Here is an updated assessment
Vauxhall Grove Bonnington Square Langley Lane
Our Vauxhall offers significant benefits for local residents of Vauxhall Grove, Bonnington Square and Langley Lane area. It is better than the current situation AND what TfL are proposing.
- Vehicle access to the area is retained into Vauxhall Grove from South Lambeth Road via Parry Street [Note the draft plan shows 1 way in wrong direction. Current directions remain]
- Ease of exiting at Langley Lane is improved as this need not now be left turn only onto South Lambeth Road
- Reduced ‘rat running’ through area as shared use entrance across South Lambeth road reserved for access to the Vauxhall Grove/Bonnington Square area only
- Taxis will have dedicated pick up areas (away from Vauxhall Grove and Bonnington Square) to avoid them having to use Vauxhall Grove in the early morning to pick up late night revellers
- Local pollution from South Lambeth Road will be significantly reduced – less noise, improved air quality
The needs of the local community are a key priority of Our Vauxhall not an after thought. Our design aims to ease access for local residents while stopping the area being used as a rat run. This is achieved through two tactics;
- Keeping the majority of the traffic heading from Nine Elms Lane/Wandsworth Road to Kennington Lane/Harleyford Road on the west side of the railway.
- Access to Vauxhall Grove will be across a shared use space with high quality street design and signage stating access only (see sign)
Potential rat runners would be discouraged from entering the area. In contrast, the only way to mitigate the ran run risk under the TfL scheme would be to either (i) stop the right turn into Vauxhall Grove from South Lambeth Road or (ii) close the Harleyford Road exit.
At present, South Lambeth Road is a red route. Taxis and minicabs cannot stop. Our Vauxhall includes a dedicated night time taxi / minicab pick up area close to the clubs. This will address long standing concerns of Vauxhall Grove residents who will no longer have to put up with taxis and waiting passengers creating noise and pollution. In contrast, the TfL proposal would leave South Lambeth Road as a red route therefore taxis would still use Vauxhall Grove.
Assessment of rat running risk under TfL scheme and Our Vauxhall
Rat running is a known risk and a number of existing TfL traffic schemes have been at the expense of certain local streets notably Fentiman Road. Analysis of traffic flows in the area (based on official TfL traffic movements study November 2013) indicates that there is potential for Vauxhall Grove to become a significant rat run under TfL’s scheme but it shouldn’t be a problem with Our Vauxhall’s approach.
TfL’s proposal includes a no right turn from Wandsworth Road into Kennington Lane. As a result, all vehicles from Nine Elms/Wandsworth Road heading towards Kennington/Oval will turn down Parry Street, left into South Lambeth Road joining other traffic coming from Stockwell heading in the same direction. The traffic then heads for towards RVT junction and turn right there. The picture below illustrates the traffic flows (see yellow lines ) associated with TfL solution. If unchecked a significant rat run (shown in red) would be created through Vauxhall Grove.
TfL scheme rat run risk
Assessment: Under the TfL approach it is likely that traffic, at times, will queue back along South Lambeth Road. When this happens, Vauxhall Grove becomes an open invitation and vehicles would soon learn to take that route through to Harleyford. Depending on what is decided on the smaller gyratory, a right turn from Vauxhall Grove into Harleyford Road may be possible under both TfL and Our Vauxhall plans and a left turn may still be desirable to some potential rat runners. Possible solutions to the TfL scheme rat run risk are (i) a no right turn from South Lambeth Road into Vauxhall Grove or (ii) closing the Vauxhall Grove/Harleyford Road exit)
Our Vauxhall rat run risk
In contrast to the TfL approach, 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. Rat run risk for non local traffic is likely to be minimal.
Assessment: Vehicles from Nine Elms or Wandsworth Road would have to go out of their way to find the Vauxhall Grove route which would necessarily be longer and involve more left/right turns so it unlikely to become a significant rat run. However, about 2% of traffic from South Lambeth Road heads towards Kennington/Oval. A proportion of this 2% may find it desirable to take the Vauxhall Grove Route. However, if you look at the wider map of the area this 2% is most likely to be very local traffic including, no doubt, some residents of Vauxhall Grove/Bonnington Square. In addition, the changes at Stockwell are likely to divert some non local traffic away from South Lambeth Road staying on the A3 Clapham Road reducing the risk further. The shared use space at the approach to Vauxhall Grove with high quality design combined with the proposed signage should eliminate risk for all but very local traffic.
Future developments residents may wish to consider
There is a drive to develop green links across the area. Vauxhall Grove/Bonnington Square is already well renowned in this respect but residents might benefit from a more comprehensive shared use approach to roads in the area – if that was what residents wished.
One of the underpinning ideas of Our Vauxhall was to find a solution where everyone benefits; drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, everyone. Giving pedestrians priority in an area like Vauxhall Grove, Bonnington Square does NOT mean taking away all or indeed any car parking spaces just a change to the look and feel of the area so that pedestrians and vehicles share a space safely. The net impact is that vehicles travelling through such shared use spaces tend to travel more slowly thereby discouraging non locals from using the route as a rat run.