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Traffic lights Dartmouth Road/London Road
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #1
11-02-2013 11:45 AM

Am I right to think the phasing of these lights has been changed? You seem have less time than you used to to turn out of Dartmouth Road. This causes big build-ups of northbound traffic on Dartmouth Road, the FH end of which is any case often jammed because you have to wait for buses and large lorries to negotiate the vehicles illegally parked half on and half off the pavement by the shops.

Rather inconvenient for people who live in upper Sydenham or off Dartmouth Road. Does anyone know why there's been a change (if there has)?

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #2
12-02-2013 10:11 AM

I don't know the reason, Robin, but I agree the traffic has been much worse on Dartmouth Road of late. Recently I have found it quicker to sit in the queues for the temporary lights in Sydenham to get back to my SE23 / SE26 borders home than chug along Dartmouth Road. However, if I come through Forest Hill via the Horniman and the South Circular at the same time of day, there are no queues at all. Which perhaps suggests a change in the phasing of the lights in favour of the South Circ.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012
Post: #3
14-02-2013 09:12 AM

I came onto this site just now to ask, "What is it with the traffic in Forest Hill these days?" Now I know, I guess. Is there any other chaos further along the South Circ causing a knock-on effect here?

Yesterday, Railway Telegraph/Topps Tiles to Forest Hill station took 20 minutes. Today, Sydenham to Forest Hill via Dartmouth Road, 25 minutes. And on Monday (which may have been caused by something else), Forest Hill to Sydenham via Mayow Road took 40 - four-zero - minutes. The round trip was over an hour. Completely nuts!

And yes, I agree about westbound buses, lorries, etc blocking the Dartmouth Road/London Road junction as they turn right.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
14-02-2013 10:30 AM

I don't think the traffic lights have changed. I still see the green phase out of Dartmouth Road lasting longer than necessary most of the time. At the times I cross the road (7:15 and 17:40 every day) there is never a significant queue of traffic up Dartmouth Road.

There are definitely problems when buses try to pass each other with cars parked on Dartmouth Road. But I think the road works in Sydenham will have pushed a bit more traffic our way, and the fire yesterday didn't help with traffic flows. And the very cold and wet weather simply means more people drive short distances rather than walking or cycling. I don't think it takes many additional cars to seriously impact journey times as the traffic lights and bad parking create bunching effects.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #5
14-02-2013 10:46 AM

The irony is that while the traffic in Sydenham around the roadworks is slow, it still moves faster than the traffic on Dartmouth Road when it bunches, especially mid-afternoon between 3pm and 5pm. Recently, and more than once, it has taken me 20 minutes to get from the library to FH station at that time of day. Quicker to head to Cobbs Corner in Sydenham and wait for the temporary lights to change or head up the hill to the Horniman and back around via the South Circ where traffic flows well.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012
Post: #6
14-02-2013 10:58 AM

My experience exactly, rshdunlop.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
14-02-2013 11:43 AM

Quote:
I don't think the traffic lights have changed. I still see the green phase out of Dartmouth Road lasting longer than necessary most of the time. At the times I cross the road (7:15 and 17:40 every day) there is never a significant queue of traffic up Dartmouth Road.

I can't prove you're wrong, Michael, but all I can say is that my wife, who has hitherto regularly driven along Dartmouth Road northbound (she now avoids doing so and, like others, goes up Kirkdale and down Sydenham Rise, then turns right opposite the Horniman) is convinced that the green phase is shorter than it was. As a driver who has to sit and wait, she's probably in a good position to judge.

7.15 is not a very busy time - well before the school run - and at 17.40 (well after the school run) much of the Dartmouth Road traffic is likely to be travelling southbound towards Sydenham.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
14-02-2013 12:20 PM

I guess it depends how long ago we are comparing to today's phasing. I remember when the pools officially opened in September there were buses backed up well beyond the pool (on a Sunday).

I can remember when there was a filter lane coming out of Dartmouth Road and traffic moved much smoother, but then there are more cars on the road than 30 years ago, especially in the winter.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
14-02-2013 12:40 PM

I think it's possible that the green phase out of Dartmouth Road was at one time more or less what it is now, that it was then lengthened (some months ago) and that it has now been shortened again.

Who is responsible for these decisions? Who are they accountable to? Do they publicize and explain any changes they make? If not, why not?

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campervantim


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2013
Post: #10
14-02-2013 05:11 PM

I think the issue is less about phasing and more about vehicles entering the junction when it's not clear to exit on the other side and then remaining there when the lights change, preventing traffic from other directions moving, thus causing a jam. Yellow hatching at the junction would encourage more discipline as those tend to be more observed by more people.

Cars parking on Dartmouth Road, narrowing it, worsens the issue.

The cause is poor driving. The solution is enforcement of the Road Traffic Act.

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #11
14-02-2013 05:25 PM

As its the red route, it would be TFL who control the lights and their phasing. Bit tough to get through to the right person though, but there will be someone responsible for LB Lewisham.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012
Post: #12
14-02-2013 05:36 PM

I'm not sure that there's any more cars parking on Dartmouth Road during school run hour than there used to be, and I can't think of any reason why the problem of vehicles entering the junction when it's not clear to exit would be worse than before.

This has the feel of there being a problem further along the South Circ - roadworks? rephased lights? - meaning that traffic backs up all along the A205 and Dartmouth Road.

I'm sure the Sydenham gas works aren't helping, however. Still - only another seven months to go till they're finished, apparently...

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
14-02-2013 05:44 PM

Yes, maybe TfL will re-phase the lights, perhaps yellow hatching will help and so would better traffic enforcement.

It will still be quite an unpleasant junction to cross at though and, sadly in my view, is the only real black mark on Forest Hill as it neatly divides the centre. I wonder if a more radical solution could work there:
Poynton Regeneration

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BMqpr


Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 2011
Post: #14
14-02-2013 07:19 PM

As somebody who lives on Dartmouth Rd right by the junction in question I don't think it has much to do with the phasing, though they might have changed a little, it's more to do with the traffic backing up on London Rd down to the junction and drivers not keeping it clear for when the lights aren't in their favour.

It usually happens when there's roadworks further up the South Circ.

I can tell when it gets bad because I hear right outside my window someone honking their car horn continuously at somebody stuck in the junction as if they blow their horn long enough the traffic will magically disappear.

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campervantim


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2013
Post: #15
14-02-2013 08:32 PM

To my mind it's always been pretty bad, and it's currently a little worse than before. I've lived in FH for 9 years this time around but a few years before that I lived in & around FH & Sydenham and Dartmouth Road was always to be avoided when driving at certain times of the day.

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Deano


Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #16
14-02-2013 11:17 PM

It is entirely due to cars on the south circular blocking the junction so cars can't get out of Dartmouth road. The pedestrian lights outside scotch brooks ( or whatever it's called this week) also causes traffic to back up over the junction. Last week the queue was all the way back to the library and when I got to the junction I saw cars blocking the exit and no cars at all from Dartmouth Road getting across the lights. I hate traffic cameras but perhaps it is time.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012
Post: #17
14-02-2013 11:59 PM

But why isn't the morning westbound South Circ traffic able to get through the lights? This problem is definitely worse than before.

And with bad manners everywhere these days I really don't fancy the chances of any motorist who courteously pretends that there's a yellow box at that junction when there isn't one. Cars behind will be blasting away at the horn to get a move on.

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Deano


Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #18
16-02-2013 10:50 PM

I had to wait ages on Friday to get onto Dartmouth Road from the South Circular because of buses not being able to get past illegally parked cars. I know most people wouldn't like my solution but i feel we need to widen Dartmouth road to create two proper lanes of traffic and more legitimate parking. There are parts of Dartmouth road (ie near wok express/paddy power) where we could lose some pavement. We're not going to have a truly thriving street if people can't park and if it stays the same with terrible traffic then people will avoid it altogether.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
19-02-2013 07:36 AM

The other solution is to narrow the road so that the cars do not park there.

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Deano


Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #20
19-02-2013 09:19 PM

....and all the shops then go bust. That'll learn them!

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