Update 30 June 2023 – Consultation report published on the Battersea Bridge safety improvements scheme.
Greg is pleased that Transport for London (TfL) have published their report on the Battersea Bridge safety improvements scheme consultation and that we will finally see action materialise.
There are a number of changes to the north end of the bridge which TfL have decided to go ahead with, including:
- New, straight-across, push-button pedestrian crossings on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Embankment and Beaufort Street.
- A new section of westbound bus lane from Royal Hospital Road to the bus stop at Beaufort Street.
- Banning the left turn into Beaufort Street.
Greg submitted a contribution to this important consultation and welcomed that TfL are addressing the overdue need for improving safety at this junction.
It is good news that new straight-across push button pedestrian crossings on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Embankment and Beaufort Street are being introduced as these are absolutely essential. It is also welcome that TfL have committed to review the Chelsea Bridge banned left turn.
However, it is disappointing that TfL have not listened to local concerns which Greg echoed in his consultation response. These include the banned left turn to Beaufort Street, which Greg believes will make access to Beaufort Street more difficult and push additional traffic on the already congested Oakley Street.
Also, despite TfL rowing back on their original proposal for a 24h westbound bus lane from Royal Hospital Road to Battersea Bridge by instead making it 12 hours a day, Greg still finds it completely bizarre and incomprehensible that TfL would create a bus lane for one single-decker bus, which could significantly add to traffic congestion on the embankment, worsening air quality, while making little appreciable difference to the speed of bus travel. The bus in question is the 170, which TfL cut the frequency of only last year and now they want to introduce a dedicated bus lane for it – all very strange!
Furthermore, it is disappointing that the ‘3 Phase Chelsea Option’ was discounted given that it was widely supported locally.
Nonetheless, overall, Greg very much looks forward to seeing safety measures implemented which will make the crossings safer.
- ENDS -
Improving safety at the northern junction of Battersea Bridge has been a long-standing concern for Greg, local representatives, and residents.
Sadly, in recent years, the collision record has been tragic at this notorious junction.
The junction is part of the Transport for London (TfL) Road Network and is therefore ultimately the responsibility of TfL and the Mayor or London, who appointed himself as Chair of TfL.
Greg welcome’s that TfL are addressing the overdue need for improving safety at the dangerous northern junction of Battersea Bridge. He has long campaigned for greater pedestrian safety.
Following the tragic and sadly fatal accident on 13 January 2021, Greg met with fellow local representatives and urgently wrote to the Transport Commissioner at TfL – a copy of Greg’s letter in full is available here. Subsequently, Greg and other local representatives met with the Transport Commissioner and TfL officials. TfL confirmed they were producing options and moving forward with a funded proposal for new pedestrian crossings.
A local residents’ petition received overwhelming support with over 26,500 signatures.
In 2021, along with TfL and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Greg had the green-man pedestrian crossing installed and they have been active since 15 November 2021.
Greg is deeply saddened and concerned that there was another serious accident at this junction on 13 January 2022; just weeks after the lights were installed. When the accident occurred, Greg was informed by the Police that a lorry and a cyclist were involved, and that the latter required hospital treatment and has sustained life changing injuries.
TfL were looking urgently into improving safety at this dangerous junction further, notably for cyclists.
Representatives of the local community wrote a joint letter to the Mayor of London and London’s Transport Commissioner, detailing their extreme concern about safety at the Junction and a need for immediate action.
From 29 November 2022 to 24 January 2023, TfL ran a consultation on further proposed plans for Battersea Bridge. As the local Member of Parliament, Greg submitted a contribution.
Essential enhancements to improve the safety at the remaining three arms of the junction are vital. TfL’s proposal to introduce new straight-across push button pedestrian crossings on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Embankment and Beaufort Street are absolutely essential.
However, Greg shares the concerns from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, local Resident Associations, and residents, that there several changes in the plans that TfL were consulting on, which do not appear to be essential for improving safety at this time.
These local concerns include the banned left turn to Beaufort Street, the westbound bus lane from Royal Hospital Road to Battersea Bridge and the continued banned left turn at Chelsea Bridge.
Greg believes the westbound bus lane appears to be totally unnecessary. The 600-metre-long bus lane would be put in place for only one bus: The 170 - a single decker bus, that had its frequency cut from every 7 minutes to every 10 minutes by TfL only last year. Greg shares the feeling with local people that it is bizarre and incomprehensible to first cut its frequency and then introduce a dedicated bus lane.
In Greg’s submission to the consultation, he also highlighted the 3 Phase Chelsea Option which he knows is widely supported locally.
There is mutual agreement that this junction must be made safer for people, and Greg looks forward to finally seeing this materialise in much needed action from TfL.
Later in 2023, TfL will publish a consultation report outlining next steps. Greg continues to follow developments closely and will keep residents updated of any developments.