Wednesday, 13 October 2010

New London Cycle Hire in Vauxhall Street nearly finished. Are new docking stations too close together?

Further to the planning permission application back in August, to place new docking stations on Vauxhall St and Oval Way, I can confirm that the Vauxhall Street dock is nearly finished.  Following a tip-off from somebody on the Boris Bike forums, I heard that works had begun.

It was a bit dark when I visited last night, as you can see: 

Now that I've seen the placement of the dock (just off of Kennington Lane), which I've plotted on the map below (the top blue marker), I'm surprised at the choice of an additional site for Oval Way (ringed in red). 

I forgot to check Oval Way yesterday to see whether the docking station there has been started, but I'll check tonight.  My view is that there will be three docking stations too close to one another (considering that some areas have none).  The docking station close to Kennington Tesco (blue market on the right), the new Vauxhall Road one (blue market on the left) and the proposed station on Oval Way are not near enough to Vauxhall Station to be any use as overflow points and I'm not sure why they've been clustered there. 

My feeling is that it would be to put a station on the island (near to the over-active fountain) just outside of Oval Station.  There's nothing else there and it would put the dock on a Cycle Superhighway as well.  I think TFL are being silly about site placement, just trying to cram in their 400 docks to achieve the agreed quota.  I really can't see that there's demand for both Vauxhall Road and Oval Way docks so close to one another.  Of course, it should make it easier to find somewhere to park in Kennington (without having to wander all of the way to the Lollard Street stop), but the spacing is unimaginative.  The real need is for more spaces around Vauxhall Station and further south in London.  My suggestion for the use of the Oval fountain site is on account of it being  a "main road" route.  Oval Way is unnecessary, given the station placed so far down Vauxhall Road.

What do others think?


slicktony3000 said...

I have some sympathy with what you're saying. Neither of these sites are likely to attract a lot of passing traffic. It also seems peculiar to me that there are no docking stations on Kennington Park Road between the post office and Elephant (particularly if you consider that this is part of the cycle superhighway) when there are numerous spots (mainly on the Lambeth side of the street) for them to appear. But then, perhaps I would say that given I live on KPR!

meccleshall said...

I live just off vauxhall street. We now have the following sites within 5 mins walk:

the new site on Vauxhall Street
the new site on Oval way
Sancroft Street
Kennington Road Tesco's
Kennington Cross
Black Prince road

However, what i'd really like to do is just jump on a bike and cycle to the nearest tube (Oval, Kennington or Vauxhall - all equidistant), therby knocking 10 odd minutes off the journey to where i'm going.

However - I can't! There are none within 5 mins walk of Oval or Kennington, and the Vauxhall ones are always full. So I have loads of bikes, but nowhere to go.

The reason they are all clustered here is because the project is Zone 1 only thus far - and we are right on the Zone 1 / 2 border. It's just stupid thinking. So close to being a fab system, but if I can't take one to the nearest tube, or nip down to Brixton on one (it's Zone 2), then what's the point????

Jakido said...

the main problem is that after about 10pm all docking points in Kennington seem to be full - i've had to cross the river twice to drop bikes off. So hopefully more docking stations, even if they are clustered, will alleviate this problem.

Neil said...

I assume the spaces at the edge of the scheme fill up because people cycle as far as they can then switch to another form of transport. At present more capacity is needed just to cope with the tidal flow so extra stations, regardless of clustering, is a good thing. Except that if the boundary expands beyond zone 1 we'll be left with excessive stations at the old boundary

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jakido and Neil.

a big problem is a lack of spaces in kennington past around 9pm

we will all have our "imby" (in my back yard)preferences as to location but it's undeniable that there is an unmet demand for spaces in Kennington in the late evening

Label Cloud

Blog Archive