Back in January we reported that following 17 accidents at the junction in three years (cars crashing into nine cycles, five pedestrians and two motorbikes), Lambeth are planning to make some design changes to make it safer. Work is now due to start next week on the Queenstown Road junction, and a few weeks later at the Silverthorne Road junction.
For pedestrians, the pedestrian crossings (with their notoriously unreliable push buttons) will see an upgrade to have a countdown timer. 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 widened.
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).
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. The whole junction will also be resurfaced.
The cycle stop areas will also be reorganised further along Wandsworth Road (where it meets Silverthorne Road) and in slightly slower time at the junction with Union Road (where works are delayed until other work that’d set to dig up that junction is complete).
It would have been good to see something more ambitious (including ‘X’ diagonal pedestrian crossings, and longer cycle lanes between the junctions) – but this is still a step in the right direction.