Lambeth Council has agreed to extend to 2 January 2015 its public consultation on Lambeth and Transport for London’s plans to make the Vauxhall Gyratory (or roundabout) one- instead of two-way. Oh, and while Lambeth and TfL are at it, to demolish Vauxhall Bus Station to make away for the associated property development.
If you have not done so, do respond, whatever your point of view, and especially if your point of view is that you don’t know what Lambeth and TfL are on about. If that’s the case with you, the reason is likely to be that Lambeth and TfL have yet to provide any evidence for their assertion that a two-way gyratory works any better than the one-way they were all so hot about only a few short years ago.
Still less are you likely to have seen any Lambeth/TfL evidence that, however many ways the gyratory goes, a busy, popular bus station (and world-renowned piece of architecture) has to be junked, chopped up or otherwise messed about to make way for it. There can be only one reason. Money.
Could it be that one hapless functionary let the cat out of the bag when asked about an illustrated board at one exhibition of the Lambeth/TfL proposals? This board showed a 15-storey skyscraper plonked on the forecourt of the bus station where you go down the stairs to Vauxhall Tube. Asked what the building was, the functionary replied that it was a ‘new HQ for Transport for London’.
That skyscraper is not to be seen on later Lambeth/TfL picture-boards.
You may also want comment on the quality of the ‘consultation’ so far, described by Professor Sir Malcolm Green as ‘deceitful’. To have your say before 2 January, you can go to tfl.gov.uk/vauxhall-cross and fill in the online questionnaire, adding your own comments, or you can email email@example.com referencing Vauxhall in the title.
Here’s what community group, Supporters of Vauxhall Bus Station, are saying in reply to the ‘Transforming Vauxhall Cross ‘consultation:
We thank TfL for their willingness to meet users and discuss the plans, but feel that the questionnaire asks only questions leading to the desired [by TfL] answers. Nowhere is there an opportunity to vote for the retention of the bus station in its current form and location.
‘We understand why many are seeking the removal of the gyratory, and that some believe two-way traffic is preferable to one way. We support the objective of improving the interchange, and the goals of safer and better pedestrian access and cycle paths, less pollution and a visually more pleasant place.
‘Before plans are finalised TfL needs to publish evidence to show that they can reduce traffic speed and flow to create safer, less intimidating roads without returning to the pre-gyratory tailbacks on all surrounding roads.
‘All options for change should be measured against a ‘do nothing ‘option which includes improvements to the present lay-out. TfL must also publish its response to the alternative lay-out submitted by Michael Keane and the Kennington Oval & Vauxhall Forum.
‘TfL has not produced any convincing evidence that two-way working is only possible with the removal of the bus station. Much more work is needed on the re-positioning of the roadways within the transport hub. They must also publish all the proposed bus routes through the bus station, the position of stops, maintaining current choice of routes. It is essential that all the bus stops and entry to the tube and train stations remain under cover.
‘Bus passengers must be given the same priority as the tube and train passengers. The space for buses and passengers is not ‘overgenerous’, as Lambeth now claim. The proposal to reduce it by half at a time when bus passengers are set to increase in number is folly. Our contention is that the amount of commercial space in surrounding development easily exceeds the requirement for a District Centre, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice part of the bus station to create more.
‘Acknowledgement must be given to the particular importance of bus travel for the low paid, the disabled, night workers, the elderly and children, none of whom are mentioned in the consultation literature. We look forward to being consulted on the next iteration of the plans and are happy to attend meetings to explain our observations in more detail.’
The South London Press newspaper has taken up the question of TfL’s misleading ‘before and after’ photographs of Vauxhall Bus Station, and is now asking you to write in or email, explaining how the plans to do away with Vauxhall Bus Station will affect you.
- Supporters of Vauxhall Bus Station will be telling the South London Press how well the bus station works as it is
- That TfL/Lambeth proposals threaten less space for people and buses at a time of rising passenger numbers
- That the plans give no promise that all bus stops will remain under cover (as now), that no stops will at the roadside or that all routes to the same destination will halt at the same stop.
Who needs a gyratory anyway? (South London Press story)