Loughborough Junction public space improvements - consultation begins

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Leo Chesterton, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    Check out this consultation on closing Loughborough Road and a few others to through traffic and putting some more public space into LJ:


    I live near Cambria Bridge and can vouch for the improvements in atmosphere, safety etc that blocking rat-runs brings.
  2. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Closing Loughborough Road?
    All those closures combined almost completely isolate Loughborough Road from Coldharbour Lane. If you're coming from Herne Hill on Shakespeare or Milkwood roads, trying to get to the 5-way junction at Myatts Fields, you'd have to loop round via Barrington Road or go as far as Denmark Road, 0.5 or 1.5 extra miles respectively. I'm all for reclaiming the streets, and that junction could certainly use some work, but this is ridiculous.
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I see they've sketched in an "artisan" beer shop called Brewtique (as pictured in their proposals).

    goldengraham and Leo Chesterton like this.
  4. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    That route is pretty useless because the roads off Five Points are so congested with two way traffic trying squeeze down between double parked cars. No great loss IMHO.
  5. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    I just picked a destination up that way at random. May as well be any address off Loughborough Road. It's already a rather isolated area because of the viaducts. Preventing traffic on all the crossings of the viaduct will only make it worse. Cars and deliveries have to get through somehow. At least keep the Flaxman Road route open.

    (And why two-sided parking is permitted on the Western part of Loughborough Road I don't know)
  6. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    I missed that - complete with fixy wielding Nathan Barley!
    goldengraham likes this.
  7. brixtonblade

    brixtonblade Well-Known Member

    Slightly mixed feelings. I think the intention is good and I agree that a nice public space would be good.

    Can't help but agree with Crispy about it disconnecting the two sides of the railway - I'm not sure that's a good thing.
  8. TImPOD

    TImPOD New Member

    As a resident of Lilford Road I fear that these changes will shift the traffic along there instead. It's already pretty hazardous and congested. What changes will be put in place to stop this from happening?
  9. goldengraham

    goldengraham Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see what the clientele of Save More food and wine make of that!

    also they appear to have omitted from their picture the massive stinking pile of rubbish that sits outside those shops for much of the week.
    editor likes this.
  10. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    This is an email I have sent to Lambeth and DSDHA (the designers).

    "I have just seen this consultation which appears to be ill-thought out and have no regard for the views of the local people and so I would like to ask a few basic questions about it.

    1. What research has there been done (by professionals in this field) of what, if any, the traffic problems in this area are (area being Loughborough Road/Junction/Coldharbour Lane/Brixton Road) e.g. counting cars, identifying areas of blockage, etc?

    2. What research has there been done (by professionals in this field) of how any potential traffic problems in this area could be addressed are (area being Loughborough Road/Junction/Coldharbour Lane)?

    3. What research has there been done (by professionals in this field) of how the proposed scheme would affect traffic problems in this area – namely diverting it to other roads such as Lilford Road, Minet Road, Overton Road, etc).

    4. What research has been done on alternative schemes such as blocking Hinton Road given that the traffic flow being addressed appears to be North/South?

    5. How many people in the area affected have been consulted directly (by face to face or phone or email) given a leaflet drop to the 2000 or so households affected would cost about £200 commercially?

    6. How much research has been done on car and motorbike owners who live locally and their ability to get out of the area given it would cut off access to the South and East?

    7. How much research has been done on vehicular visitors to locals in the area (including local businesses which are already isolated) and the effect on them?

    8. What consideration was given to the necessarily isolating effects on the community who are already isolated from mainstream London and facilities?

    9. What consideration was given to the adverse effect on potential regeneration of the area given its good transport links and proximity to central London?

    10. Were any alternatives thought of and if so, what (including some very obvious ones if public space was being sought in the area)?

    Please note that I am a local who has lived here for 14 years and so has good knowledge of the local area, its facilities (or lack thereof), and problems. My main problem with the scheme is that whoever thought of it does not actually know what the traffic flow in the area is or how to address it (very much cheaper alternatives freeing funds for local facilities that are badly needed could be done) – or what the needs are in terms of public space. The scheme would proliferate the already complicated local roads problems and lead to increased traffic on relatively lightly used roads. Of course I could be proved wrong if you have definitive research from trustworthy sources that shows otherwise.

    Please answer within 7 days so that your answers can be circulated to local people."
    bimble, cuppa tee, TImPOD and 3 others like this.
  11. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    I don't think it would disconnect the two sides - it would help join them up for pedestrians.

    The area has some of the lowest car ownership in the country so it is not local residents who would be being cut off by restricting car through-traffic.

    The proposals make provision for deliveries and servicing of businesses etc.
  12. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

  13. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    1. It would, because Coldharbour Lane would operate as now. It would however join up the great divide between the communities of Styles Gardens and the Loughborough Estate across the DMZ of Loughborough Road. If I was canvassign opinion it would be to make the Wick Gardens side of the road much wider (nicking a bit of Woolley House and putting speed barriers and a raised road at the top of Barrington going into a properly serviced public space where there is now a rubbish public space (next to the Hero of Switserland) . BTW My anecdotal investigation with locals round that area is that they have a very jaundiced view of any attempts to consult with them and see the plan as an attempt by the poshies on the Herne Hill side to invade/impose their views on longstanding communities on the Loughborough side.
    2. Are there no local vehicle owners? And what is the evidene that through traffic is any more problematic than any other area of inner london? Or that any main road in London has been blocked to ease traffic congestion and assist locals - isn't it always residential roads that are blocked off? To protect residents?
    3. What proposals? If you look at a local map the area bounded by loughborough road, coldharbour lane and Brixton Road becomes very difficult to go in and out of in any sensible manner for locals or those with legitimate reasons for driving - they will actually increase traffic on peaceful residential roads by closing a useful main road highway (albeit minor main road). Of course that is my view based on anecdotal evidence which is why I am asking if they have actually done any proper research on this.
    4. In case anyone is wondering what I think the real traffic problems of the area are (as opposed to imagined ratrun ones that motivate the proposal): 1. Brixton Rd/Loughborough Rd - very quick traffic lights/badly designed parking leading to traffic jams that can back up to Fiveways due to other traffic problem 2. Parking on both sides of road/bad design from Fiveways to overton Road leading to one way traffic and traffic jams at peak hours. 3. Ratrun to and from Brixton road/Coldharbour Lane along Wiltshire and Villa Roads - not actually that bad even when bad, if you know what I mean, though would become considerably worse if Loughborough Road was blocked. None of these are anything to do with Loughborough Junction (where i have yet to see a traffic jam not caused by road works, the police or the Olympic Torch relay) and are unlikely to be affected by the new proposal. In fact a little thought and creativity would sort them out with minimal cost (ideas in a tin hat please) and in fact the answer is better traffic flow, not less traffic. 3 is not a real problem yet - speed barriers would be good though.
    5. As an amateur - 4 people at Loughborough Junction, FIveways, Loughboough/Brixton Rd junction and Villa Road counting from 7am-7pm could give useful data about what the actual problem was (video camera would be good as well - I bet the cops know). You might need one at gresham/Wiltshire as well as not sure where people entering/exiting ratrun. I would run it for three days on different days of the week but finances would govern that - I am sure there are poeple who do this kind of thing professionally - where are they?
    6. I am a bit confused as to what the public space is for? Is it supposed to be like Windrush Square? But that already was a public space - just badly designed and looked after. It also had considerable footfall and was surrounded by facilities/places people wanted to visit/shops/bars. In other words the public space followed the vibe not the other way around. Provide faciities and encourage more shops/bars into the area (rates rebatesn etc?) and see what happens.
  14. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    Coldharbour Lane would be easier to navigate east-west, where as you say, there are not huge traffic jams but there are pedestrians waiting to cross.

    I'm impressed by your traffic jam knowledge upthejunction - do you drive a cab? :) I see it on foot more than car.

    http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/LJ consultation visualisations.pdf

    They've obviously studied traffic etc but the proposal is actually a trial period which would hopefully answer some of your questions.

    To save time:

    The Proposals
    Lambeth is proposing a six month trial closure of Loughborough Road alongside
    five other closures across a wider area. These would be on Barrington Road
    (except buses), Gordon Grove, Lilford Road, Calais Street and Padfield Road
    (see map for the locations).
    The exact way the closures will operate has not been finalised. Some of the
    options under consideration are No Entry signs, gates and bollards. At most of
    the closure points there will be opportunities for public space enhancements, for
    example it may be possible to create a ‘green’ pedestrian area on Gordon Grove
    between the play centre and Elam Street Open Space.
    We have had initial discussions about the proposals with Transport for London
    and Southwark Council and will keep them informed during the trial period.
    Way forward
    If there is support six-month experimental closures will be introduced on
    Loughborough Road, Barrington Road (except buses), Gordon Grove, Lilford
    Road, Calais Street, and Padfield Road.
    At some of the closures it may be possible for residents in co-operation with the
    council to design and implement temporary changes to the street layout such as
    planting, seating, or play areas.
    The road closures will be designed in such a way that they could be removed
    early if required.
    During the trial period the council will closely monitor the speed and volume of traffic in
    streets across the area and compare this to the speed and volumes counts taken before
    the changes. We will then be able to assess what changes to traffic flow have taken
    place and this will help inform any future decision-making.
    Residents will be invited to submit their experience of living in the area during the road
    closure period through a dedicated web link, by email or by post.
    At the end of the six month trial, another consultation will be carried out to ask residents if
    they want to see the closures made permanent.
  15. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    1. I asked them a long time ago if they had done traffic studies (when I didn't think this would be an actuality some day. The person I asked was surprised and I understood there were no studies. I am looking forward ot knowing if there were ones or not - the other local consultations I have seen on traffic have not had them - even cursory ones. They just propose soemthing that seemed a good idea at the time with no evidence base.
    2. Many years ago (early 2007) being peed off with the general approach of government (national and local) to evidence based legislation and their ignoring of it I sent this email to the Home office about a proposal they had. It seems to me that theer is a pattern with how our leaders approach things and ignore the methodology I propose which not only has scientific validity but is also common sense (to me anyway). I could be wrong - but I would like to know why if someone says I am.

    "Sorry about the delay in replying. I have a few questions as I think you may have misunderstood my root concerns.

    1. Being brought up on science and rationality (before I was a lawyer) I always thought that what one did, even in the societal area was have a hypothesis, test such hypothesis according to accepted scientific principles and then suggest remedies. Only then should you be consulting. Am I wrong in thinking you have not followed this time-worn formula?

    2. The corollary of the above, if one accepts it is that if you have an idea (hypothesis), one then tries to ascertain if it is in fact true. In this case the hypothesis is that defendant's non-attendance is causing more than trivial problems to the Court. When one has the results of the research on this (expressed perhaps using Court days lost, agency time lost, money lost, etc) - then one can then consider the possible remedies.

    3. The possible remedies could involve any number, but these amount to hypotheses as well which could be evaluated in terms of Court days served, agency time saved, etc PLUS all the reasonably envisageable knock-on effects of that remedy such as prison cells overfilled, police cells overfilled, Court days wasted on hearings wear a person provides a medical certificate (now normally done on a conditional bail condition of producing such certificate on the next occasion), etc. Obviously at this stage the costs of evaluating such a strategy would be done by those commissioning the research (and in fact should really have been done before).

    4. Only at this stage should the remedies, if apparently justified by the research lead to the formulation of possible legislation which can then be consulted on.

    5. I suspect none of the above stages have been followed.

    6. When you say "of the major messages we have received from CJS agencies is that backed for bail warrants are a major blockage to improving defendant attendance at court " who are these people and has any quantitative (and/or qualitative) analysis of these messages been done?

    7. When you say "defence views are crucial" does this mean defence views have not been canvassed since 2004 when you say you have been doing work on this?

    8. When you say "defence views are crucial and ones which we cannot access as readily as..." does this mean you have not approached the Criminal bar Association (verily easily accessed) or the LCSSA or the Law Society? They are all easily accessed - you phone them or email them."

    To be fair, three years of work on this proposal (to make it a presumption that someone who fails to appear in Court should be on a warrant not backed for bail) finally got to a consulation where people like me who worked in COurts coudl answer durign the consultation and tell them it was rubbish - which they recognised and junked the proposal. Likewise I want to know why my, (and my friends), views as local vehicle owners about what the actual traffic and public space problems (havign had to deal with it) have been ignored by not doing any form of study as far as we know. If there is no traffic problem (I was told rat-running on loughborough road wasa real problem when I originally asked) then woud that affect whether there shold be a trial to prevent the non-existent problem?
  16. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    Sorry about typos - Have to leave to exploit the roads while I can still drive on them. Byeeeee
  17. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Almost everyone dealing with Government policy (including the Civil Service) has been trying for years to make it "evidence based". Politicians won't do that though, or will do it only when it is in accordance with political pressures anyway.
  18. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    Not quite correct unfortunately. One of the traditions and history that has disappeared is the impartiality of the civil service. While in the past it often lead to Sir Humphrey like opposition to any change, the civil service now is often a tool of the government policy then currently in vogue - with the civil service agreeign that is how to act. This leads to any critical thinking being conisdered to be oppositional, and the consequent groupthink about any idea. The closest we get to evidence based legislation or action is when there is a public enquiry or Royal Commission (thoguh at a lower level there is research and some quite effective governmental action). It doesn't stop people trying though. My favourite is Ben Goldacre being asked by Michael Gove to do a paper on evidence based educational trials (which he did) - accompanied by the DoE effectively preventing any evidence collection by educational researchers! At some point someone will realise that treating education as a giant experiment for unqualified people to test their half-baked ideas on may be counter-productive.
  19. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Well it's a mixed picture - whilst I'd agree that the upper echelons of the CS are often in cahoots with the politicos, I'm not sure Maude et al. would agree that the CS uncomplainingly follows orders. Anyway, this is a bit off-topic - apologies for the derail.
  20. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Just got this tweet:

  21. Jute

    Jute New Member

    I grew up in the Myatts field area, and my mum still lives there. As others have said, these plans have not been thought out properly at all...closing main artery roads/junctions to divert traffic along more residential roads!? Residents have not been consulted properly, the only reason my mum and her neighours became aware was through the local library. The council have not carried out any traffic monitoring, despite it saying they have on their website. The reason they gave for this at wednesday's meeting was that there were road works in place which prohibited them - the road works were there for 2 weeks, on 1 road! Typical council disorganisation and lack of logic.
  22. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    Hoorah! People agree with me. I couldn't go to the meeting on Wedenesday (which appears to be the only one where people can voice their views apart from the "consultation"). What was the general feeling? And anyway, roadworks do not mean you cannot count cars. This proposal came from Loughborough Junciton Action Group and I thought it was just a discussion they were having with the Council and I gently put some of my points (about traffic, etc). I was v surprised to see it become a fully fledged proposal as it was so impractical and obviously not researched (why has no-one thought that we might want to go to Camberwell - or even Peckham). LJAG is dominated by people on the Herne Hill side of Coldharbour Lane and despite their good will and efforts, they don't quite seem to understand this side, despite wanting to do things on behalf of the community. We should start a forum about what we think may actually be a good idea for the area. People have already made suggestions on this thread and once things looked concrete-ish meet at the Hero (free and no probs with the Landlord) or the undercroft at Woolley House for more formal meetings (£35 last time our RA met there).
    bimble likes this.
  23. cuppa tee

    cuppa tee Well-Known Member

  24. Leo Chesterton

    Leo Chesterton Active Member

    Or just go to an LJAG meeting and rebalance things?

    Next one on Tuesday 14th of Oct at 1930. Not sure of venue, but often Sunshine CAFE. If you email jactiongroup@gmail.com they might even be up for having it in the Hero.
  25. upthejunction

    upthejunction Well-Known Member

    Ok to goign to LJAG meeting - it is normally first tuesdya of month but they seem to have loads ofconsultations. I am sort of in a private RA but we are having problems of our own at the mmoment so I would rather not say in public...
  26. Jute

    Jute New Member

    I don't go through LJ often enough nowadays to confidently assert my opinion on it but will encourage locals I know to get on this forum, act as an intermediary (for those who are not tech savvy), and will re-familiarise myself with the area and attend some meetings if i can - I live in Southwark now and am having my own issues with their idea of what consultation constitutes.

    I’ve passed on the idea of meeting up to discuss alternatives and details of the LJAG meeting, both of which were welcomed. Leo Chesterton – do council officers attend your meetings? Also, do you know which department is analysing the consultation survey results?
  27. Lizzy Mac

    Lizzy Mac Well-Known Member

    If the meeting is next Tuesday please let people know. It's just me coming on here that gives me any info at all. I showed a neighbour the office block and now there are 2 more local people that want to get involved.
    editor likes this.
  28. Jute

    Jute New Member

    I've missed anything about an office block - are they planning on building/converting one somewhere?
  29. LJandproud

    LJandproud New Member

    Yes! Massive development planned by Parritt Leng for the Higgs Industrial Estate at bottom of Herne Hill Rd (near junction with Coldharbour Lane). Is that what you mean? If so, they're hoping to build five tower blocks - four of them mainly apartments (some inc a small amount of light industry on ground floor) ranging from 6 to 8 storeys high. The fifth would be a TEN STOREY office block - totally speculative so no guarantee it will be actually get used.

    Architecture so unimaginative it makes Brixton Square look like a contender for the Stirling Prize. Developers confident they'll get plans through and they've done a great job of hiding them from the community so far.

    Please comment on Lambeth's website! It's the only thing that will make the planners listen at this stage. Deadline extended for another 3 weeks.

    Many residents are pro-development as recognise huge need for regeneration but this is purely profit-driven - wrong development for this site. Includes no retail and no thought's been given to need for extra school, GP, already dangerously over-full train services etc.

    Mtg of the Loughborough Jn Action Group 7-9 pm tmrw (07.10.14) at the Sunshine Intl Arts Cafe, 209a Coldharbour Lane. Pls spread the word!
    Greebo and editor like this.
  30. LadyV

    LadyV Well-Known Member

    Am new to this thread and I was away on the car free day so missed all the info but after reading the proposals, I'm really not happy, I live on Styles Gardens and I fear that this will really isolate us. I know that the proposers have good intentions but you can tell that they don't live on the Loughborough Road side of the Junction.

    I've lived there for 4 years, I also have a car which I drive regularly and I really don't see the need for this, the road is never that busy in comparison to some other areas so I don't know what has prompted this. The area doesn't have a high accident rate, it does have a high roadworks rate though! The latter incidentally often causes more problems as people try their luck getting round it, unless there is a huge barrier across the road, they move the bollards and drive through! God knows what would happen if the road was permanently blocked off, it would have to be very clear, otherwise they'll find a way around it!

    I'm also concerned about the loss of the P5 bus stop by Rathgar Road and Ridgeway Road, these are not stops that are never used, I go past them multiple times every day and there is always people waiting, many quite elderly who I imagine might struggle to walk further down to Barrington Road.

    The only outcomes from this that I can see are, 1) causing havoc on nearby roads as everyone tries to get around on their daily business and 2) creating a space for the already quite intimidating groups of drunks and youths to congregate. I'm all in favour of thinking the best of people and hoping that this would make them take some pride in the area they live in but quite frankly I took off my rose tinted glasses a few years ago, this will give them more opportunity and the space to hang around even more and no doubt attract a few others along the way. In the past the area has been subject to a dispersement order, are the proposers going to arrange for one of those too to prevent problems.

    Add in the changes to Barrington Road and the other roads and I fear that the area will become a ghetto, no one will be able to get in or out. I know that sounds overly dramatic but the way Styles Gardens and Major Close are designed means there is less traffic and it just attracts the wrong people. Even the local Safer Neghbourhood Police Officers say that, I can't imagine that they will be in favour of creating more spaces for trouble makers to hang out.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    Greebo likes this.

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