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:

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,

Counter. Opens. Today.

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Counter opens today, next to Sainsbury’s in South Lambeth Place, serving ‘French and American inspired contemporary food’. Looks okay, if a little pricey for this part of town. 50% off all food until 10th February. Maybe they’re trying to match their prices to the latest house price reports. Or in anticipation of the arrival of the Americans in a couple of years. Anyway, I’m going on Monday with the toughest food critic I know – my thirteen year old daughter. Best review I’ve ever had from her after having slaved over a stove for two hours preparing a fancy dinner was “You can make that again”. I’ll be reporting back with her comments on Tuesday. Counter, you have been warned. She takes no prisoners. And you’d better have a few bottles of 7 Up or Lilt behind the bar, or she’ll be merciless with her comments.

Here’s the link to their web page:

And here’s their menu:


Another Day, Another Late Night Drinking License Application

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Yet another application for a late night drinking and carousing license underneath the arches  – Counter, Arch 50, South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP, next to Sainsbury’s. It would be located opposite Starbucks (who withdrew an application for a 24 hour licence following local opposition) and Fire (who would be very happy with a never-ending licence, regardless of local opposition).

Personally I will be writing to Lambeth Licensing to object. Academy Residents are invited to do the same. I suspect they will be joined by Councillor Jack Hopkins, Licensing and the local police. The consequences of an additional ‘mini’ Fire are all too obvious and, I believe, unwelcome. Closing date for objections is 23rd May.

Write to, remembering to put your name and address otherwise your objection won’t be valid.



Starbucks – No More Twenty-Four

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Starbucks has decided to withdraw their application for a late night  (effectively twenty-four hour) license at 2 South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP.

Should they wish to obtain a licence they will be required to make a new application and consultation would start all over again (28 consecutive days).

Starbucks – Having A Taxing Time Trying to Get A 24 Hour License For South Lambeth Place.

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Starbucks have applied to operate a late night (read 24 hour) refreshment venue (read coffee shop) at 2 South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP. Well, why not, every other business/bar/food outlet/mini-mart and club in Vauxhall’s got one, why should Starbucks be left out. It’s not like they don’t pay (voluntary) taxes to help sustain this wonderful country of ours. And this could be the break they’re looking for in their protracted drive to finally turn their UK operation into a profit centre.

Anyway, the hearing is scheduled for 24th March 2014.

LSC Hearing Notice representors


 Attached (above) are pamphlets detailing the hearing process should you want to attend. It’s always a fun night out, listening to some of the nonsense spouted by the other applicants applying for, or more usually trying to hang onto, their licenses. And it’s free, so what more could you ask for? The lady handling this laugh-a-minute knock-about entertainment spectacle, and the person to whom you should forward your application to attend the hearing is:
Mrs Esther F. Jones
Licensing Officer
London Borough of Lambeth
Housing Regeneration and Environment
Blue Star House, 5th Floor
234-244 Stockwell Road
London SW9 9SP
Tel:- – 0207 926 6144

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