Traffic monitoring on Deptford High Street

Did you know that up to 800 vehicles an hour travel down Deptford High Street during morning commuting times?

Or that a fifth of them are going up to 10mph above the speed limit?

Neither did members of the Deptford Society until we started doing some traffic monitoring in response to concerns about traffic levels, the number of heavy vehicles using the High Street, and the speeds they were travelling at.

Since November, we have been doing traffic counts of the number of vehicles entering both Giffin Street and Frankham Street in hourly periods during the morning commuting time of 6–9am. We have also been counting traffic at other times of the day to provide a comparison.

In the first week of the new year we also carried out a community road watch with the local police and the road safety officer from Lewisham Council, using a speed gun to measure how fast vehicles were going.

Both these exercises gave us evidence to back up what we already knew from our own experiences — that the High Street is being used by large numbers of vehicles as a commuting rat-run towards London Bridge and beyond, and that the speed limit of 20mph is being routinely broken.

Traffic counts in November and December last year showed that between 400 and 550 vehicles per hour travel north along the High Street in the morning commute. Anything up to 25 of these were large tipper truck lorries. But during daytime working hours the number of vehicles dwindles to just 50 to 100 per hour.

Worryingly traffic levels seem to have boomed since the new year, with the average number of commuting vehicles per hour now reaching between 600 and 700 on a regular basis.

Our speed monitoring also showed that a significant proportion of the vehicles were travelling above the speed limit, with almost a fifth of the vehicles we tested clocking in at 25mph or more. One was doing 32mph.

The speed monitoring was done in conjunction with the local police, and they have sent warning letters to all those doing 25mph or more. We intend to carry out another session in the coming month, and anticipate traffic levels to be higher than during our first session.

We will also be meeting with Evelyn and New Cross ward councillors to discuss the most effective way of using this evidence to lobby the council for improvements.

We will be asking the council to consider one or more of the following:

  1. A ban on heavy lorries using Deptford High Street (except for deliveries and access)
  2. Traffic calming measures or chicanes on the High Street
  3. Additional speed limit reminders on lamp-posts and on the road
  4. Occasional speed monitoring sessions

If you are able to contribute any additional evidence, have comments on our findings, or our suggested improvements, please get in touch as we’d love to involve more residents and businesses in our work.