London

Elephant and Castle: Two-way traffic redesign causes chaos

Images of the roundabout Image copyright @MariadaGandra
Image caption "It's a very busy junction and it always will be," a TfL spokesman said.

The removal of the Elephant and Castle roundabout has been causing chaos for commuters, with motorists complaining of queues of more than an hour.

The roundabout, which saw more than 80 collisions and 90 people injured in 2012-14, was replaced with two-way traffic on Sunday.

Transport for London (TfL) said congestion was due to "traffic getting used to the new layout".

"It's a very busy junction and it always will be," a spokesman said.

Image copyright Paul Bates

The reintroduction of two-way traffic at the junction for the first time in 50 years was a "key milestone" in the £25m transformation at Elephant and Castle, TfL said.

In addition to the new road layout, left turns from Newington Causeway towards New Kent Road and right turns from New Kent Road to Newington Causeway have also been banned.

But road users took to Twitter to complain about their Monday morning commute.

"It's 8am and the queue for the new #elephantandcastle junction starts somewhere south of Camberwell. allow extra 1hr 4 journey (or walk!)", a Twitter user posted.

"Shock horror! All approaches to Elephant and Castle worse than ever. Only TfL could spend millions and millions to make something worse!" tweeted @tango97.

Andy Woodward tweeted: "Delays around Elephant and Castle even worse today. If this was the tube there would be outcry. Commuters use buses too!"

Image copyright TfL
Image caption A Transport for London map shows the new road layout

Road users had been advised of traffic changes with a countdown to the traffic switch and advisors and police were on site to help keep traffic moving, the TfL spokesman said.

A spokesman for London TravelWatch said: "It's early days - we need to wait and see how it pans out."

Image copyright TfL
Image caption TfL promised a "new high-quality, attractive public space, which will be accessible and enhance the area" in lieu of the roundabout

TfL plans to convert the space created by removing the roundabout into a new public area.

It will replace subways with new pedestrian crossings, create new cycle routes and introduce a 20mph speed limit, TfL said.

Image copyright TfL

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