Val Shawcross, don’t let TfL blight Vauxhall!

Additional appeals from local residents to Val Shawcross

“Everyone should be under no delusions that if they go ahead with their scheme it will make Elephant and Castle look like an appetiser.” (Michael Keane, Our Vauxhall)

Local residents Helen Monger and Michael Keane wrote to Deputy Transport Mayor Val Shawcross in support of Helen & Pauline’s request, pointing out that TfL’s traffic redesign plans are not just unnecessarily doing away with the bus station, but are also set to blight the wider Vauxhall area for generations to come. They urge that Our Vauxhall’s proposal be given proper consideration.

If you share some, or all, of these concerns expressed on Vauxhall Spring by local residents and campaigners (see Helen & Michael’s emails below) please add your voice by emailing Sadiq Khan mayor@london.gov.uk and Val Shawcross (Deputy Transport Mayor) Val.Shawcross@london.gov.uk

Helen Monger’s response to Val Shawcross:

Dear Ms Shawcross

I have been copied into your email as the Chair of the Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum (KOV) and I am concerned by your email but this statement in particular:

At this time, TfL cannot support the full or part closure of South Lambeth Road or the implementation of two-way traffic on Kennington Lane and Harleyford Road

Having just read the Mayor’s latest ‘Vision for London’ – this statement does not accord.  The Vision discusses this very point about shared use and the need to optimise space requirements within London.  It also talks about respect for existing green space (Vauxhall Park and Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens are significant green spaces either side of the Gyratory).

The TfL/Lambeth Council scheme is deeply flawed.  I cannot see how any scheme will reduce pollution (other than the wider measures related to hybrid buses and ULEZ etc.) in Vauxhall unless there is a greater respect for public open and green space which prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists further.  The current crossings are extremely dangerous and TfL’s scheme will maintain or even make this situation worse.  Traffic light staging will merely slow traffic and not reduce it – causing greater congestion and more pollution.

Your response ignores the fact that there are two primary schools on Harleyford Road that will continue to suffer hugely with children’s lives shortened by the amount of pollution and the dangers of Harleyford Road they are exposed to.  Your response also makes no mention of the impact on Durham Street which will also be dire.

I know that you have heard all this before but would urge you to reconsider before TfL releases it’s response.  This is not about architectural merits with regards a bus station but rather about people’s lives, health and wellbeing and the quality of transport infrastructure offered for Londoners.  TfL can support full/part closure of South Lambeth Road and full two-way traffic around the Gyratory (that was the stated aim of TfL and Lambeth Council originally) but is choosing not to at this time.  You have the power to change this.

Yours sincerely

Helen (Monger)

—————————————————————————————————–Michael Keane’s response to Val Shawcross

Dear Ms Shawcross

Further to Helen Monger’s e-mail to you below, I am writing to see if we can head off a very expensive mistake that will blight the Vauxhall area for years to come.

You will be aware that TfL came in for a lot of criticism over the changes at Elephant and Castle. Having reviewed the traffic models they supplied for both schemes I wish to bring to your attention that their proposed changes around Vauxhall will have a much greater adverse impact on motor vehicle traffic including buses particularly on the Oval side of the railway.

I can appreciate that TfL wish to progress projects and any interruption to that may delay the project. On this occasion they have got it wrong and their current proposal falls well short of the “…very best scheme for Vauxhall and the travelling public”

We thank TfL for meeting with members of the Our Vauxhall group but on the fundamental principles TfL have not moved one inch and are still progressing their own scheme.

As things stand, their scheme results in far more left/right turns and about 1 million more vehicle km per year compared with the full two way Our Vauxhall proposal.  Their scheme is less safe, less environmentally friendly and will result in longer journey times relative to Our Vauxhall’s proposal.

We could make this work but TfL would have to be instructed to work up Our Vauxhall’s scheme properly.  In practice we have met resistance throughout this process.

With regards the gyratory removal, I once again repeat that TfL’s scheme does NOT remove the Vauxhall gyratory only part of it. Claims that the scheme removes the gyratory are misleading as Vauxhall will retain a significant smaller gyratory system which will arguably be more dangerous than the current one.

I note the following offer

“I will however ask TfL to ensure that the changes made as a result of the Vauxhall Cross scheme do not impede them from making further changes in the future. “

Unfortunately this is not enough.  Unlike Our Vauxhall’s proposal, there is no rolling back TfL’ proposal.  Once buildings start to be built it will be impractical to make any significant changes to the road network.  This proposal will blight the area for a generation.

Regards

Michael Keane

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