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  • hilly 1:58 pm on January 14, 2016
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    Another River Crossing Consultation 

    Traffic in Shrewsbury Lane

    Traffic in Shrewsbury Lane

    How will the proposed new East London river crossings affect traffic in Shooters Hill? This was the question I looked for answers to in the documentation accompanying Transport for London’s latest consultation on the crossings. As TfL have previously accepted that the road infrastructure south of the Thames is not adequate to serve the proposed new crossings this seems to be an essential question for them to answer.

    The documentation includes a Traffic Impact Report: great, I thought, that’s where I’ll find the answer, but no, it turned out to be far more complicated to find what I was looking for.

    The first complication is that the report assumes that the proposed Silvertown Tunnel has already been built. It doesn’t explicitly say so: it models the traffic effect of the new crossings compared with a Reference Case, which  “reflects the highway network in 2031”.  Reading through it quickly becomes clear that the traffic flow changes calculated are the effect of adding the Gallions and Belvedere crossings to a road system which includes the Silvertown Tunnel. Not the change from today’s traffic flows to those after the proposed crossings are developed.

    No problem: there was a Silvertown Tunnel consultation recently, which included amongst its archive documents a Traffic Forecasting Report from 2014.  This should let me see the changes to traffic as a consequence of the Silvertown Tunnel, I thought, which I can combine with the latest report to see what the total impact of all the proposed new crossings will be.

    But again no. The Silvertown report also assumes a reference case which is the traffic in 2021. Why? They don’t seem to say. This reference case is defined as:

    Reference case (2021)
    6. The reference case represents 2021, and includes growth in population and employment from the 2009 London Plan. Population is expected to increase more rapidly in east and south east London than in other sub-regions.
    7.  The reference case also includes committed transport schemes. Public transport connectivity across east and southeast London improves because of planned investment including Crossrail. The Woolwich Ferry is assumed to have been enhanced with 30% additional capacity. The reference case does not include the Silvertown Tunnel.
    8. From 2012 to 2021 the proportion of travel by car is expected to fall in Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets, but the growth in population and employment result in an increase in total car trips.

    Why they think the Woolwich Ferry will have 30% more capacity is also unclear – a footnote in the report just says that  “by 2031 Woolwich Ferry would need to either be upgraded at its existing location or replaced with a new crossing”. This upgrade is not a “committed transport scheme” as implied by the extract above. They also assume that the Woolwich Free Ferry will be charged, as would the Blackwall, Silvertown, Gallions Reach and Belvedere Crossings. The charges would be the same as for the Dartford Tunnel at peak times and half that rate at other times. TfL assert that these charges will counteract the “induced traffic effect” where new roads generate new traffic. However their rationale for this assertion  is unconvincing and they say it “… is not modelled in the Assessed Case.”

    The Silvertown Traffic Forecasting Report also considers in Appendix C the impact of the Gallions and Belvedere crossings on traffic flows. Interestingly it ends up with different results to those presented in the Gallions/Belvedere consultation Traffic Impact Report.

    The reports contain a large number of tables, graphs and maps of the traffic modelling results. I’ve extracted four maps to try to give a flavour of the impact of the crossings on our local streets. All four are for the afternoon rush hour traffic:

    1. The 2021 “Reference Case” from the Silvertown Tunnel Report;
    2. The impact of the Silvertown Tunnel compared to the reference case from the Silvertown Tunnel Report;
    3. The impact of the Gallions Reach and Belvedere crossings compared to the reference case and Silvertown Tunel from the Silvertown Tunnel Report;
    4. The impact of the Gallions Reach and Belvedere crossings compared to the reference case from the Gallions/Belvedere Report.

    Red on these maps indicates increased traffic flows and green reduced.

    Reference case afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Reference case afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Post-Silvertown Tunnel afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Post-Silvertown Tunnel afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Post-Silvertown Tunnel and East London crossings afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Post-Silvertown Tunnel and East London crossings afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Silvertown Tunnel Traffic Impact Report

    Afternoon peak traffic flow from Gallions Reach and Belvedere Traffic Impact Report

    Afternoon peak traffic flow increases from Gallions Reach and Belvedere Traffic Impact Report

    The scale and resolution of the maps make it difficult to work out which local roads suffer traffic increases, but it’s just about possible by zooming in and looking at the shape and orientation of the roads. The red/green bar method of showing traffic changes also tends to obscure rather than illuminate. Anyway, here’s my interpretation of what the modelling is showing.

    The reference case, which just reflects population growth and an increase in Woolwich Ferry capacity, already has big increases – 100 cars per hour or more –  along Shooters Hill Road, Shrewsbury Lane, Plum Lane and slightly surprisingly Donaldson Road too. The increase along  Plumstead Common Road looks even bigger, and also along Kings Highway, Wickham Lane down towards Knee Hill.

    Bringing the Silvertown Tunnel into the model there is a decrease in traffic flow along Shrewsbury Lane and Plum Lane, but an increase in Red Lion Lane which runs in a similar direction. Along Shooters Hill and Shooters Hill Road traffic flows increase again, and the route down through Charlton to the tunnel has more traffic, affecting Baker Road and  Stadium Road past the hospital then Charlton Park Lane and Cemetery Lane.

    In the Silvertown Tunnel report the impact of the additional crossings at Gallions Reach and Belvedere is a very slight reduction of traffic along Shrewsbury Lane, but an increase along Eaglesfield Road to Plum Lane which is unexpected (and unlikely I would have thought), and an increase in Plum Lane itself. Not unexpected are the additional increases in Plumstead Common Road and the route down to the High Street via Griffin Road, nor those from Plumstead Common down Kings Highway to Wickham Lane and Basildon Road and Eynsham Drive. There is lots of red showing big increases from the A2 over towards Gallions Reach and Belvedere, affecting Upper Wickham Lane, Lodge Hill, Okehampton Crescent, Brampton Road and Knee Hill (yet again).

    It also predicts that traffic going along the bottom of Herbert Road, through the shops will increase. Can you imagine even more cars trying to negotiate the hazardous route between parked vans and oncoming buses in the rush hour?

    The final map, from the current consultation, is similar to the previous one but now there is an increase in traffic along both Shrewsbury Lane and Eaglesfield Road. Other flows appear to be increasing less than in the Silvertown report. In the Gallions Reach/Belvedere report TfL admit to using an earlier version of the traffic model than in the Silvertown report, but don’t really explain why.

    The striking feature of all of these maps is the amount of red on them, showing cumulative increases in traffic flows as each crossing is built.

    The traffic modelling doesn’t seem to take account of how the roads actually are. For example, that nice straight red line showing increased traffic from Shooters Hill along  Shrewsbury Lane and Plum Lane through to Plumstead Common Road. These are residential roads, not suitable to be used as a through route, with speed bumps, and a 20mph limit along Plum Lane.  Very often the traffic is single file due to parking on either side of the road. Plum Lane passes close by Plumcroft Primary School. And at the bottom there’s that narrow one way stretch of Plum Lane, making traffic going down the hill turn left and then right along Kirk Lane to get through to Plumstead Common Road. The very sharp turning between Plum Lane and Plumstead Common Road doesn’t exist as far as TfL are concerned.

    Similar points could be made about many of the other roads showing increased congestion on TfL’s maps. There are campaigns in Plumstead and Bexley to oppose the crossings, largely because of the devastating impacts on local residential roads.

    With increased traffic and increased congestion comes increased pollution, and that means increased damage to people. In 2010 9,416 Londoners died as a result of air pollution, according to research by Kings College, London. Nine thousand four hundred and sixteen people just in London. The health effects of Nitrogen Dioxide, NO2, are a particular concern:

    The main effect of breathing in raised levels of nitrogen dioxide is the increased likelihood of respiratory problems. Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.
    Increased levels of nitrogen dioxide can have significant impacts on people with asthma because it can cause more frequent and more intense attacks. Children with asthma and older people with heart disease are most at risk.

    The UK Air Quality Strategy and EU legislation both set an annual average limit for NO2 of  40 µg m-³. In London in 2013 only two local authorities met the limit for NO2, and Greenwich wasn’t one of them. Kings College’s London Air web site has mapped 2010 NO2 levels across London: I’ve included a snippet showing Shooters Hill below. The 40 µg m-³ is shown in yellow on the map, with higher concentrations in deeper shades of orange and red. As well as the major roads, there are high levels along Shrewsbury Lane and down Eglinton Hill, Sandy Hill Road, Burrage Road, Plumstead Common Road and Swingate Lane.

    Modelled annual mean NO2 air pollution, based on measurements made during 2010 from London Air web site

    Modelled annual mean NO2 air pollution, based on measurements made during 2010 from London Air web site

    We have until Friday 12th  February to respond to this latest consultation. The main themes of this consultation are whether it would be better to build a bridge or dig a tunnel at the two locations, and about how public transport might link to them. We can respond through an online survey, by email to rivercrossings@tfl.gov.uk or by  writing to FREEPOST TfL CONSULTATIONS’.

    As I’ve said before in posts about a previous consultation and about Oxleas Wood  TfL need to say how they will solve the inadequacies of the transport network south of the Thames and demonstrate that new crossings will not cause congestion and pollution in residential roads. Otherwise people will think that they are cynically conspiring to cause chaos and compromise air quality in south-east London so as to be able to justify a new motorway from the A2 to the river through Oxleas Wood, Woodlands Farm and hundreds of Plumstead homes.

    Traffic in Plum Lane

    Traffic in Plum Lane

     

     
    • Deborah 5:14 pm on January 14, 2016

      It is shocking the number of people living in Plumstead who argue that traffic will be reduced, when even TfL’s models (and answer in Parliament) say otherwise. They are going to answer yes, regardless of the evidence. When I asked about tolling at the TfL roadshow, I was told that, when Dartford Bridge is congested, tolls will be adjusted to send traffic west to Gallions and Silvertown, thus adding to the traffic problems on the lower road and Shooters Hill.

  • hilly 9:39 pm on December 23, 2015
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    Happy Christmas 

    Father Christmas arrives at Woodland Farm, pulled by Bob the pony

    Father Christmas arrives at Woodland Farm, pulled by Bob the pony

    This year’s Christmas card photo was taken at Woodlands Farm’s Christmas Fair a few weeks ago, and shows the arrival of Father Christmas in a carriage drawn by Bob the pony. Once again I’d like to combine my season’s greetings and best wishes for next year with those of the Friends of Eaglesfield Park.

    Madeleine sent me the Friends’ card, which is included below, and has a brief update:

    We have planted approx. 2,500 spring bulbs, but still need help with remainder in early January (hope not too late!).   Plans are in hand to clean pond and reduce lilies and thin water margins.   Keep up to date with our blog at http://eaglesfieldpark.org/

    Happy Christmas and all the very best in 2016.

     

    Friends of Eaglesfield Park Christmas Card 2015

     

     

     

     
  • hilly 6:36 pm on December 23, 2015
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    Request to de-list Elmhurst Cottage turned down 

    Elmhurst Cottage

    Elmhurst Cottage

    I was very pleased to hear that the council has decided to reject the request to remove Elmhurst Cottage in Shrewsbury Lane from their Locally Listed Buildings list, retaining for it the protections given to buildings on the list.

    The e-mail with the news came from Principal Conservation Officer Rebecca Duncan, and said:

    Please find below details of the decision taken on 15/12/15 by Councillor Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, which comes into force today 22/12/15.
    Decision:
    ·         Approved: the retention of Elmhurst Cottage on the Royal Borough’s List of Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest (known as the ‘Local List’).
    ·         Agreed: the amendment of the List entry for Elmhurst Cottage to accurately describe the building’s architectural interest, historic interest and environmental significance.

    Full details of the decision, including an interesting report, can be found on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s web site. The new listing for Elmhurst Cottage gives much more detail about the cottage’s importance:

    A small, single storey weather-boarded cottage, with slate roof and sash windows.  Decorative trellis work to sides of windows and projecting porch.  Set back from the road at an angle, with extensive front and rear gardens.  The building and its site is of historic interest since it has historic associations with the Lidgbirds and the Dallins, significant and well-known landowning families who shaped Shooters Hill.  The estate containing the cottage can be traced from the Lidgbirds in 1851 to the trustees of Mary Dallin in 1901.  The building is of architectural interest since it is a rare example of a small, weather-boarded Kentish dwelling, the last-surviving one of its type in the area.  Built between 1866 and 1894, it is one of the oldest buildings on Shrewsbury Lane and survives the two large houses in the locality, Haddon Lodge and the original Shrewsbury House.  The building is of environmental significance since, with its unusual and attractive open setting, it is a time-honoured and locally valued feature which contributes to the character of Shrewsbury Lane and also provides a valuable wildlife haven for lizards, butterflies, bats and birds.

    Twentyseven of us responded to the consultation about Elmhurst, of whom 25 were against de-listing the cottage and 2 in favour.

    I suspect we haven’t heard the last of attempts to redevelop the land that the cottage occupies.

     

     
  • hilly 6:17 pm on December 16, 2015
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    Christ Church Carol Service on Sunday 

    Christ Church Shooters Hill Christmas service sheet

    Stephen Matthes, the Secretary of Christ Church Shooters Hill wrote to say that all are welcome at their Advent and Christmas services, which start with a Carol Service this Sunday, 20th December at 6.00pm.

    Christ Church’s full list of special services during Advent and Christmas are:

    4th Sunday of Advent – 20th December: Carol Service 6pm
    Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December: Crib Service 4pm
    Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December: Midnight Mass 11.30pm
    Christmas Day – Friday 25th December: Pilgrim Eucharist 10am
    Epiphany – Sunday 3rd January: Pilgrim Eucharist 9.30am
    Candlemas – Sunday 31st January: All Age Service 11.30am

    Christ Church Shooters Hill is the Church near the top of Shooters Hill opposite the Red Lion Pub. Stephen said that last year’s Carol service was fantastically attended by the local community and finished off with mince pies and mulled wine.

    Christ Church Shooters Hill

    Christ Church Shooters Hill

     
  • hilly 11:53 am on December 15, 2015
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    Shooters Hill Local History Group meeting on Thursday 

    The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church

    The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church

    Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s final meeting of 2015 will be a “Social and Curio” evening at Shrewsbury House this Thursday at 8.00pm. Steve sent me details:

    The next meeting is on 17 December and will be a Social & Curio Evening.
    Everyone is encouraged to bring along an item with a history and talk about it.
    It does not necessarily need to have a link with Shooters Hill, it could be a book; map; photograph; medal; football or concert programme to name but a few.
    All welcome, bring nibbles, drink and a glass!
    Visitor fee applies.

    The group has also been planning their programme for 2016. Currently they have:

    21st January: Films of Shooters Hill and area – “The Catherine Wheel dig” and “This girl went to market” etc.
    18th February: TBA (perhaps St George’s RA Chapel
    17th March: Talk on the local tram system

    Should be interesting.

    Detail of moulding at Shrewsbury House

    Detail of moulding at Shrewsbury House

     
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