The eastern end of Upper Ground on the South Bank will be closed for nearly a year, Southwark Council has confirmed.
A section of National Cycle Network route 4 – which sees up to 700 cyclists an hour in the morning peak – will also be shut with riders directed via Stamford Street instead. Pedestrians will be encouraged to use the Thames Path as an alternative route.
The road closure is to allow building work to continue on the refurbishment and extension of Sea Containers House. Preliminary work on the adjacent King's Reach Tower and One Blackfriars developments is also due to get under way.
"After careful consideration and engagement with all affected stakeholders and after reviewing an independently commissioned road safety audit, Southwark Council have taken the decision, for the purpose of ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, to close Upper Ground to all non-essential traffic," said road network manager Nicky Costin in a briefing note sent to local residents.
The closure will begin on Friday 23 November and continue until September 2013 – although the closure will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to see if it is still needed.
"While I have always accepted that there may be a case to be made on safety grounds for Upper Ground to be closed it does not excuse the council's failures to adequately consult and communicate with local stakeholders, residents and businesses," said Cathedrals ward councillor David Noakes.
"Time and again those most impacted seem to find out by chance that decisions have been made. I also remain concerned that having made the decision to close Upper Ground it appears no specific additional safety measures are being implemented for cyclists on the alternative route to make the right hand turns from Blackfriars Road into Stamford Street and from Stamford Street into Cornwall Road safer."
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