Can we trust TfL? Make your own mind up

DRAFT Response to TfL’s Pre Christmas miscellany of misinformation on Our Vauxhall
(A more detailed technical response will be prepared once TfL provide requested evidence including the actual traffic model they are using.  TfL have already been referred to the Information Commissioner for failing to provide requested information)

We were bemused to read TfL’s supposedly comprehensive review of ‘Our Vauxhall’ proposal  which TfL  sneaked out just before Christmas. At no time have TfL officials contacted anyone from the Our Vauxhall group to ask any technical questions about the proposal.  If they had, they might have avoided (1)  a formal complaint to senior TfL management and (2) a request for an investigation into the conduct of staff involved in producing what is perhaps one of the most misleading documents you might ever read.  See what you think.  Here is a link to the official ‘TfL assessment of ‘Our Vauxhall’ proposal

And here is a preliminary response to some of the key points

  • ” Closure of South Lambeth Road…”
    Our Vauxhall does NOT involve closure of any roads. What it does do is regulate traffic flows in such a way that traffic along (1) Durham Street and (2)  the section of South Lambeth Road between Parry Street and Kennington Lane reduces to the point where shared use can be considered.
    TfL choose to highlight a particular number – 1,00o additional vehicles per hour in the PM peak along a section of Wandsworth Road but fail to mention the benefits of reduced traffic elsewhere in the network including the reduction of some 20,000 vehicles per day passing a local primary school.  TfL’s solution involves more overall left/right turns and further overall distance travelled.  Over the course of a year, Our Vauxhall will save some 1 million vehicle kilometres per year with resultant reductions in CO2 emissions and related pollutants.  In addition fewer vehicles kilometres and right/left turns should improve road safety
  • “Reassignment of traffic onto other roads [rat running]”
    TfL’s inference of increased rat running are false.  Local residents – us – already know the impact of rat running arising from existing TfL schemes. Our assessment is that TfL’s solution for Vauxhall will result in INCREASED risk of rat running through local streets in particular (1) Fentiman Road (2) Wyvil Road and (3) Vauxhall Grove.  In contrast, Our Vauxhall will reduce risk of rat running through these streets.  There is no magic to this just smoother traffic flow and in particular more favourable flow along Kennington Oval, Harleyford Road and Kennington Lane.  This won’t eliminate rat running but we are confident that it will be better than what TfL are proposing
    [Note We have asked TfL to back up their claims with some actual evidence but have yet to receive a response.]

  • “Longer queues on all approaches”
    TfL claims of longer queues on all approaches are blatantly false.
    Due to decreased turning movements, 4 of the 6 key Vauxhall junctions have trivially higher capacities than what TfL are proposing.  This automatically means shorter queues on 3 of the 7 main approaches.  TfL are planning to reduce the size of two main junctions thereby reducing capacity.  In contrast, Our Vauxhall retains existing size and optimises junction design for two way working.  Over a 24 hour period we suspect Our Vauxhall junctions will out perform TfL’s on all 6 junctions but we will have to wait for them to provide their traffic model to prove that one way or another.
  • …two way operation would have significant impact on capacity [RVT Junction]
    Compared with TfL’s solution, Our Vauxhall solution for Kennington Lane/Harleyford Road (RVT) junction has a higher capacity.  
    Although two lanes merge they have the benefit of a much longer green time.  This is because the junction does not have to accommodate a high number of turning movements (e.g. right turns from Kennington Lane into South Lambeth Road and right turns from South Lambeth into Kennington Lane etc.)  Our 3 stage arrangement allows 3 lanes to be kept open on two of the stages thereby increasing traffic capacity.

TfL go on to make a number of technical points which we consider easy to resolve.  TfL have had plenty of time to comment on these plans and make suggestions and we find it rather disingenuous to publish them just before Christmas.

We don’t claim to have all of the answers for Vauxhall and have always made clear that the plans are work in progress. We are all volunteers and don’t have access to £M of public money.  What we do is at our own expense and not a penny comes from the public purse .  We all want what is best for Vauxhall and believe that in a fair competition Our Vauxhall would out perform TfL’s solution on a range of measures.    

If you wish to make any comments please email us on If you wish to make your views known to TfL please write to

  • Mike Brown Transport Commissioner for London
  • Leon Daniels, Head of Surface Transport
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