As most residents are now aware, the introduction of the Mayor's Congestion Charging Scheme is due to commence on 17 February 2003. The Congestion Charging boundary runs through Southwark Borough along New Kent Road
and Tower Bridge Road
. It is anticipated that Congestion Charging will cause increased traffic along these two roads as drivers who would normally travel though the city center would now travel around the Congestion Charging boundary to avoid paying the £5 congestion charge. This could put greater pressure and exacerbate existing problems on the local road network as motorists try to find alternative routes.
On 9, 13 and 14 November 2002, Southwark Council
held an exhibition showing various traffic management proposals within the Walworth area (the area bound by New Kent Road
, Old Kent Road
, Albany Road and Walworth Road
). The Council undertook an extensive advertisement campaign to inform residents of the exhibition and the affected areas. Approximately 10 700 letters were delivered via the post to local residents and businesses inviting them to visit the exhibition and to provide the Council with feedback on the proposals. In addition approximately 1000 letters were hand delivered to homes and businesses directly fronting each of the proposed sites, an advertisement was placed in the South London Press and 22 public notices were placed on lamp columns and posts around the various proposal sites. For those residents who could not attend the exhibition and contacted the council for additional information, information packs were sent out via the post.
As a result of the feedback from the exhibition, Option B was adopted as the preferred option for Mason Street. Option B involves converting a small section of Mason Street (approximately 25m long), at the Old Kent Road
end to One-way westbound. The remainder of Mason Street will remain Two-way. This will allow vehicles to turn left from Old Kent Road
onto Mason Street, however there will be no access onto Old Kent Road
from Mason Street.
The example given that a resident who is travelling from Tower Bridge Road
will have to do a U-turn at East Street then head back up to Mason Street (along Old Kent Road
), turning left onto Mason Street is incorrect. There will be no additional restrictions on any resident accessing there property from Old Kent Road
, nor will there be any additional restrictions for any residents accessing Mason Street from any other local road under the Option B proposal. All residents will still be able travel down Old Kent Road
, turn right from Old Kent Road
onto East Street, and approach Mason Street from the rear. Again, this access will not change for any resident along Mason Street. However, residents who want to access to Old Kent Road
from Mason Street will have to exit via Massinger Street or East Street.
To better assess the opinion of local residents a second stage of consultation was undertaken on 19 December 2002. The consultation area targeted only residents of Mason Street, Darwin Street, Gavel Street, Crosslett Street, Barlow Street, Crail Street, Chatam Street, Catesby Street and Hillery Close. Approximately 800 letters were delivered to these residents and businesses. Included with the letter was a diagram of the proposal and a feedback questionnaire. Southwark Council
is currently analyzing the feedback form the returned questionnaires to determine if the proposal has community support.
It should be noted that local residents raised the initial concerns about traffic along Mason Street and the effect Congestion Charging will have on Mason Street. The second stage of consultation will allow local residents to have a significant input into how their street operates.
If any resident would like any addition information regarding the proposal for Mason Street, please contact my colleague Jason Hobart on email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport Group Manager
London Borough of Southwark