CS4 Consultation

Submission to CS4 consultation: De-congestion of Jamaica Road



Jamaica Road is one of the most gridlocked roads anywhere in Britain. The overriding priority for residents, local businesses and road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and bus users – is to cut congestion.

The construction of CS4 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redesign Jamaica road and dramatically reduce delays – and the economic, environmental, and health costs and that come with them. This proposal does not capitalise on it.

The estimations in TfL’s own modelling here actually show more delays on some stretches of Jamaica road. While some journeys will see modest reductions, the overall impact on congestion is neutral. That is unacceptable.

The plans include some sensible suggestions – and these are acknowledged below – but other major improvements are needed before going any further.


The situation in and around Jamaica Road


More than 3,500 cyclists and 14,500 cars travel on Jamaica Road every day.[1] The average speed at rush hour is 0.1 mph. By mid-morning it rises to 1.2 mph.


Bus routes

11 bus routes will be affected by the plan. The 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, C10, P12, N1, N199 and N381.

Bus speeds are in decline in the area.[2] The average eastbound speed for buses on Jamaica Road is 7.2mph. Westbound, it is 6.4mph. On the Rotherhithe Peninsula, the average bus speed is 7.2mph clockwise, and 9.5mph anti-clockwise. The London average is 9.4mph.[3]



Air pollution on Jamaica Road is more than twice the safe limit. On average, 1.23 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are emitted on every kilometre of Jamaica Road every year. Vehicles, particularly diesel engines, are the biggest contributor of nitrogen dioxide.[4]

Nitrogen dioxide should not exceed an annual mean of 40μg.m-3. At Bosco College monitoring station on Jamaica Road, the 2016 average was 64.9. At Rotherhithe Tunnel Approach it was 96.3.[5]

Fig 1. Nitrogen Dioxide trends in Southwark.[6]


Southwark residents are one and a half times more likely to die from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) than the national population.


Drugs for respiratory illness formed the third largest expenditure within in the local primary care trust.



Jamaica Road has a history of road traffic accidents, involving pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers.[7][8]


Between 2013 and 2016, there were 93 (recorded) collisions involving cyclists and 49 collisions involving pedestrians on Jamaica Road and Lower Road.[9]


On average, more than a quarter (26%) of pedestrian casualties are children under the age 15.[10]

Fig 2. Pedestrian collisions.[11]


Fig 3. Cycle collisions.[12]


Though the numbers are slowly falling, around 2000 cyclists are killed or seriously injured in London every year.[13] 1 in 10 cyclists killed are children.[14]

Fig 4. Cycle collisions by London borough.[15]




There is a window of opportunity here to resurface the road completely, rather than continue with a patchwork of repairs. Potholes of course slow down cars, are a hazard for cyclists and motorcyclists, and increase the number of breakdowns.


Fig 5. Patched potholes on Jamaica Road .[16]




Deficiencies in the current proposal


  1. Plans to create a cycle-crossing at West Lane junction will cause major delays for both motorists and cyclists.
  2. Blackwall Tunnel is due to be tolled and this will push even more traffic to Rotherhithe Tunnel.
  3. Congestion is a key obstacle to higher cycling rates. TfL’s cycling survey[17] finds that it is the joint top issue, alongside safety, that deters more people from cycling in London. Measures to improve traffic flow benefit both cyclists and motorists
  4. As the modelling shows, congestion will increase on some sections of Jamaica Road – and the net impact of the scheme is congestion-neutral.[18] Idling vehicles are much worse for air quality than moving ones – and this creates a serious health risk for users of a cycle superhighway. The worst increases will be in both directions from the Rotherhithe Roundabout: Brunel Road to Jamaica Road/Southwark Park Road; Brunel Road to Lower Road/Surrey Quays Road, and Southwark Park Road to Rotherhithe Tunnel Northbound. Journey times at these spots will go up 5-6 minutes.[19] 
  5. Proposals for the Lower Road stretch of the route have not been released – and are not being consulted on as part of these proposals.[20] This is a major flaw in these plans. It is not logical to plan a cycle superhighway as far as Rotherhithe Roundabout without knowing what the plans are for Lower Road. Southwark Council is currently developing a Lower Road gyratory scheme and this should be included in the CS4 consultation.


Strengths in the current proposal


  1. Adjustments to Rotherhithe roundabout, trimming its size and moving it southwards. This should improve traffic flow to the Rotherhithe peninsula.
  2. Removal of Jamaica Road’s central reservation.
  3. Segregation of cycle traffic. Both motorists and cyclists benefit from separation. As TfL research shows, sections of the proposed [CS4] route are in the top 1% of London’s road network for its potential to switch from vehicles to cycling. The majority is in the top 5%’.
  4. Extension of the entry lane into Brunel Road.
  5. Removal of the left turn at Bevington Street. This should smooth the passage of buses.
  6. Introduction of a bus gate at Rotherhithe Roundabout.
  7. Introduction of bus stop bypasses for cyclists.




Other options that could be explored


  1. Replace plans for a cycle-crossing at West Lane junction with local proposals for a pedestrian/cycle bridge from Southwark Park to Kings Stairs Gardens. This would dovetail with the segregated cycle lane, especially if the lane runs through the northern rim of Southwark Park. Fig 6. Southwark Park to Kings Stairs Gardens Green Bridge proposals.[21]
  2. Explore moving the segregated cycle lane to the south side of Jamaica Road for its entire length to remove the need for the West Lane cycle-crossing.
  3. Create additional road space at Rotherhithe Tunnel approach.
  4. Make Rotherhithe Tunnel one-way and/or introduce a toll during evening rush-hour to reduce demand from northbound traffic. Introduce additional measures to reduce demand for the tunnel.
  5. Install additional electronic warning signs for Rotherhithe Tunnel journey times/queue lengths on Tooley Street, Jamaica Road, Lower Road.
  6. Install additional air quality monitoring stations in the area and install public live-feed air quality display signs at roadsides.
  7. The consultation for Rotherhithe Bridge, released 8th November, sets out 3 possible locations for Rotherhithe Bridge and states that the bridge will ‘link to the Thames Path and existing and planned Cycle Superhighways’.[22] Plans for Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf Bridge should be integrated with planning for CS4, a point noted by Southwark Cyclists.[23] Any consultation for cycle superhighways ought to take account of the additional cycle traffic from the bridge at the intersection between Lower Road and Salter Road, and Rotherhithe Roundabout and Salter Road.Fig 7. Proposed Rotherhithe Bridge locations. [24]
  8. Carry out feasibility studies for cycle lanes – including segregated lanes – on Tower Bridge. The bridge is one of the most dangerous for cyclists in London.[25] Space is limited, but at a minimum painted cycle lanes ought to be introduced, which the London Cycling Campaign has suggested.[26] As CS4 will connect to Tower Bridge at the junction between Tower Bridge Road and Tooley Street, Tower Bridge cycle lanes ought to be integrated into the proposals.
  9. The Cycle Hire scheme does not currently cover Bermondsey or Rotherhithe. Extend the Cycle Hire scheme along Jamaica Road to cut car numbers and cut congestion.



Conflict between road users can be minimised by well-designed, well-balanced infrastructure. These plans fail to do this.

A joined-up approach is essential. The focus has to be on de-congestion – for cycles, motorcycles, buses, cars and HGVs – and how different TfL and local council schemes join up.

A segregated cycle path should help and should make a significant contribution to lower congestion. Segregated cycle lanes are only part of the answer to congestion though. Other de-congestion measures must be introduced simultaneously.

It does not make sense to spend taxpayers’ money – and residents’, businesses’ and road users’ patience – digging up one of the busiest roads in London only to leave it almost as congested as before.

There is a real opportunity to benefit pedestrians and cyclists – and to reduce congestion. However far more work needs to be done and various other options explored before the community can have confidence that this is possible.




[1] DfT, Traffic Counts, Annual Average Daily Flow, http://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-counts/cp.php?la=Southwark#16735 (2016: 3,736 cyclists 14,644 cars/taxis).

[2] TfL, Southeast Riverside – Area Review, Feb 2017

[3] TfL, Buses performance data, Sept 2017, https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/buses-performance-data#on-this-page-4

[4] European Environment Agency. Air quality in Europe — 2017 report. EEA report | No 13/2017. The proportion of NO2 (i.e. the NO2/NOx ratio) in vehicle exhaust is considerably higher in diesel vehicles than in petrol, because their exhaust after-treatment systems increase oxidation of NO generating higher direct NO2 emissions.

[5] Southwark Council, Southwark Air Quality Annual Status Report 2016, pg 45.

[6] Southwark Council, Southwark Air Quality Annual Status Report 2016, pg 15.

[7] Bermondsey Community Council, Report: Our vision for the future of Jamaica Road, Nov 2017

[8] SE1, 11 SE1 junctions on TfL’s top 100 for cycle safety improvements: http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6475; http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6189

[9] TfL consultation: Have your say on Cycle Superhighway Route 4 from Tower Bridge to Greenwich, Sept 2017: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/cs4/

[10] DfT, Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report, pg. 10, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648081/rrcgb2016-01.pdf

[11] TfL, London Collisions Map: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/road-safety/london-collision

[12] TfL, London Collisions Map: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/road-safety/london-collision

[13] Road casualties in London continue to fall, but concerns remain about motorbike collisions. 30 June 2016,


[14] Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Cycling Accidents: Facts and Figures, https://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/pedal-cyclists/facts-figures/

[15] TfL, London Collisions Map, https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/road-safety/london-collision

[16] London Cyclist, London potholes: http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/london-potholes/

[17] TfL, Attitudes towards cycling September 2016 report, TfL number: 05110

[18] TfL, Cycle SuperHighway Route 4 Scheme - Summary of modelling results: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/823fe975/user_uploads/cs4-local-modelling-table--modal-comparison-.pdf

[19] TfL, Cycle SuperHighway Route 4 Scheme - Summary of modelling results: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/823fe975/user_uploads/cs4-local-modelling-table--modal-comparison-.pdf

[20] London Cycling Campaign, Second Cycle Superhighway announced – Tower Bridge to Greenwich, 28 Sept 2017, https://lcc.org.uk/articles/second-cycle-superhighway-announced-tower-bridge-to-greenwich

[21] (Five outline design options are presented in the full report). Raphael Iruzun Martins, Southwark Park & Kings Stairs Gardens: Creating a true link, 2017

[22] TfL, A new river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, Nov 2017: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/rivercrossings/rotherhithe-canarywharf/

[23] Southwark News, Community reacts to TfL’s plan for a segregated cycle superhighway on Jamaica Road: https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/community-reacts-tfls-plan-segregated-cycle-superhighway-jamaica-road/

[24] TfL, A new river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, Nov 2017: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/rivercrossings/rotherhithe-canarywharf/

[25] London Cyclist, http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/best-worst-bridges-crossing-thames-bike/

[26] ELL, Outrage as Tower Bridge reopens with no cycle lanes, Feb 2017, http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2017/02/london-cyclists-outraged-by-lack-of-cycle-lanes-on-tower-bridge/