Lambeth Bridge roundabouts
What we're doing
This scheme will improve safety on the bridge and at both the northern and southern junctions. Replacing the roundabouts with signal-controlled junctions means that we can:
- Add new, safer signal-controlled pedestrian crossings, replacing zebra crossings on the Westminster side of the bridge
- Protect and provide time for cyclists to safely connect to existing cycle routes, such as Cycleway 8 on Milbank
How we're doing it
To introduce the crossings and make the junctions safer, changes will be made to traffic movements:
- Horseferry Road - straight ahead only for traffic exiting Horseferry Road onto Lambeth Bridge except cyclists who are permitted to turn left
- No left turn from Millbank South to Horseferry Road
- No right turn from Milbank North to Horseferry Road
- No left turn from Lambeth Palace Road to Lambeth Road
- No right turn from Lambeth Road to Lambeth Palace Road
Our aim is to encourage more people to safely use healthy and sustainable forms of transport while also keeping traffic moving through the area.
We'll build permanent measures to protect people walking and cycling on and at both sides of the bridge as well as do vital waterproofing work to protect and extend the life of the bridge.
Why changes are needed at Lambeth Bridge
Lambeth Bridge's northern junction is the most dangerous junction in London in terms of cycle collisions (of all severities). This is based on 36 months of data up to September 2021. During this time there were 23 collisions at the junction, 21 of which involved a pedal cycle.
There was a fatal cycle collision at this junction in 2015. After an inquest in 2017, the coroner was satisfied that our proposed plans addressed safety concerns. This junction is one of the Mayor's 73 Safer Junctions as listed in the Mayor's Transport Strategy.
Interim changes were made to Lambeth Bridge northern junction in 2017 to slow traffic by making the turning area tighter - however, the junction does not include cycle measures and remains difficult and unsafe to negotiate for cyclists.
Lambeth Bridge southern junction is a large, intimidating junction and a barrier to east/west and north/south cycling and pedestrian movement.
Our scheme replaces the roundabouts with signalised crossroads either side of Lambeth Bridge, separating cyclists from traffic physically or through signal timing.
While the zebra crossings at Lambeth Bridge's northern junction are convenient, they are not suitable for all pedestrians. For example, visually impaired people would benefit from dedicated signals that stop traffic.
Temporary improvements (2017)
During spring 2017, we made changes to improve safety for vulnerable road users at the northern roundabout.
The changes were intended to improve safety quickly, while we made long-term plans to re-design the junction. We:
- Widened footways and extended traffic islands to reduce traffic speeds and provide more space for pedestrians
- Raised zebra crossings on all four sides of the junction to slow traffic on the approach to the roundabout
- Installed clearer lane markings at the roundabout
We consulted on plans for the Lambeth Bridge roundabouts between June and August 2017. Our Responses to Issues Raised Report explains how we've changed our original design. This includes but is not limited to:
- Keeping the right turn from Millbank (south) onto Lambeth Bridge at all times of the day. In our consultation plans, it was not possible to turn right from Millbank south onto Lambeth Bridge during the evening
- Keeping the left turn from Millbank (north) onto Lambeth Bridge for all traffic. In our consultation plans, only buses and cyclists could turn left from Millbank north onto Lambeth Bridge via a slip road
- Removed elements of shared space for pedestrians and cyclists following advice from the Mayor's Disability Advisory Group
There was a gap between the original consultation in 2017 and engagement events in 2023 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but we believe the design we consulted on is still valid.
We also think network and traffic conditions have not changed significantly since the 2017 consultation and the results are still relevant.
Changes in traffic movement
We model changes to the road network to understand how traffic may behave when a project is built.
After the 2017 consultation, 2 turning movements were put back into the design for all traffic:
- Left turn from Millbank onto Lambeth Bridge
- Right turn from Millbank onto Lambeth Bridge
We're not expecting a significant increase in traffic using side streets based on our traffic modelling.
Traffic levels in central London fell during the pandemic by 15-17%. We may see an even greater reduction in traffic levels in the future than our models predict (along with quicker travel times).
Once the scheme is built, we do not expect to see a substantial change to traffic flow in Lambeth. But we'll support Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Lambeth to make any necessary changes.
Moving the palm tree
We'll relocate the palm tree from Lambeth Bridge's northern roundabout to the nearby Churchill Gardens Estate - a spot identified by TfL and Westminster City Council arboriculturists. We'll do all we can to protect it during the move.
The trees on the Lambeth side of the bridge will be removed and are not suitable for replanting. But we'll plant new trees here, as well as ground level planters where possible.