Friday, 17 May 2019

Planned £8.6m improvements to A23 Streatham Hill come a step nearer

Streatham Hill collision in April 2019
Plans to spend £8.6 million on a re-design of the A23 through Streatham Hill will go to public consultation in September this year, Transport for London (TfL) told Streatham Action's transport group this week.

TfL has now completed computer modelling of its proposed scheme, which is aimed at reducing speeds, improving safety and creating a more 'town centre' feel to what is currently more like an urban motorway.

Police monitoring of traffic speeds frequently record motorists going much faster than the current 30mph speed limit. TfL say collisions continue to rise between the South Circular and Sternhold Avenue, with 51 collisions reported on this stretch in the last three years.

The proposals for work between Sternhold Avenue/Leigham Court Road and Morrish Road/Brixton Hill, include:
  • a 20mph speed limit
  • creating a two-way segregated cycle way on the west side of Streatham Hill
  • a signalised junction at the bus garage by Telford Avenue
  • removing the central reservation
  • straight-across 'raised table' crossings for pedestrians 
  • reducing general traffic lanes to one in each direction
  • a redesigned junction with the South Circular
The work would form the first part of a future segregated cycle route between Streatham and Oval, which could eventually lead to a segregated cycle route through Streatham High Road as far as the Odeon, and similar works through Brixton.

Campaigners for a Safer A23 in 2016
The proposals are aimed at reducing fatalities on London's roads to zero by 2041 - and encouraging more people to leave cars at home and travel on foot, by bike and public transport, both priorities for the current Mayor.

A shift to more active forms of transport is expected to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions and to lead to long-term health benefits for London's population.

This major scheme in Streatham Hill is not yet guaranteed to go ahead. Initial computer modelling suggests it could result in delays of up to seven minutes on some bus journeys, which would jeopardise the scheme's feasibility. Streatham Action's transport group was told that further work will be done to address this issue before September's public consultation. The earliest work could start on the redesign, if given the go-ahead, is January 2021.

Green Party Cllr Scott Ainslie: championing a Safer A23
Streatham councillor Scott Ainslie, who has long campaigned alongside the Safer A23 Campaign for a redesign of the dangerous road, said: "It is great news that TfL have listened to local residents' concerns about safety and the challenge our community faces with a an urban motorway dividing us in two. This plan could significantly improve the environment in Streatham, making it a safer, cleaner and greener place to live and work."


  1. I was so happy to see this until I read what’s actually being proposed. How could anyone look at that stretch of road and determine that what's needed most is a two-way cycle lane and the reduction of general traffic lanes to one in each direction? Total and utter madness.
    This is the very last stretch of road to encourage cyclists onto. I am a cyclist in Streatham and the safest routes are on all the backstreets (although they could be a lot safer with better signage and proper traffic speed enforcement, which is where some of this money could be spent).
    The A23 is the main bus route towards work for thousands of people in South London who are not served by the tube. What's needed is proper bus lanes that make these bus journeys functional. What's not needed at all is a plan to force all the traffic into one single lane. This will obviously create an endless bottleneck with absolutely no bus lanes instead of just partially useful ones.
    Whoever is responsible for allocating this money please don't allow it to be used so stupidly. Improve cycle safety on quieter routes and create proper, functional bus lanes that aren't constantly obstructed through bad planning.

  2. As a resident I think this sounds like a great set of proposals.

    The proposals still includes bus lanes in addition to the GENERAL traffic lanes mentioned. I think the previous comment missed this detail.

    A 2 way cycle lane would be great - allowing people to cycle to work or to the tube in Brixton.

    Some cyclists like quiet back routes but others find them scary with car doors opening, tight corners and children crossing from between parked cars.

  3. To alexanderfpn: the scheme has bus lanes and cycle lanes all the way along. It's intended to encourage pedestrians, cyclists and bus users over car traffic, which will benefit all Streathamites as air quality improves. The cycle lane is part of a strategic route from Streatham to Oval that will eventually have protected cycle lanes all the way through Brixton. Of course, the back streets are still there for you to use; and actually should be nicer as other aspects of the scheme will tend to reduce rat-running and back-street car traffic.