By Matthew Cannon
Residents on a Brixton street have rediscovered their community spirit to unite against their road being used as a rat-run.
Baytree Road has seen an increase in traffic to over 3,000 vehicles a day since it became a shortcut between Brixton Hill and Acre Lane following road works around the centre of Brixton in late 2010.
But residents have worked with the council to propose creative solutions which at one stage included installing giant plant pots on the road to slow down drivers.
University administrator and Baytree Road dweller of 15 years, Kaye Larrier, 43, was one of the residents who became “fed up” with the traffic.
She said: “The houses shake when you get lorries coming down and they don’t really care about their speed. I’ve noticed a crack on the wall of one of my upstairs rooms and I only decorated last summer.”
Parking problems foiled the planter plans. Instead the direction of the road’s one way system will be reversed with no right turns on to Brixton Hill.
The neighbours are now forming a residents association and plan to hold a street party to celebrate the road’s 100th birthday next year.
“When I moved in the kids used to play on the street and it was quite nice to see them out there,” added Larrier. “Hopefully, if it quietens down, we’ll all be out there now – kids and grown ups.”
Brixton Hill ward Cllr Alex Holland used to live on the road. He praised the communities work and hailed it as a great example of Lambeth Council’s co-operative style.
He said: “Things that bring people together in their community, whether it’s fixing the traffic or setting up a residents association, are good for those people involved, good for their area and good for the whole of Brixton.”
The changes may also include the planting of up to 20 extra trees on the road and are expected to be implemented this October.