Driving to visit my mum on union st coming from the borough iv turned left by mint street on to Southwark bridge road, I would normally take the 1st right on to great Guilford street but it's been made a no entry, so I try to take the next right by the old fire station again a no entry so I try the next right, great Suffolk st again a no entry, I then have to carry on straight to borough road and do that right, drive all the way to st George's circus on to London road right on to garden row then right on to westminister bridge road then a right on to st George's rd on to the roundabout to get me to Blackfriars road then take a right on to Union Street, can anyone please tell me the logic in that, longer journey, more pollution and diverting more traffic on to congested roads, I'm scratching my head trying to understand the thinking of it.
Here's the text of an email I sent to Borough & Bankside councillors recently:
Firstly please let me thank you for your email of 21 December about the Great Suffolk Street traffic scheme. And also for attaching a plan of it. I have the following comments:
1 I havenít seen any cost-benefit or before-and-after traffic flow and speed and RTA (accident) stats. Were any provided?
2 Together with the closure of Union Street, the scheme will divert through traffic from main roads to quiet local residential ones and rat-running/ increased traffic flow is made a necessary evil in Surrey Row and Pocock Street. I cannot see how or where this is addressed.
3 A lot of detail is surprising. Union Street is deprived of nameplates at its Southwark Station end, so people emerging from that and trying to get their bearings stand at risk in the roadway to work it out. Why no nameplates? The hazard is compounded by chronically dud street lights there.
4 I raised concerns with the council back in early May 2020 about highway safety and took the trouble to provide a list itemising a number of them to make it easy for the council to schedule repairs. I still have a copy of it if anyoneís interested. To date not one of these has been addressed; streets are in poor surface condition and ill-lit where dead lamps havenít been replaced; trees are overgrown; old street furniture clutters in needless proliferation. There have been recorded reports of people being attacked for their phones and watches, and a lot more illegal and antisocial activity goes on Ė not to mention rough sleeping. I have spoken to the police about this and they have firmly pinned responsibility on the council.
4 Instead of eliminating or at least reducing those shortcomings, we now have additional ones. Why, for instance, are pedestrians being asked at considerable expense to the public purse (which could pay for light bulbs etc) to turn left when they walk out of Pakeman House? It looks as if the carefully painted surface markings are for motor traffic only but there isnít Ė canít be Ė any because there is a 6-inch/152mm step up from the road to a 1.5m footpath leading to the alleyway via a 1-metre wide gateway for a vehicle to negotiate, which of course it canít. A car or van needs at least 2metres, an ambulance more. I attach photos.
5 I understand that a Traffic Order has been or is to be made but the council has not taken the usual requisite step of announcing its intention on street notices and inviting comments, together with advising the public on the way to make them.
I am unsure as to how to address these observations direct to the council. It hasnít told us how to do it - and on past form it wonít listen anyway.
@forafairerworld, thanks for sharing that. On point 5, I did see some notices up on lamp posts about the changes; on Southwark Bridge Road and Blackfriars Road. But I'd be interested to see if they respond to any of your other points.
On the sjf's original question of why they're doing this, I suppose the long-term goal is that fewer people will bother driving because it's such a pain in the backside. But as I said on the thread about The Cut, so much vehicular traffic today is made up of taxis / Ubers or delivery vans. I'm highly sceptical that the overall effect on number of journeys will be noticeable, while loads of quiet side-streets will suddenly be suffering much more traffic than before. The unintended consequences will be clearly worse than the intended improvement, in my view.
Seems to me that traffic management goes through trends, where a particular scheme in a particular location becomes flavour of the year and is ineptly copy-&-pasted onto less suitable locations. Unfortunately it might be years before someone 'discovers' that opening roads like The Cut or Union Street to through traffic can miraculously remove vans and lorries from entirely residential side streets.
These changes were made before the consultation had been completed. Regardless of any objections made, these changes were going to happen. Southwark council had installed the road signs - then covered - weeks before the final consultation.
No it's not about making life more comfortable for diners enjoying their meals al fresco, it's more dishonest than that. It is about the income for the councils from the businesses who are charged relatively high rents for their use of the public footpaths. That will be denied of course but if you take The Cut, the B300, as a prime example about 10 years ago the footpaths were doubled in size by removing two lanes of roadway in order to give more room to pedestrians but conveniently wherever there was a busy restaurant or pub the footpaths were made even wider
. The consequence was that the widening of the footpaths created a narrower road with dangerous semi-chicanes for cyclists and motorists all helped by enormous pave speed cushions which have quickly fallen into disrepair with tarmac hollows, no wonder some cyclists and electric scooterists ride on the footpath whilst the extra width of the footpaths has been sold ( by the means of rent) to businesses such as Taz, Anchor and Hope, The Young Vic, Pret a Mange and The Windmill et al.
Apparently the narrower footpaths from Hatfields to Blackfriars Road and Windmill Walk to Waterloo Road are safe, or is it because there are no restaurants on those parts of The Cut?
The new restrictions of 25% of The Cut with even wider pavement (bays filled with asphalt) and to add insult to injury have now been beautified with giant plant pots with palm trees in them. How on earth does that give more room to pedestrians and cyclists? It does encourage the cafes to introduce more pavement dining and more income for the councils.
I am sure there is a car hating (or jealous car owner who cannot use his car for work) sitting in Palaestra and in league with his equivalents on Southwark and Lambeth councils trying to make life more difficult for all other motorists, and they are succeeding.
Their ultimate success will come with much higher rates to pay to the GLA by all of us to replace the loss of income from the Congestion Charge. So, citizens expect much higher fares throughout London, much more congestion on the Tube and buses and the old and disabled can be left behind.
What is clearly not is about the improvement of residents' lives. The block in the cut does make it a more pleasant road to walk around, but it simply driven the traffic down Ufford Street. How is that an Improvement? I do not live in Ufford Street.
I think it is the masters, Sadiq?, saying do something about cyclists and pollution where it is measured ie not Ufford Street. So the underlings do something, illogical, damaging but in line with what they have been told to do.