Vauxhall Cross Update

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Having visited one of the four consultation meetings, in this instance I went to the Battersea Arts Centre, any fears concerning access and entry to Lawn Lane have not been assuaged. It would appear that what on the proposed road layout plans looks like a shortening of the concrete central reservation at the junction of South Lambeth Road/Lawn Lane is actually  nothing of the sort. Bizarrely  the scope of Tfl’s review did not extend beyond that point at South Lambeth Road so they just didn’t complete the central reservation on the drawing.  They say that they will go away and extend the geographical area to be reviewed, (and hopefully present a complete drawing next time) although there are still no guarantees that a right turn into or out of Lawn Lane will be allowed. Which means that Academy  residents using the Academy Lawn Lane car park and approaching on South Lambeth Road from the west will still need to either complete a full circuit of the gyratory before turning back westbound into South Lambeth Road, or else continue onto the Kennington Lane/Durham Road/Harleyford Road triangle reroute, as will anyone looking to access Vauxhall Grove to get to Langley Lane. In fairness, Tfl are not keen to allow a right turn from South Lambeth Road eastbound into Vauxhall Grove because of the strong possibility of commuters/drivers using it as a rat-run to Harleyford Road.

It also appears that traffic doing a full clockwise circuit of the soon-to-be two way gyratory from Wandsworth Road or Nine Elms Lane will be able to turn right into South Lambeth Road heading west, but anyone approaching the right turn from Vauxhall Bridge/Bridgefoot will not.

There are also cycle traffic lights planned for the pedestrian crossing between South Lambeth Road and South Lambeth Place, which is great, although cyclists will not be subjected to a give-way at the entrance to Vauxhall Grove, which is not so great. Indeed, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

Take a look here for current and proposed drawing plans, and pay close attention to the traffic flow direction arrows:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/vauxhall-cross/

Vauxhall existing

Vauxhall proposed sections

Plans for the bus garage are also unclear. Details of the dispersal of bus stops are available, and it is helpful that buses travelling past similar destinations will now be sited together at the same stops, but it’s not so good that the bus stops will be dispersed throughout the area. In addition, plans for the use of the green space (and the not-so-green space) in the middle of the gyratory are yet to be decided. The developer doesn’t yet know what to do with the land that they purchased, or if they do then they are not saying. On the plus side, they don’t seem overly keen on yet another skyscraper. That’s probably a commercial rather than aesthetic decision – the area is surely skyscrapered (I just made that word up) out.

It is all very complicated and not easy to précis, so please read the proposals thoroughly and attend the meetings if you can. Beyond that, write to Tfl if you have concerns, consultations@tfl.gov.uk

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:

LONDON BOROUGH OF LAMBETH

CHANGES TO THE OPERATIONAL HOURS OF THE KENNINGTON “K” CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE IN BONNINGTON SQUARE, LANGLEY LANE, LAWN LANE AND VAUXHALL GROVE

(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

Yet More Bollards

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Well, it would appear that earlier reports of the disappearance of our Langley Lane bollards were, to quote the football press, somewhat ‘wide of the mark.’ They are in fact being reinstated, along with some very nice paving and a nice, stone, raised kerb. So please ignore my previous (and of course untypical) cynical remarks about having half a ton of tarmac dumped there. The double yellow lines will follow (or so says one of the chaps working on the paving), along with the parking fines. Clubbers beware.

All of this has happened as a result of the Council being badgered by local residents. Which simply proves that we need to be constantly on the front foot in asking Lambeth to help us to improve our neighbourhood. If we don’t tell them then they’ll never know. A big Thank You to Lambeth Council.

 

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Bollards, Pavements and Double Yellow Lines (a simple story of goings and comings)

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It’s all happening in Langley Lane at the moment. At one end, the Bonnington Square piazza is nearly finished. At the other, next to South Lambeth Road, the wrecked pavement (wrecked by developers that is) has been torn up, along with the bollards which our ever watchful council (i.e it noticed when we asked them to pay a visit) decided were too close to the road and didn’t give pedestrians enough room to pass. Well I know the incidences of obesity in the UK are increasing almost exponentially but I’ve never seen anyone have to shimmy or squeeze past the bollards on their way to the gyratory. No matter, they’re gone, and they are due to be replaced by a nice new pavement (we hope, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of tons of tarmac dumped there) together with double yellow lines. The council are adamant that it will enforce these yellow lines, which should mean that illegally parked clubbers who obstruct the exit from Langley Lane will soon be taking home substantial parking fines along with their hangovers, dodgy haircuts and bad fashion.

 

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Bollards (Or Words To That Effect)

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Following representations to Lambeth Council (or the co-operative council as I believe they now tag themselves, although recent events would suggest that word association is unfortunate) it looks as if double yellow lines will replace the bollards at the South Lambeth Road end of Langley Lane, from South Lambeth Road to Langley Mansions. This is as a result of the indiscriminate parking by clubbers and contributors to Vauxhall’s ‘night-time economy’ which means that the exit from Langley Lane is frequently blocked. It’s to be hoped that the yellow lines, due to go down end-March, will be enforced, and that the situation isn’t just exacerbated by the removal of the bollards. If it is, we will make yet more representations to the co-operative council. We are also pressing for the reinstatement of the paving wrecked by the contractors who built the student accommodation block next to Langley Mansions.

Unfortunately, and tedious though it is, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

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