How does it work for traffic?

[Updated 10 January 2015]


TfL and Lambeth have decided that the Vauxhall gyratory will be removed.

Our Vauxhall’s approach to removing the gyratory allows the majority of traffic to take the shortest practical route through Vauxhall.  Over the course of a year, about 1 million vehicle kilometers will be saved.  Our approach (backed by architects, urban design specialists,  transport engineers and many local residents)  is safer, results in smoother traffic flow and will be better for the environment.  There are three key ideas:

  1. Full two way working including the smaller gyratory (Durham St/Kennington Lane/Harleyford Rd)
  2. Traffic to/from Stockwell direction travels via Parry Street
  3. Traffic to/from Kennington/Oval directions travels via Kennington Lane

Allowing traffic to take the shortest practical routes means relatively little goes along Durham Street and a section of South Lambeth Road. Neither street is closed to traffic.  Just to be perfectly  clear, the section of South Lambeth Road between Royal Vauxhall Tavern and Parry Street is NOT closed to traffic. For example, we allow a left turn into South Lambeth Road from Harleyford Road as at present. What does happen in both roads is that traffic flows naturally reduce to the point where shared use can be considered.


The picture on the right shows the main roads highlighted in yellow.  The green roads will have naturally have much lower volumes of traffic







Why do we think our scheme is better for traffic (including cyclists)?

  • 2 fewer traffic lights
    Traffic lights at (1) Parry St/South Lambeth Rd and (2) Harleyford Rd/Durham St replaced with crossings 
  • Fewer overall left/right turns
  • Shorter overall distance traveled
  • Fewer banned movements (no left/no right turns)
  • All 6 key junctions in the Vauxhall gyratory system appear to have a higher junction capacity
    (4 certainly and remaining 2 subject to further design evaluation) 

Because of the way traffic flows through Vauxhall, it just so happens that regulating traffic in the way suggested appears to IMPROVE flow through Vauxhall.  There is no mystery to this.  It is simply because relatively little (circa 2%) travels between South Lambeth Road and Kennington Lane/Harleyford Road.  Minimising the traffic flow along here allows the 2 junctions at either end to be simplified (i) RVT junction (Kennington Lane/Harleyford) and (ii) South Lambeth Road/Parry Street. This is how those junctions would work:

(i) RVT junction (Kennington Lane/Harleyford)
Our approach only requires 3 traffic light stages at this junction compared with a minimum of 4 for TfL’s.  As a result, vehicles travelling along Harleyford (including cyclists on CS5) will have a much longer green time. Queues along Harleyford and backing up towards Kennington Oval will therefore reduce.  

(ii) South Lambeth Road/Parry Street junction
The existing traffic light is removed and replaced with a crossing.  As a result, traffic can flow smoothly between South Lambeth Road and Parry Street without having to give way to traffic coming from Kennington Lane.  This will reduce queuing back along South Lambeth Road towards Stockwell.  The crossing will be less disruptive to traffic and cyclists because most pedestrians will simply be able to cross the shared use section of South Lambeth Road.  This will be much safer for everyone 

We will be publishing a full comparison between Our Vauxhall and TfL’s proposals including details of each junction and link


What’s the catch?

Our approach sends relatively more traffic via the section of Wandsworth Road in front of St George Wharf.


Where is the evidence?

Our Vauxhall analysis draws from the following official data sources;

  • Annual Average Daily Flows (AADF) published by DfT
  • Traffic movements study (November 2013)
  • Collisions data
  • Pedestrian flow data
  • Transport interchange data (Bus/underground/rail interchanges based on Oyster card data)

AADF, link lengths  and traffic movements data were used to identify how much traffic traveled from where to where through Vauxhall. The following link “main routes through Vauxhall”  shows the AM and PM proportions of traffic arriving by one arm of the Vauxhall gyratory system and leaving by another. This, combined with published traffic flow information, tells us approximately how many vehicles will travel along particular routes for particular layouts of the network and how they are likely to have changed over time.    It is the balance of these flows that allow full two way working and closure of the South Lambeth Road section of the gyratory to through traffic.  In contrast, the TfL approach increases the loading on the RVT junction and puts relatively more traffic through the Kennington Lane viaduct.



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