Showing posts with label Transport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transport. Show all posts

06 March 2023

Honor Oak and Crofton Park CPZ Consultation

Lewisham Council have been asking residents for their views on their proposals for street enhancements and CPZ across Crofton Park ward.

Details of the consultation can be viewed at , although the consultation has now closed.

The Forest Hill Society wrote outlining some of the concerns we have heard from local residents and members:

We acknowledge that the London Borough of Lewisham has declared a Climate Emergency and is keen to implement changes that will help to deliver on the commitments that were made to reduce the dependence on cars, and their toxic effects, in our area of London.

With this in mind, we would like to raise some points in response to the ongoing consultation that is currently underway mainly in the Crofton Park ward around Honor Oak Park, which is therefore relevant to the members of the wider Forest Hill Society. We are writing to you directly as the format of the consultation does not adequately take note of responses from those who are not directly resident in that area, but we feel that this is very relevant to the work of the Society.

1. We are concerned that the current structure of the consultation could create more problems for the wider area. The selection of a single, limited area between two train stations, but only covering some of the surrounding streets, risks displacing cars onto other local streets and not fixing the issue. In particular, Devonshire Road already has a traffic and a parking issue, and it is on the boundary of the area proposed for the CPZ, and so this is highly likely to be exacerbated. This may also be true on other boundary roads such as Westbourne Drive and Church Rise. We believe it would be unfair to implement any CPZ intervention without completing the consultation in the surrounding areas as well, and to implement all areas at once, if this is to go ahead.

2. We are also concerned that the goals of the Sustainable Streets initiative are incomplete. While we welcome the improvements that might arise from a reduction in cars parking on our streets, this needs to be accompanied by investments in active travel and making streets safer for walking and cycling if residents are to switch away from cars.

We recognise the benefit of better cycle parking provision, more car club bays, clear sight lines at corners and tree cover, but these cannot be done without considering the wider implications of safe cycle routes, traffic calming, reduction of rat-runs, and other interventions to increase green spaces and rain water absorption. We understand that Lewisham is considering these separately under the terms of "Healthy Neighbourhoods" but they are not included in the current consultation. This is likely to cause confusion and duplication if the investments from both programmes are not coordinated. We believe that the two programmes need to be implemented together so that residents get the benefit of better, safer and less congested streets, not simply the disincentive of parking permits and charges.

3. In practical terms, we would like to request that any contracts that are signed with third parties for parking enforcement are made fully transparent. Just like with private parking enforcement, there is the potential for a conflict of interest for a business that is rewarded for issuing fines instead of for achieving the Sustainable Streets goals, and could result in low levels of trust and satisfaction, undermining the Council's goals. It is important that the incentives of all parties are aligned, and transparent, and the revenues raised are similarly reported in a transparent way so that residents can see a direct link between this additional revenue source and the benefits in their own streets.

The Forest Hill Society will, of course, continue to engage with the consultation processes in the rest of Forest Hill in Stage 2, and may expand on these points in that process, but we hope that the above issues will be taken into account in the review of Stage 1.

01 April 2022

Launching the Trebuchet Railway Crossing Project

Since the Forest Hill Society was formed in 2006 we have been hoping for a new pedestrian bridge to replace the existing bridge between Sydenham Park and Dacres Road. This is an important connection to Sydenham and Forest Hill schools for children on either side of the railway and it is a useful bicycle route too – avoiding the poor cycling provision in the centres of Sydenham and Forest Hill.

We wanted a scheme that would work for everybody and provides a safe way to cross the railway instead of a slippery and steep set of steps over the bridge. After hours of careful deliberation, the Forest Hill Society put together a proposal that combines the latest innovative technology in personal transportation to provide a quick and easy way to cross the railway.

Forest Hill Society Chair, Claus Murmann, tests out the prototype trebuchet


On each side of the railway a trebuchet (sometimes referred to as a catapult) will be positioned to transport people across the railway line. This part of the scheme is simple enough, but the innovative part of the scheme is the installation of two ‘bounceways’ on either side of the railway, where passengers land and can bounce their way towards their chosen destination.

The bounceway is a series of trampolines that form the ideal landing site for trebuchet passengers. Bounceways were first proposed in 2014 for Jubilee Gardens by, then mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The scheme never got off the ground, but we are delighted that now that Mr Johnson has taken on a new role in government, this scheme is to take off - in Forest Hill.

The trebuchet will be capable of taking one person at a time with a bicycle or buggy and the speed of the flight and centrifugal force means that any bags of shopping can be safely carried without anything falling out.

Although initially considered dangerous, our experiments have shown that using the catapult in conjunction with two bounceways is significantly safer than trying to cross the existing footbridge.


Bounceway sketch from 2014 Architecture for Humanity

Boris Johnson is expected to lend his support to this visionary transport scheme and will be one of the first dignitaries to launch, or be launched by, this project. The PM's spokesperson, Avril Dummkopf, said that "at least with this project, unlike the zip wire, we know he can't get stuck halfway across!" Sadiq Khan is expected to take a different approach, with his own simultaneous launch from the other side of the railway. But we hope compromise is possible and that they meet somewhere in the middle.

The combination of bounceways and catapults is clearly the perfect solution for cyclists and pedestrians crossing a busy railway with the minimum of human debris.

We will continue to push for delivery of a new bridge for this location rather than this ridiculous scheme.

* Press release issued by the Forest Hill Society on 1st April 2022. Some of the details in this article may not be valid on any other day of the year.

01 April 2021

Forest Hill Tunnel Bypass to Open in April 2023

While the high street has suffered under lockdown over the last year, underneath the high street the Forest Hill Society embarked on a top-secret project to radically improve the future of Forest Hill town centre.

In April 2020 a small group of local residents started digging the tunnels to enable the South Circular to travel beneath the town centre, providing a pedestrianised surface level shopping, with all the traffic going underground from Dulwich Common to Waldram Park Road.

Three sites were chosen for the secret tunnel entrances to begin the three sections of tunnel; the former site of the Coop - once rumoured to become a hotel - has been turned into the eastern entrance tunnel, the western tunnel entrance has started from the car park of the former Harvester, and a mid-point tunnel had begun from the former Fairlawn nursery site on Waldenshaw Road. Until they are connected, the three separate tunnels have been nicknamed ‘Rod’, ‘Jane’ and ‘Freddy’. The first “break-through” is expected to occur in June this year, when Jane and Freddy will meet for the first time, completing the first half of the project.

At the Harvester site, volunteers have donned baggy jeans and beanie hats to smuggle out earth and have constructed a skate park as a distraction from the tunnelling.

Lockdown and Covid restrictions presented some difficulties for the mining volunteers, but the use of breathing apparatus and the three separate entrances, has allowed work to continue below ground with up to 18 people at any time while maintaining social distancing. Many of the volunteers are from the Forest Hill library, but the temporary closure of the library has meant that many have had spare time to devote to digging - it turns out library staff make excellent miners - and remarkably quiet. The school closures during lockdown allowed us to make use of child labour, with children as young as four able to enter the smaller tunnels sections before adults.

The entrances were strategically chosen to avoid the need to dig down very far to pass under the hill. The South London Clay is easy to dig through without the need for machinery and will yield important raw materials for the local pottery industry.  In fact, there is now so much clay available that local schools have been drafted in to produce hundreds of vases for families and friends.

The lack of heavy tunnelling equipment has been challenging, particularly the use of small garden appliances borrowed from local allotments. Yet, the hardest part of the project has been keeping it secret until this point, and before it was discovered by the authorities.

In total, the tunnel will run for one mile and will be tall enough for a double-decker bus. Air shafts will bring in air from Sydenham Woods, and exhaust gases will be vented from a chimney at the top of the Horniman Hill. Concerns of how fumes might affect Horniman Heights are expected to blow over, but they are being addressed at the highest levels.


Flora Pilo, from the Network for Urban Transport Safety, said in a statement “Digging underneath TfL roads is not recommended and should be left to professionals, but would you be able to help with the Bakerloo Line extension?” 

The Forest Hill Society continue to look for new volunteers to join the digging, if you would be interested in helping, please email us.

* Press release issued by the Forest Hill Society on 1st April 2021. Some of the details in this article may not be valid on any other day of the year.

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

07 April 2017

Dartmouth Road Improvement Notification Letter

Below are details from the contractor regarding the Dartmouth Road Improvements Works that will be carried out between May 2017 and March 2018. Full road closure will happen for six weeks from 9th January 2018.

A2216 Dartmouth Road

Work on the improvement of Dartmouth Road from A205 to Round hill Road will start on the 02nd May 2017 for 10 months. Kier Highway Services Ltd – London Highways Alliance Contractor are carrying out these works on behalf of London Borough of Lewisham.

The improvement work involve

·           Repaving footways, improving street lighting locations, new street furniture including landscaping and resurfacing of the road.
·           New public realm area outside of Heron House including seating and natural stone planters.
·           Re-positioning of existing signal poles and widening the existing Pelican crossing.
·           Installation of new entry treatments / speed tables within the side roads.
·           Installation of new parking bays.
·           Installation of new 20mph Speed limit.
·           Installation of additional bus stops.

 Where and when will the work take place?

This project is being completed in 6 phases:

·           Phase 1  will commence on 02/05/17 with the installation of new kerbs, footways, parking bays and granite raised entrance into Thorpewood Avenue. The works will start on the west side from Derby Hill up to Junction with Thorpewood Avenue. Access into Thorpewood Avenue will be via a diversion route that will be signed. Two-way manual traffic control will be implemented, to enable safe and efficient working on Dartmouth Road.

·           Phase 2  – will commence on 16/08/17 with the new kerb, footway and parking bay works continue on the east side from Thorpewood Avenue up to Dartmouth Place. Raised Granite entrances into Clyde Terrace and Dartmouth Place. Access into Clyde Terrace and Dartmouth Place will be signed via a diversion route. Two-way manual traffic control will be implemented, to enable safe and efficient working on Dartmouth Road.

·           Phase 3 – will commence on 20/07/17 with the new public realm area on the east and west sides of the road. The public realm extents are from Derby Hill to Centaury Yard. You will see installation of new kerbs, granite paving footways, street furniture and landscaping. Two-way manual traffic control will be implemented, to enable safe and efficient working on Dartmouth Road.

·           Phase 4A – will commence on 06/11/17 with the new kerb, footway and parking bay works continue on the west side from Century Yard to A205 Junction. Two way Traffic control to be implemented, to enable safe and efficient working.

·           Phase 4B -. Will commence on 09/01/18 with the new kerb, footway and parking bay works will be installed on the east side between Century Yard and A250 Junction. This Phase will run concurrently with the phase below, under a road closure of Dartmouth road.

·           Phase 5 – will commence on 09/01/18 on Dartmouth Road, between A205 and Round hill Rd will have new Granite Sections installed into the carriageway. A road closure of Dartmouth road will be in force to through traffic for 6 weeks to enable the works to take place. The Granite sections will be built in localised road closures, to allow access to shops and facilities via either end of Dartmouth road. A letter and local engagement will be sent out 3 months in advance of works.

·           Phase 6 - will commence on the 07/02/18 on Dartmouth Road, between A205 and Round hill Rd, the carriageway will be resurfaced. Works will be completed over approximately 3 nights and involve a full road closure for the three nights. A letter and local engagement will be sent out 1 month in advance of works.