Which roads are Lambeth’s worst rat-runs?

Lambeth Cyclists are compiling a list of Lambeth’s worst rat-runs to gain an overview of the problems across the borough.

We’re sure that we as cyclists on our regular journeys all come across back streets used by drivers as short-cuts where cycling and walking is made more dangerous (or feels more dangerous) by the speeding traffic.

We would like to draw up a list to take to Lambeth’s transport department so that they are aware of the problems from a cycling perspective. The list will allow us to start a discussion  and to enable us to discuss remedial measures that can be taken to remove the rat-runs or at least to make them less desirable for drivers cutting through and therefore more desirable to walkers and cyclists.

So what are Lambeth’s worst rat-runs?

Please email us (Lambeth_cyclists@hotmail.com) details of the backroad or roads where speeding make cycling dangerous especially for less confident cyclists. If possible give us information about times of day when the route is dangerous (for example morning rush-hour/ evenings/ schooltimes)

Some of the suggestions we have received from members so far

  • Aldebert Terrace, SW8 (LCN3) evening rush hour westbound. Impossible to safely get to the traffic lights at South Lambeth Road as so many cars plus cars parked immediately alongside. 
  • Dorset Road, Bolney Street, SW8 (on Lambeth LCN route 3). Morning rush-hour rat run all morning. Loads of fast, aggressive cars and white vans in particular. Insufficient speed humps to slow them down, only elephants feet. 
  • Denmark Road – Calais Road – Patmos Road – Camberwell New Road. (SE5/SW9)
  • Vauxhall Street SE11 Southbound to the Oval on LCN3 – cars are not slowed down and rev up behind you trying to get past you but can’t due to narrow width of southbound carriageway. Can be extremely intimidating. I have twice had cars deliberately bump me on this stretch of road to get me out of the way/’teach me a lesson’ for being in front of them 
  • Lansdowne Way, SW8 – despite some table speed calming measures, drivers speed like maniacs! Amongst offenders are buses, especially ‘off-duty’ ones, going back to the garage for the end of their shift at really unnecessary speeds.
  • Thorne Rd, SW8 – another rat-run – light phasing at the junction with South Lambeth Rd doesn’t help – 2 serious crashes recently.
  • Lansdowne Gardens and Larkhall Lane, SW4 – neither have any speed bumps – Lansdowne Gardens is especially narrow, with poorly marked bicycle route in opposite direction 
  • Minet Road, SW9 Knatchbull Road, SE5 run near Myatt’s Fields Park. 
  • Loughborough Road, SW9 between Brixton and Akerman Roads – it’s too narrow for the high volume of 2-way traffic with parked cars both sides so lots of irate and stubborn drivers refusing to give way or make space for cyclists. 
  • Railton Road, SE24 – horrendous for inexperienced and experienced cyclist alike – the road is supposedly 20mph but this is largely ignored with cars racing out to overtake cyclists only to cut immediately back in front of them to avoid the ridiculous chicanes and islands that Lambeth have put in presumably in an attempt to reduce speeds.
  •  Shakespeare Road, SE24 between Railton Road and Coldharbour Lane – the drivers on Shakespeare are obviously impatient and adopt all the nasty habits of rat runners – ie driving like maniacs, airborne over the speed humps and showing no regards to the safety of cyclists, pedestrians or the many school children that walk down to Evelyn Grace Academy
  • Sternhold Avenue, SW16 turning left onto A23 towards Brixton. Drivers cut through Blairderry Road and Ardwell Road/Barhill Road to avoid waiting at the traffic lights. Needs a few bollards for filtered permeability.
  • Leigham Avenue, SW16 – Northbound drivers on A23 use this to get to Leigham Court Road without having to drive around the back of Streatham Hill Station on the oneway system there. But it’s oneway, which encourages speeding, and uphill, which makes it very hard to cycle on.
  • Faygate Road / Hailsham Avenue, SW16 – many drivers use the Amesbury/Barcome/Cricklade roads to speed away from the southbound A23, and ratrun via Faygate/Hailsham/Mount Nod Road to avoid the junction at Streatham Hill Station. The junctions at Hailsham/Amesbury and Faygate/Hailsham are particularly bad, since they are motorway-style sliproads in a 20mph zone – so drivers don’t slow down  and take them at around 30mph while just glancing over-the-shoulder for cars and generally not bikes.
  • Milkwood Road, SE24 from Herne Hill to Loughborough Road – all day. Supposed to be 20mph, but no through traffic obeys that speed limit. Particularly dangerous around the pedestrian islands.
Is the rat-run that you have to endure listed here? Tell us and we can add it to the list

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