Following 17 accidents at the junction in three years (nine cycles, five pedestrians and two motorbikes collided with cars!), Lambeth are spending £88,000 on some minor changes to make it safer.
For cycles, this will include realigning the vehicle lanes to make them have a consistent width (to avoid pinch points), creating cycle lanes leading out of the junction as well as in to it, and adding small traffic lights specifically for cyclists along the Cedars Road and Queenstown Road (as surveys have shown this is becoming a busy cycle route, used by over 100 cycles a day during the morning peak).
For pedestrians, the existing pedestrian crossings (with their notoriously unreliable push buttons) will see an upgrade to have a countdown timer. The most noticeable change is that the small traffic island on the Queenstown Road side will be removed, to make more space for cycles and cars queuing at the traffic lights (and reduce the tendency for it to be hit by turning vehicles). The pavement outside Sainsbury’s will also be slightly widened – which is helpful to pedestrians, but also to cycles as it removes the obvious danger of a traffic lane that gradually becomes narrower.
And for drivers, the Queenstown Road approach will be reorganised to have two clear traffic lanes (one just for turning right) as well as a separate cycle lane – rather than the current rather awkward one-and-three-quarters-lanes arrangement. Notices currently attached to lamp posts near the junction explain that Lambeth are making a legal Order to formally ban cars from parking or waiting in the new cycle areas. The whole junction will also be resurfaced.
As part of the works the cycle stop areas will also be reorganised at two other slightly less dangerous junctions further along Wandsworth Road (where it meets Silverthorne Road, and Union Road). Overall – this is a small but generally sensible improvement. It would have been good to see something more ambitious (including ‘X’ diagonal pedestrian crossings, and longer cycle lanes between the junctions) – however this is still a step in the right direction.