One point that came out strongly from The Vauxhall Society’s well-attended AGM on 26 November is that if you have any ideas on what you want or do not want to see done about the traffic at Vauxhall Cross, then you should do something yourself, indeed two things, and now.
- One is: Respond before 26 November to the current Lambeth Council consultation on what should happen at Vauxhall Cross, http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/HousingPlanning/Planning/PlanningPolicy/VauxhallareaSPD.htm
- The other thing to do is: Check out the Vauxhall Gyratory petition, http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/safervauxhall
Because for once the two consultations are not about helping officials rubber-stamp what they’ve already decided. Petition and consultation back up the clear impression that the AGM audience were given that Lambeth and Transport for London disagree on what to do about the gyratory.
Guest speakers Helen Fisher (VNEB), Sandra Roebuck (Lambeth) and Richard de Cani (TfL) differ on what to do with the road layout at Vauxhall Cross. TfL thinks the car has to be king; Lambeth wants the gyratory to be more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and VNEB’ happy with what TfL’s happy with. The petition is Lambeth’s attempt to exert the pressure of public opinion on Mayor Boris Johnson, TfL’s boss.
The consultation document, meanwhile, is about Lambeth’s ‘Supplementary Planning Document’ (what Vauxhall people think Vauxhall Cross should be). The Mayor and TfL are powering ahead with bringing in 26,000 extra people to the area, ‘a cluster of tall buildings’ and attendant extra traffic at Vauxhall Cross, all on the basis of pre-SPD assumptions. Weirdly, Lambeth is dishing out the planning permissions before it has any overall social and environmental plan of its own to measure the Mayor’s skyscraper stampede against.