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Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood - improvements for pedestrians and cyclists

teuchter

je suis teuchter
About Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood

Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood aims to realise the great potential Brixton has for walking and cycling while improving air quality, reducing congestion, supporting local businesses and providing for the growth in jobs and homes planned for the area.

We successfully bid for funding from Transport for London (TfL) to deliver these aims. At the heart of our proposal is transforming Atlantic Road in the town centre, but the ambition goes well beyond this, with proposals to create ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ in adjacent residential areas that link communities together and ‘healthy routes’ for walking and cycling. Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood is the cornerstone of Lambeth’s Draft Transport Strategy, which seeks to allow people to live healthier lives and create better places for everyone to enjoy.
In principle this is all good, and very welcome - I support the aims and hope it gets somewhere.

The first question raised for me, looking at the website, and thinking of making comments as requested, is: who am I talking to?

"Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood" isn't an arm of, or proposal from, TfL or Lambeth; it seems to be an independent thing.

I'd like to understand who's behind it and a bit more about exactly how it interacts with TfL and Lambeth's policies.

I'm not asking because I feel there's anything sinister, but because I think other people will want to know, and it's not entirely spelt out on the website.
 

Winot

I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint
Looks like it's actually Lambeth Council. Slightly odd that they have not made that clear on the website - perhaps they feel their brand is sullied?

Love Lambeth
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
I've heard its TFL idea. With Brixton being chosen as one of the "liveable neighbourhoods".

Its top down idea.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
I agree who is the "we" in the project website? Very odd this isn't made clear.
It does seem that the "we" is Lambeth.
This is sort of buried in the pdf project summary linked to from the website.
Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood aims to realise the great potential Brixton has for walking and
cycling, making a significant contribution to the Mayor’s ambitious objectives for sustainable, healthy
streets, which the council shares. It aims to tackle the town centre’s air quality and traffic congestion
issues and support the growth in jobs and homes planned for the area. The transformation of Atlantic
Road in Brixton town centre is a central ambition, complemented with proposals to create ‘low traffic
neighbourhoods’ in adjacent residential areas, reaching into areas of deprivation and linking
communities together. Benefits to the wider area and to London as a whole will be realised through
the delivery of strategically important ‘healthy routes’ that converge in the town centre, serving both
local trips and the wider sub-region. Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood is the cornerstone of Lambeth’s
ambitious new Transport Strategy, which seeks to transform the way we think about transport,
putting people before traffic, allowing people to live healthier lives and creating better places for
everyone to enjoy.
One of the reasons is wierd to have the whole thing totally debranded is that it asks for details if you want to comment. But you really are given no idea who you are giving those details to.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
I've heard its TFL idea. With Brixton being chosen as one of the "liveable neighbourhoods".

Its top down idea.
That's a particularly negative interpretation of it. Much of Lambeth Council's budget for transport and streets comes from TfL. Lambeth need to bid for the funding with proposals that meet the mayors Strategy Objectives.

Lambeth has its own Transport Strategy - Have your say on Lambeth's Draft Transport Strategy | Lambeth Council and measures to improve conditions for walking and cycling and public transport above the minority in private motor vehicles seems to be the heart of it. It doesn't really matter what 'brand' it has if it makes things better does it?

"I agree who is the "we" in the project website? Very odd this isn't made clear."
Its a scheme on public streets in Lambeth, I think it's fairly safe to assume that its Lambeth Council. It literally can't be anyone else.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
"I agree who is the "we" in the project website? Very odd this isn't made clear."
Its a scheme on public streets in Lambeth, I think it's fairly safe to assume that its Lambeth Council. It literally can't be anyone else.
It's now become quite common for things to be initiated by community groups, etc, even if the actual implementation is done by the council. Or there are blurry lines between who is actually organising stuff. Locally there was the Loughborough Junction Masterplan, described at various points as being 'co-produced' by the council and a local action group. There was also the whole Brixton Green thing. There is the LJ works project where the application for funding was put in, as I half-understand it, with 'support from' Lambeth rather than 'by' Lambeth.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
upload_2019-5-9_10-30-20.png
We've discussed this, and pedestrianising CHL, many times on here. No-one has yet come up with a sensible plan that doesn't simply shift the traffic to increase pressure somewhere else.

Just doing AR will most likely mean traffic trying to get to/from Brixton Road using CHL and the main drag. That will add 6,000 to the 25,000 vehicles per day already using that stretch. They'll probably go round St Matthews, with more slow moving, stop-start pollution, so some drivers may choose Gresham Rd or Loughborough Rd, which are residential.

That said, it will gentrify the market a bit, and a planner will win an award.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
View attachment 170341
We've discussed this, and pedestrianising CHL, many times on here. No-one has yet come up with a sensible plan that doesn't simply shift the traffic to increase pressure somewhere else.

Just doing AR will most likely mean traffic trying to get to/from Brixton Road using CHL and the main drag. That will add 6,000 to the 25,000 vehicles per day already using that stretch. They'll probably go round St Matthews, with more slow moving, stop-start pollution, so some drivers may choose Gresham Rd or Loughborough Rd, which are residential.

That said, it will gentrify the market a bit, and a planner will win an award.
These are just the usual old arguments. By this logic we can't try and reduce traffic elsewhere. To reduce traffic in london you have to make it less convenient to drive. If closing AR makes certain journeys less convenient then fewer people will drive. Traffic does not simply get displaced on a 1:1 basis. This is well studied, basic stuff.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
Basically the argument says, congested road traffic causes pollution. Therefore we need to relieve the congestion at the expense of pedestrians, instead of getting rid of the the things that cause the congestion and pollution. It's bonkers.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
These are just the usual old arguments. By this logic we can't try and reduce traffic elsewhere. To reduce traffic in london you have to make it less convenient to drive.
Sure, if the schemes are sensible. But to make a difference on the sort of scale required needs a bit more than piecemeal. Rationing, say, or odd/even number plate days, or no entry to London from the M25 before 10am.

If closing AR makes certain journeys less convenient then fewer people will drive. Traffic does not simply get displaced on a 1:1 basis. This is well studied, basic stuff.
Adding a few seconds or tiny number of minutes to a journey isn't going to make much odds. How many do you think were deterred from driving because the section outside Herne Hill station was pedestrianised?

Anyway, far more pedestrians will be affected by extra traffic past the main bus stops and tube than use Atlantic Road, so in its own terms this has never been well thought out- which was the point I made.
 

thebackrow

Active Member
Isn’t that the point? This isnt just a piecemeal scheme - it isnt “just” closing Atlantic Road. In theory it covers pretty much everywhere within a 10 minute or so walk from central Brixton.

Enough private car trips within London are less than a couple of miles long that adding a few minutes might be enough that someone thinks it’s no longer worth it and decides to walk instead. A lot more people might be able to get to the bus stops and tube through streets that are truly quiet where the air quality is better than now.

You mention Herne Hill - at the time everyone said that was going to be a disaster but I dont think anyone is fighting to return it to through traffic. It’s a much better environment around the station now.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
Isn’t that the point? This isnt just a piecemeal scheme - it isnt “just” closing Atlantic Road. In theory it covers pretty much everywhere within a 10 minute or so walk from central Brixton.
what theory? That's not what the proposal says, it's specific to AR.

But if I've misread and the proposal is to close all of central Brixton to traffic then please tell me more, I'm all ears.

You mention Herne Hill - at the time everyone said that was going to be a disaster but I dont think anyone is fighting to return it to through traffic. It’s a much better environment around the station now.
Is there any evidence that it reduced traffic rather than displaced it?
 

thebackrow

Active Member
Is there any evidence that it reduced traffic rather than displaced it?
Without having access to any specific data i’d say the lack of a campaign to reopen it means the overall impact is felt positive at Herne Hill. It certainly feels it to me and the other roads dont feel noticeably worse.

Assuming Atlantic Road is to close what other measures do you think are needed to minimise the impacts on other roads? Add them to the consultation? Atlantic Road is a shit for all users at the moment - it’s horrid to walk down, dangerous on a bike, and frustrating in a car (and buses get held up). Do you really think the status quo is the best for Brixton?
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
View attachment 170369
It's the detail I'm asking about.

View attachment 170370
This proposal has been discussed for years: where are the facts to support it?

View attachment 170371
Indeed.

View attachment 170372
The potential side-effects of this specific proposal are what I'm trying to discuss, not the general case you seem to keep returning to.
That's fair enough, of course the details are important and the Loughborough Junction road closures were an example of a scheme which failed not because the basic idea was bad but because of the way it was implemented.

I am yet to read up on the proposals for this scheme so can't answer the specific questions right now; however, I post the facts backing up the general point that the effects of displacement are usually over-egged because I know that this is very commonly an initial objection. Anyone coming to this thread, who has worries about the effects of displaced traffic, can read that general commentary alongside looking at the particulars of this scheme. People are of course free to put their worries about negative effects into the comments on the map, and I'd hope that the people designing the scheme will make the effort to counter those properly, and/or adjust the proposals to take any valid concerns into account.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
Do you really think the status quo is the best for Brixton?
Simply saying that improving that poor environment for that group of users without considering the noise, air quality and dangers along the main road isn't sufficient to make the case.

Personally I prefer evidence based proposals to generic wishful thinking, so I'd like to see some sort of environmental impact study to understand what's actually at stake, and who will be the winners and who the losers. I'd like to see results of a traffic survey showing where the claimed 6,000 vehicles a day come from and go to. Then I'd like to see all the affected junction layouts and so on. Without that sort of information I don't see how anyone can decide if they're in favour or not.

For instance, I'm sure a few people live on AR, but not many, and nothing like as many as on the high street. Not as many use it either. So cleaning up for them while increasing the impact on the people living on Brixton Road (E2A and CHL) needs to be justified. For years TfL and the boroughs have been pushing traffic onto main roads, but now the mother of a little girl who died from asthma is making waves and it's becoming apparent that there are losers from this policy.
 
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Rushy

AKA some / certain posters
Without having access to any specific data i’d say the lack of a campaign to reopen it means the overall impact is felt positive at Herne Hill. It certainly feels it to me and the other roads dont feel noticeably worse.
I've only heard positive comments. It is a lovely space and will be better once the shops reopen. The original road is still open to goods vehicles right up to the junction with Dulwich Road (no mention of for loading or access). I wonder what effect it had on Rymer Street, which will have gained the displaced traffic.
 

teuchter

je suis teuchter
now the mother of a little girl who died from asthma is making waves and it's becoming apparent that there are losers from this policy.
This is just backwards thinking again though. You are saying that excluding motor traffic from residential streets not designed for through traffic is resulting in children dying from asthma. I say the excessive traffic in London is resulting in children dying from asthma. The solution is not to spread the pollution back into the residential streets - it's to get rid of the polluting vehicles, and you do that with an overall transport strategy that encourages people to walk, cycle and use PT instead of cars. In order to do that, you have to make space. Liveable neighbourhoods is part of an overall TfL policy of encouraging more walking and cycling, a policy that attempts to reduce the pollution that is causing children to die from asthma.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
This is just backwards thinking again though. You are saying that excluding motor traffic from residential streets not designed for through traffic is resulting in children dying from asthma. I say the excessive traffic in London is resulting in children dying from asthma. The solution is not to spread the pollution back into the residential streets - it's to get rid of the polluting vehicles, and you do that with an overall transport strategy that encourages people to walk, cycle and use PT instead of cars. In order to do that, you have to make space. Liveable neighbourhoods is part of an overall TfL policy of encouraging more walking and cycling, a policy that attempts to reduce the pollution that is causing children to die from asthma.
Again, you're generalising the specific. I tried to illustrate that shifting the impact away from people actually living on Atlantic Rd onto those living on Brixton Road potentially had consequences, not to argue that every residential street should be filled with cars.
 

toblerone3

Grrrrr
This is something which I know quite a lot about having put together the bid for a successful Liveable Neighbourhood proposal recently (not the Brixton one). I know all about the modelling of traffic impacts as well. Life (and human behaviour) is too complicated for it to be an exact science.
 

newbie

undisambiguated
This is something which I know quite a lot about having put together the bid for a successful Liveable Neighbourhood proposal recently (not the Brixton one). I know all about the modelling of traffic impacts as well. Life (and human behaviour) is too complicated for it to be an exact science.
Presumably your bid somehow bridged the gulf between exact science and general commentary with data, impact assessment and detailed proposals? Was it successful?
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
That's a particularly negative interpretation of it. Much of Lambeth Council's budget for transport and streets comes from TfL. Lambeth need to bid for the funding with proposals that meet the mayors Strategy Objectives.

Lambeth has its own Transport Strategy - Have your say on Lambeth's Draft Transport Strategy | Lambeth Council and measures to improve conditions for walking and cycling and public transport above the minority in private motor vehicles seems to be the heart of it. It doesn't really matter what 'brand' it has if it makes things better does it?

"I agree who is the "we" in the project website? Very odd this isn't made clear."
Its a scheme on public streets in Lambeth, I think it's fairly safe to assume that its Lambeth Council. It literally can't be anyone else.
I was simply stating what I understand are the facts.

In the end TFL decided who was to get the money. No locals were consulted if they wanted this as far as I know.

Why do you say that's a negative interpretation? When Im just stating what in the best of my knowledge is correct.

And its not safe to assume the website is Lambeth Councils. If it has been set up by Lambeth Council it should be clearly stated who set it up. I'm actually s bit wary of the website.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
For instance, I'm sure a few people live on AR, but not many, and nothing like as many as on the high street. Not as many use it either. So cleaning up for them while increasing the impact on the people living on Brixton Road (E2A and CHL) needs to be justified. For years TfL and the boroughs have been pushing traffic onto main roads, but now the mother of a little girl who died from asthma is making waves and it's becoming apparent that there are losers from this policy.
I agree. Making one small area "livable" whilst displacing traffic to other roads doesn't solve the problem.

If Sadiq and TFL really wanted to do something about air quality they could have made the ULEZ London wide.
 

Winot

I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint
If Sadiq and TFL really wanted to do something about air quality they could have made the ULEZ London wide.
The plan is to extend the ULEZ zone to the North and South Circulars by October 2021. I imagine they did the congestion zone first because that’s already set up with the ANPR technology.
 
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