Jamaica Road – right direction, but much more to do

by Anood Al-Samerai on 9 October, 2017

Local residents have been asking us about the proposals for the Jamaica Road part of the Cycle Superhighway 4. We’ve put some of our thoughts below. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information or to feed in any additional concerns.

Summary

Liberal Democrat Councillors have met with Transport for London many times over many years. We are pleased that they have proposed improvements to Jamaica Road and the plans are helpful for pedestrians and cyclists. The new/improved crossings at St James Road, Bermondsey Station and Southwark Park and the changes to the roundabout are very welcome. However, we are keen to make sure that the changes actually reduce congestion and we will be responding to the consultation to demand further improvements for the junctions and tunnel.

Background

Liberal Democrat Councillors have been campaigning to reduce congestion on Jamaica Road for many years. We won the yellow boxes and the additional lane going into the tunnel earlier this year. Transport for London have now produced their ideas for a Cycle Superhighway along the road in the longer term, which includes a number of positive improvements. These include:

– New/improved pedestrian crossings at St James Rd, Bermondsey tube and Southwark Park
– Better junctions to stop buses being so stuck at Bevington St and at the entrance to the roundabout
– Separating cyclists from the bus lane which should make it safer for cyclists and stop buses being slowed by cyclists
– Shrinking the roundabout and moving it southwards a little
– Removing much of the central reservation of Jamaica Road to create more road space
– Creating a much longer lane leading into Brunel Road, which should allow traffic to travel to the Rotherhithe peninsula without being blocked by traffic trying to get into the tunnel
– Allowing a right hand turn into Cathay St (from the east) so that vehicles stop turning left into Southwark Park Road and then doing a u-turn to get into West Lane.

These are all positive measures, which we have been demanding for some time.

Concerns

However, we are concerned that the congestion and journey times for drivers isn’t being improved enough and might even be made worse at some points. This is mainly because the cycle lane moves from the north side of Jamaica Road to the south side at the West Lane junction. And, while the central reservation is being removed, it isn’t creating enough space for all the pressure on the road.

Suggestions for the consultation

We are calling on TfL to look again at the junctions in response to this consultation. This is very much the case for the West Lane junction, and we are urging TfL to look at other solutions here, such as a bridge for cyclists to enable them to cross over. We would also like them to explore further solutions at the roundabout and the tunnel, such as making the tunnel one way in the evening rush hour or creating further road space at the entrance to the roundabout.

If you are interested in finding out more and responding to the consultation then you can see full details of the rest of the scheme at tfl.gov.uk/CS4 . Your local Liberal Democrat Councillors will continue to fight your corner as the congestion, noise and pollution from Jamaica Road affects us all.

Best wishes,
Anood, Eliza and Hamish

Cllrs Anood Al-Samerai, Eliza Mann and Hamish McCallum
Liberal Democrat Councillors for Riverside Ward

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