Removal of Pedestrian crossings in Southwark

Meeting: 
MQT on 2010-09-15
Session date: 
September 15, 2010
Reference: 
2010/2581
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The Chair of the Nelson Square Community Association has written to me expressing concern about your plans to remove the pedestrian crossing at Union Street/ Great Suffolk Street. She says in summary ''The junction is an extremely tricky one ... ... ... ..The traffic lights crossing provides the only safe way to cross the road for pedestrians. People take detours in order to use this crossing as there is no other safe place to cross Great Suffolk Street. There are many local flats mostly social housing in which there are large numbers of children. Elderly and disabled people including wheelchair users and people with visual impairment If the lights are removed there will be no safe crossing point for these people. My questions are the following: Research has shown that children, older and disable people particularly those from lower socio-economic groups are most at risk as pedestrians. Research has also shown that in an area of deprivation such as this one, vulnerable groups do not have access to cars and spend more time as pedestrians. Has an equality impact assessment been done of the decision to remove these lights? Why have local communities, those most affected by such a closure, not been consulted or even talked to about this? The main justification put forward by TfL is easing the flow of traffic in the area. For those of us who live here, our main concern is actually making the area safer for pedestrians particularly vulnerable pedestrians. Does this group weigh more lightly than car drivers in TfL's considerations and if so, why? Is TfL willing to send out staff to talk to us and walk the area with the vulnerable groups I have mentioned? Or is this decision being taken with no research and no actual on the ground experience? My block of flats is directly opposite the Palestra building in which TfL is based - it would not be difficult for TfL to come and talk to us. I think this is a high-handed decision by TfL which ignores local conditions and safety considerations for the community. I do hope they will change their minds''. What is your response to my constituent?

Answer

Answer for Removal of Pedestrian crossings in Southwark

Answer for Removal of Pedestrian crossings in Southwark

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL has similarly been in correspondence with the Nelson Square Community Association and I have asked it to forward a copy of the correspondence to you. TfL has identified 145 traffic signal sites that could potentially be removed as they do not meet the justification criteria for the installation of new traffic signals today. TfL has written to all of the London Boroughs, highlighting these sites and asking them to consider whether they believe they could be removed or replaced with alternative traffic management arrangements.

TfL would expect local authorities to consult stakeholders and residents on any proposals to remove or replace traffic signals before taking any action. As such, TfL currently has no plans to remove the pedestrian crossing at Union Street/Great Suffolk Street.