Editorial: Something must be done about Elephant and Castle traffic chaos

(02 July, 2015) Editorials

The situation at the Elephant & Castle is fast becoming intolerable – while the works on the roundabout alongside the ‘Crossrail for Bikes’ scheme will eventually make travelling in the area better – we face at least a year of massive disruption. The unforeseen burst water main in Kennington this week left commuters utterly miserable ...

3651Credit: @Annagram

The situation at the Elephant & Castle is fast becoming intolerable – while the works on the roundabout alongside the ‘Crossrail for Bikes’ scheme will eventually make travelling in the area better – we face at least a year of massive disruption.

The unforeseen burst water main in Kennington this week left commuters utterly miserable as they abandoned buses, residents were stranded as they had the water cut off and businesses were left out of pocket.

This is something that Transport for London (TfL) obviously did not plan for, but since the work has started social media sites have been inundated with posting after posting from frustrated commuters, lost as to how any solution can be found to end the gridlock.

When London’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy got the green light for the £913 million Cycle Superhighway he said there would  “naturally, be some disruption due to these works”  but added “we have some of the world’s leading highway and traffic engineers, traffic models and modellers working tirelessly to ensure that this is kept to a minimum”.

Well apart for TfL asking commuters, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the area, especially during rush hours, we have seen nothing to back up his claims that these ‘world leading engineers and traffic modellers’ can keep the disruption to a minimum.

What can be done? Should the work on the Cycle Superhighway be done at the same time as the work by TfL is being carried out to overhaul the northern roundabout and provide two-way traffic and pedestrian crossings at surface level?

Can Southwark Council’s highway and traffic department work more closely with these world class engineers to create better routes, to move traffic away from the Elephant & Castle?

Those living amid the on-going chaos certainly need some reassurance that perhaps things will improve and that everything is being done to deal with the problem.

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