TfL Letter on Courthill Road 5th January 2010

Dear Mr Calò

Thank you for your e-mail dated 11 December 2009 regarding the junction of Lewisham High Street junction with Courthill Road.

I understand your concerns regarding this busy junction. Please let me assure you that safety is of utmost importance to us.

The number of collisions is higher than we would expect for a signal controlled junction similar to this in Lewisham. Our latest personal injury collision statistics up to the end of June 2009 indicate that there have been 19 injury collisions, in the last three years, with pedestrians having been involved in four of these collisions. I do not believe that the accident you mention in your letter that occurred in April is included in these statistics, for reasons that are not at all clear, but this would bring the total collisions to 20, with pedestrian collisions rising to five. These would appear to have occurred on all arms of the junction and we are therefore focusing our attention on seeking ways to improve pedestrian facilities for the whole junction, not just Courthill Road.

The fact that there are queues on all the approaches to the junction during peak periods with the current traffic signal operation is a clear indication that this junction is operating at its capacity limit. To provide pedestrian signals we would need to shut the entire junction down for traffic to enable pedestrians to have a free period to cross or we would need to re-phase the traffic signals and provide wider pedestrian islands to enable pedestrians to cross all arms of the junction at different times without being opposed by vehicles. If all traffic movements were to be permitted both of these options would have a significant impact on the amount of time that traffic currently has to move through the junction.

Neither of the above options would be an easy answer. The first, the shut down of the signals for an all-round pedestrian stage, would have a significant impact on the traffic flow and congestion while the second option would require gaining space within the junction, possibly by lane reduction and would involve significant changes to the operation of the junction. However, we are also considering more radical ideas like the removal of the Whitburn Road arm from the signal junction, either by closure or reversing the one way operation. This would simplify the traffic movements but would undoubtedly have a major impact on delay, congestion and queue lengths in Ladywell Road.

Clearly, there is a balance to be struck between the competing modes and it is important to understand that we, as a public authority, are governed by a number of other, sometimes conflicting policies, one of which is an initiative to “smooth traffic flow”. This seeks to reduce the delay and congestion along the Mayor’s network and presents particular challenges when the task is trying to integrate signalised pedestrian crossings into congested junctions like this one.

We will continue to investigate whether we can provide pedestrian improvements but this process takes some time. To comply with the other policy objectives we must be able to demonstrate that the introduction of signalised pedestrian crossings will not have an adverse impact upon traffic flow through the junction. If we cannot demonstrate this then, it is unlikely that we would be able progress any pedestrian improvements.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write in with your comments. If you have any other queries with which I can be of assistance please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

xxx yyy
Customer Service Advisor – London Streets
Transport for London
Surface Transport Communications & Engagement

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One Response to “TfL Letter on Courthill Road 5th January 2010”

  1. TfL’s reply about Courthill Road « . Says:

    […] TfL’s reply about Courthill Road By Max A few days ago I received from TfL the reply to my enquiry about the Courthill Road junction and you can read the full letter is here. […]

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