04 May 2009
By-pass the lethal Elephant. Except you can't
One of the pleasures of living near the Elephant and Castle is seeing the local newspaper hoardings with headlines like TV STAR TO WED ELEPHANT WOMAN or ELEPHANT RATS ON RAMPAGE.
Not everything is so amusing though. The long-promised safer-friendlier redesign of the twin vortices that are the Elephant and Castle roundabouts are not even halfway there. Conversion of the south roundabout's detested, stinking, sewer-underpasses to overground pedestrian-friendly crossings won't begin until Christmas. And there isn't even a timetable for redesigning the north roundabout, where cyclist Meryem Ozekman was killed by a lorry last month.
There is a so-called 'cycle by-pass', but it's worse than useless. Especially just now, thanks to these roadworks that have just gone up opposite Churchyard Row. No notices, no alternative routes: just a dumb blockade, a mute testament to council and contracting contempt.