Air quality in Brixton and Brixton Road

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Bob, May 16, 2008.

  1. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Not sure about this - it's only anecdata but most primary school pupils I know are walked to school and I would guess most secondary school pupils (in London) get there under their own steam.

    Edit to add: the school admission process is already based on distance to school. Most parents would love to be 'made' to go to their closest school; the reality is those schools are often over-subscribed.

    I seem to remember a stat that most private car journeys within London are less than 2 miles.

    Most cars I see on my bike route into town are delivery/commercial vehicles.
    muscovyduck and Greebo like this.
  2. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    See post #15.
    T & P likes this.
  3. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    No major congestion (why does this matter?) A little before school run.

    But you are right: always a few cars outside our kids' school, usually with their engines on.

    Not sure what you can do about this issue because families can move house or choose further-away schools.
  4. SWB

    SWB Banned Banned

    Short term the partial solution is to switch back to petrol.

    Longer term I think LPG was dismissed too easily in the dash for diesel.
  5. billythefish

    billythefish toad licker

    The problem with Diesel is that it better for the global environment (lower greenhouse gases and better consumption), but worse for localised pollution. All modern diesels have catalysts and particulate filters and these can be retrofitted to any vehicle with an ECU. Surely it should be an MOT failure not to have these fitted?
    The highest polluted areas seem to be where you have a lot of stationary traffic and a relatively narrow street with tall buildings that contain the fumes. They should have moved most of the bus stops in Brixton to the Windrush Square / St Matthews Island / Town Hall pavements where there is more space for buses to manoeuvre and through-traffic to get past.
    Oxford Street should have a shuttle service (tram or trolley bus) with all bus routes terminating at each end.
    My tuppence-worth...
    muscovyduck and leanderman like this.
  6. SWB

    SWB Banned Banned

    Some good points above. Diesel cars are getting cleaner but my understanding is that they are still not as clean as petrol engines, which have themselves been improving.

    If I lived in London and had to drive then a petrol C1 or Aygo would be my choice.
    Greebo likes this.
  7. se5

    se5 Well-Known Member

    The problem is that it is both a local road -providing a high street and access to residential areas for local Brixton and Lambeth residents- and also a major route into London from Sussex and Surrey with lots of traffic from/to Gatwick and areas like Croydon.

    We in lambeth have one of the lowest levels of car ownership in the whole country so the pollution is primarily created by buses, commercial vehicles and vehicles travelling through - solutions surely must be to reduce the traffic during the day and ensure that the traffic that does travel on the road is low polluting.

    I would personally extend the congestion charge zone to the South Circular to discourage traffic and raise more money - however Boris (and probably any future Labour Mayor) wouldnt want to do that.

    Another solution might be to extend the proposed ultra low emissions zone to cover zone 2.The consultation is now on - If introduced this will bring some of the benefits even if only imposed in the central area as most of the buses from Brixton head on up to the proposed central low emissions zone and lots of the taxis would also be low emission if they want to travel into central London.

    Another solution which I would introduce would be to introduce a congestion charge for driving to Gatwick as there is perfectly adequate public transport to get from central London to the airport.
    Greebo and leanderman like this.
  8. Smick

    Smick Strictly Second Class

    In the past, at the end of a long journey from outside of London, coming in from the North, I've tried to avoid Brixton Road to get to Kellett Road and not been able to. The system is designed to push everyone on to Brixton Road. And the congestion from private cars leads to buses idling and belching out fumes when the drivers and passengers would rather be half way up Brixton Hill by that stage.

    The only thing I can think of is to convert the central divide in to a car lane which changes direction during the rush hour, and force cars in to that, leaving the other lanes free for buses and goods vehicles.

    The pavements in Brixton are so congested that there isn't much room for anything else.
    Greebo likes this.
  9. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    I couldn't disagree more. What you're proposing is just an additional tax on owners of older cars who can't necessarily afford to replace them with newer vehicles. Using the mayor's quoted figure of £12.50/day, you'd be looking at an additional tax of potentially £4,562.50 per annum. This won't affect people wealthy enough to afford newer vehicles. If that isn't an example of a regressive tax, i don't know what is.

    Also, call me cynical, but as this could be avoided by buying a new car (with the associated benefits to the economy from transactions and increased private transactions not to mention the potential boost to car manufacturer's profits and therefore windfalls to their shareholders) if it weren't for the associated health benefits I would view this as a tactic for stimulating the economy along the lines of the scrappage scheme.
    innit likes this.
  10. SWB

    SWB Banned Banned

    Yes. It is regressive and unfair and those worst hit will be low income families with older cars.

    Problem is this. Those worst affected by poor air quality are low income too. If things are half as bad as this report suggests then Boris needs to start doing unpopular and unfair things fairly quickly. 2020 is a long time to wait! It is the one thing to be a bit over the safe limit or even double it. But to exceed it in a week to a fortnight?

    It's unfair but those affected will have some notice and in most cases will be able to switch to a petrol car.
    innit, fredfelt, leanderman and 2 others like this.
  11. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    What's the feasibility & cost/benefit of retrofitting all vehicles to kill their engine after say 3 seconds idle with auto restart when accelerator is engaged?
    Greebo likes this.
  12. steeeve

    steeeve Well-Known Member

    Trouble is the various filters don't catch the smallest particulates which are the most affective at clogging lungs. Modern efficient diesel engines are actually worse for this than old ones as they produce finer particles.

    Exactly right on the buses though, the congestion they cause at the pinch point by the station is terrible. Every morning I have to stand behind one on my bike breathing in fumes while they block the road attempting (and failing) to pull out around the one in front. If they had an alternate route or were forced to remain in single file it would help massively and reduce congestion all the way back up the hill.

    Suppose I should take an alternate route really!

    ETA - pushbike not motorbike
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    billythefish, leanderman and Greebo like this.
  13. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Yes buses are major polluters but what about per passenger - are they 60 times as bad as a car?

    Also the publicised breach of EU guidelines is for NOx pollution I think. Are there any figures for micro particles?
    Greebo likes this.
  14. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    When as part of the Windrush Square development the closure of that part of Effra Road was being debated, I suggested leaving it open only to buses and moving all the stops there from between Atlantic Road and CHL so as to relieve pedestrian and traffic congestion. The main objection was that the longer walk to the shops would be damaging to Brixton as a shopping centre.
    moon, Greebo, billythefish and 2 others like this.
  15. steeeve

    steeeve Well-Known Member

    Not sure but it's the particles that are the most damaging to human health.

    I'd happily ban cars from there too but it's the buses that cause the congestion at the pinch point.
    Greebo likes this.
  16. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    From the top of Brixton Hill to central Brixton/ Lambeth Town Hall there is just one realistic through route towards Acre Lane that avoids having to go through central Brixton, and that is nearly at the top of the hill. From then on, every single other side street and route has been blocked off or made one way in order to stop cars from driving through them and reach Acre Lane. It is the worse case of so called 'rat run' NIMBYism I have ever seen, and it sends enormous amounts of traffic through central Brixton that does not need or want to go there.

    Of course, the area in question is full of parked cars so local residents clearly have no problem with the concept of owning a car and driving it through other people's residential areas- just as no through traffic whatsoever goes past their front door.
  17. Paulie

    Paulie Well-Known Member

    I'll throw in this doc... Page 11 gives 'Household car access by borough, London residents' with Lambeth being 40%. It's a minority activity so how far do we accommodate or restrict the minority for majority health? I don't drive so don't see it as remotely necessary. Drivers would doubtless disagree. I do smoke and see that as a personal liberty thing so can't claim to be above polluting. I wonder if someone has ever internally tutted me for breathing out my lovely fag smoke whilst walking down Brixton Road?

    Can't see any benefit to providing avoiding routes. Spreading the pollution about a bit is a pretty weak solution.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    Greebo likes this.
  18. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    The railway is the real pinch point. You can't fit a double decker under the tracks for quite a way in either direction, and there's no convenient way to fix it.

    What they could do is evict the last arch on Atlantic Road, next door to the delicatessen and use that for pedestrian access. That would give the buses a bit more breathing room and potentially allow bus stops outside Sainsbury's and the phone shops.

    Greebo and leanderman like this.
  19. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I sortof agree with your sentiment, though I'm not certain it was nimbyism or that the amount of traffic involved is enormous. The posts at the top of Strathleven were smashed on a number of occasions when they were first planted there. Can't really remember but I thought the idea was to force commuters away from central Brixton, anyone coming from the south is better off using Kings Ave.
    Greebo likes this.
  20. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    i would guess a good percentage of the private cars on the road at rush hour carrying children are not going to a state school.
    Greebo likes this.
  21. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    I cycle through Brixton on weekdays. It's a busy polluted place for sure but as elsewhere in South London it's the railway that dictates things. Given you can't change the railway I'd spend the money on reducing emissions from the most frequent buses e.g. 133 & 159. Targeting them to be hybrid or gas powered would help things.

    I still wonder as with the Aldwych (also polluted) whether you really need all those buses in one place and can't spread them about a bit??
    Greebo likes this.
  22. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    Possibly in region of 20pc - even though private pupils are only around 5pc of the cohort.

    Based on estimated 50pc car rate against 10pc for state kids.

    And ignoring special schools, where car rates will be high.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    Greebo likes this.
  23. steeeve

    steeeve Well-Known Member

    That's the problem, at the moment it' essentially a busy bus station stuck on top of a main road between lots of sets of busy traffic lights. If the stops were either side of the pinch points where the road is wider or a bus only section was created adjacent to Windrush Square as mentioned above congestion would be greatly reduced
  24. Smick

    Smick Strictly Second Class

    The traffic lights where Kings Ave meets Acre Lane are the worst I have ever encountered in 21 years of driving.

    The number of times that I have sat there while the traffic light turns green for ten seconds before changing back to red! Loads of people are daydreaming and are halfway through the cycle before they move. I'll sit there, clutch at biting point, 3,000 rpm, watching the perpendicular traffic lights for then going red so I can get over without delaying those behind me.

    I think it must be to purposely frustrate traffic and make people use bikes or rail.
  25. Smick

    Smick Strictly Second Class

    Because traffic is bad and state schools are also bad so they must be bad together. Anyone else you want to put in there? The religious, large home owning with high salaries?

    All I know is that Dulwich College is bloody expensive to go to and they hire a fleet of red coaches which use Hillside Road as a bus park, so some poshos aren't using private cars!
  26. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    any more words you want to put in my mouth?
  27. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Problem with that junction is that Kings Ave is a big boulevard that narrows to 2 lanes at the junction, with no feeder lanes for turns. While the corner site is a pile of rubble, there is an opportunity to fix this, but you can bet it won't be taken.
    Greebo likes this.
  28. steeeve

    steeeve Well-Known Member

    That would solve the problem!
    leanderman likes this.
  29. Smick

    Smick Strictly Second Class

    The short sequence on the lights is not a constant feature. I think that if they would ensure that the traffic is given a chance to get moving before going red again, they'd speed things up.
    T & P likes this.
  30. 299 old timer

    299 old timer Well-Known Member

    The majority of vehicles do not turn left at Acre Lane, they pass right through the centre of Brixton, and a large proportion of these are buses carrying passengers that disembark at Brixton to catch the tube. Why oh why wasn't the Victoria line extended up the A23?
    friendofdorothy likes this.

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