We are members of the new Dulwich Village Forum, which is open to residents, local businesses and schools, and works with existing community groups like Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School, and the Dulwich Society.
We want the Dulwich section of Quietway 7 to succeed. We believe less confident cyclists should be given the encouragement and safety they deserve. So we want to underline today the importance of three of the recommendations Councillor Wingfield has attached to his decision.
Recommendation 6 is about monitoring parking stress, as the Quietway runs down two busy roads which have recently become even more congested because of a new neighbouring Controlled Parking Zone.
Recommendation 10 is about ensuring that the coaches operated by the three local independent schools no longer use the Quietway. This can only be achieved if TfL agrees to a new or improved pedestrian crossing point on the South Circular.
And recommendation 9 is about a community proposal for an alternative junction layout in the middle of Dulwich Village, which we would like to draw your attention to now.
In the recent public consultation, two-thirds of the local community voted against Southwark’s official proposal for the junction. There were anxieties that it didn’t put pedestrians and cyclists first, and was likely to cause more traffic congestion and more air pollution. May we remind councillors that there are two schools with primary-aged children situated directly on this junction, as well as hundreds of local schoolchildren walking and cycling through it every day.
Our alternative proposal is based on a low-speed environment that gives priority to pedestrians and Quietway cyclists. It offers continuous traffic flow with respect for the most vulnerable road-users. If councillors would like to see the official proposal and a rough sketch of the alternative side by side, please go to the website of the new Dulwich Village Forum www.dulwichvillageforum.org.uk
We believe the alternative community-backed proposal unites Dulwich rather than splitting it in half, and adds value and good civic design to one of Southwark’s historic conservation areas. We believe this is a genuinely exciting opportunity that will show that the council is not only committed to the safety of pedestrians and Quietway cyclists, but is also forward-looking, innovative, and responsive to the concerns of the local community.
Councillor Wingfield recently invited members of the local community to re-submit ideas for this alternative proposal. To test out whether the design could work, expert traffic consultants have been commissioned to carry out a feasibility study, paid for by a local crowdfunding initiative. As of today’s date, £2,900 has been raised in 12 days through 90 individual contributions, ranging from £5 to £100. We hope this shows the depth and scale of local concern.
We understand that TfL believes this alternative proposal offers gains for Quietway cyclists and pedestrians. There is still, of course, further work to do, and we would be delighted if modifications or improvements make the design even better for experienced as well as inexperienced cyclists. But nothing can happen at all without wholehearted support from Southwark Council and TfL.
We would be pleased to answer any questions about our proposal, and about the conclusions of the feasibility study by Phil Jones Associates. Our deputation today includes Alex Hamilton, who first sketched out the idea, as well as local parents and cyclists in support. We would also be happy to talk in more detail about why we feel the implementation of Councillor Wingfield’s recommendations are crucial to the success of the Quietway.
Thank you again for your time.
Question to Councillor Wingfield
“We are trying to persuade Southwark and TfL to support a co-operative, low-speed environment for the Quietway junction in the middle of Dulwich Village. Are we wasting our time?”