Road Closures across Walworth

LB Southwark, led by Cllr Richard Livingstone is proposing a number of road closures and traffic changes across Walworth. This will radically affect your ability to travel by car or motor vehicle, and will involve closures to motor vehicles on Larcom Street, Browning Street, Merrow Street, Amelia Street, Manor Place, Alberta Street, Penton Place, Chapter Road, Cooks Road, Blackwood Street, and Walworth Place. Please see the link below, to keep informed as to what is being planned: https://walworthstreetspace.commonplace.is/ Rather than consult in the traditional sense, LB Southwark is planning to implement these changes in a 6-month ‘trial’ period and make them permanent if they do not receive too many complaints. We have concerns that the above survey is heavily biased towards encouraging visitors to make positive comments to support this scheme, as all the pre-filled comments support this idea. This whole approach is simply wrong, and we need to feed that back. If you go to the “consultation” link, all the pre-filled responses are positive, if you want to leave a constructive negative comment, you have to select ‘other’ and then get led to a free text box. The site lets you add as many positive comments as you like but limits you to only registering only one concern.   Having looked at the initial proposals, we would like to make the following observations.

  • They are trying to solve a problem that isn’t there. The air quality on the Brandon Estate is fine, and we do not have a traffic problem on Cook Road.

 

  • We have concerns that these will seriously restrict fire and emergency service vehicles, and lead to longer emergency responses – only a few weeks ago, we had a serious fire on the estate. Shutting down nearly all the link roads from the Old Kent Road & Peckham fire stations, suggests journey times of 14 minutes, far outside the Fire Brigade target of 6 minutes.

 

  • There may be less traffic on local closed roads, so vehicles are just pushed back onto the already heavily congested roads (that they may have been trying to circumnavigate) So traffic will be more backed up on Kennington Park Road, John Ruskin St, Camberwell New Road, Walworth Road, Old Kent Road and the If these main arterial roads are blocked, it will take fire services longer to arrive.

 

  • Local minicab companies are adding a £3 surcharge to fares, to compensate drivers for the extra time and running costs of sitting in traffic, and the inability to navigate about Walworth.

 

  • How is forcing people to make daily trips to the shops using public transport, safer than doing one large shop once every week or ten days? All the COVID 19 advice tells us to social distance, but this scheme will force people to shop daily, coming into contact with far more people every day.

 

  • Kennington Park Road, John Ruskin St, Camberwell New Road, Walworth Road, Old Kent Road, and the Elephant are all going to experience far greater traffic and congestion, and as a result much worse air quality.

 

  • This may well lead to a glut of electric scooters using the Walworth roads and pavements, as people will need to find a new way to get around.

 

  • There appears to be no intelligent use of technology in these changes, they are just using the bluntest method they can. You do not brick up all the windows of your house, just because the sun shines in your eyes. You get blinds or curtains that can open and close. So why are Southwark proposing to brick off our streets?

 

  • If this scheme does encourage some car drivers to switch to a bicycle, there is a huge shortage of secure bicycle storage. We already have a big issue with people storing bicycles on the tower block landings and stairwells, causing considerable risk in case of fire or emergency evacuation.

 

  • We have a large number of elderly people living on the Brandon Estate, who are dependent on community mobility assisted transport. The road closure on Cooks Road effectively divides our estate in two, requires a 1.8-mile detour, to collect residents from both halves of the estate.

It is important that we register our dissatisfaction to this badly thought out scheme, using the link above.   Please take the time to consider the above points, and feel free to copy and paste the above points into any comments that you may choose to make when responding to the consultation.

Please also sign the following petition here:

 

No to Cooks Road, Chapter Road & Carter street closures in the Walworth/Kennington area