Walworth Road


The redesign of Walworth Road transformed it from a traffic dominated thoroughfare into a vibrant place for local people.

Walworth Road in Southwark faced problems with road safety. As a distributor route with heavy traffic and a local high street with lots of shoppers things had become unbalanced:

  • The street space was largely allocated to motor vehicles, including designated bus lanes.
  • The footways were relatively narrow, and long stretches of guard rails stopped pedestrian movement both along and across the street.
  • The guard railing also made servicing difficult for the many retail and other commercial properties which fronted the street.

Despite many conventional traffic engineering and road safety measures, the collision record gave considerable cause for concern.

Walworth Road became one of 10 Department for Transport ‘mixed priority route’ demonstration projects. It was the most complex because of its heavy traffic and the high importance of making it an attractive place for shopping, business and the local community.

More about Walworth Road




Bus ‘gates’ were installed at both entrances to the scheme area. Photo by Jane SebireImproved and new formal and informal crossing points along the street. Photo by Jane SebireOne of the most critical issues was the reallocation of space – carriageway to footway – to enable the street to function far better as a local high street and neighbourhood centre. Photo by Jane SebireEast Street Market. Photo by Jane SebireThe lower levels of car ownership in the area mean it’s all the more important to enhance the walkability of the local high street. Photo by Jane Sebire Easier pedestrian movement due to the removal of unnecessary street clutter and the creation of raised side street crossings.  Photo by Jane SebireRaised side street crossings. Photo by Jane SebireExtensive tree planting. Photo by Jane Sebire The Walworth Road had been dominated by traffic at the expense of pedestrians. Photo by Ian Hingley

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