Monday, 23 November 2020

SRS Member awarded London Cycling Campaign Active Travel Campaigner of the Year

In the London Cycling Campaign's annual Campaigner Awards, our Steering Group member and past Chair, Laurie Johnston, was awarded LCC ally Active Travel Campaigner of the Year.

Sarah J Berry (Railton LTN) and Susie Morrow (Wandsworth Living Streets) were Highly Commended.


On receipt of the award, Laurie said:


I'm really touched, but I couldn't do this except as part of a team, and I'm part of an amazing team: Amy Foster, Ros Walton, Simon Yiend, Polly Twisk and all our committed staff and parent reps.

I've learned at the feet of greats like Alastair Hanton and Jeremy Leach.

We are proud to work collaboratively with amazing groups such as Mums for Lungs, Clean Air Dulwich, Southwark Cyclists, Lambeth Cyclists, London Living Streets, Better Streets groups, the new love my LTN groups that we're getting to know, and more.

That's what makes it worthwhile - being part of such a great team.

We have such a great vision for the future, it's such a positive vision.

It is the future.

All you active travel campaigners out there are amazing. I love being part of it.

Thank you.


The full list of awards can be found here.


Monday, 12 October 2020

SRS response to Southwark Emergency Streetspace Measures, Phase 2

SRS response to Southwark Emergency Streetspace Measures, Phase 2

Our schools comprise 10% of Southwark schools but over 30% of Southwark’s Gold Medal travel plans. Our commitment to encouraging active travel to and from school continues. However, increased active travel is enabled by safe infrastructure.

The Streetspace Phase 1 measures, permeable filters at Dulwich Village junction, resulted in three dangerous crossings being made safe, improved safety at two other crossings (Calton Ave/Townley Rd and Eynella Rd/Court Lane) and anecdotal evidence of an increase in walking and cycling by children and their families.

The Phase 2 emergency measures on and around Melbourne Grove in East Dulwich have resulted in:

  • safe access to the main entrance to The Charter School East Dulwich

  • extension of the Goose Green school street

  • safe crossings along Grove Vale, south side

  • safety improvements at the junction with Melbourne Grove and East Dulwich Grove - reduced dangerous driving and safe crossing for pedestrians

  • a cycling quietway along Melbourne Grove, an important route to several schools

    Through traffic on Dulwich Village continues to be noticeable. According to Council monitoring in June, prior to the installation of the permeable filter and before the full return of pupils to schools, traffic levels reached or exceeded pre-Covid levels.

    The Phase 2 emergency measures for Dulwich Village Ward address northbound traffic on Dulwich Village as part of a phased approach to reducing overall traffic in the area, as well as traffic northbound on Townley Road and Burbage Road and eastbound on Turney Road to prevent through traffic from using residential roads as rat runs.

    SRS supports measures that reduce traffic and enable people to walk and cycle, especially those who may be nervous to do so, ensuring their safety and improving traffic flow for those who have no choice but to drive.

    We understand Southwark’s reasons for a phased approach and support a trial period to review whether further measures or changes need to be adopted.

    Our position is one of constructive engagement with the Council. Measures of success will include a reduction in dangerous driving (including speeding), increased safe space for people who wish to walk and cycle to school and/or a reduction in the volume of traffic to levels where walking and cycling become safe for children without additional infrastructure. This will in turn lead to a fall in local air pollution.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Covid 19 emergency response measures: Permeable filter at Dulwich Village junction

The Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School group supports the creation of a permeable filter at Dulwich Village junction as part of Southwark Council’s Covid 19 emergency response measures. This action is supported by all of our schools. 


The Our Healthy Streets Dulwich engagement ran for 12 months and comprised of three phases. It was one of the largest and most extensive consultations ever in Southwark.

The OHS engagement demonstrated widespread support for a holistic and radical approach to traffic reduction in our area.

The idea of a permeable filter at the junction arose from the consensus that traffic should be reduced (phase 1), the support for radical solutions (phase 2) and specific support for a permeable filter (phase 3).

The number of parents driving children to school over the last five years has decreased overall. The amount of traffic in our area has increased.

There is no solution to the saturation of the Dulwich Village junction which retains the current five ‘arms’ of traffic. All three pedestrian crossings on the east side are dangerous.

Our schools comprise 10% of Southwark schools but over 30% of Southwark’s Gold Medal travel plans. Our commitment to encouraging active travel to and from school continues. However, increased active travel is enabled by safe infrastructure.

The current context:

Streets comprise up to 80% of public space. Children have a right to safe public space and safe air.

National and London government and TfL are calling for proposals to reduce traffic and air pollution and to enable active travel in response to Covid 19 and the necessary reduction in public transport capacity. Safe routes to school and school streets are included in these aims.

This approach builds on past direction including TfL Healthy Streets, Liveable Neighbourhoods, Walking Action Plan, Vision Zero and Healthy Streets for London as well as the Mayor’s Making London Child Friendly and Southwark’s Movement Plan.

The majority of households in Southwark have no access to a car.

OHS Dulwich is on hold for the foreseeable future.

Low traffic neighbourhoods will continue to be implemented around us.

TfL has experienced a catastrophic loss of revenue due to the collapse of travel on public transport and of advertising revenue.

As a condition of the central government TfL Covid 19 subsidy, TfL has been required to end free travel for children. This is being vigorously contested by the Mayor and TfL at the moment.

TfL government funding is only guaranteed until October after which there could be serious shortfalls in all areas.

Speeding and severe speeding have increased on London roads during lockdown.

Prior to lockdown, 60% of journeys by car across the capital were under 2.5 miles. With reduction in public transport capacity, TfL estimates that if nothing is done to enable active travel, car journeys could double in central London and more than double in outer London where car use is higher. Some of the above journeys must be walked or cycled to prevent gridlock.

Before lockdown only approximately 20% of children got sufficient exercise.

Our streets must be made safe for living with an ongoing respiratory pandemic. Steps to this end include keeping air pollution down and enabling physical distancing.

Reasons for support:

Air pollution is implicated in the spread, severity and mortality rate of Covid 19.

Walking, cycling and scooting mitigate against some of the conditions which make Covid 19 lethal, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Lockdown has demonstrated that when vehicle traffic is reduced, more families will walk and cycle.

Lockdown has demonstrated that a reduction in vehicle traffic leads to a reduction in air pollution.

There are three dangerous crossings at the junction which are important pedestrian desire lines for school children. The permeable filter makes the crossings safe.

There is currently insufficient space for physical distancing at the junction during the school run.

We recognise that no scheme is perfect and that there are currently insufficient funds to implement a full scheme.

The risks of doing nothing are higher than the risks of imperfect or partial measures.

The future:

We have asked Southwark to monitor and review the impact of the closure so that measures can be introduced to mitigate any negative impact and build on positive results to create a network of safe routes to school.

We have made suggestions to Southwark about what such a network would look like.

Friday, 6 March 2020

SRS supports Our Healthy Streets - Dulwich

The members of Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School are committed to helping children get to school by sustainable means.  Travel to school by car has gone down over the last three years, as our schools promote the behaviour change that has earned them a disproportionate number of STARS Gold Medals in Southwark for their school travel plans.

However, parents who want to let their children walk and cycle are often afraid to do so because of road danger and those who do walk and cycle report finding it intimidating and stressful. We have learned from past experience that permanent, widespread behaviour change is not possible without creating a network of safe routes to school.  Only infrastructure change can address the dangers that heavy traffic poses to children.

One of the main objectives of Our Healthy Streets Dulwich is to provide safe routes to school for children, enabling them to walk, cycle and scoot safely, reducing their exposure to road danger and dangerous levels of air pollution.  We support the scheme for these reasons.  
We have been, and continue to be, in constructive engagement with the Council over the detail.

We support the Our Healthy Streets vision of healthy streets for all.

Our formal response to Phase 2 of the consultation is below:

Dear Officers

Please accept this email as Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School’s (SRS) formal response to phase 2 of the Our Healthy Streets consultation.

SRS supports Southwark Council’s Our Healthy Streets initiative and appreciates the opportunity to work with Southwark to make our streets safe and healthy for children who walk, cycle or scoot to school or who would like to do so.

   We strongly believe that the Our Healthy Streets design should prioritise pedestrian movement over vehicle traffic, particularly around schools. We would like to see reduced traffic, reduced vehicle speed, pedestrian crossings, pedestrian countdown lights, longer cycles for crossing etc. Children should never have to weave through traffic to cross roads.

   We are concerned, given that the availability of free parking in Dulwich generates traffic, that the lack of parking restrictions will prove an obstacle to traffic reduction. The density of parking in the area is a significant barrier to children walking and cycling: it impedes sight lines and visibility, reduces road width and creates chicanes, all of which require confidence and skill to overcome. These obstacles may be one of the reasons families feel they must cycle on the pavement, which in turn creates anxiety for some pedestrians.

   We would like more protected cycling space around schools and on local routes so that children will be safe cycling door to door.

   The aim should be to build a network of door to door walking and cycling routes that make active travel safe and easy.

Whatever plans are drawn up in response to the community engagement, it is vital to look at the area holistically. Consequently we would like to raise two points, which are linked.

1.      Every entrance/exit to the area should be examined in conjunction with draft plans for the Village junction. Small interventions at entrance and exit points can help reduce traffic, discourage rat running and ensure that any junction changes do not have adverse consequences. Each entrance and exit should also be examined in light of the following point.

2.      Any designs should as far as possible be future-proofed i.e. no work undertaken should have to be redone in order to accommodate any future expansion of the healthy streets programme within the ward or to neighbouring wards.

In particular, the west side of Dulwich Village Ward is situated between the Our Healthy Streets area and the proposed Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood. However, currently there are no plans for traffic reduction in this area. Therefore, we would like to see any OHS plans include a general (not necessarily specific) plan for this area. 

Planning ahead will ensure that any future bid for a liveable neighbourhood etc could proceed smoothly, without having to undo any work undertaken as part of OHS Dulwich. Indeed, it may facilitate a future bid and reassure residents who might otherwise be minded to object to OHS Dulwich proposals.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Dr Ian Mudway on the burden of air pollution on children's health

On 4th February Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School hosted Dr Ian Mudway's memorable and compelling talk at JAGS on the burden of air pollution on children's health. His slides are now available here and on our Air Quality page.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The Impact of Air Pollution and the Importance of Active Travel - Southwark Schools Learning Partnership

On 20th January, Jemima Hartshorn and Dr Henrietta Rooney spoke to secondary school children about the impact of air pollution and the importance of active travel to school at a Southwark Schools Learning Partnership meeting hosted by Alleyn's School.

Henrietta Rooney runs Play Streets in Southwark and helped to implement the first School Street in Southwark at SRS school Bessemer Grange Primary.  Jemima Hartshorn is the founder of Mums for Lungs and was recently named by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential Londoners (environmental action). Thanks to both for really interesting and informative talks.

Dr Henrietta Rooney on the benefits of active travel

        Jemima Hartshorn on the impact of air pollution

Monday, 13 January 2020

Healthy Streets for All

This Saturday, January 18th, Croydon Living Streets Group are hosting a community meeting called 'Healthy Streets for All'.  The event is being hosted by Tiffany Lam, a consultant at the New Economics Foundation specialising in sustainable cities.

Before moving to London, Tiffany worked as a research advisor at the National Safe Routes to School Partnership in Washington. You can read the blogs she wrote on making walking and cycling to school safer, healthier and more attractive online here.

Laurie Johnston of our own Safe Routes group will be joining the panel event on Saturday alongside Cllrs. Stephen Mann and Stuart King, where the discussion will also include the work Cllr. King has done on the School Streets programme in Croydon.

If you are interested in learning more about how communities can call for safer, greener, healthier travel options, please do come along and join the conversation.

You can find more information via the booking page at

Image: Croydon Living Streets Group