Lewisham & Lee Green Healthy Neighbourhood
1) What is the Healthy Neighbourhood programme?
Healthy neighbourhoods is a programme that will change our streets to encourage more people to walk and cycle rather than drive. This is an aim set out in our Transport Strategy and Local Implementation Plan 2019–2041 (LIP3).
The programme is likely to include the following package of measures, subject to availability of funding and public consultation:
• Traffic management measures including modal filter installations and banned turns that stop vehicles passing but allow pedestrians and cyclists through (pictured).
• School Streets - road closures outside schools during pick-up and drop-off times to address congestion and parking, encourage more active travel to school and improve air quality.
• Complementary measures such as:
o contra-flow cycling (cycling both ways along one-way streets)
o improved pedestrian crossing points
o secure cycle parking
o street trees
o electric vehicle charging points.
2) Where can I get information on the Healthy Neighbourhood programme?
London Borough of Lewisham (LBL) has a dedicated HN page. Once a Healthy Neighbourhood enters the early consultation phase it will get its very own consultation page called ‘Street Builder’ which will be used to engage local residents and businesses through online consultations and providing updates and event details. Along with this, each Healthy Neighbourhood will also get its very own email address for public enquiries.
An example of the StreetBuilder page can be seen here
3) How were the 18 Healthy Neighbourhood boundaries decided?
The borough has a network of A roads, railways and rivers that naturally offer ‘hard boundaries’ to areas. Using local knowledge of the area we have split the borough along theses boundaries with each ‘cell’ amounting to one Healthy Neighbourhood. Go to https://lewisham.gov.uk/ and select “in my area” and using the interactive map use the “Lewisham areas”” drop down menu at the top and select “Healthy Neighbourhood” to see all 18 Healthy Neighbourhoods with the option of zooming into individual areas to see which one your address is in.
4) How long does it take to develop a HN proposal?
Below is an example of the stages that we go through in each Healthy Neighbourhood. Each HN is different and may require different amounts of time in any one or more of the stages below. However we aim to get to the trial stage within 6 to 12 months of the initial consultation.
The four stages of a healthy neighbourhood project are:
Stage 1. Community engagement and design
We will start a discussion with key stakeholders and members of the public so we can understand local traffic issues better and identify schemes to address them. We have appointed healthy street experts Sustrans to manage this process
Throughout this stage, you can access an online portal and the StreetBuilder tool, which will allow you to interact with the project in an engaging and easy-to-understand way. You will have access to data on:
• traffic volumes
• rat-run routes.
The portal will also provide a toolkit of options that can be included in a healthy neighbourhood and regular progress updates.
Community engagement activities in each area will include:
• information letter drops to HN area residents, shops, businesses etc.
• resident access to the online portal and StreetBuilder tool
• online perception surveys
• pop-up surveys on local streets
• co-design workshops
We will provide HN updates:
• at local assembly meetings
• on social media
• on the HN portal.
Stage 2. A trial traffic reduction scheme
After the responses from Stage 1 have been analysed, we will put forward a proposed package of schemes for the area. These will consist of a number of traffic-management measures, such as road closures and banned turns, plus a set of complementary measures. We will announce this through:
• the online portal
• a public exhibition
• street notices
• letter drops.
We will trial and monitor the closures through a temporary traffic order for six to 18 months. In most cases, we will enforce this with temporary planters placed on the road, possibly with one fully built example to demonstrate what the eventual closure will look like. If necessary, the trial can be removed sooner than six months.
At the end of the trial period, Mayor and Cabinet will decide if we should make the closures permanent, and deliver the complementary measures.
One of the key objectives of the scheme is traffic reduction. This means that without the traffic management measures, the other complementary schemes are unlikely to be implemented. If this happens, we will divert funding to another area.
Stage 3. Construction
If the trial is successful, we will fully implement the scheme. Updates on the works programme will be available through the online portal.
Stage 4. Monitoring
We will monitor the changes comprehensively to make sure they are performing as intended and identify any problems. We will then do any necessary work to address the issues.
5) What Consultation will be carried out?
There are 4 main opportunities to feed into the consultation:
1) Initially a public consultation specialist team will run an online and face to face consultation programme in each Healthy Neighbourhood. This forms part of Stage 1 and is called the ‘Discovery Phase’ when we are looking to identify specific issues around traffic and environment in the HN.
2) Once this data has been collect there is ‘Solutions Phase’ (also part of Stage 1) where we ask the community how they would like to see these issues solved. This is delivered via an online Street Builder portal as well as face to face co-design workshops delivered in the Healthy Neighbourhood.
3) As part of Stage 2, the resulting designed scheme will be ‘Trialled’ for a period of 6 months. This 6 months will act as a consultation period, thoughts and suggestions about the scheme will be able to be submitted to the LBL through the StreetBuilder page, email and post. At the end of the trial the Council will produce a consultation report detailing how the trial has been received by the community along with any changes to the design as a result of the feedback.
4) If there are any major changes from the trialled scheme to the design of the permanent scheme these elements will also be consulted on before implementation.
6) What is meant by the ‘trial’ period for the proposed traffic restrictions?
As part of Stage 2, a 6 month trial (using an experimental traffic order) will follow the community engagement phase once a design for interventions in a Healthy Neighbourhood have been formulated. However, this will not include camera enforced modal filters or other high initial cost interventions. This will allow us (for a relatively low cost) to ‘test’ the design to see how it works in ‘real life’ and it also allows us to ‘tweak’ the design if required as all the interventions during the trial phase will be relatively easy to move. The public can comment on the interventions during the 6 month trial, any comment received will be taken to be responses to the consultation of the scheme.
Example of a modal filter using an experimental traffic order.
7) What happens after the trial?
After the trial LBL will collate all the responses received and produce a report detailing the results of the trial. If any changes to the trial are required these will be detailed in the report. In the months after the end of the trial the interventions will either be removed, changed or made permanent. The timescale for these changes will be dependent on availability of human and financial resource and may not happen immediately after the trial.
8) The trial is mainly focused on restricting through traffic, what about the extra crossings and street improvements that have been suggested?
The trial is a relatively low cost ‘test’ of the traffic reduction measures as without these there is no Healthy Neighbourhood. Once we understand the impact of these measures, and these are agreed by Mayor & Cabinet to be acceptable, the permanent design for the area will be confirmed. Depending on available funding, supplementary measures such as crossing and extra greening will be included.
9) After the trial will the final proposals be exactly the same as the trial designs?
After the trial LBL will collate all the responses received and produce a report detailing the results of the trial. If any changes to the trial are required these will be detailed in the report. In the months after the end of the trial the interventions will either be removed, changed or made permanent. The timescales for changes will be dependent on availability of staff and financial resource and whilst we will seek to implement these as soon as possible, it may not happen immediately after the trial. The trial can remain in place for up to 18 months.
10) What is a modal filter?
A modal filter is a traffic management measure that stops vehicles passing but allows pedestrians and cyclists through. Modal filters can be designed in many different ways from a simple row of bollards to more complex designs including seating, planting and play equipment.
11) What will the modal filters look like in my Healthy Neighbourhood?
The trial modal filters will take the form of a number of large wooden planters (probably 2) with either trees or plants in them, these will be placed on the carriageway either side of a drop down bollard. This design is simple and adaptable allowing the filters to be used in many different locations and road widths.
At the end of the trial period, a permanent design for each modal filter will be produced. These will in the majority of cases have some form of tree pit to replace the planters and the bollard will remain. There may be specific locations where a more complex permanent filter is provided, which will be designed using feedback received from the local community.
Examples of what the Healthy Neighbourhood modal filters could look like.
12) Will the restrictions be 24hrs a day 7 days a week?
Once implemented the majority of restrictions including Modal filters and bus Gates will be 24hrs a day 7 days a week.
13) Why do the traffic restrictions have to be 24hrs a day?
A key aims of the Healthy Neighbourhoods Programme is to remove rat running traffic from an area to enable residents and businesses to enjoy low traffic environments. While areas may be most affected by through traffic during rush hour there is still a need to reduce traffic at other parts of the day.
There are also issues around the effectiveness of modal filters that only operate during certain times of the day. Firstly these filters would need to be designed in an ‘open state’ and would require drivers to obey signs in not passing through them. Evidence shows that compliance with these types of modal filters is low and having camera enforcement on each filter is not financially viable.
14) How will emergency services be affected by modal filters?
During the design phase the emergency services - the ambulance services, police and fire brigade are consulted on any proposed road changes and have the opportunity to feed into the design to ensure essential access can be maintained.
15) What if there is an issue during the trial? Who do I contact?
During the trial you will be able to contact the Healthy Neighbourhoods team via email, via the online portal or in the case of an emergency by phoning the council switch board.
16) What is a School Street?
A School Street is where the road directly outside the school entrance(s) is closed to traffic for a short time just before the start and the end of the school day. This provides a safe and calm environment for the students of the school, while encouraging sustainable modes of transport for the school drop off and pick up. You can find out more here.
17) I live in one of the proposed school street zones, how does this affect me?
Please visit our schools streets webpage for how a school street will work including if you live inside one.
18) I have regular deliveries by a large vehicle, how will these deliveries be affected?
Direct access to all properties is to be maintained in a Healthy Neighbourhood, what may be affected is which route you and any associated deliveries will need to take to your property or business. It could be an opportunity to review your deliveries to see if you could reduce the frequency or change the method of delivery to further make your Healthy Neighbourhood a success.
19) How does the bus get through where you have a modal filter?
Modal filters proposed on bus routes will take the form of a camera controlled bus gate that will allow buses to pass through. Any other traffic passing through will be filmed and subject to a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). It may be difficult to install camera enforced filters in the trial phase due to high costs but the permanent scheme will include camera enforced bus gates if required.
20) The restrictions mean that I have to drive a lot further and down busy roads, won’t this cause more pollution?
The Healthy Neighbourhood programme primarily looks to deliver a low traffic neighbourhood, but more than that it looks to change the way residents view transport and their travel choices. There will always be those essential car journeys that people need to make, and for mobility impaired resident this maybe every journey. However, for the rest of us the transport choices we make have a direct impact on not only our local community, but that of our neighbours.
So while initially journeys may feel longer and counter intuitive we hope that some of those journeys in the future you will make by more sustainable modes such as walking, cycling or public transport.
21) What is traffic modelling and how does it affect Healthy Neighbourhood proposals?
Proposals that look to change traffic routing and/or flow on a road system use a process called ‘traffic modelling’ to predict the potential impacts on the wider road network.
Models provide a high level representation of the road network and use a series of calculations and assumptions, primarily around estimated journey times, to predict the likely impact the proposed changes have on traffic flow, routeing and delay.
These results can be useful in understanding if the proposals are likely to be successful and also what type of impact they will have on surrounding roads.
The Healthy Neighbourhoods programme is made up of ambitious traffic reduction targets achieved by restricting traffic through residential areas. These proposals have impacts on the surrounding road network which carries strategic traffic such as bus routes and the transportation of goods and services.
As a Highway Authority, LBL has to work with our partners at Transport for London who are responsible for a proportion of this strategic road network to try to reduce any negative impacts the proposals may have on these roads, with particular consideration given towards maintaining bus journey times.
As a result, an acceptable level of benefit for the healthy neighbourhood cell against the impact on the wider network has to be agreed using the results of traffic modelling. To achieve this balance, mitigation measures may be needed e.g. adjustments to traffic signal timings. In addition the “trial” element of the proposals allows LBL to test and amend the design should we need to.
The trial design has to take all these conflicting benefits and impacts into consideration making the task of creating a universally acceptable scheme difficult in certain circumstances.
Traffic modelling has its limitations and in some cases can over/under estimate impacts on the road network. The Healthy Neighbourhood programme understands this and is one reason that the trial looks to ‘test’ the modelling ‘theory’. Any trial scheme is exactly that, a test, and if major issues are identified the design can be either amended at the conclusion of the trial or in extreme circumstances during the trial.
22, How can I contact the Healthy Neighbourhoods team?
For comments relating to Lewisham & Lee Green, please email [email protected] Lewisham Council commits to responding to valid enquiries within 14 days.
You can also write to us with any queries to:
4th Floor Laurence House
Please use the StreetBuilder online platform to submit comments and feedback as well as signing up to receive Healthy Neighbourhood news updates. For support using this site, please email [email protected].