Improving the traffic in Jamaica Road and the Rotherhithe Roundabout

Improving the traffic in Jamaica Road and the Rotherhithe Roundabout

Jamaica Road, the Rotherhithe tunnel and Lower Road are familiar names to anyone driving through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. Long hours of traffic jams are a daily routine for many who have not choice but to drive via these roads.

There are ongoing discussions to improve the traffic in the area, as highlighted in one of the Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Community councils, yet, it seems, TfL and other parties involved are in no rush to solve the issues affecting many residents and users of this important road.

Public transport is also affected by the level of congestion in the area at peak hours, even though, there is an exclusive bus lane in operation. Here in Wise16, we believe that many of the problems could be resolved by applying simple changes to the layout. It has to be said that introducing prohibited traffic signs in side roads around Cherry Gardens helped to reduce the number of cars taking a short-cut and then adding more congestion to the main flow of traffic in Jamaica Road.


The following are some suggestions to the local community to share with the councillors and tfl if they see them as appropriate

One lane fits all

One lane fits all

One of the most noticeable traffic bottle neck is the approach to the roundabout, in which cars and buses have to choose between taking the B205, the entrance to the tunnel or continue towards Lower Road A200. In addition to these inflow traffic, buses using the bus stop near the King’s Stairs Gardens going towards Canada Water Bus station need to move to the other lane to go around the roundabout. Cars coming from Lower road and driving onto the tunnel add more chaos to the traffic.






Stay In Line Signs

Placing a “Stay In Line” traffic sign after the traffic lights in the junction between Jamaica Road and Southwark Park Road could help to deter drivers to go to the wrong lane.

As it can be seen, the sign shows three lanes, which should be clearly marked on the road and not the two that are currently painted. The traffic sign in the left of the picture is hardly visible with the tree foliage. Another suggestion is to remove the raised kerb dividing the traffic near the roundabout to make way for three differentiated lanes in addition to new signs. The sign currently in place can be missed due to its location.

The Cathay Street inflow

Though the introduction of One Way system in many streets around Cherry Gardens has drastically reduced the number of drivers using side streets as a short-cut to reach Cathay Street, the latter is still a problem because cars slow down the traffic causing more delays on the junction a few yards away. A solution to be agreed with local neighbours could be to make Cathay Street one way northbound or even close it to the traffic and use is a bus stop instead of the current one in King’s Stairs Gardens.. It must be said that any solution should be agreed with the church, local residents and others affected by such a change. Saying that, the street has little traffic apart from those using it as a short cut.


Traffic Yellow Boxes and bus lanes

Traffic Yellow boxes in addition to extended Bus Lanes all way through Jamaica Road

The key factor for the hold-ups in the traffic for buses using the bus lane in Jamaica road is the incorporation of cars into the area that could be a bus lane if it was not because it is not painted as such. So, the suggestion is to extend bus lane all the way through Jamaica road from Dockhead to the Rotherhithe roundabout.

There are KEEP CLEAR signs now in place in one junctions. The most chaotic scenes can be seen at the intersection between Jamaica Road/ St James Street and Bevington Street with cars being unable to cross north-south of the junction

Where is my lane anyway?

As one attendee mentioned in the last Community Council, any driver trying to go around the roundabout will be surprised to notice that there is not a lane for those doing so. Local residents in streets like Ann Moss Way and business in Culling Road are affected by this issue as they must go around the roundabout as well as anyone trying to do a full turn in the roundabout. A redesign of the layout could help to move the traffic.

What else?

There are other ideas such as managing traffic lights more effectively or incorporating new traffic lights at the roundabout itself. Whatever it is decided, it is clear that inaction is no the way forward.

Written by WISE16.

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