My biggest issues and there are many to choose from are:
St georges road where the cycle lane taking up 2 lanes is not used (I am up to 7 people since built i have seen using it-more are in St georges road with the cars and buses than in the cycle lane) and the traffic is stationary poluting the air by 3 schools
The turn from London Road into Newington Causeway as has been highlighted already which causes long delays
the lack of crossing places
the stupidity of having to go up to the next roundabout and turn back to go down New Kent Road
The bottom of St geroges road where it meets Lambeth Road with cars trying to pull accross to turn
Lack of signeposting on the cycle lanes so many people turn into then (i have seen more cars etc do this than cyclists using the St Georges Road cycle lane)
I could go on and i have only used the bit of the new road that covers Newington Causewas St Georges Road, St Georges Circus and London Road!!
1) Overshooting traffic into pedestrian crossings
2) Pedestrians crossing wily nily due in part to bad design and direction
3) Traffic crossing red lights ( P has a video of a bus doing this amongst others doing what they generally want ).
All of the above will lead to fatalities at some point. I understand tailbacks and stationary traffic are painful and in their impatience the drivers take actions pointed out above.
The good news (of sorts) is that yesterday and the day before TfL posted a trio of Safety Officers to log as many incidents they could find of bad and dangerous driving. Their focus was red light jumping / green man driving through and blocking crossings, but in my several very constructive conversations I gathered that they were observing other issues and were concerned about some very fundamental design flaws. "15 counts of driving through a green man in 30 minutes" is what I was told on Tuesday morning by one officer. They reassured me the damning data would be going back to the design team to figure out how to solve it. One of them had even come across my video proposal for an Alternative Design (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYVIKcxtDfY) and with earnest interest asked whether I was going to come up with a new one! It was as if he'd spent gathering data and also speculating on what he would do if he was a designer.
I wonder at what point the figure heads of this project will acknowledge that too and launch a grown up consultation to find a new solution. How long before we get a proper statement from Leon Daniels, Ben Plowden and their political champions Peter John, Boris and even local cllr MP Neil Coyle (who now appears to acknowledge on Twitter his concerns are limited to construction issues not design flaws).
Another journey home on the No.1 last night, another narrowly avoided collision as the bus tried to turn left into The Bend from the bottom of London Road and cars forced their way into its path from the central, turn right lane.
This morning, as the No.1 waited to turn right from The Bend into London Road, I lost count of the number of vehicles - cars, vans, small lorries - turning left from the central, turn right lane. One even crossed from the outside, turn right lane to turn left.
The road layout at this junction is A DISASTER.
Last Saturday, I stood at the bottom of London road by the tube entrance and for 10 minutes looked at the motorists' behaviour. Most cars in the central lane (for turning right) actually turned left and collided with buses rightly queuing in the left lane that is the only lane to be used for turning left. I suppose drivers can't be bothered to wait at the back of the bus queue and take the shortcut of going to the middle lane and in effect jump the queue!
Maybe they should also forbid cars to turn left from London Raod into Newington Causeway. They could turn left earlier at St Georges circus through Borough Road and completely avoid the E&C.
I was also surprised by the number of people tooting their horns, every few seconds.
I suspect it may be too late to change this silly road layout.
Picking up on Perronetonian's point - the red light jumping/junction blocking would seem to me to be a symptom of bad junction design, poor phasing of lights (think this also applies at the Waterloo Road/St. George's Circus junction) and the absence of box junction markings (again, this applies at the Waterloo Road/St. George's Circus junction and, while I'm at it, the TBR/Grange Road/Bermondsey Street junction).
It's the junction of several busy roads. There's a lot of traffic on each of those roads and they need to change from one road to another. The traffic needs to keep moving, in order to avoid gridlock (frustration, dangerous behaviour, pollution, etc) across large areas of south London. Roundabouts are designed for this situation. Light-controlled junctions are not.
The new layout does two things for traffic, both of them bad:
- it actually removes one of the main interchanges between roads (NKR to Newington Causeway)
- it turns a roundabout (relatively free-flowing - a type of junction specifically designed to reduce congestion as much as possible, and which, to a certain extent, regulates itself in times of high or low traffic flow from any one of the feeder roads) into a series of light-controlled junctions (which will always take longer and which takes away any autonomy on the part of the driver - leading to frustration and increased likelihood of people behaving dangerously)
For pedestrians, they've taken away the safe, segregated, subways and invited them to run the gauntlet of impatient motorists (now more impatient because of the new layout).
For cyclists, they've put in some segregation, but you're still a braver man than I if you feel happy mixing it up on the new junction.
IMHO, what needed to be done at the E&C was that it needed to be safer and better for pedestrians and cyclists. It was already working as well as it could be expected to work for motorists.
I'd have taken a minute proportion of the amounts spent on this new layout and would have improved (possibly expanded/widened) the existing subways (RIP) for pedestrian and cyclist* use, and would have left the roundabout in place pretty much as it was.
*There may be a better way to cater for cyclists without using the subways - I just couldn't think of one.
Another flaw in the NKR approach to The Bend (travelling from Bricklayers) is most buses now have to force themselves across several lanes of traffic from the bus-stops alongside the Coronet to reach the bus lane that lets them turn right into London Road, making everything grind to a halt. Even though it's half-term, the NKR approach to E&C has been chokka/at near standstill for the morning commute all week.
Many of these complaints ignore the possibility that reduced vehicle traffic is one of the goals of the redesign. Increased journey times and frustration from drivers will eventually result in less people making their journey by private car, which can actually result in decreased journey times for public and alternative transport (which achieves one of TFL's aims). I wouldn't be surprised if by summer the congestion was reduced to pre-redevelopment levels or better as people make the choice just to avoid driving in the area.
That said, the red light jumping/junction blocking is absolutely amazing not just in the areas mentioned above, but all over London. It's crazy that we need to paint giant yellow lines at an intersection so that drivers don't simply park in the middle of it at a red light. In most other countries it's illegal to enter an intersection unless there is a clear path of exit - why do our traffic laws allow this at all?