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New demolition threat to Arup Associates' Vauxhall bus station

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Just eight years after opening Arup Associates’ Vauxhall bus station is once again facing the wrecking ball

The £4 million south London landmark is set to be flattened under controversial plans by local authority Lambeth Council to transform the traffic-heavy interchange into a ‘lively riverside’ town centre.

The pedestrian friendly vision is at the centre of a Terry Farrell-designed supplementary planning document for the district adopted by Lambeth earlier this year.

Lambeth’s proposal would see Vauxhall’s bus stops relocated to a new ‘high street’ sheltered from the gyratory and the distinctive stainless steel canopy demolished to make way for an urban square.

The ambitious scheme sees the distinctive ‘ski jump’ stainless steel shelter facing an untimely end for the second time in two years.

In 2011, a £20 million skywalk proposal by Marks Barfield Architects was abandoned weeks after being named winner of a high-profile developer-led competition for the area.The practice’s scheme to replace teh bus station with a raised walkway and giant glass cube was shelved following opposition from local stakeholders.

Full details of Lambeth’s latest plans have yet to be unveiled however a consultation is expected in the summer and technical work by the council and Transport for London is currently underway.

Local business improvement district Vauxhall One is meanwhile set to announce shortlisted schemes in its ‘missing link’ design contest, run by the RIBA, this week.

Davies, chairman of The Vauxhall Society, warned local residents would oppose the bus station’s demolition. He said: ‘Lambeth’s evident desire to do away with Vauxhall Bus Station and scatter the bus stops around the five-lane, one-way gyratory at Vauxhall Cross is stirring up a lot of local opposition, so much so that the formation of a local action group, the Friends of Vauxhall Bus Station, is now on the cards.’  

Lambeth council leader, councillor Lib Peck said: ‘Lambeth’s ambitious plans to recreate Vauxhall as a lively riverside town centre that puts people before traffic have been shaped through wide consultation with local residents.

‘We welcome discussion about the bus station structure along with ideas about how to transform the area and radically improve it for pedestrians, cyclists and people who use public transport.’

She added: ‘This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform an area that’s been dominated by the gyratory system and traffic and sadly overlooked. The development of Vauxhall which includes retaining excellent bus services and other transport connections will bring thousands of jobs and homes for local people and a more pleasant environment in which to live, work and play.’

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