Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Camberwell Grove Update and Online Petition

Last Thursday Cllr Paul Noblet announced that Camberwell Grove rail bridge would re-open after works had been completed to install traffic lights and traffic barriers to regulate the flow of traffic over the weakened bridge. The announcement came after a two hour meeting where competing views were fully aired, and Andrew Downes, the Council's Traffic Officer, ruled out a scheme based on one-way traffic over the bridge due to safety fears. Andrew is in a difficult position, as he cannot sanction any scheme if he is aware of any potential safety problems - he would be opening himself and the Council up to a massive negligence claim.

I have always been opposed to a solution involving traffic lights, as it is bound to detract from the obvious merits of Camberwell Grove as an integral part of the conservation area. If we were not facing real time limits in this case I am sure that a wider review of road use in the area would enable us to come up with a solution which avoided traffic lights.

A couple of points should be made. Traffic lights will only be present until the rail bridge is replaced completely. To achieve that we have to lobby Transport for London and Network Rail. Secondly, Cllr Noblet did agree to urgently prioritise a transport review of Camberwell and neighbouring areas in order to develop a strategic answer to the current and anticipated problems of traffic congestion. Finally, there was agreement that we will have a meeting to assess the impact of the traffic light solution after about three months.

This whole episode has been incredibly difficult, and for the residents of Camberwell Grove some new problems are about to arise. Traffic lights in the middle of a beautiful street, queing polluting vehicles and a barrier which sounds like it belongs on a Formula 1 track will all be present in a few months time. These are all problems which are unacceptable for anything other than the short term. So the campaign for a new rail bridge has a new urgency. I have created an online petition - please sign it at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/CamberwellGroveBridge/


Steven David said...

Why cannot the closure stay? It has not caused any problems other than to slightly inconvenience drivers. It has been closed for so long now that anyone local knows of its closure and it is no longer a considered route in peoples mind. This was not, of course planned, but now the opportunity is there for this to remain a permanent state. Maybe this sort of inconvenience should be encouraged for other streets.
Camberwell Grove is currently a peaceful and safe road. Any area of solitude in this part of London is both rare and greatly needed. Why open up the road again to traffic, noise and pollution when it is clearly not necessary to do so?

Stuart said...

I disagree that it is not necessary to reopen Camberwell Grove. It's closure has had a greater effect than just to inconvenience drivers - it has pushed traffic onto other roads, less equpped to cope with it. For example Lyndhurst Way,a narrow winding road which is home to a school as well as several densly populated estates. It has also slowed traffic on Camberwell New Road, which has had a particular effect on those in East Camberwell who have only bus travel as a public transport option.