TfL focuses on cyclist and pedestrian safety in Waterloo redevelopment
Waterloo will undergo a transformation in 2020, reducing the dominance of traffic to increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians…
London’s Waterloo area is set to be transformed after the Safer Junctions programme found that Waterloo roundabout is one of London’s most dangerous junctions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
The roundabout was identified as among the 73 junctions in London with the worst safety records, with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, TfL and Lambeth Council announcing that the work to transform the Waterloo area will start in early 2020.
The work incorporates the removal of Waterloo roundabout and creation of a new public space to improve the area for walking, cycling and public transport users through what is currently an intimidating and dangerous junction that cuts through the local community.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “Waterloo roundabout is currently one of the most dangerous junctions in London, so it’s great that we can progress with our plans to improve it. We’re going to transform this intimidating junction, making it safer and more pleasant for all those who use the area. By creating people-friendly streets, we can encourage many more Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport, improving our health and air quality.”
The dramatic changes to be delivered at the junction will include segregated cycle lanes, cycle-specific traffic lights, wider footpaths, a full redesign of the intimidating junction and vastly upgraded public spaces. The improvements will also open up new areas of London for safer cycling and provide another valuable piece in London’s growing network of safe cycle routes.
Concerns over safety are frequently cited as one of the key reasons people do not cycle in the Waterloo area. Overhauling this notorious junction will help the Mayor reach his aim for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041. Removing these barriers will help achieve the Mayor’s ambitious target that 80 per cent of all trips are made on foot, by bike or public transport by 2041, which will help reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Councillor Matthew Bennett, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration & Jobs, said: “We are determined in Lambeth to make our streets safer, cleaner and easier for everyone to get around, particularly those who walk or cycle, so we’re pleased to be working with TfL on such a major project, investing to improve the area around Waterloo roundabout and along Waterloo Road. We want the area to be a more attractive place for people to spend time in, use local businesses and enjoy everything that is on offer. I’m glad so many people took part in the consultation and I’m confident these plans will make Waterloo a much better, healthier and safer place to live, work, and visit for years to come. We are also committed to continuing to work with local residents in the area to reduce rat running and congestion in neighbouring residential roads.”
The work at Waterloo will make the most effective use of limited road space, helping to support the ongoing regeneration and growth of Waterloo by encouraging sustainable and active travel. Following public feedback, TfL is working to retain more trees, improve the links of the scheme to the surrounding cycle network and will work with Lambeth Council to reduce rat-running.
The area around Waterloo is currently overcrowded and unpleasant for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users. The changes to improve the safety of the roads is even more important due to the expansion of the railway station and planned developments. TfL and Lambeth Council’s therefore plan to create a new large public square by closing the south west corner of the roundabout, return safer two-way traffic around Waterloo Imax and introduce safer segregated cycle lanes around the Imax. Footways are also due to be widened and pedestrian crossings will be updated. The bus station on Waterloo Road is also under review.
Richard Shaw, BFI’s Director of Marketing, Communications & Audiences, said: “We enthusiastically welcome the bold and imaginative plans announced today designed to transform the Waterloo area. Prioritising the tens of thousands of Londoners, commuters and visitors to London travelling through Waterloo by foot or on bike every day will not only massively improve safety and access, but also enhance one of the most important and vibrant cultural spaces in the world.”
In addition to these changes, the area will be decluttered and there will be an overall increase in the area’s greenery. Cycling will be made easier and more appealing through dedicated space and signals to reduce collisions, while tackling this notorious junction removes a barrier to cycling in the wider area. Both pedestrians and bus users will benefit from a new signalised crossing, a new public square and wider footways.