Elephant and Castle Roundabout

Join us as we celebrate the highs and lows of the roundabout today and the snarl up to come.

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In 2015 Transport for London will be making a bad junction even worse. They have willfully ignored the facts and perpetuated misperceptions in pursuit of their dogmatic preoccupation with creating places to linger (and be stuck in congestion) rather than flow through safely and pleasantly.

Civil servant Ben Plowden and our Mayor Boris Johnson with backing from Southwark's Labour Council have an agenda to mutate Transport for London into a maker and marketer of places more than a faciltator of pleasant, efficient movement around the capital. At the Elephant pedestrian safety will deteriorate in the pursuit of superficial developer-brochure-friendly spectacle, selling their investments to people who may never to experience the adjacent carnage:

  • The ring road will be enlarged to up to 8 lanes of traffic.
  • TfL forecast increased congestion for all users.
  • Risk taking behaviour will increase as users are frustrated by delays.
  • Pedestrians will be forced to cross at surface level rather than use the efficient subways which, despite their neglected condition, are much safer than surface level - so say the Met Police crime figures - and faster than what is proposed.
  • Cycle campaigners have almost entirely been ignored too.
  • Four mature trees on and around the roundabout will be felled.
  • Architects Witherford Watson Man are dressing up the new proposal with orchards and high maitenance greenery despite TfL's track record of neglecting the landscape here, no extra budget committed to maintainance and cut backs in the number of council cleaners assigned to the space.
  • There will be a net decrease in space for pedestrians despite false claims that it is being increased.

Both of Transport for London's consultation reports (August 2014 and March 2015) outline their plans and justification using results from a disgracefully manipulative research methodology. They add little to the foregone conclusions developed behind closed doors and blinkered minds. The reports masquerade as giving the plans legitimacy but to an informed researcher reveal both intentional tricks and clumsy misunderstandings.

Since 2012 this campaign has been challenging TfL's proposals, fighting propaganda, push polls and publicity budgets from their backers the Mayor of London, Southwark's Labour led Council and leading developers Lend Lease and Delancey. Despite finding like-minded support in many local residents, commuters, Tenants & Residents Associations, our local Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes and the Southwark Lib Dem councillors our campaign has failed - TfL's revised proposal makes the road even bigger and the cycle and pedestrian provision even less! We campaigned for change and improvement, but from a perspective of pleasant safe transit and the wider context. We failed, our sole victory might have been saving one tree.


Transport for London Elephant and Castle Roundabout March 2015