Campaigners who want speed cameras introduced outside a primary school on Shooters Hill have been told not enough people have been hit by cars to justify having the safety measure installed.
Parents and neighbours at Christ Church Primary School have been concerned for years over drivers coming down Shooters Hill at high speed, with two people killed at the junction with Well Hall Road in the past 16 years.
In an article written for this website last year, local resident Dan O’Loghlen described drivers sounding their horns and jostling for space at the traffic lights. “The stretch leading down to the junction from Shooters Hill is a magnet for speeding,” he said. “Vehicles pick up speed as they come down the incline from the second highest point in London.”
A petition signed by 633 residents calling for safety improvements was presented to Greenwich Council last October. But Greenwich’s transport officers say that not enough people have been killed or injured to justify a speed camera outside the school.
Councillors on the borough’s highways committee will discuss a proposed response to the petition next Wednesday.
A report to the committee says: “Any request for a speed camera must be made to the enforcement authority, the Metropolitan Police.
“They have advised that, in line with the Department for Transport’s national policy, safety cameras are restricted to the most dangerous locations that have a history of people being killed or seriously injured in collisions in which speeding was a factor. Shooters Hill does not meet this criterion.”
Police say that in the three years to July 2022, there had been eight collisions on that stretch of Shooters Hill with ten casualties – nine classed as slight and one serious. One of the collisions took place at the end of the school day.
The police also say that when speed monitoring equipment was used outside the school, “only a small number of vehicles were observed travelling fast enough to be reported”.
The petition also called for a 20mph speed limit. Greenwich is thought to be the only inner London borough which does not have a 20mph speed limit on the main roads it controls. Council officers say this policy is being reviewed this year.
“Under the council’s current policy there is insufficient justification to introduce traffic calming or a 20mph speed limit outside Christ Church School,” the report says, although it says variable limits could be put in place at a cost of up to £30,000.
Laura King, one of the authors of the petition, told 853 that the council’s response was disappointing.
“The response so far hasn’t provided much hope for change. The latest council response indicated that the area isn’t a priority,” she said. “The evidence to back up this decision is based on data during a period that included lockdown when traffic was lighter. We don’t believe this is fully representative of road use in the area.
“We look forward to the meeting on 11 January where residents and road users will have a chance to put forward their views on safety in the Shooters Hill area. We’re still hopeful that the council will prioritise this section of road surrounding two of our schools and multiple local businesses.”
The petition has also been passed to Transport for London, which controls the junction with Well Hall Road. “TfL has been requested to investigate in more detail the road safety issues at the Shooters Hill/Well Hall signalised junction with a view to agreeing away forward for improvements,” they say in the report. There were 24 collisions resulting in 37 casualties, including one serious injury, in three years.
Elsewhere in the borough, the council’s response to dangerous driving on Vanbrugh Hill – which frequently sees motorists speed down the wrong side of the road during the morning rush hour, who are using the road to avoid the A2 and A102 – is to build two traffic islands in the middle of the road.
“Recognising the limited resources that the police have to pursue perpetrators for any criminal acts committed when driving in this manner, officers recommend that traffic islands be installed along the middle of the road,” the report says.
“As well as deterring drivers overtaking a traffic queue, any driver who passes a traffic island on the right would commit an offence punishable by a penalty charge notice.”
The officers say that the road is too narrow for a zebra or pelican crossing.