Streatham Soapbox – Was Hopton Road entrance closed illegally?

Streatham residents have been forced to take long diversions to get to their homes because Transport for London with the support of Lambeth Council may have acted unlawfully.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the right-turn entry into and out of Hopton Road from Streatham High Road may have been blocked without the required procedures being followed.

If they had been observed  a full statutory consultation would have followed, and affected residents in Hopton Road and surrounding streets, and others,  would have been given the chance to object.   Even minor street alterations, such as a road hump or yellow line, have to be published in advance – but the blocking of Hopton Road, enforced at the time of the Tesco development, was done without these legal procedures.

Questions by myself and others  to Transport for London and Lambeth Council about the highways changes at the time of the redevelopment were repeatedly ignored or pushed aside.

Residents had been infuriated and appalled that access to and from their streets had been blocked without any consultation or even prior notification.  These changes were not part of the various planning applications or discussions about them.

Image of Streatham High Road former Hopton Road right hand turn approach closed during Tesco development

The highways changes were only one of several unresolved issues we raised about the Tesco redevelopment of the so-called Streatham Hub site that Lambeth Council failed to deal with.

Now, following a Freedom of Information Request,  Transport for London has had to admit that no traffic order was produced for the highway changes.  And, several years on, they have written that they will do so:

“we are now preparing a draft traffic regulation which will enforce the banned turn at this location on the grounds of road safety. We will undertake a formal statutory consultation for the new traffic regulation order in due course”

This at least will give the opportunity for those affected to have their say, particularly in the light of actual traffic conditions and safety considerations - and the amount of rat-running and congestion on surrounding streets which have resulted from the blocked turns.

Whatever the outcome questions will remain as to how this matter was handled by Lambeth Council and Transport for London who totally failed to follow required procedures.