Over recent weeks, I have been inundated with letters and e-mails from local residents about Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to redesign the road layout at both ends of Lambeth Bridge, seeking to replace the roundabout with traffic lights.
Concerns are that this could well lead to a huge increase in traffic in Vincent Square, with Horseferry Road in particular becoming clogged. The potential creation of 'rat runs' throughout the area, as drivers look to avoid the resulting congestion, is serious worry for residents, as is increased air pollution for road users, pedestrians and residents. Conservative councillors from Vincent Square and St James’s, together with Westminster City Council as a whole, have been campaigning hard against these proposals and have been bolstered by support from hundreds of local residents. Whilst wary of becoming embroiled in planning matters which are ultimately for the Council and TfL to adjudicate on, I have urged TfL to consider the weight of local opposition very carefully before going further with this process.
Similarly, I have also been contacted by residents in and around Grosvenor Place and Wilton Street regarding another consultation from TfL; in this instance, it seeks to remove the right turn into Grosvenor Place from Wilton Street. Locals are fearful that this would see Wilton Street change from a residential road into a major traffic route, carrying vehicles from Hyde Park Corner heading towards Chelsea. The opinion from an overwhelming number of Wilton Street residents, which I have impressed upon TfL, is that it would be safer and a more efficient management of traffic to keep the current three right turnings from Grosvenor Place intact, allowing traffic to be distributed effectively.