We have developed proposals to transform the road layout at the northern and southern roundabouts at Lambeth Bridge to create a safer environment for cycling and walking. We would also make changes to some approach roads and to the bridge itself.
Focussing on road safety, our proposals are designed to keep traffic moving along these key routes, whilst providing a better balance to the way that space on the road is allocated.
Our proposals would require changes to the way general traffic moves through the area, including new left or right turn traffic restrictions on some roads at each end of the bridge.
What are we proposing?
We propose to convert both the northern and the southern roundabouts of Lambeth Bridge into crossroad junctions, with traffic signals and signalised pedestrian crossings. At each junction, dedicated space would be given for cyclists and new pedestrian areas would be created.
To support these transformational plans, changes to the road layout are also proposed on Lambeth Bridge itself, at the Millbank north junction with Great Peter Street and along Lambeth Palace Road. These layout changes include two general traffic lanes at each exit from the bridge, the introduction of a signalised pedestrian crossing at the Millbank north junction with Great Peter Street, and the extension of the southbound bus lane on Lambeth Palace Road.
We have also developed public realm improvements, sensitive to the heritage of the area. These designs propose to further enhance the look and feel of the area so that we can promote a real sense of place to Lambeth Bridge and its surrounds.
The Metropolitan Police Service has installed barriers to increase security on London’s busiest bridges. Our proposals will aim to ensure that the security of all road users is maintained in the future.
We are also seeking views on:
Longer-term plans for the pedestrian underpass at Albert Embankment
A potential new location for the palm tree at Lambeth Bridge north
The current traffic speed at Lambeth Bridge north and south
Why are we proposing it?
Our proposals are designed to improve safety at both northern and southern roundabouts by introducing dedicated facilities for vulnerable road users, such as signalised pedestrian crossings, new cycle lanes and separate cycle signals. The northern roundabout in particular has a high proportion of collisions involving cyclists, and is one of 33 locations across London we are prioritising as part of our Safer Junctions programme.
Healthy Streets to encourage walking and cycling
The proposals form part of the Mayor of London’s long-term vision to encourage more Londoners to walk and cycle by making London’s streets healthier, safer and more welcoming. Both roundabouts and Lambeth Bridge are currently dominated by motor traffic and can be intimidating and unpleasant places to walk and cycle. By giving cyclists space and time to pass through the junction more easily, and by providing new signalised crossings and clearer footways for pedestrians, we can encourage more people to use these healthy and sustainable forms of transport, whilst keeping other traffic moving.
Building a local cycle network
Lambeth Bridge and its roundabouts lie on busy cycle commuter routes. Making the area safer and more welcoming for cyclists would help build connections to existing infrastructure, such as Cycle Superhighway Route 8 on Millbank, and planned improvements, such as Westminster Bridge and Central London Grid routes. The following map shows how our proposals would build on cycling connectivity in the area.
The impacts of our proposals
Our proposals have been designed to not have a disproportionate impact on other road users. However we expect there would be changes, both positive and negative, to journey times for motorists, bus passengers and cyclists.
More detailed information on the traffic impacts of the Lambeth Bridge proposals, including tables of the likely journey time impacts, can be found here https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/lambeth-bridge/user_uploads/traffic-impacts-and-data-table.pdf
Should these proposals go ahead, we would take a number of steps to ensure that the changes made along the route are balanced. We are investing in advanced traffic signal technology to allow us to better manage traffic depending on differing conditions at any given time.
Our proposals include a number of restrictions to turning movements:
‘Straight-ahead only’ for traffic exiting Millbank north
A time-of-day banned right-turn from Millbank south onto Lambeth Bridge during the evening peak
A banned left-turn for northbound traffic from Millbank south into Horseferry Road
‘Straight-ahead only’ for traffic exiting Horseferry Road
A banned left-turn from Lambeth Palace Road onto Lambeth Road.
A banned right-turn from Lambeth Road onto Lambeth Palace Road.
We do not develop proposals to introduce traffic restrictions without carefully considering the potential impacts and exploring alternative solutions. The restrictions are proposed either to address a safety issue or to help the signalised junction operate more efficiently, minimising potential journey time delays to road users.
Air and noise
Although the designs for Lambeth Bridge north and south are not expected to increase the number of motor vehicles in the area, our proposals may change how traffic moves around some roads, which may result in some associated and localised changes to air quality and noise levels. Environmental surveys and modelling would take place as part of our ongoing evaluation of these proposals.
Our proposals require the removal or relocation of a number of trees in order to accommodate the new road layout:
The iconic phoenix palm tree at the centre of the roundabout on the northern side of Lambeth Bridge would look to be relocated
Seven trees at the centre of the roundabout on the southern side of Lambeth Bridge would need to be removed
One tree at the junction of Millbank and Great Peter Street would need to be removed
New trees will be planted at Lambeth Bridge north and south as part of proposed urban realm improvements. Subject to the outcome of consultation, tree species would be determined during detailed design.
Our proposed urban realm improvements aim to improve the look and feel of the area, as shown in our artists’ impressions.
Reducing the dominance of traffic, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to better enjoy the area
Increasing the surface area of the public realm by approximately 1,370 square metres at Lambeth Bridge north and approximately 1,790 square metres at Lambeth Bridge south
Attracting more visitors to the area and local attractions such as Victoria Tower Gardens
Planting new trees bringing overall benefits for the area’s biodiversity and landscape
Providing new seating
New footway materials to improve the look of the streets along Albert Embankment, Lambeth Palace Road, Millbank and Lambeth Bridge
The removal of unnecessary and duplicate poles, signs and other street furniture
Upgrades where necessary to existing lighting and drainage
Provision of more cycle parking
An opportunity to provide additional Cycle Hire stations
Upgraded wayfinding for example to Newport Street Gallery
In considering the design of our streets, we closely consider the needs of all users throughout the design process. On significant infrastructure projects, we:
Complete Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA), to review potential impacts on equality target groups, including disabled people
Carry out public consultations, including targeted engagement with specific users such as (amongst many others): Royal National Institute of Blind People, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Age Concern, Transport for All, and the National Autistic Society
Ensure we comply with established guidance – such as the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges – which includes detailed requirements for disabled people
The EqIA for Lambeth Bridge north and south will continue to be developed following the outcome of this public consultation, incorporating feedback received.
Other options considered but not taken forward
We considered a number of alternative designs before taking forward our current proposals.
At Lambeth Bridge south, we considered retaining the roundabout, but this provided minimal benefits for cyclists. We also considered ‘hold the left’ turn facilities on Lambeth Road and Lambeth Bridge, which separate cyclists from other traffic with separate traffic signals. However this scenario would have caused significant traffic queueing due to the extra signal phase required and was difficult to accommodate due to the structure of the bridge.
We also considered a number of designs at Lambeth Bridge north including a signalised junction and a ‘Dutch style’ roundabout with a physically separated cycle track around the edge of the roundabout. However, our modelling indicated that this would have had significant impact on journey times for other road users in the area, including thousands of bus passengers.
Having considered a number of designs, we believe the current proposals would achieve the best balance for all road users.
Lambeth north interim scheme
During March 2017, we delivered interim safety improvements at Lambeth Bridge northern roundabout.
The changes were timed to bring improvements whilst we continued with plans to re-work the junction's layout for the long-term.
Subject to the outcome of this consultation, should we proceed with these proposals, we would look to start construction in late 2018.
Although construction would cause some disruption, we would take steps to minimise this as far as possible.
Building in late 2018 would allow us to coordinate with major planned maintenance work on Lambeth Bridge, and with work currently taking place at Westminster Bridge South.