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End looms for Arup Associates’ long-threatened Vauxhall bus station

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Arup Associates’ 12-year-old Vauxhall bus station finally looks set to be flattened after Transport for London (TfL) confirmed it was pressing ahead with major new plans for the area

The transport body said it would be submitting plans later this year for a new gyratory system, replacing the existing one-way road system with a ‘safer’ two-way flow and replacing the existing £4.5 million ‘ski-jump’ building with a new bus station.

The future of the stainless-steel landmark in south London, which opened in 2005, has been hanging in the balance for years. The first reports about proposals to demolish the structure emerged in 2011 when plans were mooted to replace it with a ‘linear walkway’.

That idea was scrapped, but the bus station came under renewed threat in 2013 when Lambeth Council revealed it wanted to transform the traffic-heavy interchange into a pedestrian-friendly ‘riverside’ town centre.

In 2016, TfL announced its intention to rework the busy gyratory and move the bus stops to a new highstreet layout – a move that angered local MP Kate Hoey.

However the bus station was given a stay of execution after TfL delayed the scheme until after last year’s mayoral elections.

Now TfL has confirmed it is working with 5th Studio on ‘detailed designs for the new bus station, public spaces, lighting, public amenities and art opportunities’, saying the existing bus station could be flattened within two years.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are working closely with Lambeth Council to return the one-way road system at Vauxhall to two-way roads and improve the area for pedestrians and cyclists. We plan to start construction of the new road layout and bus station in 2019. 

‘We will submit a planning application for the proposed bus station buildings to Lambeth Council later in 2017. We expect to start construction in 2019 and finish by 2021, subject to approvals.’

A bid to list the bus station was turned down in 2014, and the Twentieth Century Society confirmed in February that it was not planning to take any further action to get statutory protection for the building.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Can I suggest we have a competition to recycle it?

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  • Plonk it in Manchester Picadilly, the 'bus station' here is abysmal.

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  • Visionary unsustainability.....

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  • Driving a coach and horses through the whole idea of a decent and sustainable built environment makes me wonder what's wrong with the stew of local politics and strategic planning in London, when this is just one example of what seems to have been a surge in 'throwing away' architecture of a very good standard in recent years.
    Transport buildings seem to be the prime targets but the excellent 'green' supermarket in Greenwich sacrificed in favour of yet another IKEA mega shed is an example, and in many places anything of human scale is at risk of being trashed in favour of anything mega scale - seemingly regardless of architectural merit.

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