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Elephant & Castle Northern Roundabout - latest plans

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Tuesday 7 January 2014 3.55pm
While I was on the TfL web site, looking for the consultation on changes to the Congestion Charge, I noticed this in the Forthcoming Consultations: "Improving the Elephant & Castle - removing the northern roundabout"

There's some high level stuff about:
Quote:
We want to improve facilities for all road users and enhance the local environment for all those that live, work and travel through the area.

No detailed plans yet, though.

The consultation will open on the 24th of February.
Wednesday 8 January 2014 9.40am
interesting. There is one descriptive statement "Our proposal would create a major new public space, extending from the site of the shopping centre, by replacing the roundabout with a two-way signal controlled layout. " but not a lot more. It suggest to return to the page after 24 Feb for more info. It's in the diary!
Saturday 22 February 2014 4.55pm
TfL's consultation delayed, now starting 10th March
"Consultation is Forthcoming, Runs from 10 Mar 2014 to 28 Apr 2014"
Sunday 23 February 2014 5.35am
The proposals for the roundabout redesign are a bodge. It needs improvement but not as they are trying to sell it to us after so little research or discussion with those who use the space. Peter John thinks talking to a few developers and some reps from LSBC and LCC is a sufficient basis on which to present a design. TfL's data behind the proposal is thin on the ground or secret.

I've been asking for data. In October I was promised it in a face to face meeting at TfL, but so far have only been given collision data and confirmation of which trees will be felled (the big one on the NW corner and along the south side of London Road to make way for two more lanes of traffic at this junction). Collision data shows pedestrians casualties amount to 7% vs 93% for those on two wheels (pedal and motorised) and 0% for cars (I can send the file if anyone wants to see it). Yet Peter John cites subway removal as a way of improving pedestrian safety - remember Community Wardens confirm the subways are the least likely place for a mugging versus street level at this junction. The worst spot for collisions is St George's Road junction, and yet this is the one bit of the plans which make solid sense but doesn't require subway removal or ring road enlargement - they will narrow the unnecessarily large carriageway (encourages speed and lane confusion) and introduce segregated cycle lanes.

Latest information that becomes available continues to be posted at www.saveoursubways.org and www. Facebook.com/elephantandcastleroundabout

Luke wrote:
TfL's consultation delayed, now starting 10th March
"Consultation is Forthcoming, Runs from 10 Mar 2014 to 28 Apr 2014"
I expect they need to prepare a few more glossy artists impressions to help with the sales pitch. The one Emma from TfL shared at Community Council on 1 February was beautifully manipulative showing the removal of the brand new dazzling ad hoardings... as if the beneficiaries of this ad income were likely to let that happen!
Sunday 23 February 2014 10.12am
I repeat, the subways should be used for SOMETHING. Traffic (best) or people. They could indeed be simplified and made a bit more user friendly, but getting from.the Tabernacle to MCH is a nightmare in the rain. I love the subways and for some reason they're on the sharp end of the people who don't use them. Will talk to Peter John.
Sunday 23 February 2014 12.15pm
They should re-purpose the subways as cycle lanes with no pedestrian access.
Sunday 23 February 2014 3.23pm
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
for some reason they're on the sharp end of the people who don't use them.

erm, plenty of people who DO use them also dislike them. Why would I want to walk in a dark pee-smelling subway when I could be above ground. Get rid of them or use as cycleways. The South roundabout is much improved since they went.
Thursday 27 February 2014 1.20am
Because "darkness and pee-smelling" can very easily be fixed and at least below ground you can walk to your destination (rather than stand patiently for over a minute by a very busy road waiting for the few seconds TfL deem appropriate for you to make it to the middle, before going through the same rigamarole to get to the other side). In a subway you will never be hit by a car and you are also sheltered.

In a city in which space is at a premium, and in a district where population growth and density increase is to be felt particularly acutely as well as the junction's role as a ring road and transport hub, destroying any space seems bonkers. Forcing pedestrians to share the road with motorists and cyclists is retrogressive, a crude application of a town planning trend suited to locations where traffic volumes are purposefully and significantly decreased - which is not the intention here TfL have confirmed. Traffic surveyors and engineers at the Elephant realised the value in using space 100 years ago when the first subways were built here, and in 1959 the network was enlarged. It's a tragedy that the signage installed in the mid 90s has never been fit for purpose and has become increasingly inaccurate as the landscape changes above it which I see causing anxiety to users every single time I use the subways, there is always an unfortunate soul fixed staring at a blue plaque looking puzzled who I interupt to help them on their way. Maintenance in the subways has improved in the last 12 months since SaveOurSubways.org began, there is barely ever a dud bulb there now whereas at the peak half were out in the busiest section for weeks on end, but more significant improvement wouldn't be expensive. The ceilings and floors are the most shabby and the murals beneath Elephant and Castle Road and New Kent Road have aged most poorly.

The bodge being pushed through by Cllr Peter John and TfL is not worth accepting. We can do better to improve the junction.

More here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeBpdV8foDw

williamn wrote:
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
for some reason they're on the sharp end of the people who don't use them.

erm, plenty of people who DO use them also dislike them. Why would I want to walk in a dark pee-smelling subway when I could be above ground. Get rid of them or use as cycleways. The South roundabout is much improved since they went.
Thursday 27 February 2014 9.34am
With the Mayor's announcement that he's funding the removal of gyratories including the Elephant and Castle, I would expect that the plans up for consultation next month will have to change dramatically.

The plan that was announced last summer was nowhere near good enough - the roundabout would still be hostile and unpleasant for people on foot and on bikes, and confusing for drivers, and it didn't look like there would be any improvement to the current congestion by the bus stops outside the shopping centre.

Removing the southern roundabout and replacing it with a signalised junction has made it much less scary to cycle through, because you actually have a green light phase, rather than waiting for a gap in the traffic. If they do something similar at the northern roundabout I think that would be an improvement.
Thursday 27 February 2014 9.42am
babybat wrote:
With the Mayor's announcement that he's funding the removal of gyratories including the Elephant and Castle, I would expect that the plans up for consultation next month will have to change dramatically.
Yesterday's announcement was nothing new as far as the Elephant is concerned - it's the list of other junctions to be tackled that's noteworthy.
babybat wrote:
it didn't look like there would be any improvement to the current congestion by the bus stops outside the shopping centre.
The latest proposals are to split the bus stops with Kennington-bound buses remaining opposite the Tabernacle and Camberwell-bound buses stopping round the corner in Walworth Road opposite Strata.

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