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Elephant And Castle Cycle Superhighway HGV Threat

By jamesup Last edited 59 months ago
Elephant And Castle Cycle Superhighway HGV Threat


The Elephant and Castle western cycle bypass, one of London’s oldest bits of cycling infrastructure, which was incorporated into Cycle Superhighway 7 two years ago, could be used by a developer as an HGV delivery route if plans go ahead.

Lend Lease, the lead developer of the Southwark regeneration scheme, who recently published new renders of the development, are demolishing the existing leisure centre and replacing it with a new leisure facility and residential tower. They have proposed to use parts of the on-street bypass along Brook Drive as a route for HGVs involved in the construction and demolition for approximately four years. The bypass was originally opened in 1982 by Southwark Council after concerns about safety were judged to be deterring cycling through the junction. This is the junction Boris Johnson famously described as "fine, if you keep your wits about you" despite being the site of 89 serious injuries in three years, according to TfL figures.

Lend Lease opposed proposals made last year for an eastern bypass for the Elephant and Castle roundabout through their scheme area, as they did not wish to encourage fast commuting through their development.

Local resident Crispin Hughes, who has started a petition to oppose the proposals, told us "Everyday I see hundreds of cyclists streaming safely past on the Cycle Superhighway on their way to work, college and school. Routing lorries down Brook Drive and Churchyard Row will endanger them all."

A further meeting between developer and residents is planned for 4 July. Lend Lease told Kennington People on Bikes that they "have now met with TfL and it was a very positive meeting. They discussed the residents' concerns, many of  which are shared by TfL and the project team. The team is now working  hard with TfL to find a much improved solution and are hoping to have an alternate access proposal".

This threat to the Elephant and Castle scheme follows further criticism from cyclists about the efficacy and cost of the £4 million a mile Cycle Superhighway scheme. Four more are due to open next year: CS5 from Lewisham to Victoria, CS9 from Hounslow to Hyde Park, CS11 from West Hampstead to Marylebone and CS12 from Muswell Hill to Angel.

Users of the Elephant and Castle Bypass or junction are encouraged to join the user group to stay up to date with developments.

Last Updated 29 June 2012

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Commented to petition, this project will require substantial haulage of waste & spoil off-site and equally substantial delivery. A direct comparision might be the Francis Crick Institute work (St Pancras) which has summarily closed part of a cycle route an contra flow lane on Midland road to provide queuing zone for delivery and muckshift trucks, for 3 years.  No diversion signposted or provided.  Minimal signage - looks to be not compliant with Chapter 8 TSRGD to warn on cycling & walking route - Brill Place.  (Site operations may be cut back for Olympics period as Brill Place is official walking route to Euston).

At St P 40 (possibly more) 32T 4-axle tippers were required to ruin continuously for at least 2 months to move around 5000T per day of excavated material driven all the way through City and out to Pitsea.  Needed this many trucks to keep excavators fed with empty trucks - 140-150 trips per day.  Rigid 8 wheelers are most damaging trucks on city roads , and extended journeys increase the exposure to collisions.

Site is close to Regents Canal and bulk materials handling siding plus mothballed 2 track railway formation at King's Cross all potential routes for bulk material movement (roughly 3 full trains per day @1600-1700T), which would have substantially reduced the number of trucks required, and the mileage being covered, and reduced emissions & road damage substantially.

Unfortunately TfL no longer has a Freight Unit which can co-ordinate and consolidate such activity and deliver viable railheads/wharves to keep road hauls short, in turn save the developer a substantial sum in haulage costs (ie everyone wins - less truck movements, less pollution, less damage, less hazard to cyclists, and less cost to haul material - see www.cboa.org.uk to find examples of large tonnages of material moving around London by canal)

The Elephant & Castle works could use rail - approx 200 metres from rail viaduct. although there may be some scheduling issues to park and load a train via a raising and loading facility at street level.  (conveyor would be too messy and limited in the scope of materials handled) Containerised materials out would keep dust down for simple transfer, and can also work containers back with material in.

If road-rail cannot be worked, there is a wharf on Lower Thames Street equipped to load refuse containers on to barges for disposal sites downstream. Up to 2000T per barge can be loaded on to barges that can work this far upstream, and greater recycling/lower levels of activity mean that capacity may be available.  Another wharf is available at Deptford.  These would keep road haul short.

However, with a major development site East of the railway, and other potential changes for the area suggest that a provision to move the substantial volumes of waste out and materials in without severe denigration of air quality, damage to local roads, and increased risk to pedestrians and cyclists over a wider area from a major road haul exercise.