Anger over traffic scheme designed to make people walk and cycle in Oval Triangle

By Rafi Mauro-Benady

A controversial road scheme designed to encourage people to walk and cycle rather than drive during the pandemic has left many residents feeling outraged.

Local WhatsApp groups and the council’s consultation page have been deluged with fervid residents eager to get their thoughts across.

Lambeth council has recently created a ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ in the Oval Triangle area.

The scheme covers most of the area between Stockwell, Oval and Vauxhall Tube stations, and there is now no access to it and limited access from it from the A3, Clapham Road.

Cllr Claire Holland, Lambeth council’s deputy leader and councillor for sustainable transport, environment and clean air, said: “The Oval to Stockwell triangle is one of the most deprived parts of the borough. This scheme benefits the whole community.

“It has five large housing estates, with thousands of residents having no access to private outdoor space.

“By removing through traffic from the whole triangle, which this scheme does, you free up the streets to be enjoyed by those that don’t have outdoor space and you prevent motorists from driving through roads on either side of the triangle, too.

“We are ambitious for our borough and want to support all our residents to have access to walking and cycling.”

Cllr Holland said that over half the residents in the Oval Triangle do not own a car, yet cars have overwhelmed the streets there, jeopardising “our children’s health.”

She said: “Around 60 per cent of our residents do not own a car, yet cars have dominated our streets for too long, making it unsafe to walk and cycle and worsening our children’s health.”

But many residents are outraged by the new scheme.

John Ascencao, 49, of Durand Gardens which lies just outside the scheme, slammed Cllr Holland’s claims that it benefits the whole community.

He said: “Not at all, absolute rubbish, she’s wrong.

“I live in the area myself, what was a two to five-minute drive can now take me between 20 minutes and half an hour.

“She’s creating a big problem around the area, and her opinion isn’t shared with anyone I know.

“The congestion around the area is diabolical, down Lansdowne Way it’s gridlocked most of the time, you have to go around if you’re driving down Clapham Road.

“It almost directs you into the congestion charge.”

Loopholes in the scheme have created a dangerous rat run through one of the council estates in the area.

He said: “The residents on the estates are complaining because there are kids playing on the estate, and all the traffic has been diverted through there.”

Felix Allan, 23, of Albert Square, which is in the triangle, echoes Mr Ascencao’s fury.

He said: “I have seen quite a few cars coming out of it [the Mursell Estate] recently – numbers that I’ve never seen before.

“Surely that heightens the chances of kids who play there getting run over?

“The scheme only appears to benefit places like Albert Square, Richborne Terrace and Fentiman Road, which are monied parts of the area.

“I think there’s a strong case to make that this scheme only benefits the rich.

Felix added: “I’ve lived here for over 20 years and this has to be one of the most poorly thought out schemes I’ve ever seen.”

This is one of a series of traffic controlling schemes Lambeth has introduced in the borough.

Details about the scheme can be found here.

 


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7 thoughts on “Anger over traffic scheme designed to make people walk and cycle in Oval Triangle

  • 22nd July 2020 at 3:05 pm
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    Thank you for this! I live on Mursell estate also, and it’s outrageous we have narrow road with speed bumps and parked cars with a stupid amount of traffic coming through now which means a lot of cars/vans backing up to let others through or reversing all the way back out the estate. Lansdowne way it’s always a gridlock now and so so so much traffic on clapham and south lambeth road. With the Brixton new LTN that have popped up it hasn’t made the situation any better. This honestly needs to be sorted out.

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  • 22nd July 2020 at 3:37 pm
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    Dear Rafi,
    What a relief to read this article. I live in Ashmole estate ( over 680) in the, so called triangle, and oppose this scheme in full. Council has been lobbied by Save Oval Streets (SOS) (resident associations of handful of affluent home owners) for years now. Cllr’s who live/lived here are bedfellows and supporters of SOS. Just look at the social media and re twits from Cllr’s and even MP. Truly undemocratic process. I find it despicable and patronising that Cllr’s are using depravity to justify this scheme. People in the estates are just an afterthought as we are not as organised as some more affluent residents, but we are no fools either. Not just that we were not consulted on something that is having a major impact on our lives and livelihoods, but we got no letters or any engagement from them prior or after the implementation. Their stats are old and skewed to suit their purpose. Did they even think that some people cannot walk or cycle? Did they think about small business in the area? I cannot wait for next election as this lot are not working for majority of stakeholders. The thousands of people that live on the estates mentioned are taxed payers, voters and are sick of being patronised! This has created a massive (social) divide and in the community and ability to make cul-de-sac places for rich people. So please, do not pretend that this about poor children on the estates!

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  • 22nd July 2020 at 5:13 pm
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    Honestly Cllr! all done for deprived estate kids. How patronising. Cllr’s involvement with Save Oval Streets ( RAs of affluent households) who have been lobbing for similar changes for years is well documented and they certainly do not represent estates here. I live in Ashmole estate (over 680 households) and we are just an afterthought here as well as other estates. No consultation , engagement, Proper Equality impact analysis, use of outdated and irrelevant stats… totally undemocratic. Now we have few Wealthy cul de sacs and invisible walls.

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  • 22nd July 2020 at 11:04 pm
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    The Oval traffic triangle, leaves me feeling afraid and vulnerable on my journey home. While I cycle a few days a week, Previously I felt that if something was to happen, there would at least be a witness to assist or intervene. Now the streets are quiet and lonely ☹️. Can’t see the people I once nodded to or waved at, even when I was driving. You are killing my community with this ill thought out endeavour. I’ve got nobody.

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  • 23rd July 2020 at 4:22 pm
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    This, and the other similar schemes, are great ideas. The majority of households in Lambeth do not have access to a car. Car ownership is higher amongst high income and white households. No one consulted us when our streets were turned into filthy rat runs. At last we are taking back control. Extend, extend, extend.

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  • 26th July 2020 at 11:01 am
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    This so called “scheme” is NOT just happening in the areas highlighted In this article its also happening in the heart of brixton and dulwich. This is causing WAY MORE traffic issues and problems than it is solving! I live in lambeth (and have done my entire life) and NOTHING at all was sent out in the post etc to tell local residents of this plan and what was going to happen. This scheme (scam) has also happened in the past.. about 4 years ago a very similar thing happened in and around the brixton/Loughborough junction area. Roads were cut off and road markings and signs were installed. It again was not explained or told to lambeth residents why this would be happening and it caused a myriad of traffic issues. After a short while it was withdrawn and ALL that none sense was stopped. However, again nothing was explained and nothing was said about the amount of money WASTED doing it. All of them road signs and road markings must have cost lambeth quite a bit of money which i am certain could have and NEEDED to be spent else where but nothing is challenged so they get away with it. I find it extremely strange it is happening again without warning or explanation (again) especially to locals? It is causing a myriad of traffic issues not only for drivers but cyclist and pedestrians. This “scheme” (scam) does not prevent people from driving it just causes angry/frustrated drivers which in turn can cause dangerous situations, oh and a whole load of avoidable grid lock TRAFFIC!!

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  • 28th July 2020 at 9:21 pm
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    I think the scheme makes it more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians on the main roads as the traffic is even more built up around the “Oval Triangle”. Money would have been better spent installing speed cameras to target drivers who flout the 20 mph rule in the residential streets. It’s very shabby that there was no consultation about this either. I don’t live on one of the estates or million-pound houses, and am just as in the dark as everyone else who isn’t a part of the SOS crew. The small businesses in the area should not suffer any more than they have already.

    Reply

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