Published: 22nd SEPTEMBER 2021

Improving walking and cycling safety in Lambeth

We worked with Transport for London and the London Borough of Lambeth to create streets that people feel safe to walk and cycle along. The changes brought by the project have resulted in less congestion, improved air quality, and have ultimately helped people to change how they travel.

Cyclist at crossing on Rosendale Road

Rosendale Road near the junction with Guernsey Grove. This crossing has made it easier for people to travel along a continuous cycle lane.

Connecting the community to local destinations

Our work with Lambeth Council and Transport for London has helped people change the way they travel.

The newly constructed route is the northern section of Brockwell Park to Gipsy Hill.

It runs along Rosendale Road, a wide, heavily-trafficked residential road.

It connects the historic Brockwell Park to three schools, two shopping parades, a church, allotments and a playing field.

The improved infrastructure has resulted in less congestion and improved air quality.


Making street changes to help people change

The project began when Lambeth Council identified Rosendale Road as a place where residents could walk and cycle more.

But Department for Transport research shows that people need to feel safe if they are to start getting around in these ways.

Prior to our work, there were few safe crossing points on the route and no protected space for cycling.

This forced vulnerable users to share space with the 10,000 vehicles using the road daily, 80% of which exceeded the 20mph speed limit.

To encourage greater walking and cycling in Lambeth, significant changes were needed.


How we carried out this project

Data collection and baseline audits

To inform the design, our Neighbourhoods and Networks team collected essential baseline data on vehicle, cycle and pedestrian movements, traffic speeds, and parking demand.

Engineering inclusive options

Our Engineering team developed a series of design options to enable safe, active travel.

This included traffic reduction measures, cycle tracks and protected cycle lanes.

In creating these designs, we used an innovative software package we developed with Transoft to simulate the movements of different cycles.

This ensured people using cargo bikes, tandems and adapted cycles would be able to comfortably use the cycle tracks.

We presented the designs to Lambeth Council officers, stakeholders, and Transport for London, who funded the project.

Pedestrian priority

We worked with Lambeth access officers to develop an inclusive design for a continuous footway, clearly signalling to drivers that they must give way to pedestrians at side roads.

We recommended tactile paving and appropriate placement of street furniture to inform blind and visually impaired people that they are entering a space where cars may be present. 

Collaborative design with local people

Our Collaborative Design team worked with residents, business owners and school communities to obtain valuable local insights to inform the designs.

These insights included preferences for design approach, locations for new crossings and seating, the need for car parking retention and additional cycle parking, as well as choices of construction materials.

Based on these conversations, a two-way cycle track was selected as the preferred design.

This will enable safe cycling while minimising the loss of car parking, a key concern for residents given the area is not a controlled parking zone.


Trialling our design

Lambeth was able to secure funding from Transport for London to build a trial version of our design for the northern section of the route. Wands were used instead of kerbs.

Some of the more expensive elements of the scheme such as new materials, junction upgrades and tree planting have been temporarily paused, but the pop-up scheme includes the much needed zebra crossings and protected cycle lanes.

Installing wands on Rosendale Road has created a safe, separated cycle lane to encourage more people to cycle.

Using the Healthy Streets approach

By embedding the Healthy Streets approach from the outset of the project, we ensured a design that is holistic, attractive and environmentally sensitive.

It included 11 new Zebra crossings, 35 new trees, 21 new benches, seven new planters and 55 cycle stands replacing 57 car parking spaces.

The design approach has been highly praised by the Walking and Cycling Commissioner at Transport for London Will Norman.


Radical design decisions create safer streets

We reduced the width of traffic lanes to 2.2-2.75m. This will result in significantly reduced vehicle speeds.

At key junctions, our radical proposals give priority to people travelling on foot or cycle.

Roundabouts have been replaced by new parallel zebra crossings and tighter turns for cars.


How have the changes been received?

Many local community groups and individuals have been very supportive of the scheme.

The local Mums for Lungs group placed cards along the route, inviting residents to support the proposed new crossings to schools and local destinations.

The results of the council’s consultation showed 70% of residents were supportive of work at proposal stage.

Since going in, the cycle track has been well used. The southern section of the route has been funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London and is going to be built in the coming months.


A key role in a green recovery from the pandemic

Following the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, it quickly became clear that this project could play a key role in avoiding a car-led recovery.

The changes are now helping to provide a safe walking and cycling route to shops, schools and parks for Lambeth residents. 


Keep an eye out for updates

We will be updating this page with data to demonstrate the effectiveness of these street changes.


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