Below is our detailed response to TfL Vauxhall Cross consultation which closes on Sunday 17 January 2016. As it is very detailed we put summary (Question 12) first. Here is the actual TfL questionnaire or just email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q12 Any other comments
- TfL should engage with the community positively and develop a world leading solution to this important part of inner London which recognises its importance not just as a transport hub but a place in its own right
As the questions in this consultation are asking to assess the whole scheme on its impacts, rather than just particular elements of it, the responses we have given are based on the areas of the proposal that need to be improved to achieve the full potential of the Vauxhall area.
The funding of the scheme has an estimated budget given of £50m. There are ways to mitigate some of this cost while maximising the benefits achieved.
- Do not redevelop the bus station site until a combined scheme with the Vauxhall Island site is agreed and funded which gives a better transport interchange than currently exists.
- Use new quieter spaces to develop more income generating activities (e.g. street food markets along South Lambeth Road)
- Maximise commercialisation of wider spaces along Albert Embankment.
Comments on consultation
For the consultation to be truly effective TfL an initiator must be open to feedback and not just looking to confirm pre-conceived solutions as this will give rise to a risk of confirmation bias.
Some comments made by TfL staff have given cause for concern over the view towards the consultation process. However, despite this the large parts of the community are hoping and looking forward to working with TfL and Lambeth in transforming Vauxhall.
Responses to consultation
Q 1 – Strongly oppose
Q 2 – Very negative
Q 3 Impact to pedestrians:
The impact of the changes proposed by TfL does improve the environment for pedestrians in some places; such as the new square between the station and the underground. However, the scheme also makes it more dangerous in other areas and does not achieve the full potential for the area.
Therefore, as there are areas of the proposal that are worse for pedestrians we must respond that the impact of the TfL proposal will be very negative.
Negative impacts to Pedestrians:
- Bus stop area
- Bondway is being made two way with bus stops
- To reach bus stop 4 on the most direct route from the underground and north part of the bus station two separate signalled pedestrian crossings have to be used.
- The movement of the bus drop off area and bus stand to South Lambeth Place will mean that fumes from the buses will be trapped. The prevailing wind along the river is unlikely to help disperse diesel fumes in this area.
- Buses waiting under South Lambeth Place at night will make the area more intimidating to pedestrians as there will not be the ability to see the whole way along the road.
- It will no longer be possible to walk along Bondway undercover.
- Pedestrian access across South Lambeth Road between Parry Street and Harleyford Road.
- The desire line for pedestrians from Vauxhall Grove to the transport interchange is to cross South Lambeth Road in the middle and proceed along South Lambeth Place.
- Pedestrians are likely to avoid walking south to the junction with Parry St, wait at two sets of pedestrian crossing lights just to walk north again.
- This is likely to lead to pedestrians trying to cross the road away from designated crossings increasing risk of collisions.
- Pedestrian access to transport interchange from the south east.
- As the TfL proposal has two wide crossings to navigate it would be worse (take longer) than the current layout for pedestrians accessing transport interchange from the south east (Fentiman Road, etc).
- All crossings on Wandsworth Road are split leading to increased time for pedestrians to cross increasing risk of crossing against the traffic on a red man.
- The crossing at the junction near the new link to Bondway will require 4 stages to cross the road and therefore not achieve the stated desire to link the transport interchange to the river.
- Our Vauxhall proposal has single crossing in the centre of the Wandsworth Road which is timed with the exiting traffic from the bus station so enabling quicker crossing.
- The stationary traffic on Wandsworth Road waiting for the lights at MI6 junction would encourage pedestrians to cross against the lights.
- Pedestrians conflicts at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern junction.
- No details of the traffic light stages have been given in the consultation, however assuming this is designed to be the minimum possible, on this high trafficked route, to keep lights green for cars for the longest period.
- The minimum number of stages is four, one for each of the three directions of turning cars plus CS5.
- On this basis the most westerly crossing on Kennington Lane will be green for pedestrians at the same time as CS5 is green for cyclists.
- The small triangular area of pavement to the north side of Kennington Lane is not large enough for the number of pedestrians crossing at peak times. This would mean there would be a conflicting movement between cyclists on CS5 and pedestrians, or pedestrians would not be able to get off the road during the crossing stage of the lights.
- The alternate crossing route to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens would require three crossings so would not be appealing to pedestrians.
- Additional traffic ‘rat-running’ on Wyvil Road
- See details on question 9 for reasons on additional traffic on Wyvil Road.
- Risk to school children at Wyvil Primary school and the proposed new school on the Keybridge House site.
- The new proposed walking route from the Wyvil Estate via 12 Wyvil Road development and an opened up railway arch to the station will cross Wyvil Road.
- Large vehicles and long distance traffic should be discouraged from using local residential roads.
Areas not achieving their full potential
- Durham Street
- Pedestrians along Durham Street still exposed to high levels of traffic and pollution including the entrance to St Annes primary school.
- Junction at Durham Street / Kennington Lane still has high risk to pedestrians wishing to cross.
- Also at this junction of Durham Street / Kennington Lane large vehicles turning left will often mount the pavement, close to pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
- The mini-gyratory should not be excluded from this work as it is a key part to the functioning of the junction.
- An additional entrance to tube station along Albert Embankment would avoid need of large numbers of pedestrians to cross Kennington Lane.
- As so much traffic on Kennington Lane viaduct the lights will be red for pedestrians for a long time leading to pedestrian crossing against the lights.
- Crossing from the transport interchange to the north side of Albert Embankment and Bridgefoot, to access the river heading north would require 5 pedestrian crossings
- Access to linear park (south)
- Wandsworth Road (south of Parry st) does not have a single crossing from proposed linear park through to Vauxhall Square.
- Disabled access at taxi rank
- The taxi rank proposed along Bondway stops on the right hand side of the road.
- London taxis have ramps and fold out seats to ease entrance for the mobility impaired. However, these are all on the left hand side of the vehicle
- Mobility impaired people would be forced to enter taxis in the middle of Bondway exposed to traffic on the north section of Bondway.
Q4 – Neutral
Q5 Impact to cyclists
The current TfL proposal is a marked improvement for cyclists both on the current layout and on that proposed by TfL back in 2014.
However, there are still some areas that would leave cyclists dangerously exposed to traffic. As such we can only say the current TfL proposal is neutral for those areas.
Negative Impact to cyclists
- Increased traffic on Wyvil Road
- This is a key route for cyclists to allow them to travel towards the river while avoiding the gyratory completely.
- The increased traffic, including construction traffic for some large local sites, (see question 9 for details) increases risk to these vulnerable users.
Areas not achieving their full potential
- No cycle provision for cyclists approaching from Elephant and Castle along Kennington Lane.
- TfL proposed route for cyclists involves staying on the road and negotiating two tight junctions at each end of Durham Street.
- The junction of Durham Street / Kennington Lane is particularly dangerous as traffic is often stationary; encouraging inexperienced cyclists to continue along the inside of vehicles turning left. With the significant number of large vehicles on this route this will create high risk situations.
- Sending the traffic straight along Kennington Lane as a direct route would give less likelihood of cyclists being caught on the inside of turning traffic.
- A second alternative would be to implement a contraflow cycle lane along Kennington Lane from Durham Street to South Lambeth Road. Appropriate segregation and traffic light control would then be needed at the Kennington Lane Durham Street junction.
- Improvements to provision for cyclists around Vauxhall are wasted if very dangerous junctions are left unimproved immediately adjacent therefore discouraging cycle use.
- The junction at Royal Vauxhall Tavern is more complicated than the present layout or the alternative Our Vauxhall Scheme.
- Better segregation of pedestrians and cyclists at Royal Vauxhall Tavern is required on busy routes such as CS5.
- Four stages will be needed for the lights, in comparison to the three in the current layout.
- This will lead to a longer waiting times which would encourage cyclists on CS5 to re-join the westbound roadway of Kennington Lane under the railway viaduct; as will be possible once the road is made two-way
- If significant numbers of cyclists wish to turn from CS5 (eastbound) down South Lambeth Road there could be issues with cyclists queuing back across the junction while waiting to make the sharp right turn.
- Also cyclists on segregated route along South Lambeth Road joining CS5 towards Victoria will have to wait for the Pedestrian crossing and then to cross the main junction on CS5
The only solution to this is to have five stages in the traffic lights, which would slow traffic
- Cyclists from Kennington Lane to Wandsworth Road / Nine Elms Lane
- The most direct route is via South Lambeth Road and Parry Street with only two sets of traffic lights and two pedestrian crossings.
- The alternative route via CS5 and along Wandsworth road involves four signalled crossings and three pedestrian lights
- The right turn from South Lambeth Road into Parry St (and vice versa) has no cycling provision or ability to access the cycle route on South Lambeth Road.
Therefore cycles are likely to remain in traffic on South Lambeth Road, increasing the risk of collisions and discouraging inexperienced cyclists.
- Lack of on road provision for more confident cyclists who don’t wish to use segregated routes, due to their lower speed and conflicts with pedestrians.
- Faster cyclists will prefer to remain on the main carriageway as segregated routes are slower.
- Bus lanes are attractive to these cyclists and advance stop lines should be provided at all junctions. In particular the junctions on South Lambeth Road and Parry St where no alternative cycle routes are immediately available.
- Fentiman Road “rat running” due to delays along Harleyford Road.
- London Cycle Network route 3 crosses Fentiman road causing conflicts.
- Additional work is required to discourage residential routes being used by through traffic.
- Bondway (south of Parry Street)
- Segregated cycle route passes lorry loading lifts for Vauxhall Square leading to conflicts with reversing trucks
- This could be fixed by reversing one way on Miles st and Bondway (south) and moving the segregated cycle route to the other side of the road.
- No consideration has been given to cars being screened for security on entering MI6 across the cycle lane on Albert Embankment
Q6 – Very negative
Q7 Impact to bus users
Negative Impact to bus users
- Bus stops are spread across two roads as well as central area. This is not a bus station; it is stops along roads
- Three bus stops are along Wandsworth Road and therefore passengers waiting for buses are closer to the pollution of passing traffic.
- No line of sight between the bus stops this stops natural protection and security on the bus station especially at night for vulnerable passengers.
- Transfer between buses should be in single location rather than along roadsides as it is harder to navigate for occasional / irregular users.
- Not all route directions are collocated at the same bus stop in the TfL proposal. e. routes to Victoria – route 2 from stop 6 and routes 36, 436 and 185 from stop 1
- Full coverage from the weather should be provided so interchange between buses is attractive and pleasant.
- No final plans for the bus station
- The current bus station should not be removed or remodelled before there are fixed plans for replacement facilities which are at least as good as at present.
- The south end of the bus stops on Bondway (below the new link road) shows the bus shelter being linked to new shops. As there will be bus stops along Bondway it would not be possible to provide access to shops from the front and there is not enough space for an access road to the rear.
Therefore, an agreement with the developer with the Vauxhall Island site would be required to complete these works.
Demolishing the existing bus station now could leave temporary bus stops in place for many years while the development takes place.
- Pavements along Bondway need to be wide to allow pedestrian flow along as well as passengers waiting for buses.
- The current proposal has the new shops pictured too close to the kerb which would mean in times of peak demand pedestrians walking along Bondway are likely to use the road.
- Bus priority lanes need to be retained
- Wandsworth Road (south of Parry St) to allow buses to move across to right hand lane to turn into Parry St
- Wandsworth Road along Parry St into Bondway
TfL proposal has high usage along Parry St for traffic heading towards the ring road; therefore any delays here would impact bus reliability.
- South Lambeth Road from Fentiman Road to Parry Street
- Bus lane the whole way along Albert Embankment until just before Bridgefoot
Q 8 – Very Negative
Q9 Comments on cars and other motor vehicles
Negative Impact to cars and other motor vehicles
- Complicated junctions are very close to each other. This means that traffic will have to stop several times for long periods which will give a slower overall journey time than having fewer junctions.
- No consideration has been given to the access to MI6 as there is a kerb and cycle lane where vehicles currently wait for security checks to be carried out.
The following three points will lead to additional rat running along Wyvil Road
- It is not possible to access South Bondway from Nine Elms Road or Wandsworth Road
- There is no right hand turn from Parry St (eastbound) into Bondway (south)
- If a right turn was allowed from Parry St (eastbound) into Bondway (south) then this would limit the capacity of Parry St.
Also the right turning traffic would conflict with buses and local traffic turning right from Parry St (westbound) into Bondway (north)
- The only way to access the site would therefore be to travel along Wyvil Road.
- This could be solved by reversing the one way direction of Miles street and Bondway.
- It is not possible to access Vauxhall Island site from North (Vauxhall Bridge / Harleyford Road / Kennington Lane or Albert Embankment)
- No right turn can be allowed from Parry St (eastbound) as would delay traffic. There is already a right turn for buses and local traffic into Bondway (north).
- A left turn into the island site would only give access from Wandsworth Road and Nine Elms Lane as there is a restriction on the left hand turning from Wandsworth Road (north) into Parry St.
- Parry St remains busy road under proposed TfL road layout.
- No access to site from Bondway as bus stops on that side of the road
- No access from Wandsworth Road as bus stop and busy road (plus Harleyford Road and Kennington Lane could still not access due to no left turn at MI6 junction)
- No access possible from small link road as it is too short and there are two pedestrian crossings.
- Alternative routes during disruption
- When there are delays from Kennington or Oval Kennington Lane viaduct is likely to be blocked as it is regularly at present.
- Traffic from Albert Embankment / Vauxhall Bridge destined for South Lambeth Road will be caught in these tailbacks and therefore encouraged to turn along Wandsworth Road and use Wyvil Road to cut back to South Lambeth Road.
- This could only be solved by restricting access through Wyvil Road or allowing a left turn from Wandsworth Road to Parry Street.
Areas not achieving their full potential
- Junctions at Royal Vauxhall Tavern
- This is more complicated than at present and the proposed Our Vauxhall Scheme.
- A minimum of four stages will be needed for the lights.
- This will lead to a longer waiting time which would cause delays down South Lambeth Road which is single lane for part and has significant flows from Nine Elms Lane / Wandsworth Road to Kennington / Oval mixing with South Lambeth Road traffic heading to Vauxhall Bridge.
- The existing road layout of Kennington Lane under the viaduct has four lanes, two turning right and two straight on along Kennington Lane
Often delays occur at this junction, as traffic in the left hand lanes wishes to turn right and has to wait for junction to clear before proceeding holding up traffic towards Oval and Kennington. This will be worse with only one lane continuing along Kennington Lane.
- The MI6 junction and Royal Vauxhall Tavern junction are very close.
- As these junctions are very close to each other they will have to be timed together which will limit the efficiency of both junctions.
- A simpler junction at Royal Vauxhall Tavern could be coordinated more easily with the large junction at MI6 and ensure that traffic could flow quickly away from the MI6 junction.
- MI6 junction
- Have additional left turn lanes for Eastbound ring road traffic from Albert Embankment
- Resilience of the road network to perturbations.
- As gyratory there is the risk of feedback when delays occur from outside Vauxhall.
- At present delays from Elephant and Castle / Oval feed into Vauxhall Gyratory and then block the whole loop. As the traffic has to merge to go around for all directions, even when the original delays clear Vauxhall cannot clear quickly due to junctions being blocked from several directions.
Retaining the mini-gyratory continues this problem.
- Langley Lane exit is just left turn only – Our Vauxhall would allow exit in both directions
Q10 – Neutral
Q11 Comments on impact on streets and public spaces
- Station square is good link between transport interchanges.
- However this area will remain very noisy and polluted due to adjacent Kennington Lane. Therefore it will remain a transit area rather than an area people will congregate rest and relax.
Areas not achieving their full potential
- South Lambeth Road will still have significant traffic and stationary cars waiting at the complex junction by the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
- South Lambeth Road would continue to be a noisy polluted street which would not be conducive to outside seating and viable town centre under TfL’s proposal.
- Two way road with large traffic volumes diverted northbound along will make crossing harder
- Bondway will not make a viable high street.
- The north end of Bondway will only have the same shops as now (Waitrose) and the new bus station building on it.
- To the south the buildings on the eastside of Bondway are not owned by TfL and therefore able to be controlled to created more shops. Some are used for residential therefore and have historic frontages which would no easily convert to shops.
- On the west side of Bondway the shops would have to be set back to allow enough circulation space for waiting passengers and pedestrian access would have to be provided into the Vauxhall Island site.
- Therefore, there would be a very small net gain of shops along Bondway, which are likely to focus on needs of transiting passengers rather than creating a high street.
- The area around the Royal Vauxhall Tavern junction is not a good shared space due to highly complex junction and limited space
- Moving the entrance and exit of the bus station to the south decreases the developable land adjacent to the Island site. Extra open space would be better between bus stations and Wandsworth Road.
Keeping the space between the new link road and the underground as open space would encourage access to the river and new developments and also go some way to unifying the bus stops into a single entity as there would not be a building in between the stops.