Healthy routes plan

We already have significant levels of walking and cycling in Lambeth but we know we need to keep making improvements to make our streets safer and more accessible and attractive for trips on foot and deliver significant improvements to make cycling a real option for more people.

In the development of this Strategy we have carried out extensive research into how best to achieve these objectives. We have taken an evidence-based approach and used a range of data and methodologies to identify priorities and make sure our planned investment in walking and cycling will be effective. We asked you about your priorities and received a large amount of very valuable feedback.

As a result of the above we have identified a Healthy Route Network for Lambeth that we propose to implement over the lifetime of this Strategy.

What is a healthy route?

First and foremost, a healthy route has the right conditions to enable more people to walk and cycle. A healthy route links people with places they need to get to, such as schools, workplaces, amenities and shops. A healthy route is convenient, attractive, feels safe and is accessible to all. A healthy route could be a residential street or a main road or a combination of both. And critically motor traffic levels are low, or on busier roads there is dedicated space that is not shared with general traffic.

How do we deliver healthy routes?

We propose two main approaches.

Neighbourhood approach

Firstly, we want to make our neighbourhoods better for walking and cycling as this is where many shorter trips are made. If we can do this more children will walk and cycle to school, fewer people will make short trips by car and lower motor traffic levels will improve accessibility, safety, air quality and create more liveable places. The main tool to achieve this is through motor traffic reduction. In some places we have a problem with ‘rat running’ as drivers cut through residential areas to avoid congestion on main roads. If we can ‘filter’ through motor traffic out of these areas, without causing significant impacts elsewhere, then we can deliver ‘healthy neighbourhoods’. To complement improvements within local areas, we have also identified the need for new crossings and junction improvements at key locations that will link neighbourhoods together, allowing people to get across busy roads that form a barrier to walking and cycling.

Strategic approach

As well as creating better conditions for walking and cycling for neighbourhood level trips, we need to enable longer, more direct trips by cycle and focus on key areas of high footfall for public realm improvements to promote walking. TfL has identified the key demand routes for cycling in London and we have used this data to plan a new strategic cycling network in Lambeth. The high demand routes we have identified are complemented by a number of connector routes that fill in gaps in the network. Where these routes are on main roads they will be fully segregated wherever possible. We have identified key walking destinations as Waterloo, Vauxhall, Brixton and Streatham and we are already working closely with TfL to deliver transformative improvements in these areas. We will continue to invest in the public realm of all our town centres.


Our Healthy Routes Plan is ambitious and is intended to be implemented over the lifetime of this Strategy. As well as ‘big ticket’ projects delivered over the longer term we propose many smaller changes that can be delivered more quickly. We will need to prioritise interventions and take advantage of existing projects and programmes and opportunities as they arise.

For neighbourhoods, we propose to look first at areas that meet the following criteria:

  • There is a high number of school pupils in the area
  • Air quality is a particular issue
  • We have evidence that ‘rat running’ is an issue
  • There is evidence of road safety issues, and
  • The area is part of our Healthy Route Network.

We will also consider prioritising areas where there are external factors that will affect local roads and where we need to respond to this. For example, where we know a major highway scheme or large development will result in significant disruption and increased pressure on local communities. We will also prioritise interventions that improve access and remove barriers for our residents who live on housing estates. Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood will be the flagship project for our Healthy Routes Plan. For strategic routes, we will work with TfL to complete Cycleway 5, and deliver Cycleway 7 as well as the new Peckham to Streatham Cycleway. The Streatham to Oval Cycleway will begin implementation from Streatham Hill to the South Circular in 2020/21. Significant elements of the rest of the network will be delivered by other planned schemes, such as at Vauxhall Gyratory and Lambeth Bridge South. The outline programme for delivery of the network is included in the TSIP.