TfL - rethink Waterloo Imax roundabout proposals without destroying our trees
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Transport for London (TfL) wants to create a poorly placed 100m cycle lane that would destroy these mature tree amongst others, in the process. It’s part of TfL’s plan to provide a concrete pedestrianised area by closing off part of the IMAX roundabout in Waterloo SE1 i.e. an essential transport route in south London and forcing traffic into quiet residential streets, thus causing more pollution and grinding London to a halt.
The air quality in Lambeth is some of the worst in London. Our magnificent trees help to absorb carbon dioxide. The few lollipop trees that TfL propose to replace them with, would be nowhere near as big. This ill-conceived idea must be challenged.
The proposed new 'public realm' that TfL wants to create would gain us only around 1065m2 of pedestrainised space compared to what we have now - that's less than 1/6 of a football pitch! Most of this new space would be concrete and the handful of new trees TfL want to plant instead, would be mere saplings. Our existing trees are over 30m high and have stood on this public space for over 40 years, providing vital respite in the shade as well as being a home to many birds/wildlife.
These changes would also mean TfL closing off a vital right turn into Stamford Street, a major eastbound link. No alternatives have been offered to reduce the pollution and disturbance that this would inevitably cause and residential streets would become congested rat-runs as a result.
Green spaces should not be created by causing havoc in closing off roads. TfL are also proposing to close valuable pedestrian-only space i.e. the underpasses that surround the roundabout, thus forcing everyone to share limited road-level space and unnecessarily exposing pedestrians to vehicles and bicycles. And creating random short cycle lanes that do not link to other cycles lanes is sheer madness (but it ticks London Plan boxes, right?) There must be a better layout for cycling.
No one asked for this 'new public realm' that TfL wants to foist upon us; several pedestrian realms/spaces already exist e.g. outside St John's Church in Waterloo (King's Plaza) which is now under threat. This proposal would be an environmental disaster and a money-making scheme for TfL who want to put retail kiosks on the new pedestriansed space.
Please spread the word about this petition to prevent TfL's misguided attempts to 'green' our city by creating more concrete and bottlenecks.
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