Barriers to block off Lewisham roads to traffic to improve air quality and encourage greener transport use

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Trial barriers will be put in residential streets in Lee Green on Monday, to reduce rat-running in the area.

Lewisham council had already planned to do a six-month trial pre-lockdown, where roads would be blocked off to through-traffic as part of the Lewisham and Lee Green Healthy Neighbourhood plan.

The scheme aims to reduce rat-running, improve air quality, and encourage greener modes of transport.

The latest version involves 13 barriers which will close off the roads so that only cyclists and pedestrians can get through.

The scheme has been divisive, with some residents concerned about emergency services, journey times to the hospital, more pollution around schools, traffic being pushed on to other roads, trains already being at capacity, and access to the south circular road.

Others have praised the proposed reduction in traffic, pollution, and rat-running, and more space being created for walking and cycling.

Residents received a letter informing them of the plans dated June 23 – they were originally supposed to get a month’s notice, but the council said due to the pandemic that was no longer possible.

The majority of Transport for London (TfL) funding for schemes has been removed in the wake of the pandemic because of the significant hit to the transport network’s income.

But the Government has since given the Mayor of London £45 million in ‘Streetspace’ funds for councils, which aims to rapidly transform London’s streets to help facilitate social distancing, cycling, and walking as lockdown eases.

Four camera-enforced modal filters, through which only emergency services, local buses, and bikes are allowed, will be placed in Dermody Road, Manor Road, Ennersdale Road, and Manor Lane.

Kevin Sheehan, executive director for housing, regeneration and environment, said in the letter to residents: “In light of TfL’s and the Department for Transport’s guidance, we have taken the decision to deliver a package of temporary measures in Lewisham and Lee Green, subject to TfL funding approval.

“These measures will be implemented using a temporary traffic order as we seek to protect public health and address safety concerns.”

Pictured top: Holme Lacey Road in Lee


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