Despite misconceived impressions, Lambeth has a myriad of travel network connections. And the central London borough is now set to further improve its connectivity above and under ground, while adding to its pedal-power
It’s a longstanding myth that south London is a neglected backwater with lousy transport links.
While relatively few tube lines were historically routed south of the river, ever since the opening of the Jubilee line extension in 1999, this part of London has been a focus for major new transport infrastructure.
Other new routes such as the London Overground orbital network have opened; work has begun on extending the Northern line; and other schemes, such as the Bakerloo line extension and Crossrail 2, have been proposed and are under consideration.
Perhaps nowhere is the notion of an isolated south London more mythical than in Lambeth. The borough is home to the busiest railway station by passenger volume in the UK, Waterloo, and in total there are 23 stations serving 10 tube and rail lines.
Lambeth Council hopes to improve this connectivity yet further. Top of its agenda is building a new London Overground station at Brixton.
Currently, the orbital loop stops at Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street, but passes over Brixton on a viaduct without stopping. A new station would provide an alternative route to major employment centres such as Canary Wharf and help relieve congestion in central London.
One rail improvement scheme already going ahead is the Northern line extension linking Kennington to two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.
The extension is crucial to supporting 20,000 homes and 25,000 jobs set to be created there, and means people living in Lambeth will be a key beneficiary of Nine Elms, London’s major new employment and leisure hub.
The Northern line, along with the Victoria and Jubilee lines, is one of three underground lines in Lambeth running Night Tube services, boosting the borough’s evening economy.
Above ground, sustainable travel is another council priority. In 2013 it launched the Lambeth Cycling Strategy, stating its ambition to make the borough “the most cycle-friendly in London”.
An important strategy implemented last year is a 20mph limit on all Lambeth streets to help improve road safety.
CS7, a major cycle route linking Clapham to the City, was one of the first Cycle Superhighways to open in London and was last year significantly upgraded, including a new cycle-friendly junction at Stockwell. Work is now also under way on the creation of a series of Quietways for cyclists using residential streets in the capital, and one of the first seven of these due to open this year will run the length of Lambeth, from Norbury to Waterloo. Another will link Clapham to Wimbledon.
The council has been working with Transport for London (TfL) for several years on the reconfiguration of Vauxhall gyratory to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and two public consultations on designs for this work have already been staged. It is hoped work will begin in 2019, completing the upgrade in 2021.
Key components of the scheme are the removal of the one-way traffic system and creation of a public square between Vauxhall underground and Vauxhall rail stations. TfL believes this would help improve connectivity, while creating a better environment.
Another mode of transport serving Lambeth is the river bus, which stops alongside the London Eye in Waterloo. The service, operated by Thames Clippers, has been enjoying a boom in popularity in recent years, with passenger numbers up to record levels, and there are plans to increase capacity on boat services by 30% during 2017.
Whichever way you travel, Lambeth has it covered.
A longer version of this article appears in the latest edition of Lambeth magazine. Subscribe here to receive a copy