Thank you for taking  the time to read the information on this site. If you are a Clapham resident, or user of The Common
we hope it has been useful and well informed.

Whatever changes are eventually implemented they are intended to last for some considerable time.
History of the Save Clapham Common Group

The Save Clapham Common Group was formed in 2009 in an attempt to get Lambeth Council to address the flaws in their proposed Clapham Gateway scheme.  The scheme is only possible if approved by TfL, who are the funding party.

Before the group's formation, some of us had little knowledge of the complexities of such a scheme, but as long standing residents of Old Town, instinctively, we felt that certain aspects of the Gateway were ill-thought out and unworkable. Subsequently, our concerns turned out to be well-founded.

The Vision?

Yes, Cllr Haselden's vision of a bus free square is very attractive, indeed many would say anywhere would look better without them, but it has wide and serious implications, the greatest of which, we eventually came to learn, was how this would affect the bus service by relocating the bus stop and stands. Was the council to ignore the needs of the ever increasing numbers of those who use buses, for not all have cars or can cycle?  The Northern Line has already reached saturation point at peak times, so Clapham Common tube station is not always a good alternative.


TfL require that the current bus service to Old Town should be maintained.  To this end they have advised that funding is only available if the buses remain in old town

The Cost so far.

So far, Lambeth has spent more than £250,000 on consultation fees and it now seems, two years on, they are back to square one, having offered us a "vision" that is not workable. Incredulously, the bus free option was offered to us before Lambeth carried out a survey, which when they did was found to be inaccurate, underestimating the capacity needed by TfL.

So what happens now? (updated March 2012) 

Despite claiming to be "The Co-operative Council" Lambeth have held what cards it has left close to its chest, at least as far as we and other members of the public are concerned. However, they have now accepted that the original scheme does not meet Transport for London's requirements to provide a good bus service to Old Town, so it has been back to square one.

Lambeth's Steering Group and its members, who have been handpicked by Cllr Haselden and to be like-minded met twice in 2011, In February and March, though we understand it has met in January 2012, almost 12 months after the previous meeting.

The Steering Group has been and remains unrepresentative - disability groups, for example, have been excluded and so has as the highly knowledgeable Clapham Transport Users Group. Appeals from various sources to make the Steering Group more inclusive have been rejected by Cllr Haselden who chairs it.

Kate Hoey MP, in particular, has worked hard to resolve the issues over the project urging Lambeth to find a workable solution, but despite this it seems that the Council had achieved little progress until December 2011.

Lambeth Playing Dirty?

  • An independent research company found Lambeth's consultation questionnaire to be biased.
  • The research company also found Lambeth's bus survey (on which most of the design is based) to be inaccurate and unreliable.
  • The research company found Lambeth's claim that there is "no loss of overall parking" to be wrong - There will be an overall loss of 300 metres of evening and weekend parking.
  • Lambeth accused us of misrepresentation in our previous petition - the research co found our material NOT so.
  • Our first petition had over 1,100 signatures against buses being parked on The Pavement.
  • Lambeth would not identify the four "lay" members on the Lambeth Gateway Steering Committee.
  • Lambeth have refused to let us see their draft business plan for the proposed scheme.

You can read Lambeth's negative reaction to the first petition, along with our response, by clicking here. It makes disturbing reading.

We would like to thank the following for supporting us during our 2009-2011 campaign.

Canon David Isherwood, Rector of Holy Trinity & St Peter, Clapham.

Kate Hoey MP for Vauxhall.

Caroline Pidgeon  AM - Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group & Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.

Cllr Ashley Lumsden Streatham Hill Ward - Liberal Democrat Group Leader.

Bernard Gentry - Vauxhall Conservatives and former Councillor for Clapham Town.

Cllr Shirley Cosgrave - Clapham Common Ward.

Nick Biskinis
- Clapham Transport Users group.
M Moen & Sons
Pond Gallery
Old Town Supermarket
Oliver Bonas
Hamptons International
Birksen Florists
Macaron Boulangerie et Pâtisserie
Daniel Scuffell

Some Comments from petitioners made during 2011

  • I have followed this development plan and feel strongly that it needs radical rethinking. Yes - the Old Town Square needs making better use of. No this does not mean half closing the one way system with a bus park and further jamming up the traffic here.
  • The bar owners and the noisy late night revellers will benefit from the scheme. Do we want the same problems that there are in the High Street?
  • The bus stand can remain in its present location and still achieve enhancements to the Old Town area.
  • Lambeth Council must act with transparency.
  • I still can't understand the reason for moving the buses from the triangle where they are at present. I am not in favour of a public open space with 7 pubs in the vicinity!
  • This is plain daft.
  • A bad idea formulated by people that couldn't care less about the thoughts of the community. The council should hang its head in shame.
  • I absolutely support objections to plans for this sensitive site.
  • Narrowing the road or increasing bus stands there will be catastrophic.
  • I am supporting the 'Save Clapham Common group'
  • This whole plan is badly thought out. The impact on congestion of blocking off roads, narrowing roads and adding bus stands has just been ignored.
  • This proposal would ruin the loveliest bit of Clapham.
  • Very bad for businesses already suffering from red route; the traffic jam around The Pavement will be permanent.
  • Present bus stand in Old Town infinitely preferable to proposed new plan.
  • Why mess about with something that has worked for years????
  • The plan is a disaster in waiting.
  • The bus terminals would I believe add a significant amount of noise to a beautiful area. There is already a bottleneck at The Pavement junction with Clapham High Street. Additional busses will make that worse.
  • The Pavement is already a bottleneck most of the day and adding buses to the problem will make it even worst. How will the fire engines get through?
  • These proposals will ruin the entire feel of this lovely area which retains a village atmosphere within a busy London Borough.
  • What a disaster for local business.
  • Just an insane scheme!
  • Please do not even think of further blocking off or developments overlooking or bordering The Common.
  • I work in old town and think it is a travesty that the council a proposing to destroy the old village feel to the area by parking up ugly dirty polluting buses along The Pavement.
  • I applaud your efforts and quite agree.
  • I really feel that residents are being ridden over roughshod in the Council’s pursuit of its agenda.
  • This is all about creating a local scheme to spend someone else's money on a project which fits someone else's criteria. Therefore its not thought through, nor seen through, local eyes.
  • Be right to be very mistrustful.
  • The plans would indeed cause a very dangerous crossing, not only for children, but for all pedestrians.
  • The proposed movement of the bus stand will reduce valuable footfall into the Old Town, which is extremely important to both the local community and economy.
  • I feel that placing the bus stand along The Pavement will cut the area in two and spoil the streetscape. Holy Trinity Church is an important landmark and will be overshadowed by the close proximity of seven buses. The current site of the bus stand is quite discrete and passengers walking to Clapham Common Underground station pass a lot of the local shops surely a good thing.
  • Clapham Old Town is the old centre of Clapham and as such should surely be retained, celebrated and enhanced as a centre and not relegated to a bus station. Something called Option A is a glorified traffic bus station.
  • Thank you for delivering your information to us and bringing the problems to our attention.
  • Thank you for details about the scheme. I have already objected to it by email but will also send in a hard copy.
  • To turn The Pavement into a bus park will do nothing to enhance the lives of Clapham residents, and at a cost of £3 million seems plain daft.
  • This whole plan is badly thought out. The impact on congestion of blocking off roads, narrowing roads and adding bus stands has just been ignored.
  • Please listen to LOCAL residents, not to distant planners.
  • Buses lined up along The Pavement will, a) block light and view from the shops, will cause pollution, traffic delays and noise as bus drivers have a tendency to have engines running while parked. This is a ridiculous scheme.
  • Increased congestion from short-sighted traffic management schemes is why London if failing to meet its carbon emission reduction targets. More thought before change please.
  • I absolutely support objections to plans for this sensitive site.
  • My main concern is for local businesses which is what gives the Old Town its village like feel. I am particularly concerned that Moen & Co has indicated that they might have to relocate if the super bus stop is erected in front of their shop.
  • Present bus stand in Old Town infinitely preferable to proposed new plan.
  • Please leave bus station as it is. Why waste money. Do not reduce parking spaces.
  • The Pavement is not suitable as a bus terminus!
  • Very bad for Business already suffering from Red route & traffic jam around The Pavement will be Permanent.
  • I support the views on the buses, but don't care about the loss of parking. I also do want the general gateway scheme to go ahead, but adjusted.
  • Narrowing the road or increasing bus stands there will be catastrophic.