Frequently asked questions about proposed timed road closures
What is proposed and what is the aim?
The measures being consulted on are a series of timed road closures in close proximity to a number of schools in the area. The restrictions limit the volume of traffic in an area. This will allow parents, carers and pupils, as well as other pedestrians and cyclists passing by, to enjoy a safer and more comfortable space at pick up and drop off times during term time. The aim of the scheme is to tackle congestion, improve air quality at the school gates and make it easier and safer to walk and cycle to school.
Which roads are affected and at what times?
In the Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) there are a number of modal filters already in place, some of which are camera enforced with greater flexibility to have different restrictions in place at different times of the day. As shown on the plan, amended restrictions are proposed at the following locations:
- On Manor Lane the existing camera will be adjusted to restrict all non exempt motor vehicles between 8–9.30am and 2.45–4pm, Monday – Friday, term time only.
- The existing camera on Ennersdale Road will be adjusted to restrict all non exempt motor vehicles from traveling eastbound (from Hither Green towards Lee Green) between 8–9.30am and 2.45–4pm, Monday – Friday, term time only.
- The existing camera on Dermody Road will be adjusted to restrict all non exempt motor vehicles from traveling eastbound (from Hither Green towards Lee Green) between 8–9.30am and 2.45–4pm, Monday – Friday, term time only.
We have been working to progress schools measures as quickly and safely as possible. However, before we could announce the detail of the proposed changes we have needed to work through all of the technical detail on the scheme to be confident that what is proposed is fully feasible and deliverable. If it is decided that the proposals should go ahead, we will be seeking to introduce them in May.
How will people know the area covered by the restrictions and the times of operation?
Signs will be displayed at each location. Advanced warning signs will also be
in place. Online mapping companies (such as Google, TomTom, Garmin etc) will be informed of the revised restrictions.
Why don’t we introduce ‘traditional’, individual School Streets?
An area-based scheme offers the quickest way of making children’s journeys to and from school within the LTN safer and healthier. This has benefits not only immediately outside the school gates, but also across a much wider area which will create a more appealing environment in which to walk or cycle during these times. The proposals make use of existing LTN infrastructure that is already in place to make delivery quicker and more cost effective.
We wish to combine the benefits of both the original and current versions of the LTN, by providing added protection for pupils travelling to school, whilst still allowing greater flexibility of traffic movement outside of these hours. It also means that we can avoid adding any further restriction points across the LTN, with minimal additional signage required.
There are a six schools in the area, most of which have an entrance / exit on more than one road. If we were to implement individual school streets instead, whilst simultaneously allowing traffic a west to east route through the LTN, this would have focused through traffic on a smaller number of residential streets within the LTN than before the LTN measures were introduced (ie pre-COVID).
Who will benefit?
Almost 2,400 children and their parents/carers who travel to the following schools will benefit from the proposals. Some of these pupils travel to the school from areas adjacent to the LTN:
- St Winifred’s RC School
- Trinity CofE Secondary School
- Trinity CofE Primary School
- Brindishe Lee School
- Brindishe Manor School
- St Saviours RC School
However, it is not just the school community that benefits - anyone travelling through the area on foot or by bicycle during the restricted hours will also be able to take advantage of the safer and quieter streets that are being created.
What exemptions apply?
The same exemptions that apply to the existing LTN will apply to the revised scheme, if implemented, which includes the emergency services and Lewisham blue badge holders. Exemptions will be kept under regular review to ensure the objectives of the scheme are still being met.
Find out more about how to register on our website.
Are parents/carers/teachers exempt?
Parents or carers dropping children at school, and teachers, will not be eligible for an exemption through the closure points, unless they are considered to be one of the eligible groups already qualifying for an exemption to the LTN.
As with the existing LTN, all premises within the LTN are still accessible by vehicle, it is just through movements past certain points that are prohibited. Parents who feel they need to drive will have to park legally nearby and walk the last part of the journey. However, we hope that most children and their carers will choose to walk/cycle the whole journey and take advantage of the safer and healthier environment that we are seeking to create in the vicinity of the schools.
Many schools have relatively local catchments, and there is already a high proportion of pupils walking and cycling to school. We would like to see a reduction in the number of cars using roads around the school gates, whether it’s for dropping off children or as a potential short cut.
What is the penalty for driving through the area when the restrictions are in force?
It is the same as the existing LTN measures - a £130 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to unauthorised vehicles driving through the camera enforced restriction when it is in force, although this is reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.
What is the expected impact on bus journey times and congestion?
It is expected that the changes to the scheme will encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport rather than drive during peak school hours. Throughout the monitoring of the scheme it has been difficult to separate out the impact of the LTN from the background changes in traffic flow that are happening as a result of the tightening/easing of lockdown.
The changes to the LTN implemented in November 2020 sought to improve bus journey times and ease congestion by reopening a west to east route, from Hither Green to Lee Green, through the LTN area. However this was at a time when levels of car usage remained relatively high as people were reluctant to use public transport. As lockdown restrictions are eased and more people receive the vaccine, it is anticipated that people will once again feel confident using public transport and the traffic impacts of the measures won’t be as significant. We are already seeing signs of public transport use increasing again post lockdown.
It should also be noted that the dominant west to east flow through the area is during the evening commuter peak, rather than during school pick up times, by which time these routes through the LTN will be available. We are continuing to engage with TfL on the scheme and will work closely with them to monitor the impacts of any changes that are made.
What will be the impact on air quality?
The proposed measures should help to reduce traffic levels and congestion through the area which will in turn improve the air quality. We are monitoring air quality monitoring before the measures go in and afterwards to measure the outcome of the traffic reductions. Initial monitoring from the original LTN scheme shows that the scheme did not have a negative impact on air quality. Read the LTN air quality monitoring report.
How would the impact of the scheme be monitored?
As with the existing LTN measures, if we were to proceed with the proposals, we would continue to monitor traffic/congestion levels, bus journey times, air quality levels, Commonplace feedback and the impact on emergency services. This would then be fed into the review of the LTN scheme as a whole.
Who is funding the scheme?
The LTN Programme has been funded primarily by the Department for Transport, via Transport for London.
How can I comment on the proposals?
Anyone who would like to make a comment on the proposed measurements being put in place as part of the Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood safer journeys to school, can do so on our consultation website.
We will be seeking feedback about people’s experiences of the broader LTN during a public consultation in late May 2021.
Are you consulting with residents or will respondees include those who come in from other areas to cut through?
We are consulting with local residents and all interested parties. As part of the survey we will be requesting details of where people live and their connection to the area so we can take account of this in the consultation analysis.
We were told these school streets would happen, why are you now consulting?
These measures are being funded by the Department for Transport (via TfL). In line with current Department for Transport guidance, we are consulting with residents to find out how they feel about these new measures.
How long is the consultation period?
The consultation will run until 21st March 2021.