Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme – have your say!

Lambeth Council has now circulated its street improvement proposals under the Neighbourhood Enhancement Programme (NEP).  We are urging all residents to complete and return the questionnaire about how to send the £200,000 budgeted for the Oval area (in which we fall).

ASSA is very pleased that Lambeth has taken up our call to make traffic calming the number one priority for Albert Square, Aldebert Terrace and St Stephen’s Terrace, and we are delighted to see the proposal for a pilot 10mph ‘children’s route’  from the square through Wilkinson Street and on towards the Oval.

However, there has been some confusion about the proposed traffic management through the area. To clarify, the proposals would mean that traffic in Albert Square becomes one way, going left from the Clapham Road entrance, and that there will be a no-entry into Aldebert Terrace from Albert Square

While the proposals are not ideal, they are a welcome recognition of our concerns to reduce the volume and speed of traffic through our area.

We urge all residents to have their say, so please do complete the questionnaire and let Lambeth know what you think about the proposals.

Please complete the survey by Friday 11 October – or fill in online at: www.lambeth.gov.uk/nepOvalsurvey

15 comments

  1. I cannot see how this will reduce the traffic flow, Has it been subject to a traffic flow study. My guess is that it will increase traffic from Albert Sq. through Wilkinson St and St Stephan’s Terrace, even ay 10 MPH.

    Are there any benefits coming out of the proposal? Perhaps one of the sponsors of the proposal should try to explain them.

  2. We have asked for clarification on the actual works proposed and the scheme suggested is a one-way scheme (apparently suggested by ASSA), effectively turning the square into a roundabout. Traffic passing from South Lambeth Road to Clapham Road will now have to turn left on entering the square and pass houses 15-37 before exiting.
    Traffic passing from Clapham Road to South Lambeth Road will pass Houses 1- 24 before turning left onto Wilkinson Street and exiting that way.
    My concern, apart from the fact that all through traffic will now pass my front door is
    1. Currently traffic traverses one and a half sides of the square, this proposal will make it all four sides. It will be like living on a roundabout. Imagine putting traffic back on the fourth side of Trafalgar Square
    2. Most traffic will need to traverse 2.5 sides of the square to exit rather than the current 1.5. It will therefore have a longer journey and spend longer on the square, conversely increasing traffic levels, noise levels, pollution levels etc
    3. One of the factors slowing cars down is the oncoming traffic a one-way system will encourage faster, more reckless driving
    4. The proposals envisage all of the traffic from South Lambeth Road to Clapham Road turning right across a 10 MPH child friendly cycle route, that has to be a recipe for disaster!
    5. Wilkinson Street will experience a huge rise in traffic but is supposed to be part of a child friendly route?
    My personal preference is for the Clapham Road end of the square to be entry/exit for pedestrians and cyclists only which would create a lot of space, much of it not overlooked, which would be ideal for a service area for unsightly items such as bike racks, Barclays Bikes, bins etc, the positioning of which creates understandable dissent. I realise that this is not the preferred option for everyone but personally think it the best compromise.

  3. Anyone who saw the Lambeth “Cleaner Streets” survey map about the proposed traffic re-routing for the area, would not have realised from it that it proposes  all traffic entering the Square from Clapham Road and Aldebert Terrace will be funnelled one way down the narrowest side of the Square into 2 way Wilkinson Street now proposed as a “10 mph child route”…..is that good ?
    Despite all the the issues concerning this, the proliferation of No entry signs, and other controls, the very real problem is that Lambeth’s map was insufficiently clear to make any informed decision about what is in reality being proposed. For example there is no mention on it of the proposed No Right turn into the Square when entering from the Clapham Road. This lack of adequate detail and explanation must lead to a very inaccurate result if Lambeth base their decisions to implement these proposals on responses Resident’s make to this deceptive map.
    At the “exhibition” on Tuesday evening, from 5 pm, when it opened, to at least 6.30pm during the period we were there, there was no representative from ASSA or anyone proposing this plan. Except for the representative from Lambeth with the real traffic map, which shows clearly the details as to what is proposed, and is in distinct contrast to the misleading “survey” we have been given to respond to.
    I urge ASSA to issue or display to Residents the correctly detailed map from Lambeth, and to also ask Lambeth for an extension to the 11th October deadline for comments. Residents need clear and accurate details of what is being proposed, and that relying on people being available to go to the Saturday 5th October “exhibition ” at the Wheatsheaf Community Hall to see a man from Lambeth with just one copy of his map is not sufficient.

  4. I entirely agree with Roger Akerman’s comments. I have a large copy of the proposals and they make our Conservation Area into a sort of Marble Arch round about.

    Surely the best option would be a two chicanes, north and south from Clapaham Road, in Albert Avenue causing delays to those using our Square and Conservation Area as a rat run during the rush hours. These would not be as unsightly and not so much of an inconvenience to Residents, but be effective.

    Also, if Lansdowne Way was returned to a two way road, it would provide a shorter rat run along a road which would not be so adversely affected. Drivers would soon learn that it was a quicker and easier route.

  5. We’re in complete agreement with both Damian Moore’s excellent description of the now obvious negative and damaging implications of this proposal, and Roger Akerman’s indictment of the less than satisfactory process so far. Did ASSA really give this their stamp of approval, and suggest that the proposal might be acceptable and satisfactory. Surely not?

  6. Please note that these proposals are from Lambeth Council, not from ASSA, and we have not had any privileged information and have only seen them at the same time as everyone else. We have called for traffic calming but not for a one-way system around Albert Square, and I have no idea why the idea that this is an ASSA ‘approved’ proposal has arisen (apart from the fact that it was on the TARA website and should have been corrected).

    All these comments are very helpful and will be directed to the head of Lambeth transportation planning Haibat Abro HAbro@lambeth.gov.uk

    Brenda Kirsch

  7. I assumed it was an “ASSA ‘approved’ proposal” because the map issued by Haibat Abro and shown at the Wheatsheaf Hall has a clearly marked detail box that shows the No Entry signs that indicate the traffic flow, and other proposals as “Suggestions by ASSA”

  8. Haibat Abro,Project Engineer Transportation, London Borough of Lambeth, has made the following comments about the NEP proposals for the ASSA area:

    ‘Traffic from South Lambeth Road to Clapham Road can travel along Aldebert Terrace up to Albert Square, where it will be banned from going straight, and will have to turn left (going in front of 15 to 23 Albert Square), in a similar fashion to a roundabout or gyratory. In the opposite direction, traffic entering Albert Square cannot turn right, but continue as they normally do now, they will be banned from continuing straight into Aldebert Terrace, and have to turn right going in front of 15-23 Albert Square, and then turn left on Wilkinson Street. Both these measures make the effective route longer than it is now, rendering it less attractive.

    ‘We plan to upgrade the traffic calming on Wilkinson Street and St Stephen’s Terrace from the cycling funding as they are part of the cycle route. This is the second point that makes the route less attractive.

    ‘Finally Wilkinson Street and part of Albert Square becomes 10mph limit as part of the children’s route (we can perhaps add the whole of Albert Square to the 10mph limit network if the residents want it).

    ‘These three measures together should make it fairly unattractive and help reduce the rat runs and speeding.

    ‘I’ve spoken to the police who have agreed to patrol the children’s route with speed guns, so that will be fourth deterrent.

    ‘We may not implement the 10mph children’s route immediately because I think we need to invest more than what we have now to make it an effective and successful project, therefore I’ll attempt to secure some extra funding.

    ‘The main complaint against the proposals would be from 15-23 Albert Square who will have increased traffic in front of their houses compared to minimal traffic now.’

  9. Thank you Brenda. I am pleased to hear that this proposal to disadvantage all on Wilkinson St, St Stephen’s St and 15-36 Albert Square is not ASSA’s work.

    In response to Haimat. Firstly there is no modelling of increased journey times and research showing effects on traffic levels of increased journey times. My personal thoughts are that this will affect traffic levels very little as drivers do not make rational informed decisions, they would often rather race round a chicane for 10 minutes than sit for 5 mins in a queue (I know I was that driver for years). So what I think will happen under these proposals is that the volume of cars entering the square will remain fairly constant but because they have to travel further at any one time there will be increased traffic volume compared to now. What is more the dricing behaviour will change, instead of relatively calm traffic stopping to let oncoming traffic pass the one way traffic will hare along the straights and brake sharply at the corners. This will be dangerous, noisy, smelly. A one way system will also mean that services such as dustcarts will hold up traffic and frustrated drivers will use their horns.

    To counter the scurrilous implication that 15-23 are nimbys. It is true we are vociferous but that is because we bought or rented property on a quiet street with very little through traffic and suddenly it is proposed to artificially re-direct the flow of traffic in front of our houses. At best you are reducing the problem from 1-14 Albert Sq and the Albert Square end of Aldebert Terrace but giving it to us instead. That is not a good or fair use of council monies and given that we paid prices and made decisions based on traffic levels and so did those who stand to gain from this it is against natural justice. What is more I have mentioned that about 2/3 of ASSA will be worse off for this (and I actually think the whole square will be negatively impacted, who wants to live on a roundabout?)

    If you want to stop through traffic, stiop it. Block either Clapham Road end or Wilkinson St and Aldebert Terrace. If you think we should keep it, get it in and out as quickly as possible via the direct (current) route and limit it by a full or part time turn right restriction and a 10 MPH limit.

  10. Dear Fellow Residents,

    Perhaps as current chairman of ASSA I could offer my own take on these issues. (I am, incidentally, sorry I could not be present at last Tuesday’s meeting with Lambeth, and won’t be able to attend the one coming up on Saturday.)

    As Brenda says, these proposals have come from Lambeth, not ASSA, but they have been drawn up in consultation with ASSA and we have given them a fair wind. Why is that?

    Many local residents have told us of their concern about the extent to which our ASSA roads (Albert Square, Aldebert Terrace, Wilkinson Street and St Stephen’s Terrace) are used as a rat run by non residents, as well as about speeds and traffic noise. Increased rat running has come about as the result to a large extent of traffic management measures taken elsewhere in the Oval cell, eg de-listing of Fentiman as a B road, heavy traffic calming in Dorset, including chicanes, closing off Lansdowne Way to two way traffic. That leaves our area as the only place where cars, lorries etc can get through easily. Existing traffic calming measures on the ASSA roads, ie humps, don’t seem to be effective. We have therefore given thought to other possible measures. Our recent survey showed strong support for a barrier or barriers which only local residents and emergency and other services could access. There has also been support for such ideas as preventing access, from right or left, into Albert Square from Clapham Road.

    In the consultations with Lambeth and other Oval residents’ associations, it quickly became clear that barriers and ideas such as preventing access from Clapham Road would not be acceptable either to Lambeth or to other associations because they would have the effect of diverting traffic from our roads onto other routes through the Oval cell. They would also cause some inconvenience to ASSA residents themselves. Hence the search for other possible solutions that could be implemented at low cost and to maximum effect.

    The solution that is proposed by Lambeth (and which is more clearly shown on the larger map that was made available at Tuesday’s meeting) is quite simple. Traffic from South Lambeth Road to Clapham Road would be able to travel along Aldebert Terrace only as far as Albert Square where it would be banned from going straight on and have to turn left, going in front of 15 to 23 Albert Square, in a similar fashion to a roundabout or gyratory. In the opposite direction, traffic entering Albert Square from Clapham Road would not be able to turn right, and if it wished to access Aldebert Terrace or Wilkinson Street or beyond, would have to turn left and then right, going in front of 15-23 Albert Square, to Wilkinson Street. Lambeth point out that both these measures make the effective route longer than it now is, thereby rendering it less attractive to rat runners.

    Lambeth further propose to upgrade the traffic calming on Wilkinson and St Stephen’s, from the cycling funding as they are part of the cycle route, again making the route less attractive. Finally, Wilkinson and part of Albert Square becomes subject to a 10mph speed limit as they are part of the children’s route Lambeth are seeking to introduce. (Lambeth say they would be willing to add the whole of Albert Square to the 10mph limit network if residents want it.)

    The Lambeth case is that these three measures together should make our ASSA roads a good deal less attractive to through traffic and help reduce rat running and speeding. Lower speeds should help with road safety. The only possible downside they can see is that residents of 15-23 Albert Square could see more traffic than they have been used to in front of their houses compared to the minimal traffic they experience now.

    There will be no ASSA response to the consultation. Instead, ASSA members should respond individually as they see fit. For my part, I support the proposals and have replied positively in the consultation Lambeth have launched. I hope that other local residents will also feel able to support the proposals. It seems to me that at the very least the proposals for adjusting traffic flows are worth a trial.

    Kind regards, Peter Edwards

    4 Aldebert Terrace Tel: 020 7582 4483 Mob: 07876 561251

    >

  11. So let’s be clear. We cannot close the square to through traffic because it will increase traffic elsewhere. Fine then please use the same logic in the square and extend the same courtesy to us as you do those who love in other streets. If Lambeth do not want to reduce traffic then we need to find the best calming measure and this is not it. We must not give it a try if it is a poor scheme. This will cost real money and I think we will ALL regret it when all four sides of the square are jammed with drivers hooting their horns but the chances of getting it quickly reversed are vanishingly small.

  12. If the proposal as it stands is not acceptable to many, what is to those who live or love in our community (sorry, I couldn’t resist a bit of gentle fun at the expense of the last post). I’m sure most would agree that the statuesque is also not good and I know that Lambeth want our input.
    Feels like this is a good time to encourage our neighbours to share their views. Perhaps, we can tap into the wisdom of the crowd.

  13. Now I’m getting really worried. Just to get this correct, The Chairman of ASSA, in agreement with a fellow ASSA colleague says,… “these proposals have come from Lambeth, not ASSA, but they have been drawn up in consultation with ASSA and we have given them a fair wind.”
    Now I could be wrong here, and many apologies if I am, but I can only assume he also granted a “fair wind” to allowing a Resident’s consultation process to proceed, based on an inaccurate and insufficiently detailed map without any of the negative implications explained, or marked. To borrow a quote, “Why is that”?
    Does it not occur to him that the possible end result of this, is a completely invalid response?
    He says that ASSA’s position is “There will be no ASSA response to the consultation”. But there should be an ASSA response because the consultation is invalid. This whole consultation process, if acted on post the 11th October deadline, is faulty, inapplicable and will not be based on a true understanding of the scheme.
    Especially it’s implications for Wilkinson Street residents. My fear is that they will not have been appraised clearly as to what is in store for them from the consultation document, and urge them to go to the Wheatsheaf Hall on Saturday 5th October from 9.30 am-3pm, to see the real map.
    Now I’m getting really worried. Just to get this correct, The Chairman of ASSA, in agreement with a fellow ASSA colleague says,… “these proposals have come from Lambeth, not ASSA, but they have been drawn up in consultation with ASSA and we have given them a fair wind.”
    Now I could be wrong here, and many apologies if I am, but I can only assume he also granted a “fair wind” to allowing a Resident’s consultation process to proceed, based on an inaccurate and insufficiently detailed map without any of the negative implications explained, or marked. To borrow a quote, “Why is that”?
    Does it not occur to him that the possible end result of this, is a completely invalid response?
    He says that ASSA’s position is “There will be no ASSA response to the consultation”. But there should be an ASSA response because the consultation is invalid. This whole consultation process, if acted on post the 11th October deadline, is faulty, inapplicable and will not be based on a true understanding of the scheme.
    Especially it’s implications for Wilkinson Street residents. My fear is that they will not have been appraised clearly as to what is in store for them from the consultation document, and urge them to go to the Wheatsheaf Hall on Saturday 5th October from 9.30 am-3pm, to see the real map.

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