Petition to make Battersea Bridge junction safer reaches 14,000 signatures

A petition to make the junction by Battersea Bridge safer for pedestrians to cross has reached 14,000 signatures in three days.

The petition is calling on Transport for London to install a pedestrian crossing at the busy junction of Battersea Bridge, Beaufort Street and Cheyne Walk.

Currently there are no pelican crossings at the junction and no gap in the traffic lights to allow pedestrians time to cross.

Ten accidents were reported at the junction between 1st April and 31st October alone.

The petition follows the death of jogger Jack Ryan, 29, who was hit by a Range Rover as he tried to cross the bridge at the north end at the junction on 13th January.

The petition, supported by the victim’s family, was started by Chelsea resident Rob McGibbon, 55.

Writer and journalist McGibbon said: “I was on the bridge and saw the aftermath of the accident and saw Jack Ryan being attended to by paramedics. 

“It was completely shocking and is something that will never leave me.”

Ryan was attended by paramedics but died at the scene.

Picture of the site of the fatal collision on Battersea Bridge, showing flowers around a lamppost and a police sign calling for witnesses to the accident.
CRASH SITE: The site of the fatal collision on Battersea Bridge. Credit Lisa Haseldine

According to a spokesperson for the Greater London Authority, emergency measures were proposed to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council as part of TfL’s Streetspace programme in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposals included upgrades to the cycle route between Battersea Bridge and Chelsea Bridge and the banning of some turns at the junction, thereby aiming to reduce traffic and make the area safer for road users. 

TfL claim the proposals were rejected by Kensington and Chelsea Council, something the council denies.

Councillor Johnny Thalassites tweeted that the Kensington and Chelsea councillors had not seen any plans, but hoped that a safe crossing would be supported.

Thalassites wrote to Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London Will Norman in mid-November, asking TfL to prioritise safety improvements at the junction.

He conveyed the concerns of residents at the lack of pedestrian crossings at the junction and asked for an update on plans for improvement which had been paused by the pandemic.

Additionally, the issue was raised by General London Assembly member Tony Devenish in a question to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on 17th December.

Khan replied: “I am very supportive of bringing forward pedestrian and cycle safety improvements to the Cheyne Walk / Beaufort Street junction.

“I have asked TfL to continue to work closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to identify a workable solution.”

Thalassites said: “There has to be urgent action from TfL to make the junction safer and we will help in any way we can.”

Norman said: “We remain committed to reducing road danger and would be happy to work with the borough on improvements to make the streets in this area safer for all road users.”

An image of many pedestrians crossing Battersea Bridge as a typical example of the level of footfall at the crossing on Battersea Bridge. Credit Rob McGibbon.
HEAVY FOOTFALL: A typical example of the level of footfall at the crossing on Battersea Bridge. Credit Rob McGibbon.

McGibbon said he was not the only resident who had raised multiple complaints with TfL about the junction over more than a decade.

According to him, the reason cited by TfL for the lack of changes is the potential to adversely affect traffic flow over the bridge.

McGibbon said: “‘What is more important? An extra minute for the traffic waiting, or people being able to cross safely. 

“I think it’s a no-brainer.”

When approached for comment, Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer for TfL Lilli Matson said: “Action is urgently needed and we are keen to work with the borough to deliver improvements that will protect the safety of all road users as soon as possible.”

An image of flower tributes tied to a lamppost that were left for Mr Ryan on Battersea Bridge.
TRIBUTES: Flowers left for Mr Ryan on Battersea Bridge. Credit Rob McGibbon.

Feature image: Battersea Bridge. Credit Lisa Haseldine

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21 January 2021 11:57 am

Put crossing lights in. Not bike lanes. They’re worse than drivers

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