Will Our Vauxhall’s proposal lead to rat running through VG & BS?

A BS resident emailed me about Our Vauxhall’s proposal, envisioning the greening of South Lambeth Road between our two parks. See below her email and response from ‘Our Vauxhall’ to her request for more information.

“…it’s not possible to see what the proposed traffic flows through

BS and VG are in the very green and splendid looking Our Vauxhall alternative:

http://www.ourvauxhall.com/I’m really concerned that we don’t end up with a rat run again (remember what it used to be like!).  Two very prompt responses received to an email I sent last night to Our Vauxhall  team  – one of them below, which I’m forwarding.

As Andrea mentions, there is a Lambeth run community consultation event today  12 – 4, and tomorrow 10 – 3 at Vauxhall Community Centre, 5 Glasshouse Walk SE11 5ES http://www.lovevaux.com/events

What do you think?


From: Michael Keane
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎2‎ ‎October‎ ‎2015 ‎00‎:‎01
To: K J Dudley
Cc: ‘Peter Murray’

Dear Karen

Your e-mail has been passed to me as I’ve done a lot of analysis on traffic flows through the area including the potential for rat runs through Bonnington Square

If you are interested in an overview of traffic flows in the area, the attached document shows the percentage of vehicles (AM and PM) entering and leaving Vauxhall by particular arms.  It is based on an official TfL traffic movements study done in November 2013

In a nutshell, yes there is potential for Bonnington Square to become a rat run under TfL’s scheme but it shouldn’t be a problem with Our Vauxhall.

  • TfL’s proposal includes a no right turn from Wandsworth Road into Kennington Lane.  As a result, all vehicles from Nine Elms, Wandsworth Road and South Lambeth Road wanting to head towards Kennington and Oval will head towards RVT junction and turn right there. It is very likely that traffic will queue back along South Lambeth Road.  When this happens, Vauxhall Grove becomes an open invitation and vehicles will soon learn that rat run through to Harleyford  (a right turn from Vauxhall Grove into Harleyford Road will be possible under both TfL and Our Vauxhall plans and a left turn may still be desirable to some potential rat runners)
  • Our Vauxhall allows a right turn from Wandsworth Road into Kennington Lane.  As a result all of the traffic from Nine Elms and Wandsworth Road wanting to head towards Kennington/Oval will turn right at MI6 junction.  They would have to go out of their way to find Vauxhall Grove.  There is a residual risk to be considered. About 2% of traffic from South Lambeth Road heads towards Kennington/Oval.  If you look at the wider map of the area this is most likely very local traffic.  A proportion of this 2% might well choose to use the Vauxhall Grove route but we have some mitigation in mind

The way I envisage the proposed new green space working is that it would be pedestrian priority.  Vehicles would still need access (in particular those wishing to access Bonnington Square through Vauxhall Grove) but they would have to give way to pedestrians.  In my view Bonnington Square would also benefit from a similar approach. By that I don’t mean taking away all of the car parking spaces just change the look and feel of the area so that pedestrians have priority.  Check out Van Gogh Walk for an extreme example of what can be achieved.

In my view pedestrian priority on this scale will discourage most if not all rat runners through Bonnington Square without resorting to no right/left turns or changing existing road directions.

Like all of these schemes there are a lot of details to work out. As far as I can see Our Vauxhall approach seems to be much better than TfL’s in terms of preventing rat runs through Bonnington Square.  In the longer run I suspect a magnificent green space on your door step will be no bad thing and might accelerate the trend towards not owning a car.

If you have any further questions please let me know

Michael Keane

KOV Forum lead on Vauxhall

On Thursday, 1 October 2015, Karen wrote:

Thank you very much for all the thought you have put into your alternative vision for Vauxhall. It looks great.  I fully support the concept and believe this is a much greener and more environment/community friendly alternative

I do have one question about Bonnington Square and Vauxhall Grove though as I cant see all the road directions on the map on your link. Please could you confirm whether traffic measures are still in place to ensure this does not  become a rat run again. I was actively involved in stopping the traffic from being able to turn left from Harleyford Rd a good few years ago now due to the sheer amount of additional, and often speeding, traffic which used to use this as a short cut and drive dangerously through our neighbourhood where children do play on the street. This measure has made a hugely positive impact for our community and must not be lost.

Many thanks

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