Getting Around Dulwich

Public Meeting – Getting Around Dulwich – Towards a healthier, safer
and more active future. Hosted by The Dulwich Society

Held on Saturday 12th January 2019 at the Herne Hill Methodist Church
Hall, 155 Half Moon Lane, SE24 9JG at 2.30pm


Helen Hayes MP for Dulwich & West Norwood

Councillor Richard Livingstone – Southwark Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport Management and Air Quality

Councillors Margy Newens and Richard Leeming, Dulwich Village Ward

Dr Helen Wood, Queen Mary University of London, and local resident.

Dr Henrietta Collier, Bessemer Grange, School Streets Initiative

Chair: Ian McInnes, Dulwich Society


About 120 residents and members of the public. Groups/organisations with
members present included Bell House, Bessemer Grange School, DUCKS,
Dulwich College Junior School, Dulwich Safe Routes to School, Dulwich Society, Dulwich Village Association (traders), Dulwich Village Forum, Dulwich Village Infants School, Herne Hill Forum, Herne Hill Society, JAGS, JAPS, London Cycling Campaign, Mums for Lungs and 10 residents’ associations.

1. Welcome and Introductions

Ian McInnes (Dulwich Society and Chair of meeting) opened the meeting and set the scene. Residents have raised concerns about speeding traffic, parking difficulties and delivery vans clogging local roads. Parents are worried about air pollution near schools and pedestrian safety.

The main purpose of the meeting was for residents to tell Southwark Council how they thought a more ‘liveable’ Dulwich could be achieved and listen to how the Council’s current and upcoming policies might impact the area. Going forward the aim was to start a dialogue with Southwark, building on the holistic traffic management study published in 2018 and to work together to make Dulwich a better place for everyone.

2. Speakers

Helen Hayes MP set the national and local context.

Air pollution is a huge national and local issue and getting worse. There are
40,000 premature deaths annually and 9,000 in London alone arising from poor air quality. This is an avoidable public health crisis and the government is not responding quickly enough. More radical action is needed, and Labour will propose a new Clean Air Act. Local authorities are listening to community concerns and residents need to make their views known on issues such as Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). Councils will do what they can where they exercise control but some infrastructure such as motorways are outside their control. To help improve air quality in London, the Mayor is introducing an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on 8th April 2019 in Central London which will be extended to the South Circular in October 2021.

Councillor Richard Livingstone – Southwark Cabinet Member for
Environment, Transport Management and Air Quality

Cllr Livingstone invited residents to comment on the Draft Movement Plan
currently out for consultation at bttps:/ until 18 February 2019. This will set the direction of transport planning in Southwark over the next 20 years, and specifically the plan for the next four years. Southwark want to hear what journeys are being made across the borough and what improvements to streets and public spaces look like. It covers such matters as electric vehicles and charging points.

Other points:

  • Southwark has an Air Quality Action Plan. Education rather than
    mitigation measures. Monitoring air quality around schools and the
    introduction of school streets are part of this.
  • There is a 20mph zone in Southwark. Effort is going into reducing vehicle
    speeds and Council is working through the list of top ten hotspots.

Several of the borough’s most polluted roads are in Dulwich – Barry Road,
Dulwich Wood Park and Forest Hill Road – but some of the roads have
challenges and need a redesign. One option may be to introduce traffic
calming by blocking off some of the streets used as commuter short cuts.

  • Good public transport into London and across Dulwich is vital but City Hall isn’t helping with their recent bus route curtailments.
  • The Dulwich Traffic Management Study undertaken in 2018 will help to
    inform policy about walking & cycling, and improving air quality.
  • Three key cycle routes are being planned or in the course of
  • implementation:
  • Southwark Spine down Crystal Palace Road
  • Quietway 7 – to the Croxted Road/Turney Road junction
  • Quietway – from Peckham Rye to Dulwich (joining Quietway 7) via
    Friern Road.

There is segregation of cyclists/vehicles in some sections of these routes.

  • CPZ consultations – A CPZ is about to be introduced in Champion Hill and
    there are two live consultations in East Dulwich and West Peckham, and
    residents are urged to make their views known.

Parking and healthier streets study in East Dulwich https:/
 leisure/eastdu!wichparking/ Open till 28 Feb 2019

West Peckham parking zone and healthier streets
 leisure/peckhamwestparking/ Open till 7 February 2019

Overall, Southwark is active and working towards a better environment. To be clear, this does not mean residents will have to stop using their cars, nor should parking controls be bad for business. The problem lies with weekday parking by commuters reducing the available parking space for residents. This is increasing and must be tackled.

Councillor Margy Newens – Dulwich Ward councillor

Cllr Newens focused on dispelling some of the misconceptions about controlled parking.

The council will only proceed with a CPZ if there is a strong local demand. CPZs are cost/revenue-neutral; the charges cover the cost of consultation,
implementation and enforcement. The council recognises the impact of
commuter and long-staying vehicles on resident parking, but it is often difficult to shift long staying vehicles which are parked legally.

Cllr Newens described her own experiences with the CPZ in her road. Initially reluctant but voted for it in the 2015 consultation. Now the CPZ (12midday to 2pm) means she and fellow residents are likely to find a space near their homes and commuters no longer occupy spaces.

Councillors recognise traffic pre- and post-school hours contributes to congestion and extra parking. Cllr Newens is working with the Village school and groups such as Safe Routes to reduce vehicle usage and encourage families to walk to school.

Anyone wanting a CPZ is encouraged to contact Southwark Council – further details at

Councillor Richard Leeming – Village Ward Councillor

Cllr Leeming emphasised he is driven by what residents want and is keen to
start a conversation. He wants to make the area more “village-like”. He
highlighted the benefits of a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood” i.e. designing roads to match the needs of residents. LTNs install bollards, benches and gates to deter road use by vehicles. Lessons could be learnt from Waltham Forest, though the areas were very different. LTNs result in people spending more time in the area, increasing the use of local shops and reducing empty retail units.

Cllr Leeming is keen for residents to put forward ideas for consideration in next year’s Local Implementation Plan.

Dr Helen Wood – Queen Mary University of London and local resident

Dr Wood spoke on the health impacts of traffic-related air pollution. The nature of air pollution has changed over the past 70 years and the most toxic pollutant is now nitrogen dioxide (N02) particulates, with a ten-fold increase in vehicle distances travelled over that time coupled with 30% decrease of walking in the last 25 years. The key emitter of N02 is diesel fuel which in 2014 powered 50% of new vehicles.

Over the human life span, the impact of outdoor and indoor pollution is insidious causing respiratory effects and asthma in children and a range of long-term chronic conditions in adults including diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses as well as lung cancer.

Dr Wood drew attention to the impact of deadly fine particles on various parts of the body – not only the lungs but also the heart, brain and blood – and to the groups of people most at risk, with children and babies to the fore. Avoiding busy streets and walking on the inside of the pavement (away from the traffic) can make a big difference, especially for children in buggies whose height makes them particularly vulnerable to car fumes. Of note, the worst air pollution is inside cars and a child being driven to school is exposed to more pollution than the cyclist on the road beside the car.

Daily pollution levels can be checked on the London Air web site
( and there are a range of mobile apps to download as well.

Dr Henrietta Collier – Bessemer Grange initiative

Local parent Henrietta Collier outlined the Bessemer Grange initiative. ‘School Streets’ are timed closure of a road outside a school to coincide with the start and end of the school day. Benefits include active travel to school for pupils and improvement in air quality and road safety for all. It will also alleviate parking problems and engine idling near schools. Play Streets are time-limited closure of a road to encourage children to play outside. Anyone can apply for a traffic order to close a road for a specified time.

Contributions from the floor:

  1. There is a lack of reliable public transport. Local train routes have been
    curtailed (ThameslinkjSoutheastern) and bus routes serving the area have been shortened by City Hall. Better access to our stations should be a priority and bus frequency through the Village should be improved, the P4 bus needs to be more regular and one contributor suggested a re-routing of the 201 could offer benefits.

Helen Hayes agreed that public transport, particularly trains are very
unreliable. Franchises are up for review soon and ideally it would good if
TfL could be the leading body. The 201 re-routing is worth exploring.

Electric vehicles may be a solution but when will charging points be rolled out and what options are there for residents to select different green suppliers particularly for charging at home?

CUr Livingstone – the council has plans for electric charging points in
lampposts and some are already being piloted in the Herne Hill area. Most
of the suppliers are “green” suppliers.

CUr Leeming – there are other types of electric vehicles, bicycles,
delivery vans, possibly scooters if the law permits.

  • There were many comments about the need to tackle air pollution on key
    roads like the South Circular and near schools. We must put children’s
    interests at the heart of planning considerations. Statistics show a big
    concentration of school children in the Dulwich area (approx. 11-12,000 daily during school terms), potentially affected by all-day pollution. Air pollution must be properly monitored so we have the data. Too many children are still being driven to school.

CUr Leeming “WE are the traffic; WE are the people making the
pollution; WHY are there delivery vans everywhere? We cannot escape

  • There is no on-site car parking for staff at Alleyn’s, so they use available
  • parking spaces in local roads. Some sixth formers also drive to school.

CUr Newens said the new East Dulwich CPZ consultation was initially
intended to cover Townley/Dovercourt Roads, but these roads are no
longer in the scheme. Concerns about Townley should be raised with

  • School coaches on Townley Road are running their engines for about 30
    minutes causing pollution. What is the law and what powers do the police have?

Advice from the panel – “Idling” is a civil enforcement matter, though
the presence of police officers may help as a deterrent. The Council tends
to issue a warning before issuing a fixed penalty notice. Southwark
Council is one of the few councils acting on this. If anyone spots an
“idling” coach, a photo may be useful, and a note of the coach number
plate and school badge/number should be sent to Helen Hayes MP, local
councillors and Alleyn’s School for action.

  • There is too much speeding on Village Roads e.g. Half Moon Lane. The
  • 20mph zone is not being properly enforced.

CUr Newens encouraged audience members to volunteer for Community
Roadwatch to monitor speeds on local roads with the Southwark
Roadwatch team. Please email if you
are interested in participating.

7. There were several points about CPZs:

Concerns about displacement of vehicles because of CPZs – there has
been an enormous impact in Turney Road, Burbage Road and Calton
Avenue as a result of the North Dulwich CPZ. As the CPZs spread so the
displacement spreads across the area.

There are still difficulties in parking in the evening despite the CPZ.

When will the Village Way CPZ start? (CUr Newens:  –Shortly).

Is there a possibility of a CPZ on College Road? – This is a private road
owned by the Dulwich Estate and Cllr Simmons (in attendance) pointed
out that councillors, who have regular meetings with the Estate, can raise
issues with the Estate.

8. Other points from the audience:

More cycle parking is needed.

Why not reduce parking in Dulwich Park? Why encourage people to drive
and park, then walk?

When is the Village Way lollipop person returning? (has been off sick)
Cycling on pavements is a nuisance – needs to be designed out.

From some of the post-its:

“Mums for Lungs” group urge school street rollout to as many schools as
possible. Audience suggestions for school streets included Townley Road,
Dulwich Village and Village Way.

–  Study air quality at Alleyn’s at coach arrival/departure times.

–  Make West Dulwich station accessible to relieve pressure at Herne Hill.

–  Do a Community Roadwatch on “idling”.

– Introduce better East-West bus routes across Dulwich

– Introduce measures to reduce North-South traffic major cause of congestion.

– Switch the school coaches to eco-coaches

School car parks should be on school sites

–  Sports fields generate extra weekend traffic taking up residents’ parking


The Chair thanked the panel and attendees for their contributions. Helen Hayes highlighted the good community networks in Dulwich. Groups such as the Dulwich Society and Safe Routes to School help with education and changing behaviour. The Council needs to consult and engage and make the case for improvements step by step.

There were reminders about forthcoming Dulwich Community Council meetings and the audience was invited to respond to the Movement Plan and East Dulwich CPZ consultations.

Further information will be circulated to attendees and Councillors will be
following up on the issues raised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *