Devonshire Road closed at junction with A205



Thank you both, that makes sense.

I am very surprised there hasn’t been a technological solution to this problem. Something like the congestion zone where if you are a local resident, you register your vehicles with the council, and then at the entrance to these areas you have cameras that either let you through (if your vehicle is registered as local), or you are fined. This would also work for Manor Mount (no access from Honor Oak Road) as well, where currently for me to go to Sainsburys I have to take a very environmentally unfriendly route (lots of sitting in the red bit, which gets very long these days) vs nipping straight down Manor Mount (which is understandably closed or people would use it to get to the South Circular via Davids Road).

The technical implementation of this would be simple, but wouldn’t make a lot of revenue once it was in place, which I suspect rules it out as a solution.


That makes sense, but yours is a local route. There’s no way the hundreds and hundreds of cars on Devonshire Road / Honor Oak Road are local.


What do you mean by local, though? If I use Devonshire Road as a rat run to get to my house off Perry Vale, am I any different from someone using it en route to Catford or beyond?


No, you’re equally as terrible a person. :astonished:

Like Rachael, I don’t actually think that there is anything bad about using it as a thoroughfare (I don’t recognise being local as being very relevant). I feel like the cause of the woes is the slow movement of traffic though the centre of FH, rather than the result which is people bypassing the junction. Also, the short phase of lights allowing traffic onto the S Circular from Honor Oak Road adds to the problem.

The layout of the FH junction, the traffic lights outside the station; vehicles waiting to turn into the station car park blocking the flow of traffic down the hill (often having to wait until the uphill traffic moves); vehicles turning right from David’s Road into static uphill traffic; vehicles waiting to turn right into this alleyway; and vehicles queueing on the S Circular to enter Devonshire Road all contribute to the problem. The use of local roads as a thoroughfare is just a symptom of the problem.


I think this is true, beyond dispute actually, but what can be done about it? In the meantime, there is excessive traffic on a residential road which is not designed for it.

Am not so sure that it should be seen as a thoroughfare though. It is only so according to convention and if other comments re habitual use are accurate then it would not cause a big inconvenience to prevent rat running as has been done on the other side of the tracks.


I don’t know: in a dense and old a city as London is there really a distinction between local roads and thoroughfares? It’s not like we have a lot of extensive planned developments.

Devonshire Road is a direct and relatively wide road connecting HOP and FH. I’d argue that parking is as much (if not more) of an issue than volume of traffic in causing congestion, particularly at the Forest Hill end.


This probably tells us that the problem is political - a question of who is protected from thru traffic.

Yes, and there is a system of road classification: Red Route, A road, B road etc.

This is clearly BS as the road is currently closed for approx six weeks. Roads that must be kept open are kept open.


I am not sure how this is relevant to the question I asked. A thoroughfare is surely just a road open at both ends, and may be a main road, but may not.

Red routes are TfL designated as being important, but there is no link between that classification and the system of A or B roads.

The closure of Devonshire Road is causing widespread problems from HOP across to the South Circ. but it’s necessary for work to be done, just as the closure of the South Circ itself was a few years ago.

I still don’t understand the OP’s stated problem. Do they just want fewer vehicles to pass their home? What would be the general benefit from this?


I’m just joining this conversation, but I live in Devonshire Road and can say that having the end of the road closed has been transformational. I’ve seen children riding their bikes on the streets, and that isn’t usually possible due to the speed and volume of traffic. Not to mention noise levels, pollution levels, safety issues and also actually feeling that one lives in a neighbourhood, rather than a thoroughfare. Devonshire Road is a long road and the roads off it such as Ewelme and Benson and others are also significant – there must be 1000s of people now who are experiencing a better quality of life, more safety, peace, quiet, better air quality and incentives to ride bikes, walk or hang out. I would get my bike out and use it more often if streets were quieter, and it would also be possible to have street parties, etc. This affects a lot of people. How does one measure that as compared to the inconvenience of Devonshire not being available as a short-cut to avoid the South Circular. And isn’t the purpose of main roads such as the South Circular exactly to ensure that residential areas do not become overwhelmed by traffic and the fumes and noise produced. I am not a car owner and usually use public transport so perhaps have a hard time empathising with those who drive everywhere – but isn’t this the type of scheme (blocking roads) that we should be encouraging for environmental reasons as a way of reducing car use and enhancing quality of life for people who actually live in the area?


Issue is that your road is a nicer place to live on but the traffic that has to go somewhere then makes someone elses life even worse.


Yes, but Honor Oak Road is not as residential as Devonshire Road. It also has the advantage of mostly containing flats which are much further back from the road then the houses in Devonshire Road, and the road is wider. It is also used to buses and a certain volume of traffic.


Yep, making someone’s life better is just making someone else’s life worse. I’m one of the worse right now.


I don’t think that is the case. People park on Devonshire Road, and don’t on Honor Oak Road, but Honor Oak Road is a pretty narrow road (and the pavements at some points are just dangerously narrow).


I’m not sure how you conclude that Honor Oak Road is “not as residential”? There are nothing but residences (OK, there’s Fairlawn School). And the fact that people are “used to buses”, therefore let’s make the road even busier and make life even more horrible to those wretched souls unfortunate to live on it?

It’s a fascinating discussion, because it really highlights that there are no clear solutions to this problem, only compromises.


I remember a very heated (and very similar) discussion on the ED forum a couple of years ago when Camberwell Grove was shut due to issues with a weak bridge.

I think everyone agrees that their own street / road would be more pleasant without traffic. But most people contribute to that traffic at least some of the time (even those who aren’t drivers or don’t have a car, but have things delivered, for example) and while we can manage it, or reduce it, it’s a fact of life for now that in a city there will be cars.

I know in the past that we’ve considered houses (lovely houses) on Devonshire Road but decided that we didn’t want to live there precisely because it is a through road - I suspect the house price market reflects this.


What I am looking forward to is the electrification of the entire vehicle fleet. Hopefully in less than 20 years there won’t be a single petrol vehicle left. We’ll still have the congestion, but at least we won’t have the fumes and the particulate.


Without wanting to sound at all snarky, if you want your kids to be able to ride up and down the street, you need to live somewhere else. If you need to live in London, you live on London streets. A month without traffic is not a taste of how things could be living in London. It’s a taste of what it’s like living somewhere else.


Many roads in Forest Hill have protection from thru traffic, I think the residents of Devonshire Road, Woodcombe Crescent, Ewelme Road, Benson Road, Tyson Road, Dunoon Road, Hengrave Road, would like similar consideration. Why is that too much to ask?


It’s too much to ask because you would just be making it someone else’s problem. The root cause is “too many cars”, and that is not an easy fix.

I note that you didn’t include Honor Oak Road in that list, which is currently bearing the brunt of Devonshire Road being closed.


Which is one of the reasons we moved.