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New E&C road layout appears to be working?

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Current: 7 of 22
Tuesday 29 December 2015 11.45am
Sorry James but you've fallen for the dangerous and dubious report from Southwark Living Streets, the group who used the death of a 4 year old on St George's Road at a surface level crossing shortly after safety guard rails were removed (a location that is well beyond the boundaries of the roundabout scheme) to campaign for the destruction of segregated pedestrian space and more surface crossings of precisely the kind where the kid died. They even schemed to get living kids to draw more pictures of the deadly locations the campaigners wanted more of to generate PR and petitions that TfL's Ben Plowden has quoted back at me justifying the worsening conditions for pedestrians at Elephant and Castle.

The data to consider instead is the raw, detailed data TfL provided to a fellow campaigner via an FOI. It's three years worth of figures, not just two, and it says fairly precisely where the incidents were located in relation to the junction, enabling one to discount issues beyond the scope of the roundabout redesign. TfL's data as they provided it is online here:
And I've graphed up what's relevant here:
The clear picture is of dangers for two wheeled users, particularly cyclists and not for pedestrians. I was subsequently told that the collision rate for pedestrians was the average for any TfL road in the city, which really isn't bad at all considering their vast network of red routes. Those who took risks crossing at surface where their wasn't a crossing were the most able to judge that risk. You'll also see the greatest issue for pedestrians is New Kent Road, which incidentally isn't being fixed, because the much needed crossing in line with Elephant Road was refused on the grounds that a new crossing was needed to replace the subway. Simon Hughes and I campaigned to retain that busiest of subways so that the new surface crossing could be built where it was needed. In the first 10 days of The Bend there have been 5 collisions between motorists, far in excess of the 3 year trend prior to work starting. I am inevitably eager for a long term read of the issues once Ringway Jacobs have completed the work, but inevitably pessimistic for pedestrians, and to some extent cyclists too given the concerns from Southwark Cyclists.

It's really important that people stop falling for the highly manipulated press releases from TfL and their stooges like Living Streets (remember TfL's RIBA proclaimed 'radical' Ben Plowden is an ex head of Living Streets, he even oversaw their rebranding from their 1930s name The Pedestrian Society to Living Streets, thereby loosening their cause of championing pedestrians in favour of the aesthetic vision that motivates him). (I attended Ben's RIBA lecture as a fellow radical panel member).

And in answer to the inevitable question of why seemingly well meaning members of Southwark Living Streets would want to campaign for more dangerous crossings, well it becomes clear once you get to know them. The significant group members I know best all see the world through the prism of a make believe yesteryear, a sanitised Dickensian Britain with a touch of St Mary Mead thrown in for good measure. They are passionate about pre-war conservation, despise the post war optimism that sought to reconcile a high speed world with civilised urban living. They want the clock turned well and truly back, at Elephant and Castle that's pre 1911 when subways were first built. Ironically this club is just the sort who in the 1940s would have despised Victoriana, the cathedral-like railway stations, the wedding-cake pubs and the viaducts criss-crossing London that were earmarked for removal. Today this group (and their intertwined local societies and forums) elevate them as heritage infrastructure. The 'low line' is a nice idea, but it's hardly driven by pedestrian desire lines, it's driven by romance for a bygone age. Southwark Living Streets (who TfL have cited to me more than any other campaigning group as a reason for The Bend) are naive aesthetes, with the innocent amenable charms that only a Christie detective (or me) would dare unmask. I did however illicit a confession of 'naivety' from one of them at a public meeting a few weeks ago and the group (despite their so-called remit to champion pedestrian issues in Southwark) has notably chosen to remain entirely silent on either the pros or the cons of The Bend that they campaigned for since it opened nearly a month ago. Remorseful? Anxious? It'll be interesting to see if the have any response once the first pedestrian collision occurs, dismiss it as an inevitable accident inline with central London living, or the start of grimly cumulative evidence of their stupidity.

Apologies if anyone takes offence from the above. I've intentionally held back from naming anyone other than James and TfL's Ben Plowden to offer a modicum of politeness, despite my anger and anxiety.

[quote jamesup]
TfL's stats at the roundabout and its approach system, which are relevant, are here in the (Living Streets Report on this matter, show that for the 30 months from 1st January 2010 and 30th June 2012 there were five deaths, four of them pedestrians, one motorcyclists. There were 38 serious injuries, effecting all types of vehicle, and 241 'minor' injuries.

The Mirror have some slightly different figures which are similarly damming.
Tuesday 29 December 2015 11.58am
The narrowing of pavements remains a concern.
I fear pedestrians will be pushed into conflict with cyclists, or onto the roads, the pavement at the corner by LCC is ridiculous.
Tuesday 29 December 2015 12.24pm
The issue outside LCC you describe has been neatly photographed by engineer George Lee and posted on Twitter here. George has also posted some other observations of new dangers.

The significantly narrowed corners of pavements next to The Bend at the Bakerloo exit and outside the Elephant and Castle pub make a mockery of TfL Leon Daniels' eulogy to his new piazza in the South London Press, which he sees as helping pedestrian movement... forgetting his job should be about movement from A to B not the kind of movement possible on an unnecessary piazza (cart wheels, break dancing, Morris dancing) or whatever movement he has in his heart.

Also worth remembering TfL have tried to pretend that there's a net increase in pedestrian space, which is a simple lie I revealed here: Since the video was made Alan from TfL's surface division has told me that Delancey are now not handing over their existing (and now resurfaced) public space outside LCC into TfL care (as Southwark have done for the estate land around Perronet House that has also been resurfaced). Why? Because Delancey want to encroach their new development that will replace LCC onto this valuable land. It was this space's handover of care that TfL used with most outrageous distortion in their diagram to show the 56 year old large triangle of pavement and trees as new!

graham wrote:
The narrowing of pavements remains a concern.
I fear pedestrians will be pushed into conflict with cyclists, or onto the roads, the pavement at the corner by LCC is ridiculous.
Tuesday 29 December 2015 3.33pm
On the subject of 'public vs private realm', what's happening at the front of One The Elephant?
Will TfL rip up the red-coloured granite paving to accommodate the cycle path?
Tuesday 29 December 2015 7.32pm
Yes, a portion of the newly laid granite installed by Lend Lease in mid 2015 is to be ripped up to make way for the segregated cycle path, just confirming how much of a shambles the project and lines of communication are between TfL and another member of their closed doors "Strategic Stakeholder Group". The new dropped kerbs for cyclists to mount the pavement have gone in recently along the southern end of the link road and some markings are in place showing the route slicing into the new granite.

graham wrote:
On the subject of 'public vs private realm', what's happening at the front of One The Elephant?
Will TfL rip up the red-coloured granite paving to accommodate the cycle path?
Thursday 31 December 2015 12.57pm
In my experience over the last few weeks it takes longer for me to access the Bakerloo line tube from the New Kent Road on foot. It is incredibly frustrating.
Thursday 31 December 2015 7.21pm
Tailed back from Oval heading North, and from Haper Road heading South just now.

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 1 January 2016 5.59pm
Coming from Newington and heading to the shopping centre its incredibly frustrating to lose direct access to the ground floor.
Friday 1 January 2016 8.47pm
William, what is it like now for people with very restricted mobility? I.e. Either using sticks, walking from or wheelchair?
To cover the same area?
Tuesday 5 January 2016 8.22pm
Probably ok actually - you cross the road on the flat and then use ramp down / up to shopping centre.
Current: 7 of 22

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