in Shaftesbury

Clapham Common Northside

I sometimes wonder if introducing the no-right turns on Clapham Common Northside is the worse thing the council has ever done.

That was a rhetorical statement, I’m fully aware there are plenty of decisions made by the council that some find very controversial. However, since its introduction the no-right turn has been a consistent source of complaint to me and my ward colleagues.

The no-right turns were introduced following a long running campaign by some residents in the roads between Lavender Hill and Clapham Common Northside. However, perhaps the first sign that it would not be popular was the consultation before the introduction: the returns were almost evenly split between those who supported a no-right turn ban and those opposed.

In other words, whatever we did, we’d annoy as many people as we’d please.

The scheme was introduced for a trial period because the result was so close. The trial period is coming to a close and over the next few days people in the area should be receiving another consultation form to give their opinion.

If my correspondence for the past few months is anything to go by I suspect there will be a more conclusive result. Only a few have voiced support for the scheme, most complaining about significant increases to their journey, extra traffic on the roads without controls and businesses on Lavender Hill who feel they have lost out on passing trade.

But then people rarely rally in support of a status quo unless it is under threat, so maybe there will be another close result.

The consultation letters and forms should be distributed to several thousand homes and businesses in the coming days. Keep an eye out for them if you want to have your say.

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  1. I live on Marney Rd and love the fact that you can’t turn right into Stormont off CC Northside. I actually think Stormont should be one-way, north-south. Cars have regularly ignored the no-right turn sign during the trial period. Perhaps if a few people had been fined we would have got a real test of its worth

    • The council has been enforcing the no right turns and plenty of people have been fined as a result of taking the banned turn. Several of those who have complained to me about the restrictions had been caught, and I know a few people personally who received their fine a couple of days after thinking they’d got away with it. I think we can say we have had a real test of its worth.

      If I recollect accurately one-way roads were considered. One-way systems in this type of road have two drawbacks, one is where the traffic goes (a problem that still exists with the no-right turn) and an increase in the speed of traffic on the new one-way roads, which I think was seen as an unacceptable consequence on residential streets.

  2. The signs are not clear enough and several visiting friends have ended up with HUGE fines for not seeing the tiny don’t turn right signs on the left of the road when people are looking on the right for the road names! It is incredibly badly signposted and adds to people’s journeys when trying to get across clapham, forcing more people down lavender sweep, battersea rise and through the old town.

    Perhaps it would be better to make some of the roads one way and therefore no entry from the northside – every other road perhaps. But this will still really annoy people.

    We have never found it significantly held up the traffic when people could turn right at those roads!

    • Ultimately I think your point in the second paragraph is correct. Whatever happens will see people annoyed, disappointed or let down. There is no solution that will please everybody, so it comes down to trying to please the most, or at least, displease the fewest!