Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thames Tunnel on Deptford Church Street : The Facts!

Planning Inspector's site visit to Crossfields Green – Thursday 28th January at 2pm
Thames Water plan to reduce Deptford Church Street to two lanes for three years on the Crossfields Estate side of the road. Bus stops will be moved, bus journeys slowed down, there’ll be no room for cyclists or emergency vehicles, and 140* Thames Tunnel vehicles a day will be added to traffic – in addition to 100s of construction lorries coming from new developments. Here's a map we drew ourselves showing lorry movements from new developments that will happen at the same time as the Tunnel construction site * (click to enlarge):

Open Floor Hearing at Deptford Lounge: Wednesday 5th Feb at 8pm
The Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart campaigners with the help of Crossfields residents have distributed leaflets locally. Unfortunately the wrong day was posted for the Open Floor Hearing – it's Wednesday, not Tuesday. Please come along to the Lounge next Wednesday if you can! There is an alternative site by the river from which spoil and materials can be transported by river – tell Thames Water to use that instead!

Meanwhile, although the campaign against the use of the Crossfields Green site has been waged for some time now, it was only recently that the partial road closure was announced. Although we knew it would be bad, we've had a quick look at their Transport Assessment dated January 2013...(see below) which was prepared before the site was even chosen. As far as we can tell, it hasn't changed much since...

* THE FACTS...(Download the TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT here). 

We were told '32 HGVs per day'. However the Transport Assessment shows "an average peak flow of 140 vehicle movements a day is expected during the months of greatest activity during Site Year 1 of construction of this site (2017). At other times in the construction period, vehicle flows would be lower than this average peak figure." (p.9)

OK, that's:
32 HGVs to and fro = 64
Light-medium or other constuction vehicles to and fro = 36
Workers' vehicles to and fro = 40

These 140 construction vehicles will operate between 8am-6pm on weekdays and up to 1pm on Saturdays. However, "in exceptional circumstances HGV and abnormal load movements could occur up to 10pm on weekdays for large concrete pours and later at night by agreements with the LB of Lewisham and TfL." (p.65) 'Large concrete pours' means that several concrete mixers will line up in a row at the site, churning away loudly with their engines running before they get to 'pour'. Lucky Frankham, Congers and Finch! Lucky Holden and Wilshaw when this happens at Faircharm! Which it will! At Paynes & Borthwick Wharf it happened at 6am in the morning!

In addition, there's the possibility that at least another 10 HGVs per hour may use Deptford Church Street coming from their Chambers Wharf site (and probably from their Earl Pumping Station site too). (p.88) The following image shows the predicted vehicle movements that do not include other development traffic (click to enlarge).

As with all the other developments, there are also workers/staff vehicles and other related vehicles to take into account regarding parking. No provision is ever made for workers' vehicles (which is why Crossfields and Creekside are packed with parked vehicles owned by workers from the Cathedral construction site on the other side of the Creek). Expect Controlled Parking Zones and Residents Permits very soon!

Surveys were conducted to assess pedestrian and cyclist flows. The pedestrian survey did not cover the signalled crossing by Wavelengths used by Crossfields residents exiting and entering the estate to access Wavelengths, the high street or the 47 bus stops. Of course it is not just Crossfields residents using this crossing, since members of the public use it to access Creekside and Greenwich.

Statistics – who can disprove them?
The cyclist survey shows up to 142 cyclists using Deptford Church Street during peak hours (see page 35). Their analysis of traffic flows shows approximately 1170 vehicles per hour on Church Street during the evening peak hour (5-6pm), and 905 in the morning (8-9pm). (Of course, any fool knows that evening peak hours are 4-7pm and morning starts at 7am). Their graph shows a rather low percentage of HGVs which locals may find hard to believe.

On Saturdays during the peak hours of 1.30-2.30pm they recorded approximately 1300 vehicles per hour. And on Sundays between 4-5pm, it is apparently 1100 vehicles! How very odd! Almost as much traffic on Sunday as a weekday! What was going on in 2011 when these studies were carried out?
Junction surveys indicated there was a total flow of 3,360 and 3,600 in the AM and PM peak hours respectively using the junction at Deptford Broadway, of which 1,375 (AM) and 1,493 (PM) entered or exited Deptford Church St.

They note that this was an increase on TfL's own 2010 survey. (And also conflicts with the above figures!) There are no figures supplied for the junction with Creek Road.

However they note that at the junctions at Giffin Street/Deptford Church St and Church St/Broadway traffic operates "above capacity during the PM peak hours". (p.47)

Accident analysis
This is based on TfL figures which reported a total of 2 serious and 17 slight accidents over five years between 2006-2011, with no fatal accidents. They conclude the accidents were due to poor driving, not 'road geometry' and involved light and medium goods vehicles (not HGVs) and five cyclists. (See p.49). These figures are out of date. Young cyclist TJ was killed by a hit-and-run driver right next to the site in March 2012. Does his death not count? (They promise to give their HGV drivers 'awareness training').

New developments
They have into account new developments that would be complete or under construction within the vicinity of the site by Year 1 (p.52). Faircharm (which already has planning permission) is not listed at all 180 lorries per day along Creekside and pouring out onto Deptford Church Street and Creek Road! Creekside Village East and Kent Wharf are also not listed (see our previous post).

In tables we don't fully understand (pp.53 ad nauseum) they estimate delays to buses, traffic, cyclists and pedestrians in secondsapparently no one will ever be delayed by more than a minute or two. It's worth noting they intend to remove the central barrier where the road narrow to two lanes, to give cyclists more room not to get mown down by HGVs, but how are emergency vehicles going to get through?

Emergency Access
We did a word search on the 312 pages of this document and searched for 'Emergency', 'Ambulance', 'Police', 'Fire'. Apart from a reference to a Fire Assembly Point for St Joseph's School, these words are not mentioned once in the entire document.

What do TfL really think?
We couldn't find any evidence via the public access to the Inspectorate website what negotiations may be going on between public bodies such as TfL. The information may be there, but we've lost the will to live.

Where is Lewisham Council and Lewisham Homes in all this?
The Lewisham Planning Team have been in charge of this operation and have kept everyone in the dark. They have not, as far as we know, even consulted Lewisham Homes who have certainly not consulted their residents. Lewisham Planners are negotiating a Section 106 deal with Thames Water as we speak, with little (or no) communication with those most affected.

Thames Water decision by 12th March 2014?
Thames Water reckon this is enough information to get them through the planning stage. "It is acknowledged that these models may require further refinement as the project moves from planning to detailed design stage..." (p41).

Of course for everyone using Deptford Church Street, Deptford High St, Creek Road, Deptford Broadway, the A2 and A200 and all the roads around, not objecting to this site at this stage will mean it's TOO LATE.

* Map amended Jan 31st

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