Grove Lane Residents’ Association has just submitted an objection. The unintended consequences of this misconceived and appallingly timed scheme are quite serious. Closing Champion Hill to through-traffic westbound (from Grove Hill Road and Dog Kennel Hill) will cause serious northbound congestion in the morning rush hour on Dog Kennel Hill, the southern section of Grove Lane and Champion Park, where it will back up at the already overloaded junction with Denmark Hill.
This will have two unacceptable consequences:
1) it will increase journey times, including bus journey times and ambulance journey times
2) it will increase air pollution on Dog Kennel Hill, Grove Lane and Champion Park, roads with a high density of residents, which carry thousands of pedestrians to Denmark Hill and East Dulwich stations at the top and bottom of the hill, Kings College Hospital and local schools.
The main roads, onto which the trial aims to displace traffic, constitute a Primary Route for ambulances serving Kings College Hospital. Kings is a major teaching hospital, whose busy A&E department and new Critical Care Centre accept patients from across the South East. Its workers and patients (and those of the Maudsley) are heavily dependent on the northbound bus service in the morning, especially in the absence of a tube station.
The inevitable impacts of the proposed closure of Champion Hill to westbound through traffic on traffic flow, emergency service response times, bus journey times and air quality (in what is already an Air Quality Management Area) will be exacerbated if the trial is undertaken at the same time as major roadworks scheduled for the next 12 months and beyond by both Southwark (already begun on Denmark Hill) and TfL (Camberwell town centre). Electronic billboards are already warning motorists to avoid using Grove Lane/Champion Park for thé next year and to use alternative routes! Please make representations to LB Southwark to postpone the Champion Hill trial until after Southwark and TfL’s improvements at Denmark Hill and Camberwell Green have all been completed and more detailed study of the potential impacts has been made through wider and more in depth consultations.
Cross borough cooperation is needed on this between Lambeth and Southwark. LB Southwark needs to be reminded that all residents living in the area have a voice, that decisions to introduce traffic measures that will impact across wider communities and on NHS providers and on emergency services need taking with great care and after appropriate consultations. Lambeth had to pull the plug on a similarly misconceived road closure in Loughborough Junction after the Fire Brigade lodged a formal complaint about increased response times. The LAS had noted similar delays. Kings had said patients and workers were suffering unacceptable delays getting to the hospital, and had commented on a perceived increase in pollution, resulting from the congestion.