Improving Elephant & Castle
One of London’s biggest regeneration projects is planned for the Elephant & Castle.
We’re developing plans to transform this vital transport interchange and in the spring of 2014 we sought your views on our proposals.
Over 80 per cent of members of the public who responded to the consultation stated they supported the key elements of the design and 53 per cent supported Option B (34 per cent supported Option A and 13 per cent did not answer the question).
Concerns were raised over the impact of the changes on all users including cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, bus users and also people interchanging with other public transport modes.
After carefully considering all of the feedback received, we have made the decision to proceed with the scheme. This will include taking forward the design for northbound off-carriageway cycling provision along the Elephant & Castle Link Road as outlined in Option B. However, following feedback from the consultation and further traffic modelling, we will be making a number of modifications to the design.
A full report detailing the responses received during the consultation, our response to many of the issues raised, and a full explanation of the changes to the proposed design is now available here.
Radical changes at the northern roundabout will reduce the impact of traffic and make the area feel cleaner and greener. Our proposals include the removal of the roundabout and the creation of a major new public space in and around the new peninsular. This will transform the area for those who live, work and travel in Elephant & Castle. The changes will balance the needs of drivers more evenly with those of pedestrians and cyclists.
Who will benefit?
Pedestrians – Subways will be replaced with wide pedestrian crossings to allow people to cross directly, easily and safely between Tube, bus and local amenities at all times of the day. There will be wider pavements to ease congestion, and new wayfinding to help visitors move through the area.
Cyclists – New dedicated and direct cycle routes through the junction will improve safety
Drivers – Better road layouts will reduce collisions
Bus users – There will be a better interchange environment between the bus and Tube, and upgraded bus stops will allow easier access
People who live and work in the area – The new high quality and attractive public space will enhance the vitality and opportunities in the area
We proposed two options for the new layout. Option A provided an on-road cycle lane along the Elephant & Castle Road in the northbound direction. Option B provided an off-road cycle lane. We sought your views on which layout you would prefer.
What would change?
The roundabout would be removed and approach roads realigned to create larger public spaces. These spaces would include trees and shrubs to create a greener space for everybody.
The road around the public space would be converted to two-way traffic. Currently, traffic dominates the area, and there are more collisions here than almost any other junction in the capital. Changing the way traffic moves around the area is expected to reduce collisions by a third.
Vehicles won’t be able to turn left from Newington Causeway into New Kent Road or turn right from New Kent Road into Newington Causeway. This will ensure the junction operates effectively and the impact on journey times are minimised. Alternative routes, such as Great Dover Street, will be available.
Improving access and routes for those travelling by bike are a major part of our proposals, because this junction is heavily used by cyclists. Better cycle routes will improve their experience.
One of the bus stops will be moved away from the shopping centre, to make the busy stretch of road safer for cyclists and reduce congestion for pedestrians. The improved bus stop will be moved to Walworth Road.
The seven subways that pedestrians currently use can be confusing and we know that some people feel unsafe using them. We propose replacing the subways with wide crossings to allow pedestrians to cross directly and safely between transport links and local shops and offices.
To make the roads the safer, we are expecting journey times to increase for all road users. Detailed traffic modelling will continue to ensure any increase to journey time is minimised.
These proposals focus on changes to the road layout, but we know that there is also a need to improve the Northern Line Tube station. A plan to do so will be developed and is likely to include increasing passenger capacity, improving access from street level and providing step-free access to the Northern line platforms. These plans are linked to the re-development of the shopping centre site.
These proposed improvements are recommendations made by the Mayor’s Roads Task Force (RTF) to tackle the challenges facing London’s streets and roads.
Now the decision has been taken to proceed, the updated design will be subject to a detailed design process and further safety audits. It is expected that work will commence in late spring 2015. The main highway works are scheduled to take approximately one year to complete.
We have commissioned urban design specialists to design the purpose and function of the new areas of public space that are being created, as well as looking more broadly at the design for the wider urban realm across the interchange area. They are working closely with LB Southwark, the new owners of the shopping centre site and other key stakeholders to ensure plans evolve jointly. We hope to engage with local residents and users of the interchange on these plans later in the year.
Between 12 March and 30 April, we sought views on proposals to transform the northern roundabout at Elephant and Castle.
Over 2000 people responded to the consultation, with over 80 per cent stating they supported the key elements of the design and 53 per cent supporting the northbound off carriageway cycle provision outlined in Option B (34 per cent supported Option A and 13 per cent did not answer the question). Concerns were raised over the impact of the changes on all users including cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, bus users and also people interchanging with other public transport modes.
After carefully considering all of the feedback received, we have made the decision to proceed with the scheme. This will include taking forward the design for northbound off-carriageway cycling provision along the Elephant and Castle Link Road as outlined in Option B. However, following feedback from the consultation and further traffic modelling, we will be making a number of modifications to the design.
In summary, the key changes we are proposing to the plans consulted on include:
- Progressing with the design in Option B but with a widened footway and a commitment to look at the materials used to build the off-carriageway cycle lane in order to manage the risk of pedestrian/cycle conflict
- Considering additional improvements for cyclists who wish to remain on the carriageway such as, widening the carriageway northbound on the Elephant and Castle Link Road to allow for 4.5m bus lane to offer space for cyclists to overtake buses, and introducing a new cycle feeder lane on the approach to St George’s Road to offer better protection to cyclists approaching the junction
- Following concerns about the safety of the proposed cycle lane with segregated kerb southbound on the Elephant and Castle Link Road we will instead offer a 4.5m bus lane and use road markings to encourage bus drivers to exit in agreed places. This should provide more space for cyclists overtaking buses and also make the conflict points clearer to cyclists
- To address concerns about the right turn cycle movement into London Road, a two stage cycle crossing will be provided which will enable cyclists to cross in parallel and on the same signal phase as pedestrians
- Following concerns about congestion and queuing we will be adding an additional right turn lane into St George’s Road to ensure traffic can clear through this turn. We will also add an additional lane on the approach to the junction from New Kent Road. The space for these additional lanes will be taken from the peninsula and will not move the highway closer to residential buildings
- We will reduce London Road from four to three traffic lanes. This will retain the three mature trees, ensuring the road does not significantly move closer to residential properties and will also offer a better road layout for cyclists
- Following concerns about waiting and crossing times at the new pedestrian crossings we will increase the green man invitation to cross times on a number of the crossings however most journeys will have increases in average travel time from waiting at signals which will be similar to other crossings at busy junctions in London
We are also exploring implementing a 20mph limit through the junction. This will help to regulate traffic speeds and improve overall safety conditions for all users of the junction.
We are still considering the re-location of the bus stop for services towards Camberwell. Discussions are on-going with the owners of the new shopping centre regarding their design and plans for the new London Underground Northern Line station entrance. Once more is known we will be able to make a firm decision.