Is it just me, or is the pedestrian crossing at Honor Oak Rd and A205/London Rd (on the petrol station side) super dangerous? I don’t understand how with the amount of foot traffic there to get to the Horniman, there isn’t a proper pedestrian crossing light. The number of times I’ve been scared for my life, dragging two kids across that rd… and I’ve seen big groups of school children running across with their teachers too. Is there anything that can be done? Or is there a better way to cross that we’ve all missed?
Unsafe crossing for pedestrians, Honor Oak Rd and A205/London Rd
Yep - I agree. They redid the layout recently (summer or last summer) but made it so that as a pedestrian at the Honor Oak Road crossing you can’t actually see the traffic lights and they also removed the ‘red/green men’ indicators too.
I’m guessing it follows the thinking that pedestrians will be more careful of themselves if they aren’t given green lights, but the problem is that children may not be so careful and so having a green man is a good idea. Allowing the pedestrians to be in a position to see the traffic lights, or repeated lights, would at least be some help.
I think there was a consultation for the changes here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/streets/a205-london-road-and-honor-oak-road/
In my view, they totally failed to improve the crossing and have made it significantly more dangerous for pedestrians, especially those with children.
There’s definitely a bit of a knack to crossing that road, at one point when the lights kick in you have a 5 second or so gap where there’s no traffic - lived on Honor Oak Road for about 9 years and it wasn’t always easy.
I got involved in a right ruckus with someone at that crossing about a year ago when a pedestrian stepped out in front of me on my bike (lights had just changed to go for me)
Could have been avoided if there was a ped light…
It’s a bad situation for everyone isn’t it? As a driver too, it really freaks me out having people jump out in front of my car
Is there anywhere I can raise this to the council? Sorry I know this kind of thing comes up all the time, but with 2 kids, the fact that I don’t forget my name sometimes is an accomplishment!
I think you would need to take it up with TfL. Also the 2014 consultation had the following to say, (linked in my first post on this topic):
I’m not sure it was also appreciated that pedestrians also would not be able to see the traffic signals so can’t even be fully confident signals will remain at red when crossing in front of stopped cars.
Wow. I am baffled by this. “People don’t wait for the green man anyway, so let’s not put it??? It slows traffic down??” There is a huge museum right there with so many visitors from forest hill station… how could they say that? I feel worse now than I did before when I thought it was an oversight!
And thanks for the extract btw!
Yup, and I think the worst is that it’s probably less able persons that would actually wait for the ‘green man’ who are now in the most danger. Specifically I’m thinking of those with reduced mobility due to disability, prams or small children in tow.
London councils do tend to use pedestrians as traffic calming measures.
I wonder if this is due to it being on the A205 and TFL prioritising the traffic flow at all costs?
I hate that crossing. If I get a bus up from East Dulwich, usually laden with shopping, that is the crossing I have to use to get to my road. I have taken to staying on the bus to the next stop. A little longer to haul my shopping back but the crossing near Sainsbury’s is safer.
I love living in Forest Hill but the presence of the South Circular and the apparent prioritisation of traffic over pedestrians really impacts on the quality of life here.
Sorry off topic from the original post but to also add to bad crossings…
The same could be said about the Tesco’s petrol station crossing on Honor Oak Road. Doesn’t actually provide an allocated time for pedestrians to cross and there’s no “crossing man” on the lights. Terrifying for parents crossing with young children to get to the Hornimans and just truly unacceptable in this day and age. Just another example of how our high street favours cars over its residents.
On that one there’s a little positive news. There was a consultation that agreed a new road layout at the junction with pedestrian crossings.
Although TFL were supposed to start work in 2020 so who knows when it will happen.
Ahh finally, that junction is pretty dodgy wether you’re walking or driving.
Quite a few of those residents are in those cars.
However, I agree with you, that junction is not a good one. The summer walk through the Horniman to the school was challenging at times.
And many aren’t. Only about half of Lewisham residents own cars and the South circular is a major London artery so many people using that junction will be driving through.
For me it isn’t an either or but a rebalancing the public realm away from the car driver more to the pedestrian.p
The thing I can’t fathom is that as a pedestrian trying to cross Honor Oak Road at that junction you can’t see any of the traffic lights. I recall that previously (up topic) there was comment from TfL that a signalised crossing for pedestrians would slow down traffic, but that’s no excuse to design it so that pedestrians can’t even see the vehicle traffic lights from the crossing points.
It’s just such bad design, I don’t know how the design could have been approved and implemented.
Focusing on a US V THEM argument doesn’t help. It would possibly be more productive to focus on the issue, the crossing.
I explicitly said I wasn’t doing that.
But you explicitly did it:
Marginalising people’s legitimate interests on the basis of them being a minority? A nasty line of thinking.
Lewisham is a climate where community leaders, councillors and their “grassroots” social media campaigns actively promote this divisive “us vs them” rhetoric against residents who own cars, so I don’t blame you specifically, Hannah - it’s just a prevailing environment of division. But we should be mindful of it.
It’s disappointing that there seems to be zero interest from the Council or the GLA / City Mayor in tunnelling the A205.
Meanwhile, if the A205 is what we’re dealing with, then there is no reason it should remain as 30 MPH through Forest Hill - especially near amenities such as the museum and the station.
Other Boroughs have reduced speeds of sections of A roads to 20 MPH. A good example is the A1 from Highbury corner towards Holloway. This stretch of A road has tube stations, University buildings, many shops and restaurants. The speed is 20 MPH and heavily enforced. Needless to say, all the pedestrian crossings are single phase with plenty of time given for the crossing the road.
Currently, vehicle traffic definitely has priority over pedestrians in Forest Hill.
Putting a 20mph limit into a vital circular artery road would have repercussions that span a lot further than Forest Hill. It would cause needless grinding congestion, longer journeys and pollution (provided the limit is actually effective, and not another embarrassing failure)
I’m sure some bright spark will respond with “but cars on this road don’t travel faster than 20mph anyway.” If that were true we should leave the limits as they are, because it would be unnecessary to lower them.
Absurdly low speed limits are not a substitute for safe, effective crossings and good road design. Let’s think beyond these crude and counterproductive measures.
Have you got something to say about the crossing?
And I didn’t say you did, but others have. You made a good, reasoned comment as always.
Dial back the hyperbole eh Chris. Argueing for a rebalancing is not marginalising or nasty. Drivers are hardly an oppressed minority when it comes to the south circular. A lot of roads like the south circular are designed to keep traffic flowing often at the expense of pedestrians and the areas they pass through. In Forest Hill that approach causes issues for both residents and businesses. No one would argue that London road is a particularly nice environment to shop or dwell in at the moment.
Dividing residents into two groups and inciting one side against the other is indeed marginalising and nasty. Words like “rebalancing” sound laudable until we consider what they mean in this context.
Yes, roads are indeed designed to keep traffic flowing. That’s what roads are for. If people buy houses and shops next to busy roads, that’s on them. They shouldn’t then turn around and complain about the road.
That’s a bit like moving to the countryside, complaining about cockerels crowing, and then demanding that the countryside be “rebalanced” in your favour.
I believe I did, yes!
I think the main hypo-criticality of the south circular is that pedestrians are favoured on certain stretches of the route - Dulwich park, Clapham Common etc. where the crossings are either much favoured to the local residents (which they rightly should be) or have lower speed restrictions and/or cameras. Whilst I can’t argue the environmental aspect of introducing a speed reduction it would certainly make the area feel less “whacky racers”. And it feels really insulting having to wait 5 minutes (particularly in the rain) just to be able to cross our high street to get home.
It beggars belief that the main crossing to the hornimans doesn’t have a pedestrian-safe crossing, no child would be able to cross here by themself. I tried crossing here with young children a couple of years ago and in the end I had to carry them and dash across when the coast looked clear. Just not safe. Regardless of traffic impact associated with changing the lights it is simply not fair to not provide pedestrians an allocated time frame to safely cross the road.
Eh, pretty sure it does. It has one right outside the main gate and was updated just a few years ago.
When considering fairness, we need to weigh up how many people we’re inconveniencing on both sides of the equation.
- For every minute the lights are green, how many pedestrians are forced to wait?
- For every minute the lights are red, how many drivers and passengers are forced to wait? (bearing in mind on a circular arterial road, that could be a lot of drivers and passengers).
If we kept this in mind, we’d probably weight the lights heavily toward green in order to inconvenience the fewest human beings.
My reasoning assumes we treat drivers and passengers (and all others who rely on them) as human beings, whose rights are equivalent to those of pedestrians.
I would walk up the hill on the other side of the road and use the crossing by the Horniman Museum.
I’m talking about getting to the hornimans from the high street.
Hmm back on topic. This is about crossings on a busy road. A red route should provide traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings, not be a free for all as it is currently at that junction.
Lowering speeds to 20mph wouldn’t effect the flow of traffic. Many would ignore it as they do now but perhaps it would bring speeds down closer to the 30 mark rather than the 40+ often seen.
Also what’s the harm in trying to improve a busy high street? Must you always put up with the status quo.
So… my original post got flagged for an honest question… However my main thrust was, if you’re not part of the forest hill community or interact with it regularly should you still be entitled to comment on something that people feel strongly about who live here?
From a safety perspective, car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are not equal. It’s less about speed and more about safety, surely, where pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes are concerned. So things should be adjusted to make the roads equally safe for all users, not just safe for car drivers.
Someone else pointed out the A3 and A24 which run from Elephant and Castle through SW London that are pressulaby similar roads to the South Circ. Here there are so many pedestrian crossings, and a cycle lane. The South Circ in FH really is pretty much 100% for the car driver and it’s a shame things have not been changed sooner.
I think you misunderstood my post, which was about the phasing of traffic lights at crossings in order to ensure fairness between pedestrains and vehicles.
Sure, let’s discuss safety if you want, but that’s an entirely different question.
Ahem, safety is also in the topic title…
I only lived there for 16 years, bought my first house there, had two kids there and raised them there, worked there and made good friends who we return to see as often as we can.
Apart from that, no, I guess I should keep my opinions to myself.
Well, yes, without any doubt. Also, someone feeling strongly about something doesn’t mean that they are either right or shouldn’t be challenged.
I think the last set of changes made the pavement wider on the petrol station corner, perhaps with that in mind, and maybe to slow traffic as it comes down the hill and turns left.
Interesting though regarding trams!
Yes, there’s a fundamental inequity which favours those on board as against the communities who suffer the noise pollution, air pollution, water spray, etc. The inequity increases with the speed and distance travelled. Just think of the likely Covid infections spread by the few to the many, because of the laissez-faire travel policies in the UK. The communities who suffer from vehicle commuter routes, high-speed rail tracks, and flight paths, have had no serious representation in the UK, and certainly not in Forest Hill.
Coming back to London Road: the Honor Oak Road crossing is one of a number needing urgent attention. And further down in our town centre - why should someone getting their hair done or enjoying a bowl of noodles, have the prospect of juggernaut vehicles at 30 MPH just a few feet away from where they are sitting. Feels unsafe, apart from any other consideration.