Wednesday 4 December 2002 2.17pm
Prompted by a comment in the long discussion on congestion charging... but perhaps an issue sufficiently separate to warrant a new thread.
What has happened?
Trinity St was shut about 4 months ago (the road from The Roebuck
to Borough High St, almost parallel to Gt Dover St).
This resulted in traffic going down Falmouth Rd, which branches off Trinity St, again by The Roebuck
. Trinity St is a large, wide road, with old, expensive Georgian terraces and is a protected/conservation area.
Falmouth Rd is wide enough for 1 car to pass down, due to parking on both sides of the street. Traffic volumes increased by a factor of 10, yes that is 10 times as many cars as before. This created significant problems for the residents, pollution, noise etc. It is not sustainable for this much traffic to be using Falmouth Rd (then Harper Rd) as a rat run.
After a consultation it was decided to make the 25m stretch from Gt Dover St to Falmouth Rd one-way, hence they blocked off part of the street. This was to try to keep traffic on the main arteries.
However, since Fri 29 Nov, there have been masses of cars who believe that the one-way sign doesn't apply to them, and so have been turning off Gt Dover St. Not only is this illegal, but it is also dangerous, with some near misses (of pedestrians) already occuring. Drivers, knowing that they are wrong to continue to use this rat run, are driving faster, to avoid being caught.
This has forced traffic back onto either New Kent Rd, or Gt Dover St (from Bricklayers). Lond Lane is also very congested. Hence the delays to people's journeys.
Trinity St was (I believe) originally shut due to pressure from residents, who wanted it back to being a nice quiet square. I imagine some residents are reasonably influential. However, though this benefits them, the effects on the surrounding area are disproportionately worse. Hence the change of last weekend.
I'm not sure what the solution is, but as it stands continuing to use Falmouth Rd is illegal. Hence there is now police presence to stop people from doing so. I understand that they will soon be issuing tickets, rather than just acting as a deterrent.