Sunday 16 September 2012

Nine Elms regeneration falls at first hurdle

Those in authority have no ambition for Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea to become the new Amsterdam. They just don't want mums and kids, pensioners and commuters in London's biggest regeneration scheme walking and cycling around.

If they really aspired to get everyone and their dog walking and cycling they'd have started creating environments that nurture and support active travel right from the outset of development.

Instead they're doing exactly the opposite, closing the pavement, bus and cycle lane outside the huge former Post Office site on Nine Elms Lane.

For nine whole months.

Why the hell would you mix the soft, squidgy people in the same lane as huge tonnes of lorry for nine whole months if your aspiration for an area is for it to be a pleasant environment for everyone to walk and cycle?
 Maybe the solution is to remove the hatching in the middle of the road and create a cycle lane by the ex-bus lane. Better still, maybe, in addition remove the bus lane going eastbound and replace it with a 2m wide cycle lane, matched with one on the westbound side of the road, plus a pavement for pedestrians.

Maybe there's a better solution. But to do what's been done simply sends a message that it's motor-centric business as usual at TfL, Wandsworth and the Mayor's office.