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Elephant & Castle roundabout could be removed, says Mayor

Plans for a major redesign of the northern junction at Elephant & Castle are moving forward, says Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

More details of the current discussions between City Hall, Transport for London and Southwark council were revealed in a written answer to a question tabled by Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson.

"In my recently published Cycling Vision, I made specific reference to my determination to improve Elephant & Castle northern roundabout under the Better Junctions programme, before 2016," said Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

"In light of this, early designs have been developed and TfL continues to refine these with a view to agreeing a preferred option with the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders during the summer.

"Options are based around the removal of the existing roundabout to provide improvements in road safety and cycle facilities, and to create a significant improvement in the urban realm.

"TfL plans to share the design proposals with stakeholders in August."

Darren Johnson AM said: "I welcome the news that the Mayor has now taken heed of residents' repeated calls for this dangerous and outdated gyratory to be radically redesigned as a matter of urgency.

"I have always been struck by just how dangerous the roads are here, and just how little has changed there since the 1970s.

"There is no place for this kind of junction in London today. I will be monitoring TfL's plans closely to ensure that pedestrians are catered for with a suitable number of pedestrian crossings, cycle safety is prioritised and 20mph limits are introduced."

Figures published by TfL this week show that during the rush hour 34 per cent of all northbound vehicles at Elephant & Castle roundabout are bikes.

The Elephant & Castle Strategic Stakeholder Group is due to meet this week to examine three options for the future layout of the junction.

The GLA recently agreed to spend a further 30,000 drawing up two further designs for the junction, in addition to the 25,000 study commissioned earlier this year.

A report authorising the extra expenditure notes that failure to deliver significant change at the Elephant will "expose the Mayor and mayoral bodies to high level reputational damage" and "impede effective regeneration of this key priority area".

The aims of the project include "a better balance between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists" and "to humanise the area, to create a softer public realm, where the people can interact and the visual and noise impact of the vehicular traffic is reduced".

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