The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 24 April 2017 at 18:25:53

Response to April 2017 consultation on Vauxhall Cross bus station

The Battersea Society would like to thank TfL for offering a consultation session on the latest Vauxhall bus station proposals at Battersea Arts Centre. This proved an easily accessible venue for members and we hope the Lambeth and TfL team will consider the Centre for future consultations.

Overall we consider the current proposals for the Vauxhall bus station redevelopment an improvement over earlier ones. In particular we welcome confirmation of the pedestrian facilities and the removal of the road access between the Overground and Underground stations and the significant increase in traffic controlled pedestrian access points at street level into the bus station area.

We do however continue to have a number of concerns, in particular the importance of integrating the island development into the bus interchange. The current permission for the development on the island site is quite discrete from the bus station. From comments at the consultation it appears that Lambeth expect revised proposals to be submitted. It is essential that any development finally built should at ground level allow full movement through the island site from Wandsworth Road to Bondway, ideally with some facilities such as small retail and food outlets.

Our other concerns and comments on the proposals are:

1: central bus access road: we maintain our earlier concerns about bus users having to cross this central road to reach or leave stops on the southern island. This is a significant disadvantage compared with the current bus station and requires some travellers to wait directly alongside heavy traffic.

Although it appears from the rather scanty diagram of bus stops that there would be a pedestrian crossing, it is inevitable that if a bus is at a stand people will run across this central access road in an attempt to catch it. Further thought needs to be given to ensure bus drivers always slow when entering this central link and a very low minimum speed is imposed at all times.

2. Assessment of traffic flows throughout the day and impact on traffic lights/pedestrian crossings: we were unclear to what extent modelling had been undertaken of the impact of variations in traffic flows on timing of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and bus movements in and out of the bus station area.

3 Grouping of bus stops southbound: The positioning of an access road between any bus stops is a problem. If this cannot be resolved we recommend buses proposed to stop at stand 4 are moved to stand 3, next to stand 2. In that way travellers towards Lavender Hill can readily access any of the 4 routes going in that direction (77/87/156/452). Those bound for Nine Elms and transferring from the 77 or 87 have a fast, road free change, particularly important for those travelling west beyond Battersea Park, given the problems with the 344 later at night. It is our impression that the majority of bus to bus interchanges southbound are between the 87/77 and 156/344.

4 Provision of real time info on bus arrivals: at the consultation session we were told running information would be more extensive than in the current bus station. We support this strongly as the single board currently available is totally inadequate if you are at one of the more distant bus stands. However no indication was given as to where information boards would be located. Ideally there should be signs both at the individual stands and in the central pedestrian area. We suggest that local groups are consulted on the design and location of these before their position is finalised. The content of the information will also be important given the complexity of the interchange and bus routes it serves.

5 Facilities: the images provided indicated some seating but it was unclear how much of this related to specific stands. At least as much seating as currently available must be provided in addition to any general amenity seating as suggested in the image of the new square. We welcome the central provision of toilets.

6 Design of information and mess buildings: although described as providing an iconic structure on the corner of the new interchange, the images of the new central building over the Underground entrance fail to reflect the character of Vauxhall Cross and are a poor follow-on to the strong roof outline currently on the site. The building will be competing with the surrounding high density towers and the drawings did not convince us that the interchange would stand out amongst these.