Liberal Democrat councillors in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe have demanded more action from Mayor Boris Johnson to end the Jamaica Road traffic gridlock after winning some improvements recently.

Residents have long complained about the daily traffic jams at rush hour caused by long queues of cars entering and leaving the Rotherhithe Tunnel and heavy traffic along Lower Road and Jamaica Road. 

The slow-moving traffic also leads to poor air quality levels for residents living along the roads putting people with respiratory problems at even more risk. A recent report from Transport for London showed that Southwark is the third worst borough in the capital for polluted air. 

A report earlier this year also highlighted how air pollution around Surrey Quays is up to three times the legal limit.  Jamaica Road was also named as one of the slowest in the for traffic speeds in the whole country.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors took Transport for London bosses to see the problems first hand recently.  Transport for London has now agreed to:

  • paint ‘Keep Clear’ markings at the St.James’ Road/Bevington Street roundabout to allow traffic to keep moving and stop vehicles turning into Jamaica Road from blocking traffic further.
  • install better signage far earlier along Jamaica Road - near Tower Bridge - to divert vehicles from trying to use the Rotherhithe Tunnel when it is very congested or closed.
  • review the Jamaica Road/West Lane junction because it is currently adds to traffic congestion.
  • explore new designs for the Rotherhithe Tunnel roundabout
  • look into why vehicles travelling along Lower Road towards the roundabout cannot turn right (apart from buses) into Surrey Quays Road - this would reduce the number of cars coming up and round the roundabout unnecessarily.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Riverside ward, Hamish McCallum, said:

“Every day residents in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe are forced to sit in gridlock along Jamaica Road and Lower Road because the Mayor won’t sort out the traffic out.

“It seems money is no object for Boris’ pet projects like cable cars, floating airports and garden bridges.  But getting the basics right like keeping traffic moving and reducing air pollution are not a priority.

“Liberal Democrats believe it is really important that the people making the decisions at Transport for London experienced for themselves the congestion and gridlock our residents experience day in, day out.

“We have achieved some definite progress on the junctions, signage and roundabout plans and we will keep fighting for our community to improve this road.  It’s time to take the ‘jam’ out of Jam-aica Road.”

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