Devonshire Road Caves?

The distancing signs are for the pavement works at beginning of Devonshire Rd.
The road closed sign should be further up the road nearer the hole so it looks different to the pavement works, many drivers aren’t taking any notice of it & are oblivious to a hole being there.
Can’t believe they are just leaving it like that till whenever they think it should be filled. If I had loads of hardcore, sand, cement & tarmac I’d go and fill it myself. Thanks to Sophie for raising it again with council!

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Sounds like a quote from Father Ted :rofl:

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Please share their response with us.

As of Tuesday 7th July, The road remains open. Even without the cavity, there is pavement refurbishment going on. This means that far from expanding the space for pedestrian use, in light of Covid-19, the pedestrian space has been reduced by 50%. Width is restricted even more than that in some parts where the Council has failed to do anything about bins unnecessarily parked permanently on the pavement.

In the spot pictured below, it’s singe-file only for pedestrians.

The pavement on the other side of the road is out of use

Pedestrians could walk in the road, if it was closed.

Putting a “road closed” notice by the side of the road is not an effective road closure, as everyone knows.

Apart from the potential personal catastrophe, if a pedestrian or member of the pavement work crew gets hit by a vehicle, I expect this could be very expensive for the Council. Would your insurer pay out if you had knowingly failed to close a road that should have been closed?

Covid-19 has been with us for several months; the pavement works are scheduled maintenance not emergency works. There has been time to plan. There are no excuses.

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The Road Closed signs are actually on the road but I’ve walked past a couple of times and people just drive around them. Unless the council actually close off the road off at the Forest Hill end to prevent access to the South Circ essentially making it a dead end drivers will continue to ignore the road closed signs.

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I have seen cars driving in from station road the side cars come out causing issues. Some drivers don’t care about the road signs and do what they like when they like I was quite shocked to see this. Also scared!!

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Hi all,

Below is an update from the Council’s Highways team:

The hole that has appeared in Devonshire Road has now been identified as a collapsed Thames Water sewer pipe. Thames will be taking over this site in the next day or so and begin works. I’m afraid I don’t currently have a timescale for the works, this will depend on what is found when they excavate the area.

The site has road closed signs plus diversion signs at the junctions with the South Circular and Ewelme Road. These signs do get moved around but our contractor does check the sight daily and return all signing to the correct position. Thames Water will be responsible for all the site barriers and signing in due course but officers will check to ensure their signing is adequate.

The pavement works taking place in the road do not have an adjacent walkway to allow for social distancing. A walkway would have to be 2 metres away from the workers and a minimum of 1.5 metres wide, totalling 3.5 metres from the kerb. This would reach almost to the centre of the road. There should be signs explaining this, showing the footway is closed and directing pedestrians to use the pavement on the other side of the road. The engineer looking after this scheme will visit the site tomorrow and check the correct signing is in place.


Lewisham Council at its worst explaining why they can’t close an already closed road!

Their point on daily inspections seems too few for a red route and an over height diversion for the biggest road in se London.


Walked past it again yesterday and the volume of cars disregarding the road closed sign resulting in the usual traffic blockage at the junction was absurd. I know it’s not the council’s fault if a driver chooses to ignore the road closure, but unless the actual junction is properly closed off the drivers know that it’s not really “closed”. They’re just not going to take a diversion when they know they can proceed straight on with their original route.


They have a solution for the volume of cars ignoring the sign. They (I presume Kensons - doing the unnecessary pavement repairs) have moved the Road Closed sign and replaced it with a road narrowing sign. Problem solved - until a lorry walls into the Caves!

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Exactly - hence the need to physically CLOSE THE ROAD,

Yes, frequently, hence the need to physically CLOSE THE ROAD

And when he leaves, the signs will again be moved, hence the need to CLOSE THE ROAD

Yes it is. Car drivers have discovered that when Lewisham puts a “road closed” notice in a road, it often does not represent the facts on the ground. The Council bring their own signage into disrepute, as no-one believes their notices. If the road was properly physically closed, it would be impossible for vehicles to drive through. Pedestrians would be safer and the works crew refurbishing the pavement would be safer. In effect the Council is, as usual, prioritising vehicle traffic above safety of pedestrians and cyclists.


@DevonishForester I do agree - but remember this isn’t actually a Lewisham road - it is a TfL road and they do not give a shit because the problem isn’t on their road. (Red route stops 10m into Devonshire Road)

How would you do this aside from putting up a ROAD CLOSED sign?

If someone is dumb enough to drive down a closed road and falls into a hole then they absolutely deserve it. It’s like driving on the pavement in a company van and then complaining you get fired level of stupidity.


The same way Thames Water did it three years ago. Heavy duty fencing across the entire junction, additionally have the works crew park their vans blocking the road in case anyone needs the message reinforcing.

The A205 may not be, but most of Devonshire Road is. I am sure if there was any serious intent on the part of Lewisham, they could get TFL’s agreement as they have done previously. What possible objection from TFL? The Mayor is in favour of walking, cycling, social-distancing, It’s only Lewisham that is preventing this happening.

Yes, but the pedestrians, cyclists and work crew, don’t deserve to be exposed to unnecessary danger. It is also possible that a driver wouldn’ know the road is closed because the sign has been removed and there is no physical barrier.

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I get what you say, which is exactly why I said the junction itself needs to be closed properly. But it’s still drivers fault. If a driver actively chooses to ignore a road closed sign then they need to take personal responsibility. I’m a driver, and if I see the sign then I don’t go past it.


The road outside our hose was dug up last week. There were 5 signs down the country lane leading to us that said “Road Closed”. People still drove nearly a mile down a windy country lane to find…it was closed.

I put a nice sign up on the road works saying “Yes, it is actually closed”.

Some people are a special kind of stupid.

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Unfortunately when signs are used for closures that are completely arbitrary, drivers will stop taking them seriously.

I’m not justifying drivers ignoring signs, but just pointing out the human nature aspect.

When rules are arbitrary and are simply aimed at inconveniencing drivers, it’s natural that drivers will stop respecting those rules.

In this case, drivers seeing the signs didn’t know whether there was a genuine hazard in the road, or whether this was just another ideological road closure by the council.

What prevents either TfL of Lewisham Council from placing concrete barriers at either end of Devonshire road?

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@SophieDavis, just wanted to say thank you for posting here. I really appreciate your updates from the council.

I know you’re under no obligation to post on this forum, and I’m sorry to see that you got an angry and shouty reply from one of our members above.


In this case the closure is necessary on safety grounds; it is not arbitrary.

That is the question I think every resident deserves an answer to.

I think Chris’ point is along the lines of the Cry Wolf story. If they make arbitrary closures then people become immune and ignore the signs in cases where they are closed on safety grounds.

@ChrisBeach I do however disagree that the road closures in the link from the other thread are arbitrary. There are URLs posted there to closures being council policy to calm streets and make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists - perhaps you mean the selected roads appear to be arbitrary because the council hasn’t made their reasons public. Silverdale for example is a notorious ‘cut through’ as defined in the council’s strategy (albeit they called it something else) - seems evident that was not an arbitrary decision.

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