We are fortunate to work at Waterloo, the vibrant home of international visitor and cultural attractions, workplaces, residents and academic institutions. It’s also an important transport hub with Europe’s busiest rail station, a strategic bus interchange, and with large numbers of cyclists on key cycle routes passing through it every day.
The connectivity is amazing but the area is choked with traffic, overcrowded and difficult to navigate.
In particular, outside the station on Waterloo Road, the traditional narrow pavements simply cannot cope with the volume of people during rush hours. Pedestrians are often forced into the road with buses, lorries, cars and cyclists streaming by in both directions. In addition, the pedestrian crossing can’t handle the amount of people using it to enter and exit the station and so people opt to weave between the vehicles at unofficial crossing points. The situation for road and pavement users is often pretty dangerous.
Our proposal is simple, to widen the pavements from the junction with The Cut as far as the roundabout (by taking out the dedicated bus lane) and to increase the width of the pedestrian crossing to 50 metres. The new super crossing would cover a substantial part of the access to the station. Still controlled by traffic lights, a ramped shared space would encourage drivers to engage with their surroundings and reduce their speed, improving safety for other road users. By widening and de-cluttering the pavements, there would be more space for pedestrians and larger and safer areas for waiting bus passengers.
The combination of shared space and wider pavements would also substantially widen the appeal of the restaurants and bars that have been trying to do business here over the last few years, with the potential to transform Waterloo Road from a grimy traffic hotspot to the latest food and entertainment destination.