Community action prevents Bermondsey Street traffic chaos

Residents living around Bermondsey Street have been spared traffic chaos in the coming months after objections from the local community and Liberal Democrat councillors forced Southwark Council and Transport for London to change their proposals.

Transport for London and the Council are building an east-west ‘Cycle Quietway’ between Blackfriars Road and Tower Bridge Road.  The aim of the Quietways is to create a safer space with fewer buses and lorries for cyclists who lack the confidence to ride along main roads.

The plans involve making Bermondsey, Tanner, Morocco and Leathermarket Streets one-way to allow the construction of segregated cycle lanes and because of the width of the streets.

The original plans proposed eastbound-only vehicle traffic on Leathermarket and Morocco Streets and westbound-only on Tanner Street. Residents and Liberal Democrat councillors complained though that this would cause all traffic to converge at the intersection with Bermondsey Street and add to traffic congestion in an already busy and narrow street.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors called successfully for the plans to be put on hold to ensure greater scrutiny and Transport for London and the Council announced last week that the community will be listened to.  One-way traffic will now be westbound on Morocco and Leathermarket Streets and eastbound on Tanner Street, dispersing traffic away from Bermondsey Street. 

The Council will now consult residents on this amended design. 

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Damian O’Brien, said:

“Since last November Southwark Council and Transport for London have been consulting on the introduction of this Quietway.

“The original design had traffic converging from different directions into the Bermondsey Street junction which would have caused gridlock at this already congested point.

“Liberal Democrats and residents around Bermondsey Street are delighted that common sense has now prevailed and that the new one-way system will disperse traffic rather than force it on to Bermondsey Street.

“These changes will make living and working in the area much more pleasant with better air quality, less traffic and less noise.  It will also put and end to the infuriating rat-running that we have to endure at the moment, as well as make cycling easier and safer.

“It has taken nine months of discussions with the Council and TfL to achieve this result but Liberal Democrats have been determined to fight residents’ corner. It was a battle to get this change but the fight was worth it in the end.”