FOI request detail

Information on traffic lights installation in Camberwell Grove/McNeil Road 2008

Request ID: FOI-0892-1718
Date published: 03 August 2017

You asked

Traffic lights were installed to control alternate vehicular traffic and cyclists over the weak railway bridge, with 7.5 tonne capacity, in 2008 Are these temporary traffic lights or permanent? Is TfL responsible for their installation, phasing and maintenance? Do the lights conform to regulations for traffic lights in residential roads where there is no junction with a main road? If TfL is involved, why? The traffic lights also are intended to facilitate pedestrian crossing of Camberwell Grove. Why was the crossing time set at 5 seconds which forced parents to cross their children to school when there was a ‘red man’? Do the lights conform to regulations providing safe crossings for pedestrians? The traffic lights in Camberwell Grove are not visible to pedestrians crossing McNeil Road where there is no facility to aid crossing and vehicles have priority at all times. Is this legal? Please provide copy of any published Traffic Orders prior to the installation of the traffic lights. If there are no such traffic orders, under what legal authority were the lights installed?

We answered

TfL Ref: 0892-1718

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 15 July 2017 asking for information about traffic light control at the weak bridge in the Camberwell Grove area.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.


The traffic lights at Camberwell Grove/McNeil Road are permanent traffic signals.  Transport for London has no knowledge of any current plans to amend these signals. The highway authority for these roads, the London Borough of Southwark,would be responsible for proposing any layout changes to the junction.


The Greater London Authority Act 1999 designates Transport for London as the traffic authority for traffic signals in London.  Transport for London are responsible for the installation, maintenance and operation of all traffic signals on TfL and Borough roads in London. The borough (Southwark), as the highway authority, are responsible for junction layout and any associated Traffic Regulation Orders.  Traffic Orders would have been needed for the weight restriction order in this vicinity but not for the traffic signal installation, though this was nonetheless installed in line with the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. 


The traffic signals were installed and timings, including green man time, set in line with DfT guidance. The green man is a signal for pedestrians meaning “Cross With Care” and provides an Invitation to Cross, meaning that pedestrians may start to cross the carriageway at any time the green man is showing. However this is not the total crossing time.  When a pedestrian phase is changing from showing a green man to showing a red man there is a blackout period, when neither the green man nor the red man is showing.  Following the blackout period there is a period when a red man is showing to pedestrians and the red signal continues to be shown to vehicles.  The combination of the blackout period and the all red period is designed to ensure that a pedestrian who has stepped off of the kerb just as the green man goes out, has sufficient time to cross the carriageway before vehicular traffic is allowed to proceed.


It is not a legal requirement to provide pedestrian facilities at traffic signal junctions. As stated above, the decision to provide them or not rests with the Borough. If you would like them to consider promoting and funding pedestrian facilities across McNeil Road then the LB Southwark should be contacted directly:


If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely



Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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