Four years after it was first promised, work is at last to begin on the conversion of the southern roundabout at Elephant & Castle into a three-way junction with surface-level pedestrian crossings.
Transport for London has confirmed that preliminary works to transform the roundabout to a signalled junction will begin on Monday 15 February. The first phase of works will continue until April and the new £2.8 million road layout is expected to be finished early next year.
TfL says that pedestrians, road users and local businesses will all benefit from a smoother flow of traffic as a result of the new road layout at the junction of Walworth Road, Newington Butts and Elephant & Castle.
The preliminary works will involve preparations for new traffic signals and street lighting, repairs to drainage systems and temporary alterations to the traffic island on the approach to the roundabout from Walworth Road.
The main work gets under way this summer and will include new cycle lanes and advanced stop lines for cyclists. Paved areas next to the roads will also be widened to provide more space for pedestrians.
The subways around the southern roundabout will be filled in and replaced with surface-level crossings. New trees will be planted, and railings and other clutter will be removed.
"The Elephant & Castle southern roundabout has been a source of frustration for people living, working and using the area for many years," says the Mayor of London's transport advisor Kulveer Ranger.
"This crucial work encompasses a number of the Mayor's priorities to improve the capital by providing new facilities for cyclists, ripping out unnecessary railings and creating a better space for Londoners.
"It will help achieve a better Balance between traffic and pedestrians and act as a catalyst in ensuring the broader aim of regenerating the area."
Four years ago Southwark Council announced the removal of the roundabout which was due to be completed by early 2007. Wrangling between Southwark Council, City Hall and Transport for London led to a significant delay.
Whilst the removal of the roundabout is fully funded and has the agreement of all relevant bodies, other transport projects at the Elephant & Castle such as the remodelling of the Northern line station remain under discussion.
TfL says that it is working with Southwark Council and Lend Lease to discuss the long term regeneration aspirations for Elephant & Castle.
At the end of last year Mayor of London Boris Johnson insisted that funding for the rebuilding of the Northern line station would have to come from the private developers.
Southwark's executive member for regeneration Cllr Paul Noblet said last month that he was "disappointed, but not surprised that Boris Johnson is not able to make money available for the Northern line station".