Clapham Junction Street Improvements

4 mins read

Author: Cyril Richert
Road work Lavender Hill-Falcon LaneThe Council has voted the banning of the right turn from Lavender Hill into Falcon Road to be replaced with the introduction of right turn movements from Lavender Hill into Falcon Lane. The decision comes in the hope of easing the congestion at the crossroad between Falcon Road, Lavender Hill and St John’s Hill, beside Clapham Junction station.
According to the planning document (Wandsworth Planning Committee 21 January 2009):
The main traffic elements of the design are:
(a) introduction of a right-turn movement from Lavender Hill into Falcon Lane;
(b) banning of the current right-turn movement from Lavender Hill into Falcon Road, except for buses;
(c) removal of the left-turn slip lane from Falcon Road into Lavender Hill, without banning the left-turn movement from Falcon Road into
Lavender Hill;
(d) a mini-roundabout in Falcon Lane, at the service entrance to ASDA;
(e) widening of footways in St. John’s Road, St. John’s Hill, Lavender Hill and Falcon Road;
(f) new straight across pedestrian crossings or all arms of the Lavender Hill-St. John’s Hill junction, allowing an ‘all-red’ phase when traffic
will stop on all arms and the pedestrian phase will operate;
(g) a diagonal crossing between the Falcon public house and Debenhams store;
(h) relocation of the taxi-rank from the centre of St. John’s Hill to the kerbside;
(i) merging of westbound bus stops in St. John’s Hill, though otherwise bus stop locations are largely unchanged;
(j) removal of a zebra crossing in St. John’s Road; and
(k) two raised junction treatments in St. John’s Road.
The Economic Development Officer comments that these proposals will make Clapham Junction a more attractive and prosperous town centre.
As you can see in (h) they are talking about the relocation of the taxi-rank. Therefore that will occur with or without the Metro Fund’s proposal. That’s what I pointed out in comment 2 here, in response to Brendan (who is involved in helping explain and support the Metro proposals).
Interesting to read on the minutes of the Committee, p3:

(d) authorise the Director of Technical Services to make other amendments to the design and scheme details that may be considered necessary, subject to discussion with the Cabinet Member and local ward members and authorisation under Standing Order No. 83A procedure;
(h) approve the development of a temporary traffic management plan so as to manage traffic during period of construction and to consult with the Cabinet Member and Ward Members on this plan.

Therefore I wanted to have the views of the Councillors of the 3 Wards (Northcote, Shaftesbury and Latchmere) on the temporary traffic management they could envisage, assuming the major disruption that a 3 year construction proposal such as Metro Shopping Fund’s, will create.
I have received answers from the Councillors of the 3 wards:

  • Tony Belton, opposition leader and Latchmere Cllr told me that their concerns (as opposition Cllr) won’t be taken into account by the Council).
  • Cllr Paul Ellis and Cllr James Cousins, Shaftesbury ward, passed the hot potato matter to their colleague Guy Senior who must be on holiday (see UPDATE).
  • Cllr Philip Beddows for Northcote ward sent me a detailed email (unedited):

Dear Cyril,
Cllr Guy Senior as Cabinet Member whose brief covers this, and who is one of the Shaftesbury Councillors, will be better able to respond in full.
However, the roadwork changes are part of the Exemplar Scheme that aims to bring better order to the road system around Clapham Junction, for vehicles and for pedestrians – especially at the junction of Falcon Road/Lavender Hill/St. John’s Road and St. John’s Hill.
The scheme was developed ahead of any proposals for the development of Clapham Junction.
I, and colleagues, and Council Officers have of course been very conscious of what the impact may be of both initiatives occurring at the same time.  But since the timescale of any development of Clapham Junction cannot yet be determined it would have been unwise, perhaps one can even say irresponsible, to have waited on the result of the Metro Fund’s proposals before pushing ahead with the Council’s Exemplar Scheme.
There has been widespread consultation on the Exemplar Scheme and much reporting of it – a Google search will provide a great deal of information on it.
An added issue is the proposed wholescale redevelopment of the Peabody Estate on St John’s Hill, almost opposite Clapham Junction Station.
If all three things were to occur at the same time it could cause chaos – I have raised this in fora where these matters have been discussed.  Transport for London is a key player in agreeing and managing the transport challenges that could arise.  They and the Council would clearly work very closely to reduce the possibility of unavoidable disruption.
So, there must be some initial planning with regard to the Exemplar Scheme, and there must be some thoughts about the added impact of any proposed development at or around Clapham Junction actually starting, but the Exemplar Scheme is the only show in town that has a confirmed performance with curtains ready to be raised.  It would be crazy for us to halt its commencement on the basis of what may or may not happen at Clapham Junction Station – but it would also be unwise of us not to factor that possibility into our future planning, as a ‘what if’ factor.
I am copying this in to Guy Senior so that he may add to, correct or elaborate on what I have said.  In the meantime, I trust that this response is of some help towards answering your query.
Kind regards

UPDATE 4th March: email from Cllr Guy Senior

From : Senior, Guy (Cllr)
To : Cyril Richert
Sent: Monday, 9 March 2009, 2h25mn 53s
Subject: FW: Concerning the road work in Clapham Junction town centre

resending as you do not appear to have received this first time round
From: Senior, Guy (Cllr)
To : Cyril Richert
Sent: 01 March 2009 19:37
Subject: RE: Concerning the road work in Clapham Junction town centre
Thank you for your email.
I think it is important to note that the proposals that you refer to are not related to the planning application and can proceed independently of it.
IF permission is granted for the development, it is the intention to construct it without having any general traffic diversions. However, there would have to be some temporary measures to allow vehicles in and out of the site and relocation of bus stops etc. This is just what happened when the site was last rebuilt in the late 1980s. If any road closures were needed on a temporary basis (e.g. to bring in large loads), then these would need to be agreed with the council. A construction management plan would also have to be agreed relating to such issues as times of work, noise, dust control and the like.

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CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.