Key dates in the Trinity Street traffic story
1976 Southwark Council agreed, after local campaigning, to place a width restriction in Trinity Street to prevent large vehicles travelling along it. TNRA was formed just after this decision was made.
1978 Width restriction installed in the form of a gate in the middle of the road opposite 34 Trinity Street, which allowed cars to pass either side but blocked the way for larger vehicles.
1980 Following a TNRA deputation to LB Southwark traffic subcommittee in 1978, asking for a pedestrian crossing across Trinity Street, pedestrian refuges were installed opposite 47 and 66 Trinity Church Square.
1980s TNRA committee had discussions with Southwark Council about encouraging traffic to stay on Great Dover Street, Borough High Street and New Kent Road (area inside these roads was designated a ‘traffic-sensitive triangle’ in LB Southwark development plan).
1993 Trevor Wilding of LB Southwark traffic department met TNRA to discuss traffic calming in Trinity Street.
1994 In March TNRA officers attended LB Southwark traffic subcommittee to ask for traffic calming measures and a pedestrian crossing.
1995 Pedestrian crossing finally installed opposite 66 Trinity Church Square (replacing one pedestrian refuge). Some realignment of Great Dover Street junction was made and speed tables in Falmouth Road planned.
1996 Traffic in Trinity Street and Trinity Church Square became heavier. Simon Hughes attended TNRA general meeting in June, where members suggested that Trinity Street should be closed. Simon Hughes wrote to Traffic Director for London.
1997 Consultants proposed closure of Trinity Street.
1998 Public meeting in February in Rockingham Tenants Hall, chaired by Councillor Steve Lancashire, presented first plans for closing the street.
1999 Another public meeting and exhibitions showed revised proposals.
2000 Public meeting in May in Henry Wood Hall presented more detailed plans. About 50 residents attended the meeting and most approved.
2001 Some residents complained to the local government ombudsman about delay in implementing the measures.
2002 Wooden gates installed across Trinity Street outside 45 TCS but Great Dover Street junction left open. Traffic poured down Falmouth Road, increasing 10-fold going south. Many residents complained and Falmouth Road residents organised a petition. TNRA committee member Penny Hinves co-ordinated responses. Council monitored traffic, sent out questionnaire, held traffic exhibitions and then put in experimental closures at junctions of Great Dover Street with Trinity Street and Globe Street. Traffic backed up on Great Dover Street and Transport for London (TfL) forced Southwark Council to abandon these closures after five days.
2003 TNRA organised a petition asking for further traffic calming. Congestion charging was introduced, reducing traffic flows on Great Dover Street. TNRA continued to campaign for closure of junctions of Great Dover Street with Trinity Street, Globe Street and Swan Street, consulting residents, who gave a clear mandate for this. Penny Hinves and others presented a petition to Southwark Council. Council decided that there should be more consultation on traffic problems in Falmouth Road. TNRA held demonstration in Falmouth Road. Penny Hinves led TNRA deputations to Borough and Bankside Community Council (B&BCC) and the Council Executive, which agreed to trial closures for six months. Junctions of Great Dover Street with Trinity Street, Globe Street and Swan Street closed temporarily.
2004 At B&BCC meeting, Penny Hinves represented TNRA, giving evidence in favour of the closures being made permanent. Councillors agreed: to make the Trinity Street closure scheme permanent and allow experimental access to Trinity Street from Great Dover Street at weekends, monitored by a camera.
2005 Junctions of Great Dover Street with Globe Street and Swan Street made permanent with landscaping and trees. TNRA objected to Council proposals to install 13 sets of road humps within the estate as part of introduction of 20 mph zone, on grounds that they were unnecessary, because traffic was calmed, and inappropriate in a conservation area. Proposals were not implemented.
2006 Officers announced at November B&BCC meeting that the trial opening would not go ahead because the promised camera technology was not available. The meeting listened to and collected residents’ comments about the traffic calming measures in Trinity Street/Harper Road area. Large majority were in favour of the measures remaining. Council officers were asked report back to a future B&BCC meeting with a final resolution of the traffic measures.
2007 In April, B&BCC meeting ran workshops on various traffic issues, including Trinity Street closures, access problems for Rockingham Estate residents and safety. In June, B&CC meeting finally decided to close Trinity Street/Great Dover Street junction permanently. Car rams and breaks one of the wooden gates across Trinity Street.
2008 Penny Hinves for TNRA made successful application to Southwark Council's Cleaner Greener Safer Fund for landscaping the Trinity Street/Great Dover Street junction. Work to be funded jointly by Southwark Council and TfL.
Second wooden gate in Trinity Street broken by Thames Water contractors.
TNRA committee members Ray Whitley and Simon Webster persuaded Southwark Council to install metal gates, designed in style of Henry Wood Hall railings, across Trinity Street in place of temporary ones.
2009 In March, TfL started work on improvements to Great Dover Street, which included landscaping Trinity Street/Great Dover Street junction.
Monday 30 November saw the final stage in the closure of Trinity Street to through traffic, with the completion of landscaping works at the junction with Great Dover Street beside the Roebuck. Chaucer ward councillors Tim McNally and Lorraine Zuleta cut a ribbon to mark the completion of works.
"This has been a long time coming," Cllr Tim McNally told guests at the 'closing ceremony' for the road junction. "There are some here who would say that it has been 25 years incoming. Certainly I know from the years that I spent on the committee of the Trinity Newington Residents' Association that we campaigned for many years to get this closure made."
He added: "We've had a lot of help from Cleaner Greener Safer money awarded by the local councillors. We've had the ceaseless efforts of TNRA, Chadwick and Lawson Estate. We had support from developers through section 106 money and we've had money from TfL so the original £40,000 bid for by TNRA has transformed into a scheme costing over four times that much."
TNRA would like to thank Penny Hinves for her tireless work for many years to achieve this closure and secure funding for the landscaping.