road to A21 except buses, cycles and taxis, and a southbound right turn ban into Wildfell Road.
– 80m of parking and loading bays removed from A21 and relocated to side roads where possible
– A pelican crossing converted to a walking and cycling toucan crossing at the southern end of Molesworth Street.
During the construction period TfL are proposing lane closures in both directions of Lewisham High Street and Molesworth Street, however these will predominantly be night works.
Corin Ashwell, Ladywell resident, keen cyclist and Green party member, said the changes were good news.
“We definitely need to enable and encourage short local journeys to be taken on foot or by bike, and this sort of thing is a step in the right direction.”
“On the issue of private motor traffic being routed along residential streets as an unintended consequence of this, the councillors should seek a further reduction of through-traffic in Ladywell by the removal of through-access to residential streets and parking restrictions. A lot of the traffic on Ladywell road is rat-running to avoid the south circular,” he added.