As you can see below, this local initiative for Vauxhall Cross really does get rid of the gyratory in the truest sense – and there is no need to remove the bus station either, all you’d need to do is to adjust entry and exit points. As a fantastic added benefit we would get a green link (pedestrians, cyclists and access only, no buses! Note from ed) between Vauxhall Park and Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens on South Lambeth Road.
The main roads in yellow are two way, in green are roads that can be taken out of the main traffic system and calmed/pedestrianised.
This wonderful idea which was first conceived five years ago by a Bonnington Square resident (and rejected out of hand by TfL) was recently revived by the KOV Forum. Although Lambeth were making appreciative noises at first, they have since made it abundantly clear that they don’t support this local initiative. Without Lambeth’s backing, TfL will never be pursuaded to even do the traffic modelling necessary to establish whether this option is feasible.
Of course the issue is not feasibility, but expedience: Lambeth want to locate their District Centre bijou little high street where the bus station currently is, TfL want to remove (or cut in half) the bus station to enable them to build one or more towers above Vauxhall tube station. To achieve both of these, the bus station has to go.
But instead of making their intentions clear, Lambeth and TfL are using the removal of the bus station as an inevitable prerequisite for the big carrot of ‘improvements to the gyratory for pedestrians and cyclists’. By this they mean a gyratory with two-way traffic instead of currently one-way, and adding a few extra features for cyclists and pedestrians, such as more crossings and cycle paths (although no changes are envisaged for Parry Street, where two cyclists were killed recently).
I’m hopeful that with the help of the KOV Forum we can enlist community support for ‘our’ option. In the past we were admonished by the likes of Lambeth and the GLA for criticising their proposals and not coming up with any of our own. Now that we have, they’re basically ignoring it, in the hope that it will go away. Let’s not do them that favour!
If they were really serious about making Vauxhall Cross a better place for everyone, they would at least consider this option and do some traffic modelling on it.
VAUXHALL DISTRICT CENTRE AND GYRATORY
A POSSIBLE SOLUTION / ENHANCEMENT?
Analysis of traffic flows around Vauxhall indicate that there is a possible solution/enhancement to current options that might benefit everyone without compromising the requirement to comply with the Traffic Act in terms of traffic flows. The key features of this possible solution/enhancement of the Vauxhall District Centre and Gyratory are:
- A new public piazza
South Lambeth road section of gyratory converted to pedestrian/cyclist priority
- New indoor market
South Lambeth Place converted into an into an indoor market with small lock up shops either side and a central pedestrian walkway Potential expansion of Vauxhall Island site
Bus lane and service road integrated onto site allowing a slighter larger development foot print Durham Street public realm
If one way sections are removed completely ,Durham Street could be given pedestrian/cyclist priority
The key enabling works that allow this are:
- Entrance and exit points to Bus station (if retained) are altered
- A3036/Albert Embankment realigned to encourage traffic to continue onto two way 3036
(existing alignment forces a left under viaduct hence the possible need to widen the arch viaduct. The only vehicles that need to pass through there are those heading for Kennington and the Oval)
The key benefits are:
- Additional jobs arising from the new market and in some local businesses that would benefit from increased foot fall offered by public piazza at the heart of district centre
- Improved air quality
- Reduction in noise level
- Reduced journey times through Vauxhall
- Better segregation of a cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles
Proposal for cycle routes:
Vauxhall Cross areal view: