Transforming Waterloo’s Streets

Transforming Waterloo’s Streets

09/08/2023

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Community / Placemaking / Public Realm / Sustainability

Calling Waterloo residents and business owners! Exciting plans from Lambeth Council are set to transform our community for the better. Plans are in progress to establish a series of permanent traffic restrictions and street improvements in Waterloo. These plans are set to support local businesses and create a more vibrant environment for all.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, vehicle restrictions were introduced on The Cut and Greet Street in Waterloo, creating a safer environment for walking and cycling. This change led to a nearly doubled cycling rate and the addition of five parklets for relaxation and socializing.

Encouraged by these positive outcomes, Lambeth Council intends to make these changes permanent, particularly since they align with a crucial Healthy Route for NHS staff commuting between Guys and St Thomas’s hospitals.

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, remarked, “The traffic filter created more space for people, for green planting, for trees, and it has created more space for businesses as they recover from the pandemic.”

A series of temporary traffic orders were initially implemented to manage road traffic during the pandemic. Now this space has been transformed, creating a new east-west cycling and walking route, connecting key areas away from busy roads. The council observed a remarkable 90% reduction in vehicle traffic during this trial period.

Due to these findings, the council aims to introduce further enhancements including a new permanent Traffic Order in Ufford Street and Webber Street (one-way), as well as implementing parking bay changes. Additionally, feedback has driven the decision to broaden delivery vehicle exemptions for loading bays on The Cut.

WeAreWaterloo BID supports these improvements as we believe the increases in cycling, walking and community gathering will have a net positive impact on the local business community. What’s more, the street improvements have already received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our members.

This year, the council encouraged community involvement by opening applications to design a community parklet area – with 25 planned across the borough. The Community Parklet Programme, funded by the £1.7 million Big Shift Community Fund, aims to promote sustainable travel. This aligns with the council’s award-winning Kerbside Strategy, which reclaims a quarter of Lambeth’s kerbside from car parking, so this space can be used for parklets or cycling hangars.

Cllr Chowdhury emphasized that removing through traffic from The Cut is just the first step in Waterloo’s journey towards Net Zero by 2030. The council looks forward to collaborating with partners, residents, and businesses to enhance the community further.

If you have kerbside space outside of your business that you would like to utilize for community usage, reach out to alex@wearewaterloo.co.uk to discuss your proposals.

Read more about the specifics of The Cut proposals here.

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