Peckham Rye pedestrianisation to be removed

Peckham Rye’s pedestrianisation measures installed last year are to be removed.

The measure will allow buses and taxis access to the street.

Southwark state the change is for 18 months with a consultation conducted after six months.

The authority claim:

“A number of small businesses along Rye Lane have struggled. Many of these businesses have been negatively impacted by the road closure, as a number of their customers, including those from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, travel to the area by bus”.

The council introduced the measures to enable social distancing and reduce the risk of accidents.

They do not mention making the area a more pleasant place to shop and socialise, which many people have commented upon as a result of measures.





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11 thoughts on “Peckham Rye pedestrianisation to be removed

  • There’s plenty of other pedestrianised town centres with high levels of BAME business. Woolwich and Lewisham to name but two.

    Where’s the evidence Southwark?

  • If any decision isn’t work for the community then it should be changed, not left to fester. Good to see Southwark being flexible and listening to the community.

  • Good, I live in peckham and you cannot carry heavy shopping down the long high Street. I had to pass 2 closed bus stops to get back on my bus route. Far too much hassle so would go Asda instead with the car.
    Also when you come out the station with luggage who wants to walk 500 metres to get to the nearest bus stop to continue your journey.
    Not all of us choose to live in this cycle utopia because it suits your lifestyle. Most of us don’t even have space to park a bike and it’s not practical for elderly relatives and friends.

  • You’d rather use an entire car to carry your shopping than get a little wheeled trolley? That seems odd to me.

  • It was working for lots and lots of the community though. So the measures should be removed because a few businesses were struggling? I’d like to see some evidence that they were struggling because of a lack of bus access rather than the global pandemic and lockdown.

  • I’m not sure I’d use Woolwich as an example of somewhere that’s not struggling. And the further you go from the bus stops, the worse it gets. Buses in Lewisham still penetrate the main shopping street so that definitely isn’t a good example.

    Traffic schemes at the moment forget the bus – the most accessible form of transport let’s not forget – far too readily. Greener Journeys research shows the importance of bus passengers to shopping streets. The best schemes understand this.

    If the closure was to allow social distancing during Covid as claimed, then reversal seems entirely reasonable to me unless it was all being done in bad faith by people with their own agenda.

  • They at least should revamp the whole rye lane. It’s been so dirty, rundown, ugly. Need lots of work done before reopening. That’s the right time to do it. Things about that Southwark Council!

  • @ Alex I agree Rye Lane area of Pekham could do we a revamp and this would be the ideal time for Southwark Council to carry out these works as the remove the pedestrianisation measures.

    I also agree with the other points raised with regard to buses. As we are supposed to be enouraging more use of public transport including buses along side walking and cycling then bus stops do need to be located closer to shopping areas stations etc.

    On a separate note we also need to see the cuts in bus services reversed and frequencies improved back to pre cut levels.

  • Poor decision to remove this pedestrianisation. The road is too narrow for buses, cyclists and pedestrians. While some people doing big shops at supermarkets will benefit from the buses coming closer to the supermarket, the vast majority of people these days are not using the high street like this. Instead, people are making more frequent trips to shops, buying less on each trip, and want more cafes, restaurants and bars to spend their time and money. Southwark should be supporting this and planning a high street with more bars, cafes, dining out and experiences, which will make much more money on a pedestrian and cyclist friendly street, and fewer tatty supermarkets, which bring down the local area

  • I don’t go to Peckham as much as I used to, but Rye Lane has always been a bottleneck and removing the pedestrianisation won’t make much of a difference. As Peckham resident says, the road is narrow and has to cope with buses and vehicles servicing the retail businesses.

  • This is good news from Southwark Council. Rye Lane really does need improving. For this the Council needs to coordinate its delivery of its important role in several different services in the town centre. There is no planning or coordination from Southwark Council since they abolished in 2008 the Council Peckham Programme team who did this for the town centre, even though several Council departments have significant roles in several services for the town centre.

    It cries out for a well managed process for Council town centre operations and also for collaborative working between them and local people, businesses and other organisations in the town centre. Several of us operating in the town centre have tried over the last 10 years to set up simple arrangements for this but they have been ignored or disrupted by the Council either in their ignorance of what is needed or as a result of their continuing disrespect for citizen action. Neither is acceptable.

    The news that they are opening Rye Lane again to buses and commercial vehicles is an appropriate response to the pleas from the small businesses, and people who need to use the buses. It is especially welcome that they are organising a trial and evaluation of all users of Rye Lane of how this works. But we also need as we have done for years their support to establish a network of active organisations and businesses in the town centre who can work with the Council to develop a 5 year plan to improve the public realm and related matters so that it is a pleasant and rewarding experience for all visitors and people who work there.

    Eileen Conn, Peckham Vision
    social media: @peckhamvision


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