Devonshire Road closed at junction with A205

People who don’t live on the road may not realise how congested it is EVERY DAY under normal circumstances. It is literally at a stand-still for significant periods during the day. The road is in no way designed to take the level of traffic it does and houses are quite close to the road. Traffic levels really need to be looked at – if there is evidence that asthmatic attacks are increasing due to the level of fumes current arrangements are clearly not just unpleasant, but actually constituting a health and safety issue for some residents.

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I sympathise with the people who live on the road. However, I am not sure whether there’s any consensus on what the problem is.

Some people on this thread just want fewer vehicles to pass them. Some want less congestion. Some want both. If you want less congestion, parking restrictions would be likely to help. If you want less traffic, there are different things to be done to achieve that (arguably in preventing pavement parking the council may have been pursuing a plan to make the road less attractive to drivers - I know that I’d never use it in expected busy times).

As someone who used to live on the road, I am aware of how busy it has always got at different times, but also what a crucial link it provides between the two significant high streets in SE23 and therefore how many other local people are stakeholders (before we get into the considerations of those who use the road but may not live so locally).

Dave, is it really a “crucial link”? Has someone gone out of business in the last month because Devonshire Road has been blocked? It may be the most convenient route for some. But that argument also applies to other roads which are now blocked or have a No Entry. It is curious that the complaints (in this thread) of heavy traffic and lengthy queues on Honor Oak Park waiting to get past the traffic lights, express outrage at the possibility of Devonshire Road being blocked, but no questions about why the vehicles waiting to turn left at the lights, are prohibited from simply turning left down Manor Mount.

Have people signed up to the notion that the traffic arrangements in place now, are the only possible arrangements?

Fine for people to disagree with suggested changes, but I feel there is something different going on here. Other discussions don’t seem to produce suggestions that anyone like me who thinks that things should or could be different should just leave the area, and that my motives must be about property prices.

Devonshire Road (and Woodcombe, Ewelme, Benson etc) is not intrinsically or naturally a ‘feeder road’ for the A205, it is primarily a residential road, but the Council has apparently at some point decided to use Devonshire Road for thru traffic. My investigations are continuing as to how this has come about.

@DevonishForester, it’s a straight line between the two high streets - “crucial” is probably the wrong word for it, but it’s certainly very useful.

Anyway, what would you propose? Let’s start with closing the A205 junction permanently. Who do you think would be adversely affected, and what would you propose in mitigation?

And look at the properties on Devonshire Rd itself. It’s not exactly a small leafy suburban street that you’d have a reasonable expectation to have less traffic on. Its a very high density street with purpose built estates / flats as well as massive mansion blocks mostly converted to flats.

And I agree that just like the CPZ proposals (which residents completely rejected) my thoughts are the same residents would reject blocking the road because they find it useful.

The problem is always going to be displaced traffic. Residents around Honor Oak Road suffer from a queue of traffic, just as residents do at each end of Devonshire Road.

So here’s my proposed solution:

  1. Close Devonshire Road junction with South Circular
  2. Prevent people turning right out of Devonshire Road onto Honor Oak Park
  3. Close the junctions between Forest Hill Road and Canonbie and Netherby
  4. Make Langton Rise one-way (from Westwood to Wood Vale)
  5. Make Honor Oak Road one-way between Tyson and Dunoon (heading towards Honor Oak Park) and with the exception of buses.
  6. Make Devonshire Road one-way between Tyson and Dunoon (heading towards Honor Oak Park).

The only way out of the ‘Devonshire/Horniman Hill’ would be at each end of Honor Oak Road or Langton Rise
The only way into the ‘Devonshire/Horniman Hill’ would be at the south end of Honor Oak Road

This will make a few journeys a bit longer:

  • Residents from Dunoon Road wanting to get to Forest Hill town centre would need to go via Honor Oak Park or Wood Vale (extra 10 minutes)
  • Everybody living on the hill (south of Dunoon) would find there journeys home from the north will take an extra 10 minutes

This will lead to extra northbound traffic on Honor Oak Road and extra southbound traffic on Wood Vale and Brockley Rise. Brockley Rise can just about handle it, and Wood Vale additional traffic is likely to be shared with Barry Road, Underhill Road, Dunstan’s Road (especially as sat navs would guide users away from the queues).

This scheme would do away with the traffic queues on Honor Oak Road and Devonshire Road, but if you leave out any of the six changes you will have serious impact on the road you leave out.

I’ve drawn up the proposal here:

But I doubt this will gain much support from residents or from the council.


I’m impressed @Michael. I think that would work.

I like the fact that we have a proposal to think about. Thanks @Michael.

I’d thought it would be good to think about preventing right turns out of Devonshire Road onto the South Circ but doing that at the other end does make some sense. How would people from Devonshire Road get to Honor Oak Park? Would you expect people travelling from inside D’shire Road to go up to the junction with FH Road and then come down the hill?

Are you closing Hengrave etc?

It would seem so except up Hengrave onto HOP.

I did wonder about Hengrave Road too and I suspect people there might object depending on how much through traffic they get now. The no right turn on DR into HOP would prevent a rat run down Hengrave but, apart from the local residents using this route there could be some trying to go up that way to avoid traffic on Honor Oak Park going up the hill.

My suggestion would allow northbound traffic on Honor Oak Park and Devonshire Road as well as Hengrave, so it would make little sense to use Hengrave.

The problem for people on Devonshire Road (and all the way to the top of the hill) would be getting home. That would only be possible by the A205 and Honor Oak Road (except by bus).

You London folk and your traffic. We had 3 combine harvesters go past our house yesterday. That was it vehicle wise. :slight_smile:


Used to live in a Cambridgeshire village we thought 5 cars meeting at the end of the lane was grid lock :joy:

Thank you for taking the time to produce the plan Michael, I very much appreciate it.

That seems like a very small price to pay.

The plan overall is quite similar to how I had been thinking. Some differences in my draft plan were:

  1. Closing Devonshire Road at both ends.

  2. Possibly a NO ENTRY - for East-bound traffic up Forest Hill Road beyond Camberwell Old Cemetery, forcing all traffic to turn right from the traffic lights into Wood Vale. (Have to confess I hadn’t considered Langton Rise) Alternatively a NO ENTRY at Canonbie, Netherby, and Honor Oak Road (except buses and cycles) at the nasty junction with Forest Hill Road / Honor Oak Park.

Are able to say why you think the Council would not support your plan or a similar scheme?

I have to say that I don’t recognize that as an accurate description. Most properties on DR are Victorian houses. It’s definitely not ‘high density’. Not sure how you work out what a “reasonable expectation” would be based on? The Council has included the Forest Hill end of DR in the FH Conservation Area and I think that could lead to hope if not expectation.

My original post was a plea for help, and I am very grateful for all the contributions people have made.

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Michael: thanks so much for coming up with this impressive plan. It looks really good to me. For it to go anywhere, what would be the first step we could take to move it forward? A formal proposal to the Council? Or canvassing local residents? The plan could significantly improve the quality of life for many folks living in Forest Hill.

I would suggestion one first step would be to get the support, or at least not active opposition, from Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association as these streets will be some of the most adversely impacted (although many will welcome a reduction in traffic around Canonbie and Honor Oak Road).

It may be worth speaking to local councillors or even bringing the proposal to the ward assembly to see if there is general support. If there is general support then i could also imagine it could form part of the Forest Hill Society ans SEE3 proposals to improve cycling and walking in the local area. It might be worth considering whether a cycle route could be developed on some of the roads - although just making the roads quieter would be an advantage.

But there may still be concerns from Southwark council and TfL and it occurs to me that it might be possible to change the road layout at the Wood Vale junction with the south circular to make it less scary turning out of Wood Vale and prevent people from Wood Vale going up Sydenham Hill (crossing the south circular traffic flow). It is a complicated set of changes with the potential fot unintended consequences and to upset plenty of people.

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Can you explain how this would affect the residents of Hengrave and Boveney? Already it’s a rat run at peak times so I don’t think there would be much support for a plan that would lead to more cars using the roads to access Honor Oak Park.
Also how would elderly residents there drive to Forest Hill if Honor Oak Road and Devonshire Road are both one way at certain points?

To get to Forest Hill from Hengrave and Boveney you would need to go down Wood Vale or Brockley Rise.

However, non-residents hopefully wouldn’t want to use these roads as they would be quicker to stick to Honor Oak Road. A few local residents (Devonshire Road or even Dunoon) might be tempted to turn right out of Hengrave rather than crossing the Honor Oak Road / Honor Oak Park (Cabrini) junction, but this is likely to be less than the number of existing users.

It would be possible to make Hengrave Road no right turn into Honor Oak Road, just to make sure that nobody uses it as a shortcut, I had thought it wasn’t necessary given the other restrictions, and it would make it much harder for Hengrave/Boveney residents to go East, South, or North. So I would not recommend restricting this.

If traffic at the Cabrini junction was too bad then a set of traffic lights might be helpful, for people turning right out of Honor Oak Road. However, one of the advantages of this system is that far fewer cars would be turning into Honor Oak Road from Forest Hill Road, as it won’t really lead anywhere.

But I don’t claim that this proposal solves all the problems, I’ve just tried to suggest a solution that doesn’t just push additional traffic onto other residential roads by closing off one or other end of Devonshire Road. As I said when I outlined the proposal, I don’t really think most residents will want this, as it will be a bit inconvenient for many local residents.

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13 posts were split to a new topic: Parking on Devonshire Road

Can I re-title this thread as Devonshire Road is no longer closed? Any objections, @DevonishForester?

Agree with Rachael that this mega-topic has changed in theme a little bit since the road re-opened.

Personally I think continuing conversations on #devonshire-rd parking would benefit from being in their own topic(s), and I’d propose splitting posts off, starting from this one.

I’d also propose closing this topic to new replies, as the road has re-opened. Don’t forget, newcomers to this topic will enter at post #1.

With this topic closed, members would still be able to reply as a new linked topic in order to continue the conversations brought up here.

  • Split and close this topic
  • Leave as-is
  • Other (please comment)
  • Don’t mind

0 voters