Drivers ignoring traffic barriers in Lee Green nearly ran over pedestrians to make their journeys “just a little bit quicker”, a councillor has said. 

Trial barriers were put in residential streets in Lee Green on Monday (June 29). 

Before the pandemic, Lewisham Council had plans to run a six-month trial of roads being blocked off to through-traffic as part of the Lewisham and Lee Green Healthy Neighbourhood plan.    

The scheme, sped up due to the roll-out of emergency Covid-19 measures, aims to reduce rat-running, improve air quality, and encourage greener modes of transport.     

The latest version involves 13 barriers, or modal filters, which will close off the roads so that only cyclists and pedestrians can get through. 

But drivers have been not been following the new rules.  

Photographs from Woodyates Road show vans and cars ignoring the barriers and driving onto pavements.  

A video uploaded to Commonplace by a resident showed the same happening in Upwood Road, where numerous vehicles can be seen driving around barriers and onto the pavement one after the other. 

Lee Green ward Cllr James Rathbone described the behaviour as “dangerous and illegal”.  

“Shocking behaviour in Lee Green today, with numerous drivers going over pavements to avoid modal filters.  

“This is dangerous and illegal.  

“On a couple of occasions I saw vans nearly run over pedestrians in the process of making their journey just a little bit quicker,” he said.  

On Upwood Road he said: “This is dangerous, illegal and incredibly selfish.

“Cutting five minutes off your commute does not justify risking other people’s lives. Someone is going to get seriously injured if drivers don’t stop doing this.”

The scheme has been divisive, with some residents concerned about emergency services, journey times to the hospital, more pollution around schools, traffic being pushed onto other roads, trains already being at capacity, and access to the South Circular.    

Others have praised the scheme for the proposed reduction in traffic, pollution, and rat-running, and back more space being created for walking and cycling.   

Manor Lane, the end of Holme Lacey Road and Dallinger Road, in Leahurst Road, Woodyates at the end of Manor Lane Terrace, in Leyland Road, Upwood Road, and Cambridge Drive were all chosen to have modal filters put in.  

Dermody Road, Manor Road, Ennersdale Road, and Manor Lane were earmarked for four camera enforced modal filters, through which only emergency services, local buses, and bikes are allowed through.