Dartmouth Road Closure [Now Open]



I may need to clarify, the very first update that we had a week of works do finish was done at the beginning of March. Then it was a following week, then again a week.

I still hope that the road will reopen on 19th April this year. :crossed_fingers:


That’s not what I’ve heard from a local business. I’ve heard that the primary cause of delay is that the guys do the work, the foreman arrives at the end of the week, shakes his head, waves his arms and then the work has to be redone again - properly.

Assuming businesses survive the downturn in trade that they’re suffering in the meantime, during this much longer than anticipated road closure.


I really hope it’s next week. The closure of Dartmouth Road in all honesty has led me to come into the town centre less and I’ve been using Sydenham or East Dulwich over the last two months.


Was the reason that you couldn’t drive and park on dartmouth road or was it that you didn’t find it inviting to go shopping on a building site, would be interesting to know why people kept away


I get the impression that the effect of closing a road off to vehicular traffic, be it temporarily, or as a pedestrianisation exercise can have far deeper effects that it would first appear. Especially in areas where suitable parking is not possible.

Just as footfall, I guess sometimes, through traffic is also important to certain businesses and their sustainability.


The lack of buses will also have made it harder to get to Dartmouth Road. The introduction of two bus stops in the centre of the shops should help to bring shoppers to the town centre.


Dartmouth road has had nearly double the amount of parking since its closure. Cars are parked now on both sides with a lot of cars parked on the northside from the library up to Derby Hill and on the other side in the official parking places. I don’t think this additional parking has brought any trade from the most recent reports which I think goes against the myth, the easier it is to park somewhere, the more trade you will get, life normally seems to suggest otherwise which is why I would agree that more bus stops causing people to walk will improve footfall and trade.


Most of those cars belong to residents and people who are working nearby, which has actually reduced the parking spaces available to shoppers on Dartmouth Road. I do agree with the prediction that the new bus stops will help with footfall in the mid-section of Dartmouth Road though.


I can also see that the opening of the bus route will improve footfalll, however I don’t think the opening of the road will , my hope is that the improvements will make dartmouth road more attractive, in my opinion dartmouth road needs a large tenant to attract more footfall, I always find myself walking up London road towards Sainsbury’s and pick up shopping around the shops there but very seldom venture up dartmouth road which also has to do that most shops are closed when I arrive back from work. I understand of course that the shops cater for the day crowd I am just giving my reason why I don’t often visit except for the nightine economy of course :smiley:


The cuts in bus services to Forest Hill have been too dramatic. Normally there are three bus routes to Forest Hill from Dulwich, this has been reduced to the 185 which since the works is overcrowded, while the 176 and 197 run near empty along Kirkdale and Sydenham Hill.

Sydenham would have almost certainly benefited from bus traffic coming straight from Lordship Lane. There should have been more forward planning on the bus front from TfL, such as diverting the 176 to Forest Hill during this time to relieve pressure on the 185.

I haven’t noticed much change to the 122, this maybe down to the fact that it only affects Dartmouth Road bus stops compared to the 176 and 197 which also serve Hornimans.


Totally agree on the bus front - I suspect that’s had more to do with the lack of footfall than the road being closed. Those driving have still been able to access the pools and library (detours feels shorter in a car) and from all accounts, parking has almost been easier.

I seem to recall reading (although specific sources escape me) that providing better public transport, cycling and more pleasant pedestrian routes tend to bring more to local shops than simply parking. Those on buses/bikes and feet tend to spend longer in an area and it’s easier for them to hop on and off and stop into interesting places. The Dartmouth Road closure hasn’t been great for any of those groups.


Okay, sorry, I cut out your buses/ bikes bit to emphasise the point that I’ve been banging-on about for 18 months; and I make no apology for doing it again.


So, park your car FREE for 2 hours in Perry Vale or Sainsburys car park and after 90 seconds on foot you’ll be at the start of Dartmouth Road. Hopefully, you’ll spend a while popping into a few shops and eateries and when more people have cottoned-on to this the footfall on Dartmouth Road will increase, existing shopkeepers will be taking money again and other traders will see the area as being commercially viable, which will lead to new businesses wanting to move in.

I still think that there are a few traders who will see an opportunity to pick up a bit of trade from the up-to 7:30pm commuter trade, like our very own @Insight.


Then imagine Superdrug would have opened in heron house ( or Iceland , Lidl, m&s) than you would have another 300+ people walking up and visiting shops on their way up and down, I said it before I really like the look of Dartmouth road now and hope there will be good times ahead


Although it sounds counter-intuitive, I think making parking more difficult in the residential areas beside Dartmouth Road would be good for the shops. I think easy and free parking contributes very little to the shops and is detrimental for the residents not being able to park near their houses. It encourages them to destroy their gardens and put in ugly municipal paving driveways which take away the pollution reduction effects of trees, hedges and lawns.


And possibly station commuters too. As I understand, there have been no parking restrictions on those spaces so cars have been taking up space all day, making it more difficult for daytime shoppers and people who need their hair and nails seen to.


Those pesky commuters have been at it again taking up spaces that should be reserved for shoppers and residents but what can we do?


Presumably when the road opens there will be double yellow lines except in the limited time parking bays - which are effectively reserved for shoppers.

The fight for spaces between residents and commuters / traders / teachers and other shoppers will continue.


I wouldn’t say the buses are running near-empty on Kirkdale – it has actually been a boon for people living on Sydenham Hill to have more bus service than previously, especially for older people. I agree this doesn’t help traders on Dartmouth Road/London Road. But to have more bus service up the hill than the twice-an-hour 356 has been great.


I’ve been told that what can be done is now being done: parking restrictions are now being enforced after several weeks of them letting them go.

I’m not going to engage in a discussion about the rights and wrongs of parking restrictions and who should have priority - but simply making the point that the reason why the greater availability of parking spaces is not resulting in greater footfall for local businesses is possibly because a lot of vehicles are parked on Dartmouth Road all day while their owners are in Londontown.


We will move the problem back onto the residential streets without parking restrictions until they decide that they have had enough and want their own parking restrictions as the traffic gets worse. It would be good to see the council do something to improve the roads that form the Dartmouth Road car park. It seems a waste that they put in a conservation area but want to encourage its use as a car park.