New plans to increase the safety of school pupils and other people on New Park Road off Brixton Hill will be tested at a one-day event on 26 February.
New Park Road is used as a rat run by drivers avoiding congestion on Brixton Hill. Twelve road accidents near Richard Atkins school on the road between 2010 and 2014 resulted in injury. Local residents have reported more accidents on the road since these statistics were gathered.
The collision rate on New Park Road between Brixton Hill and the South Circular Road is 40% greater than on similar roads in Lambeth.
Lambeth council engaged the charity Sustrans, that is dedicated to encouraging safer and less polluting travel, to respond to the concerns of parents and residents about safety near the school.
Earlier proposals for a trial closure of the road were shelved in December.
Now the plan is for traffic calming measures along the road. Finance from Transport for London has been secured for permanent changes.
Sustrans is inviting residents to try out the new designs on 26 February which will be created using a “street kit” which enables a temporary mock-up of proposed changes to a street.
Sustrans said the trial would allow people to “visualise and test changes which can improve safety and improve the local neighbourhood for all”.
Lambeth council has set up a formal online consultation process for residents to share your feedback. It will run from the evening of 18 February to 11 March.
The trial day on 26 February will run from 6am to 11pm. Full details are at the project’s Facebook page. It will include drumming and singing by students from Richard Atkins who will be livening up a “bike breakfast” from 8.30 to 9am and an after-school Pop Up Parks picnic from 3.15pm.
A designer question and answer session will run from 7 to 8.30pm.
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth council cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “This is all about the safety of schoolchildren who are walking to and from school. We’ve designed the proposals together with parents, local residents, Richard Atkins School and Sustrans and I hope we’ve got a scheme that everybody can be happy with that will make all road users safer and improve the look and feel of the road.”
Phillippa Banister, senior project officer at Sustrans, said: “We’ve been working with the community to design a new layout that will make the street safer and this one day trial will be a great chance for people to see the changes for themselves. We look forward to hearing from people on the day.”
New Park Road width reduced
Three locations have been identified as creating safety problems: the junction of New Park Road and Lytham Road; New Park Road directly outside Richard Atkins schools; and the junction of New Park, Morrish and Kingswood roads.
Sustrans said its design solution would involve a series of “physical interventions” in the form of “buildouts”, planters, trees and bicycle stands to reduce road width and to create an environment that would allow vehicles to travel at 20mph.
Residents had proposed give-way/priority intervals outside the school to create safer conditions for children. Sustrans said its proposals would narrow the street and provide informal crossing points with raised tables.
It would allow pedestrians to wait safely behind trees and planters before crossing a narrower width of road. Dotted road markings would become more apparent nearer crossing points to inform drivers to proceed with caution.
“The design encourages a radically different, inviting street environment for all road users with slower speeds and more trees to tackle air quality and safety,” said Sustrans.
“This provides better health for children, parents and older people which will benefit the school and local businesses.”
Colours used to delineate the circular buildouts would be a variation of Richard Atkins school’s red which would “create a sense that the schools is spilling out onto the street and emphasising that this is a school zone”.