Thirty-three of London’s biggest and "nastiest" road junctions will be transformed in a £300 million programme to make them safer and less threatening for cyclists and pedestrians, Transport for London has announced.
Gyratories at Archway, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, among others, will be ripped out and replaced with two-way roads, segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space.
There has been a mixed reception to the news from cycle and pedestrian advocates with some welcoming the "progress" but others complaining some of the plans – such as those envisaged for the Kings Cross junction – are not "Dutch enough."
The Elephant & Castle roundabout, London’s highest cycle casualty location, will be removed. At other "intimidating" gyratories, such as Hammersmith and Vauxhall, segregated cycle tracks will be installed, "pending more radical transformations of these areas in the medium term."
Detailed designs for the first schemes will be published next month and work will begin in the second half of this year.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “These road junctions are relics of the Sixties which blight and menace whole neighbourhoods. Like so much from that era, they’re also atrociously-designed and wasteful of space. Because of that, we can turn these junctions into more civilised places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their [motor] traffic function.”
TfL said the junction programme has been fundamentally refocused away from making minor, often cosmetic changes at a large number of junctions to delivering "real and transformational change at the busiest and worst junctions."
The pre-Cycling Vision programme would have divided £19 million between 100 junctions, an average of £190,000 per junction. The new programme commits in the region of £300 million to just 33 major junctions, an average of £9 million per junction.
The money will come from the £100 million Better Junctions budget announced in the Cycling Vision, from the Vision’s Cycle Superhighways budget for those on superhighways, from the general TfL Major Schemes programme budget and from confirmed third-party and developer contributions in the order of £50 million.
The Dutch-style roundabout, with segregated lanes, tested at the Transport Research Laboratory last year will be implemented at a trial location in Greater London in early 2015.
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “For over a year our designers and engineers have been working flat out to develop new junction designs for these 33 locations to completely change how they operate, transforming their areas for cyclists, pedestrians and the wider local community. They are some of the busiest traffic intersections in Europe, so this work has been complicated. But we are now fully committed to delivering these junction improvements as quickly as possible, making London safer and more inviting for all.”
The Better Junctions programme forms part of the wider work TfL is undertaking to help deliver the recommendations of the Mayor’s Roads Task Force (RTF) to tackle the challenges facing London’s streets and roads. The RTF report, published last summer, set out a vision for ‘world-class streets and roads fit for the future’. This independent body brought together a wide range of interests and expertise, united in the belief that the capital needs a long-term strategy for roads and a commitment to major investment in street management and urban design and to transform cycling and walking in the capital.
GYRATORIES, ROUNDABOUTS & JUNCTIONS TO BE RE-DESIGNED
1. Aldgate Gyratory
2. Apex Junction (part of Shoreditch Triangle)
3. Archway Gyratory
5. Borough High Street/Tooley Street Junction
6. Bow Roundabout
7. Chiswick Roundabout/Kew Bridge Junction
8. Elephant & Castle Northern Roundabout
9. Great Portland Street Gyratory
10. Hammersmith Broadway Gyratory
11. Highbury Corner
12. King’s Cross
13. Lambeth Bridge Northern Roundabout
14. Lambeth Bridge Southern Roundabout
15. Lancaster Gate Gyratory
16. Marble Arch Gyratory
17. Nag’s Head Gyratory
18. Old Street Roundabout
19. Oval Triangle
20. Parliament Square
21. Rotherhithe Roundabout
22. Spur Road Gyratory
23. St Paul’s Gyratory
24. Stockwell Gyratory
25. Stratford Gyratory
26. Surrey Quays Gyratory
27. Swiss Cottage Gyratory
28. Tower Gateway
29. Vauxhall Cross Gyratory
30. Wandsworth Town Centre Gyratory
31. Waterloo Roundabout
32. Westminster Bridge Road
33. Woolwich Road / A102 Junction