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Rye Lane reopens to buses for ‘eighteen-month trial period’

Rye Lane is set to reopen to buses and deliveries as COVID-19 restrictions are coming to an end. 

No exact date has been given but Southwark Council says the changes should come into force in September 2021.

The thoroughfare through Peckham was closed during the pandemic to help aid social distancing, a decision now under review by Tooley Street.

Southwark Council and TfL say they are aiming to trial the partial reopening – which will keep the road closed to other motor traffic – for eighteen months. 

They say the move is based on feedback from local businesses.

A consultation will take place in around six months with a formal decision on the road’s future made before the end of the trial period. 

If starting from this autumn, this would be in spring-time 2023.

Rye Lane was closed in the summer of 2020 to help aid social distancing but has also improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

In a formal statement issued yesterday, the council admitted that some traders have struggled with the change and lost customers who would normally travel by bus. 

Tooley Street sees allowing buses back through the area as a ‘compromise’ that will help the high street’s economic recovery, too. 

Throughout the pandemic around £100M has been granted in COVID-19 financial support to businesses via Southwark Council. 

Cllr Catherine Rose, cabinet member for transport, parks and sport, said: “We’ve been working with and listening to many local people since the emergency closure of Rye Lane last summer. 

“We are committed to helping small businesses to thrive and encouraging more people back to the high streets. 

“However, we also need more people to walk and cycle, store their bike safely and use public transport more.

“Making the bus network more efficient for everyone helps us to restore confidence as people return to work and school in the autumn. 

“Buses are low emission vehicles that help people connect with trains and other public services in the area. We are working towards a safer, cleaner Rye Lane for everybody.

 “It is also important to remember that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and we need to continue to make more space on our pavements for social distancing, to help keep everyone safe. 

“We are continuing our work with the local community, and they will be involved in any further decisions, moving forward.”

Consultations on other traffic schemes across Peckham and Nunhead will also take place during the Rye Lane bus trial.



  1. Ain’t going to liar its been nice that the buses ain’t been down rye lane and been going the back way, even though its easy for everyone and the buses to go down there, but everyone as got use to it and it ain’t really effective any business because there still getting people in the shop ,and to be honest it as been more safe for people not having the buses go down rye lane, but I understand with the elderly it’s not convenient for them .

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