Greenwich to block Dabin Crescent cut-through to quell criticism of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood that ‘accelerates health and social disadvantage’
Greenwich is to modify its West Greenwich Traffic Management scheme to introduce a modal filter preventing vehicles from entering Dabin Crescent from Plumbridge Street and Lindsell Street. The filter is due to be installed on 18 November. It will shut down a dangerous cut-through created by the scheme itself.
Greenwichgonetoofar.co.uk highlighted how the scheme accelerates health and social disadvantage by displacing local traffic to congested Blackheath Hill, leaving seven blocks of flats, mainly Greenwich social housing, exposed to higher pollution levels and traffic danger.
The scheme ensured that Dabin Crescent, the narrowest road in the neighbourhood, would remain open to traffic from the A2 as well as LTN residents whose streets are protected from entry from Point Hill and Blissett Street.
All seven blocks, including Dabin Crescent and Cade Tyler House, are sandwiched between Blackheath Hill and Dabin Crescent.
The two-way, three metres-width Dabin Crescent was left open by the Council’s LTN scheme, permitting a direct route to Greenwich South Street from Maidenstone Hill, Winforton Street, Trinity Grove and Dutton Street. Two-way traffic cannot pass without both cars mounting narrow, metre-wide pavements. A small play area with equipment for very young children lies unused across the street from the flats because residents of all ages face a severe danger from traffic.
The area was ignored by Greenwich Council during planning of the scheme when residents should have been given a voice in shaping the proposals. Traffic on Dabin Crescent increased exponentially following introduction of the scheme in August.
A building space extension for work on the corner of Lindsell Street and Greenwich South Street led to partial closure of Lindsell Street in October. Councillors hoped this might provide a temporary 18-month ‘fix’ for the internal rat-run. However, traffic only increased: the Lindsell Street closure forced more local traffic to take the Blackheath Hill route via Dabin Crescent to Lindsell Street and Plumbridge Street.
Read more about how the LTN accelerates health and social disadvantage.
The concentration of social housing on Blackheath Hill and Dabin Crescent is on the narrowest section of the A2, where two lanes of heavy traffic merge to a single lane all day long. Just a few metres separate our neighbourhood’s biggest permanent traffic jam from our largest agglomeration of social housing.
Ealing residents’ associations have launched an application for judicial review in opposition to low traffic neighbourhood schemes. The grounds for the claim, by representatives of the Coldershaw and Midhurst Traffic Action Group (CAMTAG) and Ealing Residents Against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, are that Ealing Council is failing to meet its legal duties to keep road access open to premises, and to uphold the Equality Act 2010, according to Ealingtoday.co.uk.
Local councils are under a legal duty to secure and maintain expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic to provide 'reasonable access to premises' under section 122 of Road Traffic Act 1984. Exceptions to the rule are provided for to prevent excess use of the roads, for instance by heavy commercial vehicles.
The legal duty to uphold the Equality Act 2010 aims to prevent the imposition of disadvantage on people with disabilities and other statutorily controlled forms of discrimination.
In Greenwich, the Council has avoided answering questions as to its engagement with disability groups.
If you have experienced delays in receiving care, medical attention or making hospital appointments, don’t forget to inform the Royal Borough of Greenwich on its streetspace consultation:
The full Council meeting of the Royal Borough of Greenwich is due to go ahead this month after the unexplained cancellation of its 28 October meeting. Residents had submitted questions to the Council, including requests to know:
-what monitoring of the scheme is being conducted in East Greenwich;
-why planned local ‘engagement events’ about a potential scheme did not take place in 2019;
-whether any information was supplied, or consultation held, with residents on Blackheath Hill, Dabin Crescent or Greenwich South Street where displacement of local traffic was planned prior to bringing in any scheme at all (not simply the current scheme).
-whether the Council is prepared to listen to the body of evidence of objection, and work urgently to find an immediate solution to gridlock on Maze Hill and surrounding area during peak hours.
At the September Council meeting, East Greenwich residents and councillors had pressed the Council to review the scheme, a request that was refused.
The next Full Council is due on 25 November. You can view the meeting online (all Council meetings during the pandemic have been held remotely), or later on youtube. Local residents and taxpayers of the borough have the right to submit up to two questions in writing or by email to a Full Council meeting.
Modal filters were removed from Abery Street and Gallosson Road, Plumstead on Wednesday 4 November following an announcement by the Royal Borough of Greenwich on 2 November. The Plumstead to Abbey Wood cycle route had “proved popular” according to the Council, but that it had responded to feedback from local residents and businesses that they had found the road blocks had made it difficult for residents to use local businesses and as a result, had placed them under pressure.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Danny Thorpe said: “After a visit to Plumstead High Street last week it’s clear to me that it’s in the best interests of the area for us to remove the modal filters on Abery Street and Gallosson Road. We’ve tried something which you’ve told us hasn’t worked for residents and businesses in the area. We’re acting on your feedback, so please keep telling us what you think.”
How to help Cllr Thorpe: contact Greenwich Council’s Streetspace consultation. You can make as many individual ‘specific’ complaints as are necessary, although only one short general complaint is ‘allowed’. Link: https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/westgreenwichtraffic
Alternatively, contact your local councillor, or write to Cllr Danny Thorpe at the address on our Take Action page. Don’t forget to sign the petitions.