Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Crossing the road at Vauxhall Cross

Are you an older person who walks slowly?
Are you a person with disabilities that cause you mobility problems?
Are you a parent with small children who has to cross the road slowly?
Do you suffer from asthma/breathing problems related to pollution?

Well... let's hope you don't live in Vauxhall!

According to the Evening Standard, TFL are about to "re-phase" the traffic lights in many locations, including at Vauxhall Cross. This is "clever-speak" for covering up the fact that pedestrians will be given less time to cross the road in certain locations in order to increase "traffic flow" (which will inevitably increase traffic itself).

In the article, Alan Bristow (TFL director of traffic operations) notes "Our timing review programme is aimed at making life a little bit easier for everyone who uses a particular junction, be they pedestrians, cyclists or motorists." But I fail to see how reducing the time given for people to cross the road makes life in any way easier for pedestrians.

And Vauxhall, as we all know, is very pedestrian/cyclist friendly. Not.

I don't even know if it's possible to object to the rephasing of the traffic lights. Looks like it's one of Bojo's not so good ideas.

Quite helpfully, Valerie Shawcross (Labour, Lambeth and Southwark, London Assembly member) asked Boris about some of the re-phasings in March this year, although she asked about Wandsworth Road and not Vauxhall Cross. In response to one of her questions, Boris said: "TfL is discussing proposals for timing changes to junctions at Wandsworth Road, with the London Borough of Lambeth. I will ask TfL to write to you with the details once their discussions with Lambeth are concluded." I wonder whether they'll provide her with info. about Vauxhall.

In addition, Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem, Londonwide, London Assembly member) asked about whether London boroughs would be consulted re. changing the phasing on traffic lights and what would happen if the boroughs object to the reduction of crossing time? Apparently, TfL have a statutory duty to consult with "borough officers".

That raises the question:
a. Who are the Lambeth Borough officers that would be consulted on the matter?
b. Do the Lambeth Borough officers have a duty to consult the public?

I'll inform you of any updates.


Gareth said...

It's not the only hazard, in Lambeth crossing South Lambeth Road from Parry Street is also a junction where you don't have that much time to cross. (I know its in SW8 but it's on the border)

Of course you don't have to wait for BoJo to get back to our Assembly members, or indeed for Lambeth Council to make a comment, why nor submit a question regarding the proposals directly to TfL under the FoI act.

Anonymous said...

I think I saw that the old, recently closed florist across from Pizza Express is re-opening as a dry cleaner.

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