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Pedestrian crossing Tower Bridge Road / Abbey Street

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Friday 3 January 2014 4.47pm
The major opportunity to improve this junction was lost when Southwark Council refused to implement its own planning guidance that all new developments should include space for cycling.

You can see from this pic that the new block of flats on the right was built right out to the pavement blocking a safe cycling junction for generations.

Similarly the side from which the picture was taken -

Simon Bevan - southwark's dinosauric head of planning / traffic is leaving a lethal legacy all over southwark - I confess to hating this one man's actions more than any other in my 20 years of environmental campaigning in Southwark.... grr
Friday 3 January 2014 5.17pm
Beth wrote:
Anybody else unable to access the map / drawing?
I like the idea of a cycle path through the churchyard, but wondering how you'd reconnect to go up Abbey St?

You can already cycle through the churchyard (I inferred this from the signs at the entrances which say that cyclists should be careful) - I do so twice a day.

As I understand the proposals (hopefully it will be clearer soon when the graphics are in place) the churchyard route would be for bikes wanting to go from Abbey Street eastbound to Tower Bridge Road northbound, so it wouldn't reconnect to Abbey Street.
Friday 3 January 2014 5.20pm
Indeed, the blue signs welcoming considerate cyclists are the default rule in Southwark's parks and open spaces.

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Thursday 9 January 2014 11.27am
Long email warning! I was thinking of saying something like this to TfL. Comments very welcome.

"Please find comments from a local resident pedestrian perspective. I do not comment on the cycling aspects of the proposal. This is not because I consider them to be unimportant; simply that not being a cyclist myself I leave it to those better placed to comment.

I strongly support additional measures to protect pedestrians at this junction. It is frequently difficult, not to say dangerous, to cross from one side of the road to the other, as there are neither pedestrian crossings nor any phase in the lights allowing pedestrians to cross, with the lights allowing uninterrupted north-south or east-west traffic flow. It is all too often that one sees pedestrians having to take considerable risks to get across the junction – seeing parents with prams having to run across dodging the traffic is especially difficult to watch.

I do however have some concern over the detail of the proposal. It would seem preferable to have a four-way lit pedestrian crossing (and making pedestrians wait longer to cross if necessary for traffic flow) than leaving pedestrians unprotected on two arms of the junction. I confess that I am not clear how the proposal’s ‘uncontrolled crossing point’ differs from simply a piece of road. I’m not clear how a driver would know he or she was on such a crossing point and how to react differently to pedestrians on it. I would also question in what sense these are ‘proposed new uncontrolled crossing points’, as surely they currently exist.

If however it is concluded that only two arms of the junction can be lit for pedestrians, for reasons of traffic flow, I’d question the choice of arms. I would have thought it might be more prudent to allow pedestrians crossing from the largely residential area south-east of the junction to cross to the more mixed-use (retail, restaurant) area north-west of the junction. This would suggest protecting the south and east arms of the junction, rather than the north and west. Most notably it would protect users of the busy Sainsbury’s mini-supermarket in Bermondsey Square wanting to head to the residential areas to the east. It would also allow residents to access safely the nearest Underground stations of Borough and London Bridge.

I would further contend that protecting pedestrians on the west arm of the junction is an unusual choice as it is this arm of the junction which is currently easiest to cross, with traffic flow only east and west, with an existing prohibition on turning left into Abbey Street when heading north on TBR and a prohibition on turning right into Abbey Street when heading south on TBR. Crossing Abbey Street on the eastern arm is especially difficult because pedestrians have to deal with four-way traffic – the east and west flow, as well as southbound left and northbound right-hand turning traffic. It is this, combined with no pedestrian phase in the lights, which makes crossing so difficult and potentially dangerous.

In summary, I very much support changes to a junction I would contend is dangerous for pedestrians. And the current proposals would certainly represent an improvement. I would however urge TfL to reconsider its evidence base for only protecting two arms. And, if it concludes that only two arms are to be protected, to reconsider which of the arms are in most need of change to protect pedestrians adequately.

I hope these comments are helpful."
Thursday 9 January 2014 8.11pm
Very good email
Friday 10 January 2014 10.07am
Agreed regarding the western arm -- it's never a problem and additionally there is a flashing zebra crossing on Abbey St just a bit further down. The northern arm northbound is a nightmare mainly because of people turning left from Abbey onto TBR, especially as they drive fast around the corner, are obscured by the churchyard walls until they are almost at the corner and rarely even use their indicators to give you a fighting chance. It feels like a very un-fun game of Frogger.
Monday 13 January 2014 2.45pm
Has a zebra crossing south of the junction on TBR already been considered? Perhaps outside Sainsburys?
Wednesday 15 January 2014 2.51pm
Thanks for comments.

On a zebra crossing, good idea, but don't think TfL allows them on their Inner London Ring Road, of which Tower Bridge Road is a part.
Tuesday 11 February 2014 4.14pm
Reminder that consultation ends this week

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Wednesday 28 January 2015 7.53pm
These works are due to start in mid-February and last about 8 weeks, TfL's David McKenna told Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Community Council this evening.

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