Traffic within St Johns has been a discussion topic on the agenda for many years. Therefore, on 3rd November 2023, an initial meeting organised by Christine from Friends of Friendly Gardens took place. The meeting included Cllr Lahai Taylor, a few residents, and the Lewisham Highways Council representative, Darren Gotch.

The discussed roads were St Johns Vale, Friendly Street, Oscar Street, Lucas Street, and Florence Road. This first meeting involved a walk round the area with Darren Gotch, Principal Traffic Engineer for Lewisham Council. This allowed the Council to fully grasp the issues faced by residents firsthand.

There are various issues that can be observed daily within the area, and these issues can differ at different times of the day. For example, on Friendly Street, there are problems with cars parked on the pavement, hindering pedestrian access, especially for young families with pushchairs or residents who may be physically challenged and require wheelchair access. Moreover, cars frequently exceed the 20mph speed limit. The bollards located on the Friendly Street railway bridge, which are meant to restrict the width of passing vehicles, are not effective. Monthly repairs are often necessary due to unsuitable vehicles passing through them. Additionally, many HGVs divert from Friendly Street and instead turn onto Thornville Street and then Oscar Street, avoiding the traffic bollards altogether. Furthermore, there is a high volume of skips and HGVs using through roads such as St Johns Vale, Oscar Street, and Friendly Street.

Darren suggested that the next steps will involve data collection that can be analysed to generate workable solutions that would be the most effective for the residents of St John’s without negatively impacting other areas. Therefore, several ‘road tubes’ will be installed in key locations over November and December to allow the Council to assess the types of vehicles passing through, including speed and frequency. This analysis will take two months.

Residents can also contribute to this data collection for analysis by actively participating and sharing observations and experiences regarding the traffic issues in the area. Here are a few suggestions as to how residents can help inform this process.

  1. Reporting Incidents: Residents can report specific incidents or issues they observe on the roads such as cars parked on the pavement, speeding vehicles, or any other traffic violations.

    2. Documenting Information: Residents can document relevant information about traffic issues they encounter. This can include noting down the time, date, location, and details of incidents like illegal parking or speeding.

  1. Traffic Logs: Residents can maintain personal traffic logs to record patterns, such as peak hours of congestion or particular days when problems are more prevalent. This can provide valuable insights into the nature and intensity of traffic issues.

Collecting and sharing data is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of the traffic issues. By actively engaging in these activities, we can contribute to the analysis process and support the development of effective and workable solutions for the St Johns community.  

Feel free to reach out directly to Christine and Paul on this subject should you wish to become involved.