The Battersea Society: Planning Committee submission The Battersea Society website 

Planning Committee Submission

Added on: 12 January 2015 at 12:08:00

Battersea Society response to Consultation on Vauxhall Gyratory

The Battersea Society have considered the revised proposals for the Gyratory and bus station. We were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the details with members of the TfL team working on them. In particular we welcome the fact that all the bus stops will remain within a single area and it appears most most will enable direct interchange with the Underground and Rail station without the need to cross roads. However we felt the presentation was deficient in not indicating possible locations for bus stops and the routes using each. Without this it is impossible to assess how easy it will be to interchange between routes and with the rail and underground stations.

We have a number of concerns and comments as follows:

a) Bus station and interchange:

The leaflet page 7 suggests that the new layout will maintain and improve where possible the facilities and experience for bus passengers. We fully endorse this but are not convinced that the proposals would achieve this objective, in particular:

1. it is suggested that all bus stops will be covered but in the sketches provided there appears to be a large gap in the roof cover. Any new application for development on the island site onto Bondway should contain a requirement for a covered bus waiting area;

2. the bus waiting area should have plenty of seats adjacent to bus stopping sections, litter bins and real time information indicators (which the current bus station lacks). There should be public toilets within the new complex;

3. it is essential, that there are no stops on the eastern side of Bondway so that pedestrians do not have to cross Bondway to reach a bus stop.

4. we are concerned that there may be some stops direct on to Wandsworth Road which will bear very heavy traffic and thus suffer high levels of air pollution, all stops should be accommodated under cover within island site;

5. there is potential for pedestrian/bus conflict on the two way bus access road between Bondway and Wandsworth Road. A dedicated pedestrian crossing area should be considered here;

6. the suggested type of design in the consultation sketches is attractive, light and spacious. However the total bus station area appears to be considerably smaller than the present one which given likely rise in bus usage could cause future congestion for pedestrians at peak times.

b) Cycle/ pedestrian shared areas:

While we appreciate the proposals are still in outline form, we have concerns about the areas of shared pedestrian/cycle use. These include the area on the corner of Vauxhall Bridge round onto Albert Embankment; the cycle route across from Albert Embankment to Kennington Lane (in front of the railway arches); the area to the east of the railway viaduct at the South Lambeth Road /Kennington Lane crossing and the Junctions of Wandsworth Road, Parry Street and Nine Elms Lane. More detailed work is needed on how to separate and/or allow pedestrians clear priority periods in each of these areas. Comparison should be made of solutions to such junctions elsewhere, for example in the Netherlands.

c) Modelling of future traffic flows and public transport demand:

We have general concerns about modelling of the projected traffic flows and demand for public transport and the numbers interchanging at Vauxhall. While we appreciate the complexities of future modelling for an area undergoing such major change as the NEV opportunity area, the Society is extremely concerned about the cumulative impact on traffic flows and demand for public transport within the corridor between Battersea Bridge and Vauxhall. New permissions for major development are being predicated apparently on the basis of excellent communication and public transport between for example York Road and central London. However it is apparent to those using York Road, Battersea Park Road, Nine Elms Lane through to Vauxhall that there is already severe traffic congestion and overloaded public transport at peak hours. It is unclear whether the outline proposals have fully taken account of this, given the significance of Vauxhall as a transport interchange for residents in this area. The Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum have suggested an alternative scheme for removing the gyratory and we consider this should be given serious consideration as part of assessing options.

d) Links to the river and Nine Elms linear park

We note that the outline includes signalised pedestrian crossings across Wandsworth Road to the river and on the corner of Nine Elms Lane Wandsworth Road at the entrance to the linear park. When the proposals are further worked up it is essential that the plan area for the proposals is extended further south west to more clearly show access for both pedestrians and cyclists from the river front to the linear park. The current plan cuts off short of this access point.

e) Cycle and bus lanes

While we are aware that discussions are still in progress in relation to the balance of bus and cycle lanes in Nine Elms Lane, it is unclear from the diagrams whether bus only lanes are proposed other than within the area shaded orange on the plans. It is essential that at the next stage of consultation there is clarity on which areas are bus and cycle lanes in order to assess access movement through the junctions and along Wandsworth Road.

22 December 2014