@jackierokotnitz In my view it's too late yes given the avenues I've explored and the unanimous support for the project from Southwark Labour, The Mayor's Office and foolish local campaign groups like Southwark Living Streets and probably Walworth Society - local man Jeremy Leach of these groups played a consistent public role in condemning the subways naively trusting the alternative to be better for pedestrians, which is won't be if you value low journey time, low air pollution and low frustration and risk taking behaviour. Our ex MP Sir Simon came on board last summer campaigning to save two subways, but it was too little too late. His blue labour replacement is a fan of pointless new public spaces at great cost, whether they're here at the E&C or Garden Bridges (so I hear). The case to keep the two subways that are still open was compelling, they're the two busiest by far. The case to keep the busiest one under New Kent Road was very easy, because the new road layout doesn't impinge on the entrances or cuttings, and it retaining them would have enabled a new surface pedestrian crossing in line with Elephant Road and the viaduct where it's really needed - so sad the transport engineers.
Sadly not enough people could see that the hatred for the subways was born out of very bad signage and poor maintenance. The simple improvements at Old Street roundabout subways last year show how easily tired subterranean infrastructure can be greatly improved if there's enough local creative vision.
I bet Neil whatever his name is doesn't live on the roundabout like we do. And just look at the subway under Park Lane. It's rubbish that underpasses are unsafe. And you aren't forced to use them.. But getting from the Tabernacle to the shopping centre is a nightmare. It's going to take hours in the wind and rain. Why can no.one see this? And surely those of us who LIVE here know best?
Have to admit Jackie, I got interested in this as a matter of nostalgia, and perhaps, a resistance to change.
It was only last week (and today) that I noticed, what an absolute balls up had just taken place.
TfL don't need the ramp space for tarmac for the subway under New Kent Road (though they do for the other locations). This subway's more than twice as busy as any other according to TfL stats (the stats they ignored in favour of Labour-Tory 'place to linger' policy). Retaining it would enable the surface crossing that's needed by Elephant Road. Pedestrian collision rates are not high at E&C now, but they are more than 3 times as likely on New Kent Road than the other four radial routes. Closing that busy direct subway will surely only make it worse, especially with increased pedestrians heading to the new Sainsbury's, Cinema, Market Square etc from early 2017. In conversation with Delancey last spring, they said they could see how retaining both subways leading to their shopping centre plot could work, as entrances to a below street level tube station, like at Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charging Cross etc. So it wasn't Delancey pushing for subway destruction, they were very late to join the closed-door "strategic partnership" meetings throughout 2012-14 of developers, council and LCC who cooked up the cock up with Boris.
I look forward to hearing what they've got to say. Sadly they won't have me collaring them at their Wednesday soiree or viewings later in the week as I've a ferry to catch and tales to tell about roundabouts and guerrilla gardening to an audience in Munster, in a sort of negative ambassadorial role for Southwark and beyond, about how terrible our public space is and the very bonkers expensive new spaces that are being proposed.
The roundabout is absolutely terrifying for pedestrians at the moment, I miss the tunnels already. The noise is unbelievable.
I shall go to the shopping centre to meet Delancy, I will bring an indignant child, maybe they can show her how she can dodge the traffic until they are done or she is old enough, whichever comes first. I'm in half a mind of turning up with all her equally angry friends from around the Elephant, that would make for a lovely photo OP for the developers.