06 February 2021

Consideration for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood for Forest Hill

Members of the Forest Hill Society transport committee met with a small group of local residents and Sustrans to discuss ongoing concerns about rat-running in the local area bounded by Wood Vale, South Circular, Devonshire Rd and Honor Oak Park/Forest Hill Road. Local Councillors helped to facilitate the meeting. This was merely a kick off to understand what options were available in terms of investigating ways to mitigate volumes of non residential traffic in the area which is used for ‘popular’ shortcuts down local streets, addressing concerns about speeding, road safety, cycling and also accessibility. Various discussions and proposals for the area have been raised before, we’re now revisiting options.

We discussed Low Traffic Neighbourhoods  (LTNs), their benefits, but also concerns around LTNs and how they have been recently implementation and what could be done to avoid the backlash on future schemes. We also discussed alternative measures such as banned turns, single modal filters and no entry no exit roads.We agreed that the most likely solution to the issues would be through Lewisham council's existing healthy neighbourhoods programme. The Forest Hill area detailed in Lewisham's programme roughly corresponds to the road borders outlined above.

Sustrans suggested the best way forwarded would be a community led feasibility study into an LTN or other traffic restrictions in the Forest Hill. Evidence of community support for an LTN in the area will hopefully lead to Lewisham prioritising the area in their programme. Sustrans can put together a proposal for delivering this. The aim is to have Lewisham fund Sustrans to provide local community engagement and education prior to a formal consultation run by Lewisham. The objective here is to begin discussions and get local feedback on the options and proposals that Sustrans will recommend.
We would welcome thoughts from local residents in the comments or via email to email@foresthillsociety.com


clausy said...

Just to clarify FHSoc's position on this - we were invited to sit in on the meeting which was arranged by the local councillors - we're neutral on the LTN in general, but we're happy to generate a discussion and public consultation on the topic as people clearly have both positive and negative opinions on the topic.

Sustrans are currently costing a study which would produce proposals but also have some public information sessions. Funding would initially still need to be found even to kick off the study. Following that it would go back to Lewisham for a proper official consultation. This is all still a way off and we're simply raising awareness that things are opening up for discussion.

Unknown said...

The South Circular, if blocked by road works, just fails to work as a road! How are you supposed to get from Forest Hill to Dulwich in less than an hour if you can't go around blockages? Aside from those occasions (quite frequent though they have been over the last few years), making this area no-go for non-residents cuts residents of the wider borough off from green spaces like Horniman museum (if you need to drive and park), One Tree Hill, Camberwell cemetery, easy access to Peckham Rye. I completely understand the desire for reducing pollution and road noise, etc, and over time, as people adopt electric vehicles, this will happen. But in the meantime (like the next decade), people still need to be able to get around efficiently. And in a very hilly neighbourhood, with bus stops at a distance, that often means using a car for short journeys, Yes, of course, we should all walk or use bikes, but you need to be very fit to cycle up the hills here. And what do I do with my little dog? I can hardly stick him in a pannier. Please do not make the neighbourhood harder to live in and move in around for the majority.