NO Bus station or NO Bus station?!

by Pauline Gaunt and Helen Irwin

Bye-Bye Vauxhall Bus Station

‘Lambeth absolutely does not want to scatter bus stops around the Vauxhall Gyratory system. Any changes to the bus station need to maintain the convenience of being able to interchange between buses easily and quickly.’ (SE11 Action Team Newsletter 1 May. Cllrs Campbell, Harrison and Morgan)

 We have now seen the two options for Vauxhall which Lambeth have asked TFL to model, and we will have a choice between –

NO BUS STATION    OR    NO BUS STATION

Option 1

Demolition of the bus station .

Replacement of gyratory system by two-way traffic.

Widening of railway bridge to accommodate 8-lane highway, at an additional cost of £50 million (source of funding undecided), and compulsory purchase of some businesses in arches.

Establishment of ‘High Street’ within traffic system.

Dispersal of bus stops to two locations, under the new railway arch and proximate to St George Wharf: all stops roadside, adjacent to circulating traffic, rather than in the sanctuary of a bus station.

 Option 2

Demolition of the bus station

Replacement of gyratory system by two-way traffic.

No widening of Railway bridge.

Establishment of ‘High Street’ within traffic system.

Dispersal of bus stops as above, but to four locations between St George Wharf and South Lambeth Rd.

 So, how did we come to be where we are?

With doubtless good intentions to improve the area for everyone, Lambeth Regeneration came up with the Vision of replacing the bus station with a pedestrianized ‘High Street’, right in the centre of one of the biggest and busiest transport hubs in the capital. It would be ‘a place for shopping, meeting people, working, living and spending time…a venue for community and cultural events’.

Is the gain worth the loss of the bus station?

Do we want to lose the choice of bus routes?

Do we want to walk further?

Do we want to queue at the side of a busy road?

Do we think it is a suitable location to establish a ‘heart of Vauxhall’?

Could some of the benefits be achieved without demolition?

Remember that nobody has ever demanded that Lambeth demolish the bus station and return the bus stops to the periphery of Vauxhall Cross – no lobbying by local groups – no petitions from passenger associations.

What can we do now?

We can demand that Lambeth begin work with the same degree of commitment, on a third option – the retention of the bus station, and all bus stops, within the configuration of the proposed two-way road system. This new road system would, in itself, allow improvements to bus access routes and reduction in pollution, with ample space for more retail development on the East side of Bondway and on the Kylun/Wendover site and equal opportunity for visual enhancement of the space.

Pauline Gaunt

Helen Irwin

27/09/13

Useful contacts:

lpeck@lambeth.gov.uk                                      Leader of Council

cllrishbelbrown@lambethlibdems.org.uk    Councillors

JEdbrooke@lambeth.gov.uk

JHopkins@lambeth.gov.uk

MikeBrown@tube.tfl.gov.uk                            Chief Executive TFL

mayor@london.gov.uk                                      Boris Johnson, Mayor

hoeyk@parliament.co.uk                                              MP for Vauxhall

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