New housing scheme prompts fresh calls for traffic solution

Local residents have called on the Council to revisit the problems caused by traffic feeding in to the Brockley Cross double-roundabout.

The calls have been prompted by the proposed redevelopment of 72-78 Geoffrey Road as an apartment block. Although the site is an obvious candidate for redevelopment, it is feared that the increase in parked cars will cause Geoffrey Road to become more congested since, though narrow, it is used as a rat-run by drivers.

Traffic calming measures have failed to deter drivers from using Geoffrey Road and the objectors believe that only a redesign of the road layout will improve matters.

In his recent interview, John Miller indicated that no way had yet been found to improve the traffic system.

In a letter to Cllr Darren Johnson, reprensentatives of the Brockley Cross Action Group have challenged the lack of any provision made for parking, arguing that even though it's envisioned as a development for people without cars (a "zero parking" scheme), there is no practical way of ensuring that this is anything other than an aspiration. It is believed that this could also create problems for residents of Manor Avenue, which is already very crowded.

The problem has thrown the spotlight back on the issue of how to improve the traffic system in this part of Brockley, in order to reduce the use of these residential streets as local rat-runs and enable new homes to be built in a sustainable manner. With the site on the corner of Geoffrey Road and Upper Brockley Road also targeted for redevelopment, the issue will only become more pressing.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they want to encourage people to use other routes, they should remove the speed bumps from Malpas and Shardeloes roads.

I have some suggestions as alternatives to whinging about the inevitable:

- Widen the road, or only allow parking on one side of the road. It's overparked and dangerous at the moment.

- Deny planning permission for any development in the area that doesn't include generous parking allocations.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment. New developments that attract traffic or are residential should be made to include proposals for parking. Roads are for driving on, not parking on.

Sue Luxton said...

why not concrete over Hilly Fields and turn that into a car park just to make sure there is enough space for everyone who wants to own a car ;). Seriously though, space is at a premium, we shouldn't be giving too much of it up for car parking, we need to be encouraging less people to own cars and more people to walk/cycle/use public transport. A location so close to Brockley station has excellent transport connections and a good car club nearby could remove the need for a lot of the residents of any new development to own a car.

mark said...

One of the Brockley Cross redevelopment proposals involved closing traffic access from Geoffrey Rd to Endwell Rd (see this pdf). This would seem the ideal way to stop Geoffrey Rd being used as a rat-run, and potentially create some useful parking areas. These proposals have now been public for nearly two years -- why does it take so long to come to any decision about them?

monkeyboy said...

It takes so long because simple Ideas like this have huge impact. Where will the cars go? People will try and find a new rat run, Malpas road? hope not that's where I live.

I work in a transport related industry. There are too many people travelling around at the same time of day - someone will be inconvenienced, just so long as it’s someone else. It’s a bummer.

Hugh said...

In this connection, where is the Brockley cycling mafia? I would have thought a neighbourhood like this would be full of skinny people in lurid lycra preaching the benefits of pedal power and the associated reduced carbon tyre-print. Perhaps I'm the only one.

Brockley Jon said...

I completely agree with the anonymous 1 & 2 that all new developments should have adequate parking available, for residents and visitors.

Sue - yes, we should encourage walking/cycling. I take the train to work, I cycle locally, but, like many local people, I still own a car. I use it largely to get out of London and visit friends at the weekend, to rural areas where public transport can't get you. The cost to do similar long journeys with current car schemes is not feasible yet.

Unfortunately my car sits on the road all week as there is nowhere else for it. I would kill for a dedicated parking space or to get it off the road completely.

If you don't give them parking spaces, they will park on the road - simple as that.

Ed said...

That double roundabout is a ghastly eyesore not to mention a dangerous traffic junction. It's about time they did something about it. The options study is years old isn't it?

P.S. I just hope that what they do doesn't involve speed bumps as they are noisy, bad for the environment and the cars that travel over them.

yaxu said...

If there are fewer car parking spaces then there will be fewer cars, and less traffic. Sitting outside a bar on Brockley Road would be so much nicer with less traffic...

You can stop cars from parking in inappropriate places by making it illegal to do so.

Headhunter said...

I agree that it is ridiculous that the firm responsible for developing this land can be allowed to get away with not providing parking under the guise of encouraging people to be more environmentaly friendly - lets be honest here, the real reason is to maximise profits by cramming as many saleable flats onto the site as possible.

These new flats will most certainly cause problems for residents of Manor Ave and people passing along Geoffrey Rd.

I do not own a car myself as I cycle just about everywhere but lets face it, in an area like Brockley where on-street parking is unrestricted in the conservation area and around, people are happily going to keep hold of their cars and indeed this may encourage people with cars to move to the area.

As for the Brockley cycling mafia - I'm prepared to be a founding member! However to be honest I don't exactly cycle around Brockley, just in and out from work etc.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

I've checked my email and also the smail-mail that I get directly from the Council and I don't have a letter - I'll drop a note to the chair of BXAG asking her to send it again.

Thanks

Dean

JPM said...

The current planning policy on no car parking provision is absurd. Strangely, it benefits a number of "self-interest" parties, under the guise of caring about the planet. These are:

(1) the developer, and
(2) the council, increased taxation of additional units,
(3) the Chancellor, stamp duty,
(4) the Mayor, increased affordable housing provision, and
(5) the Council, now known as "housing association", often illplaced to manage its porfolio.

This is not a means of "encouraging less people to own cars", as one poster maintains, but a nefarious way of placing pressure on them to do so. Effectively it makes the car owner a second class citizen until s/he 'gets rid', orchestrated by the 'caring' individuals above. (And no, I'm not a car lover!)

Meanwhile, in Geoffrey Road "on street" parking increases, and in Manor Avenue so much so that it's a double-parked accident waiting to happen.

brockley mutha said...

I understand the arguments against speed bumps, but are there any alternative traffic calming measures that are as effective. I ask because I live on a section of breakspears road where all my car owning neighbours had had their parked cars smashed into - at one time or another - by speeding motorists. One memorable crash involved a car landing directly on top of a parked car. Now that we have speed bumps this stretch of road feels much safer. Its not just that our cars aren't being crashed into a couple of times a week - you also don't feel as if you might be knocked down while walking on the pavement hereabouts.

Bea said...

I'm a fan of the speed bumps and they do slow cars down and as a pedestrian I feel a lot safer.

Another alternative calming measure which I have seen in Germany (and Manor Avenue looks like it has something similar) is where they build small flower beds jutting out into the road so that the car has to snake round them in a zig zag kind of fashion and thereby the car is never able to pick up a lot of speed. It also makes the road look attractive.

JPM said...

Well I live in Manor Avenue... and parking is a nightmare.

Not for me...directly at least.

I'm one of the few with a driveway. But please don't be envious... People used to just park across it, either trapping my car in or out.

One day my car was trapped for a fre days.

The respone from people has been astounding in the extreme. One neighbour said 'You're the only one with this kind of set up.' I lost the plot with her totally. Another claimed I should have known it was her car (many do). [She has a garage, as do a number of people on Manor Avenue... stacked with furniture. I think the council should rate these as dwellings. What do you think? Surely doesn't help the on street parking much.]

In fact the damn driveway has made me hugely unpopular, and led to much envy. It has not been nice seeing this side of human nature. [I couldn't figure out why one neighbour was being so unfriendly. We had never really met, and when we did he was always rude. Did he know any of the people who were parking over my driveaway? If so, it probably didn't help that I'd given them a verbal ticking off. Still, when my best friend died recently I had to pass on a huge libary of films that he left behind. I sidled up alongside this neighbour to offer them to him as I had heard he had such an interest. He responded before I could...'Actually I usually like this time to myself.' I found a home for the film collection to a terrific and needy drama school in West London.]

Fortunately things have changed since we had the council paint a white line actoss the road leading to the driveway. Added to which there is a new law which ensures people get ticketed or towed if requested by the driveway's owner. {I've only done that once.]

Clearly parking is a major issue in Manor Avenue and surrounds and is going to get much much worse. Two houses are now being subdivided into flats and these will have approximately 6-8 properties and upwards of 8 cars or more.

Perhaps instead of converting flats into a house though I should have gone the other way and just done 4/5 flats. That would certainly have added to the car parking woes, and reduced our mortage somewhat.

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