Below is an update on the latest situation with respect to the removal of Vauxhall Gyratory and a brief outline of the next steps.
Traffic and transport remodelling – TfL options
TfL have indeed been working on a series of options to remodel the traffic and transport system around Vauxhall, removing the gyratory has been a stated policy position of the Labour administration for a number of years now. After an initial two options both of which saw a scattering of bus stops, Transport for London have released a further two options, both of which keep bus stops clustered together. These are still very much work-in-progress and nothing has been finalised at this stage, but it is looking increasingly clear from the transport modellers at TfL that in order to achieve all the benefits that a return to two-way streets would provide, it is likely that the form of the bus station would need to change. However, the function of a centralised bus facility would remain with Options 3 and 4.
As you can imagine, with a project as large and complex as this, this has not been a straightforward process and the design and traffic modelling work has been extended so that the detail can be tested further.
These options have been shared with both local community groups and local businesses, but this was in no way meant to replace a formal consultation process, which will follow when TfL have tested and evidenced the various options. Although this was done in the interests of transparency, the Council does not consider these workshops in any way a formal consultation. The Council will be undertaking outreach with local groups in the next couple of months about wider outcomes from the regeneration of Vauxhall, and Transport for London will be consulting transport users about proposals and opinions.
Transformation of wider Vauxhall area
As we have always said, our aim is to make Vauxhall a better place for all those who live, work and travel through without compromising its effective operation as a transport interchange. A return to two-way streets is seen as an essential part of creating a new district centre in the heart of Vauxhall, as the current transport system is unsafe and unwelcoming to pedestrians and cyclists. The bus station is just one part of this challenging and complex process and ultimately any changes to the transport scheme will not have a detrimental impact on traffic levels – this is a red line as far as Transport for London is concerned and certainly gridlock and backup traffic is not something that the Council wants either.
The proposals the Council are developing with TfL and other local partners will provide a new civic square, new homes, more shops, cafes and services, a greener and safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. All of the detail behind this is set out in our planning policy – the Vauxhall SPD was agreed in January 2013, following public consultation and engagement with local residents, businesses and other stakeholders throughout.
Once TfL have completed the current stage of design and traffic modelling around the transport system, they will be in a position to consult on scheme principles and outcomes in the coming months. This is later than originally planned, but I think everyone agrees that the new options much better accommodate the concerns around scattered bus stops by providing options that keep bus stops together.