Harper Road trial width restriction

Closed 7 Dec 2017

Opened 30 Nov 2017

Results Updated 30 Jan 2018

Thank you to everyone that attended the site meeting 1 December 2017 and who filled in the online questionnaire.

Both the meeting and the online questionnaire were very useful in identifying concerns from the local community about the proposed width restriction. We have noted these and will provide a summary of the consultation responses in early 2018. We will look to address many of the concerns raised as we work towards preparing the final trial layout and a plan to monitor and evaluate the impact. We are working hard with TfL to address concerns about signage at St George’s Circus which is on TfL’s road network. In addition we are awaiting feedback from Veolia to ensure the trial does not adversely affect their operation in the local area.

Generally, during the meeting we established that there was majority support for trial width restriction. We also received 26 responses to the online questionnaire where there was majority (71%) support for the trial width restriction.

Please see southwark.gov.uk/harperroad for a summary of informal consultation activities to date and for next steps of the width restrictions.



Harper Road, in the Elephant and Castle area, is experiencing relatively high numbers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) compared to similar streets in the borough. This is a particular safety issue because:

  • the road is part of an upcoming cycle route (Southwark Spine),
  • the Dickens Square Park refurbishment will bring more people into the area,
  • there are many vulnerable pedestrians accessing schools and the mosque.

You can see the scale of the issue from the attached traffic count data. The issue of HGVs needs to be addressed to help make the street environment feel safer and more pleasant.

The council’s Transport Project team has been in contact with residents and stakeholders since June 2017 to identify their ideas and suggestions for improvements. 

We have given careful consideration to the idea of a road closure at the shopping parade. However we think this would move traffic onto side roads where buildings are much closer to the road kerb, so the effects of pollution and noise would be worse. Furthermore HGVs may be displaced into Bath Terrace and this would present a particular danger to cyclists using the cycle route at Rockingham Street and Meadow Row.

We think width restriction is a better option. In particular this could reduce the high number of southbound HGVs entering via both Harper Road and Trinity Street. We would expect, with appropriate signage, that these HGVs will move on to main roads such as the A2 and A201 rather than side roads.  The width restrictions will not affect regular small to medium sized delivery vans (that measure 1.4 -1.7m in width). We have designed a monitoring plan so that we can assess the impacts of the width restrictions and make changes if necessary (see sections below).

We propose the location of a 6’6’’ (2.0m) width restriction on Harper Road between Bath Terrace and Rockingham Street, plus an additional 6’6’’ (2.0m) width restriction at Bath Terrace to prevent southbound rat running. We have looked at a number of alternative locations but so far we think these are the best in the context of considerations such as access for emergency vehicles, refuse vehicles and local deliveries.

Please refer to the “Proposed width restrictions- site meeting” document which contains

  • Locations of the trial (please note that parking bays may need to be suspended in Bath Terrace).
  • Signage proposed at various locations to alert motorists to the width restriction and to direct HGV traffic to the A2 (Great Dover Street) following Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD).
  • Potential southbound bypass route that might nevertheless be attempted by HGV motorists via Cole Street and Falmouth Road (although the narrow width of Cole Street is thought to potentially discourage lorry drivers from using this as a bypass route). This will be carefully monitored.
  • Location of all baseline traffic counts collected this year (follow up counts after the 6-8 month period to be taken in similar locations).
  • A mock-up of the proposed appearance of the trial width restriction (cement blocks with chevron reflective stripes)
  • Examples of what the final width restriction might look like, if the width restrictions were to be put into place under a permanent traffic order.
  • References to relevant section of the TSRGD (also available online)

Monitoring plan and feedback

The trial would last up to eight months from February / March to autumn 2018 – this length is to allow traffic to adjust to the changes so that we can assess how successful the width restrictions are and whether we need to take any further mitigation measures. The criteria for a successful outcome are proposed in the draft document “Draft monitoring plan” below.

General feedback from the community and stakeholders can be given using an online questionnaire during the trial period. These will be compiled and presented to the cabinet member at the end of the trial.


What are they key milestones for the project:

Trial period winter 2017/2018– autumn 2018

Formal consultation period of permanent traffic order -winter 2018

Decision making –spring 2019

Construction of final width restriction–autumn 2019

Why We Are Consulting

Under section 10 of Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, an experimental traffic order requires the council to consult the chief officer of police.

Although not required by the regulations we are informally consulting with local stakeholders and residents to hear your thoughts about our proposals. We will carefully review your suggestions, with consideration to safety, design standards and traffic engineering good practice, before proceeding with an experimental traffic order.

We will be collecting feedback via an online form for one week from 29 November 2017 to 7 December 2017 as well as taking minutes at a site meeting on 1 December 2017 (details below).


What Happens Next

We will analyse your responses to both the online form and the site visit and will present a summary on this website.



  • Chaucer


  • Anyone from any background


  • All Interests