Dartmouth Road Reconfiguration

I know what you mean. I think there’s an ideological element to the plans. As in other schemes (e.g. the unpopular 20mph scheme), the council might be trying to reduce car usage by making car usage less pleasant.

You mention that 20mph limit is unpopular but the reverse is the case. It is popular and has been for some years now according to recent research. I’ll grant you that quite a few motorists don’t seem to like it, and perhaps they have stronger lobby groups than cyclists,pedestrians, children so we hear rather disproportionately from them. People want lower speeds where they live, work and play. http://www.bristolhealthpartners.org.uk/latest-news/2017/10/16/public-support-for-20mph-limits-holds-firm-new-study-reveals/961


Look, @ThorNogson, clearly you don’t understand that @ChrisBeach is a perfectly safe driver and is aware of his surrounding - both visible and hidden - in all lights and wether conditions. Yes, we see many others driving recklessly, but why should Chris be inconvenienced due to the irresponsibility of others? You should stop being selfish.


Can we keep this thread on topic? The 20 mph ruling is irrelevant to Dartmouth Road as there is no chance of reaching that speed anyway. :wink:


I find the arguments about narrowing the road and widening the pavement not entirely convincing. The area by the Thorpewood Avenue bus stop on the east side of the road had no need of widening and yet is now several feet wider and the road now essentially one-lane/one way. Dartmouth Road is the main artery from Sydenham to Forest Hill and the route of all but one bus from Sydenham/Crystal Palace. There were already traffic jams every morning at rush hour before these works as buses tried to turn onto London Road. Now they are much worse as buses cannot pass each other easily. This adds about 25 minutes to my commute by bus. I don’t see it ending at the end of the wirks.

The only thing I could see that was necessary in the road improvements was to lessen these traffic jams, but they have been made worse – apparently deliberately, according to a letter from an official on the Sydenham Town Forum.

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The letter (emphasis mine, towards the bottom):

So the council admits it’s willing to deliberately cause congestion by forcing the entire flow of traffic to come to a grinding halt every time a bus stops.

This is classic zero-sum policy-making, and so crudely implemented

The main improvement to the traffic flow will be the double yellow lines on both sides of the street, particularly towards the north end.

Improved pedestrian space and crossings will make the street more attractive to shoppers, with slightly increased numbes of parking bays and length of stay. Although this is a through road, it is also the heart of the town centre and the primary objective for Dartmouth Road should be a place that people want to visit, rather than driving to Bell Green for all their shopping.

I’m not a highway engineer, so I’m not sure the exact impact on road speeds and jams, but i think there is a school of thought that says slower speeds regulate flow and reduce the build up of jams. That does depend on the outflow from a particular section, and Dartmouth Road northbound is still limited by the flow on to the junction with the south circular. Speed calming, bus stops, and narrow streets will have little impact on that bottleneck. And with the double yellow lines the flow should actually improve.

Some people have suggested that the double yellow lines won’t work and people will park there anyway. Personally i doubt it will be such a problem and the narrower road will actually stop this from happening as anybody parking on the double yellow will be completely blocking traffic flow (unless they are right on the pavement). The aim is certainly not to increase jams, it is actually hoped that it will improve flow, but that might be too much to ask for on a road that is often a 500m queue northbound.

No scheme could solve all the problems on this road and this scheme is an attempt to balance the needs and safety of drivers, bus users, pedestrians, cyclists, traders, and shoppers. At the moment the road is incorrectly balanced in favour of inconsiderate parking and against pedestrians and shoppers. I’m hopeful that the scheme will be positive for almost everybody, including drivers.


Sorry to say that double yellows will do nothing to stop those people who want to stop from stopping. I has happened for the 16 years I lived there and I cannot see it stopping just because someone put new yellow lines on the road. Dartmouth road has a pinch point and unless you have an enforcement officer there twenty four seven some idiot will always park outside the shops, half on the pavement, and block traffic.

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Increased numbers of proper parking bays - definitely a good idea.

Double red lines may have made a difference if the scheme was intended to prevent anti-social parking:

The seven-figure cost of reconfiguring the pavements could have more than covered the cost of parking enforcement, and fines could have been a revenue stream.

However, as @Michael accurately points out, single file roads will prevent parking. Sledgehammers crack nuts, there’s no denying it.

It’s a shame no one told the M25 designers that single-file roads “regulate flow and prevent traffic jams” - just think how much money the UK could have saved on motorway construction.

Let’s see how ambulances and police cars get on with the new improved traffic flow that comes from reducing two lanes to one and ensuring that everyone travels at the speed of the slowest (or stationary) bus in front.

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cough white BMW near the florist cough

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That’s the one!

I remember an encounter between someone using the nail bar and a bus driver. She had parked right outside the nail bar, half on the pavement. Traffic was snarled up as a result. A bus driver coming into FH opened his window as she got into her car and asked her not to park there as it was causing chaos. Her response “F*ck you, I will do what I like”.

Some people really really dont care.

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maybe it’s just an expensive way of introducing the popular 20mph speed limit :wink:

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Those people just need to be fined. They don’t listen to people. Only money. No point trying to reason with them.

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But who will fine them?


Who issues parking penalty notices?

On red routes, parking penalties are issued by Metropolitan Police traffic wardens. On all other roads in the borough, parking tickets are issued by our parking enforcement contractor, NSL Services.

As I said, who will issue them. I believe that all of your (dwindling) local police have higher priorities. Yes I am sure they will do the odd sweep, but on a day to day basis, I doubt it. I have never seen a ticket issued on the double yellows but have seen lots on over stayers in marked bays. It makes you wonder doesn’t it.

Perhaps we’ll leave a discussion on dwindling police budgets and the affects on the community for a politicos thread. :wink:

But I read the Lewisham guidance as a suggestion the Met Police had a special division for parking on red routes. As for yellow line ticketing, I’ve seen a few tickets hugging screens in the area. I gather these services are self-funding though I"m sure some may have thoughts on that too.

The police shouldn’t be asked to enforce parking. I would hope they are trying to solve more serious crimes. The council should be able to enforce parking issues. It is better that they say they don’t bother such as with parking over people’s driveways than be half hearted in their prosecution of the law. It is never enforced so why keep up the pretence. As for Dartmouth Road, spend a few weeks showing no mercy and people will soon behave.


I agree. But I guess it comes down to jurisdiction. I didn’t think the Council had jurisdiction on red routes. Apparently the Met has employed traffic wardens for years.