E & C future

Southwark Council is consulting on what the long term future of the Elephant&Castle area shoulw look like – the E&C SPD.

Going through all the documents I had the following thoughts I’ve submitted via my political group.

Many of the roads radiating from the E&C would be suitable for full Copenhagen style segregated cycle lanes. Such lanes would support feeder routes from the E&C hinterland. We know from Amsterdam, Copenhagen and many other European cities and towns that such segregated cycle lanes have been the key to unlocking huge cycle demand and all the benefits that brings. The document talks of only 16% of comparative shopping by Southwark residents in Southwark – people who cycle tend to spend their money more locally.

Which roads – St.George’s and London Roads immediately come to mind. The plans involve spending £10M on each to change to two way working and bus use only respectively. So including segregated cycle lanes would make sense. They in turn could connect to the wide roads that could in the future take segregated cycle lanes – Blackfriars, Waterloo and Westminster Bridge roads.

Equally New Kent Road and Newington Causeway are wide roads that could also host segregated cycle paths.

Such paths could demonstrate the E&C as the cycling hub for London interchanging between these segregated cycle routes. This area has been shown by Transport for London to have the potential to be 20mph one of the most cycleable areas in London.

The document also shows many more pedestrian routes than cycle routes. Cyclists are just mechanised pedestrians. They don’t follow detours. Unless both can share routes the document is planning for mass cycle intrusion onto planned pedestrian only routes. We shouldn’t be planning to create such conflicts.

The section on Walworth Road I thought disappointing. Walworth Road is meant to be 20mph but short of speed humps isn’t and wont be.

Perhaps a perfect route for 20mph average speed cameras?

The document didn’t mention the open air above many of the Walworth Road shops – ripe for development with the right planning framework e.g. part of the M&S shopping being a good example. Such development would increase passive surveillance and vitality along this road. Also, we have above many shops vacant space which should be encouraged to come back into residential use.

The suggestion that Carter Place might become an open space is welcome but as per the Lib Dem 2010 local manifesto I’d hoped for something significantly more assertive.

Manor Place. Mention of the old swimming pool. Perhaps this site would be better as sports facility freeing up more space at E&C core and encouraging more people to travel further into Southwark. OR bring the pool back into use and the space saved at E&C core could guarantee squash courts and fuller sized sports hall.

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “E & C future

  1. Graham Neale says:

    Excellent analysis, the wide roads are ideal for a dedicated cycle lane. It’s time for the 20th century car domination to stop, and we should ease into the 21st, by establishing routes where we can.

  2. Very sensible. Best wishes

  3. Christoff says:

    Don’t worry sonny you will be out of power come the next election. Blame that liar Clegg if you want the cause.

  4. Simon says:

    The roads are very suited to that idea, and it would change a no-go area for a lot of cyclists into a nice ride to the shops. Nice one.

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