Friday, 21 October 2011

12 November: A tour of Transport for London's 10 most dangerous junctions for cycling in central London - in honour of Elephant & Castle roundabout

Elephant & Castle master plan. Cycling around here is not
going to get any easier

Today is the last day of the public consultation to transform the Heygate Estate at Elephant & Castle.

Pictured left, is a picture from the Concept Masterplan on display today and showing facilities for cycling around the northern junction at Elephant.

As a colleague pointed out, you will have to cross eight lanes to go from south to east. Eight lane changes. On a bicycle. Surrounded by HGVs, buses, minicabs all weaving around you, undertaking, overtaking.

Here's what Peter Hendy, London Transport Commissioner said earlier this month about how Transport for London designs London's roads these days:

"cycling is now part of transport planners' 21st century lexicon of solutions for improving urban spaces - giving town and city centres back to the people as shared and green space, instead of more roads for more cars, 'bringing the village back into the city'".

Well that's clearly pure wishful thinking in south London. Elephant & Castle is THE top danger spot for cycling in London. And it looks like it's not going to get any better. Ever.

Southwark Council decided in 2002 that the only way to improve the Elephant and Castle was to remove the physical barriers blighting the area by resolving the following points:

•a community physically divided by the area’s layout;
•heavy volumes of traffic;
•high levels of pollution;

In other words, time to get rid of the killer roundabout. But if this is anything to go by, then nothing is going to change.

I have decided a ride around London's top 10 killer junctions is in order. I am asking as many people as possible to join me. It is an informal ride, to take in these horrific junctions we all have to cycle through every day and to stop and take photographs and film just how awful they are.

I don't really fancy taking on the might of Transport for London's killer road designs all on my own. So I am asking for people to join me. I hope perhaps 40-50 people will turn up.

If you fancy joining, here are the details:

A tour of Transport for London's 10 most dangerous junctions for cycling in central London - in honour of Elephant & Castle roundabout

10.30am Saturday 12 November

Meet by the stairs at the front of St. Mark's Church, The Oval, Kennington, SE11 4PW

And we'll take in the following sites, en route to a late lunch for those so inclined finishing up at Clerkenwell.

Further info?

It won't be a massive distance and I suspect we may stop regularly to enjoy the quality cycling infrastructure, take photographs and films that show just how hazardous these junctions are. The purpose is to highlight that Transport for London isn't 'bringing the village back into the city'. Transport for London is building massive obstacles to people cycling in the city.

1. St. George's Road/London Road/ Elephant & Castle Junction Southwark
2. Clapham Road/ Kennington Park Road/ Camberwell Road Junction
3. Strand/Northumberland Avenue/Whitehall Junction
4. Waterloo Road/ Stamford St/ York Road Junction
5. Mansion House St/Princes St/ Threadneedle St
6. Elephant & Castle/Newington Butts Roundabout
7. Hyde Park Corner Westminster
8. Millbank/Lambeth Bridge Junction
9. Clerkenwell Road/Farringdon Road Junction (via Kings Cross)
10. Albert Embankment/Kennington Lane/ Wandsworth Road Junction