Vauxhall Cross – As Are We

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The ongoing Gyratory abolition plans continue, although they are now at an advanced stage, with Tfl intending to start work on new road layouts in 2019 for completion in 2021. So far so good. However…….

To date anyone entering either the Lawn Lane or Langley Lane Academy car parks has had to put up with the nonsense situation that causes us to circumnavigate the world/Gyratory when travelling east on South Lambeth Road, rather than being able to turn right into either Lawn Lane, or Vauxhall Grove for access to Langley Lane. Similarly when leaving either of the two Academy car parks we have to turn left on South Lambeth Road and then find some way of doing a U turn back into the Gyratory if we are intending to travel east or north. Well, in their infinite wisdom, Tfl now want to compound the pain by blocking access to South Lambeth Road west from what was/is the Gyratory.  Instead they intend sending all westbound South Lambeth Road traffic via Kennington Lane and Durham Street and then back up Harleyford Road, onto South Lambeth Road. Which means that if you are travelling home from the west on South Lambeth Road you will be able to see your destination on the right as you pass it, but will then have to travel around the globe to get back to it, a journey that could take 15 minutes in rush hour traffic. You couldn’t make it up.

The full details are here on this link around P.27. Scroll down when you hit the page otherwise it looks like a blank link!

The key paragraph states, almost as if it is of no consequence, that for the provision of access for residents on Bonnington Square/Langley Lane (and equally Lawn Lane):

“Access to Bonnington Square will remain the same, via a left turn from South Lambeth Road to Vauxhall Grove then onto Bonnington Square. Egress arrangements will remain as per the existing highway arrangement.

There will be a change for traffic which will access Vauxhall Grove approaching from either South Lambeth Road south of Parry Street, Wandsworth Road south of Parry Street or Nine Elms Lane. Rather then travel round the gyratory to access Vauxhall Grove from South Lambeth Road they will need to travel around the Kennington Lane – Durham Street – Harleyford triangle to be able to travel south on South Lambeth Road to then turn left into Vauxhall Grove.

Seriously. None of that is made up. If you feel strongly about this, and you should unless you like sitting in traffic for no purpose other than the planners at Tfl don’t give a toss, then turn up at the consultations and say so, or at the very least make your objections known to Tfl.

There are public consultations on the following dates – please try to attend:
30 March 16.00 – 19.30 St Annes & All Saints Hall, Miles St, SW8 1RL;
1 April 12.00 – 16.00 Battersea Arts Centre SW11 5TN;
5 April 16.00 – 19.30 St Annes & All Saints Hall, Miles St, SW8 1RL;
8 April 12.00 – 16.00 Vauxhall City Farm SE11.

Neighbourhood Parking Restrictions Implemented (At Long Last)

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After much delay and faffing, as of last week there are now parking restrictions in place for Bonnington Square, Langley Lane, Lawn Lane and Vauxhall Grove between midnight and 6.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays and between midnight and 8.30 am on Saturdays and Sundays (the parking places and single yellow lines currently operate between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays). Its objective, in brief, is to help reduce the impact of the anti-social behaviour of the clubbers and allow residents living in those streets to get a good nights sleep. The parking restrictions will be in place for eighteen months before a further review. Any residents in the area wanting to purchase 24-hour parking ticket vouchers for visitors should contact Lambeth Parking.

Here is the relevant order in full:



(Note: This notice is about extending the operational hours of the Kennington “K” Controlled Parking Zone in the roads specified above. The changes will be introduced as an experiment in the first instance and objections may be made to it being continued permanently – see paragraph 7).

  1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Council of the London Borough of Lambeth on 2nd September 2015 made the Lambeth (Kennington) (Parking Places) (No. 1) Experimental Traffic Order 2015, the Lambeth (Free Parking Places) (Limited Time) (No. 1) Experimental Traffic Order 2015 and the Lambeth (Waiting and Loading Restriction) (No. 1) Experimental Traffic Order 2015, under sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended. The Orders will come into force on 14th September 2015 and will continue for up to 18 months.
  1. The general effect of the Orders will be to extend the operational hours of part of the Kennington “K” Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) so that in Bonnington Square, Langley Lane, Lawn Lane and Vauxhall Grove all the waiting restrictions that are indicated by single yellow lines and all the on-street parking places (with the exception of the car club parking place in Langley Lane) would apply between midnight and 6.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays and between midnight and 8.30 am on Saturdays and Sundays (the parking places and single yellow lines currently operate between 8.30 am and 6.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays).
  1. The Orders provide that where it is necessary in certain circumstances, an appointed officer of Lambeth Council or some person authorised by him or her may suspend the Orders or modify or suspend any provision contained in them, while the Orders are in force.
  1. The Orders are necessary to protect the available on-street parking space for residents, their visitors and local businesses in the controlled parking zone area and to reduce anti-social behaviour, so as to improve safety and the immediate environment.
  1. For further information, please telephone the Council’s Transportation Group on 0207 926 9318.
  1. A copy of each of the Orders and documents giving more detailed particulars about them (including a map) are available for inspection from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays inclusive (except bank/public Holidays) from 4th September 2015 until the Orders cease to have effect, at the offices of the Transportation Group, 5th Floor, Blue Star House, 234-244 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SP. Please telephone 020 7926 0209, to arrange an inspection.

7     The Council will be considering in due course whether the provisions of the experimental Orders should be continued in force indefinitely by means of permanent Orders made under sections 6 and 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Any person may object to the making of the permanent Orders for the purpose of such indefinite continuation within a period of six months beginning with the day on which the experimental Orders come into force or, if the Orders are varied by other Orders or modified pursuant to section 10(2) of the 1984 Act, beginning with the day on which the variation or modification or the latest variation or modification came into force. Any such objection must be in writing and must state the grounds on which it is made and be sent to Barbara Poulter, Transportation Group, London Borough of Lambeth, 5th Floor, Blue Star House, 234-244 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9SP. Any objection may be communicated to, or be seen by, other persons who may be affected.

  1. If any person wishes to question the validity of the Orders or of any of their provisions on the grounds that it or they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or that any requirement of that Act or of any instrument made under that Act has not been complied with, that person may, within 6 weeks from the date on which the Orders are made, apply for the purpose to the High Court.

Dated 4th September 2015

Abu Barkatoolah

Head of Transportation

Bonnington Square Pavement Resurfacing

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You might recall that Bonnington Square is to get new paving, which means tidying up some of the trees and replacing those that are causing damage. This notice has been issued by Lambeth Council, although unfortunately no-one at The Academy appears to have received it:

Bonnington Square has been selected for pavement resurfacing as part of the Highways Investment Programme 2015-2016. Lambeth Highways identified a number of trees that will be a problem once works to resurface the pavement starts. Highways initial proposal was to remove all trees causing pavement damage and replace them with new trees. Lambeth officers attended a site walkabout with lead residents and thirteen trees were identified that will cause problems with resurfacing. A local consultation was done by Bonnington Square Garden Association (BSGA) proposing that:

  • Six cherry trees and a large ash could be replaced as part of longer-term urban renewal programme.
  • Five gingkos that are heritage trees should be saved.

The consultation was distributed to households in Bonnington Square, Vauxhall Grove and Langley Lane. A majority of respondents were in favour but there were complaints that this was not representative of the views of the residents as a whole.

So if you can spare two minutes and have a view, you can respond here, by Friday latest please:

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today (hence, the Bonnington Square Pleasure Gardens anniversary party)

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An Invitation note from the Bonnington Square Association:

Bonnington Square garden supporters

A very short work day proposed to do an end of summer tidy up the week before the party.

Please save both dates:

Garden work day: Saturday 23rd August 10am – 12am
Party for 20 years of Bonnington Square Pleasure Gardens: Saturday 30th August 6-9.30PM



Bonnington Square – Nearly There

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A quick word with one of the guys working on the piazza and I discovered that the hoped for ‘next week’ completion is probably more like three weeks. But, hey ho, it will still be finished in time for Easter. What a deserved boost for residents of the Square and for Italo and the Bonnington Square cafe.





Nearly There 

















The Bonnington Square Piazza – Hold On, It’s Coming (with only partial apologies to Sam & Dave).

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We mentioned in October last year that plans were afoot to improve Bonnington Square with the addition of a piazza. Following consultations with local residents, primarily focused around traffic flows and parking issues (which we also suggested as possible issues) the production of working drawings has been passed to outside consultants. If all goes according to plan we should see work commence in Springtime. No completion date has been given yet but hopefully everything will be in place by Summer.

Bonnington Square

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I am reliably informed by acquaintances that our lovely Bonnington Square was nicknamed ‘Squatty Bonny’ back in the ’80’s. Bit of an Ugly Duckling I guess. Anyway, the following is lifted unashamedly and completely from Kennington Runoff

Bonnington Square

Imagine if a community took over an abandoned square and restored its houses and communal areas to their former glory, planted mimosa, beech and mulberry trees, lavender, vines, ferns and palms where there had been a derelict playground, and turned the whole square into an oasis of peace and beauty. Imagine they started a café and community centre where volunteers fed the residents vegan food while they rebuilt the kitchens in their derelict homes. Then imagine one of London’s finest delis and cafes opened on the square. Imagine no longer – this is Bonnington Square in West Kennington, a magical, tranquil yet vibrant area, just yards from the noise of the Vauxhall gyratory. The only thing you might have to imagine is the part where Coalition politicians make the short walk from Parliament to Bonnington Square, then have an epiphany about the positive side of squatting.

The square was built in the 1870s, and was earmarked for demolition in the late 1970s, until squatters moved in. This video from The Guardian’s website tells the story of the remarkable work the squatters carried out.

Here’s the community garden in the middle of the square, dubbed Bonnington Square Pleasure Garden in honour of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens:

Bonnington Square Gardens -

Not bad for a former WWII bomb site. Channel 4 gardener Dan Pearson was amongst the residents responsible for it.

In 1998 the squats were legitimised when the housing cooperative the squatters had formed was allowed to purchase the buildings. Nowadays Bonnington Square is one of the most desireable addresses in London thanks to its beautiful houses and gardens, its location, the Bonnington Cafe, and Italo Deli. Oh, and there’s a ley line running directly through the square, which also takes in Brunswick House, Sally White and lane seven of the Palace Bowl in Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre.

Bee Ridgway writes evocatively about her time staying on Bonnington Square here.

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