Elephant & Castle "busipede" chaos - days before the roundabout is removed

Catherine Neilan
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Elephant & Castle roundabout this afternoon (Source: Lizzy Orton/Twitter)

Elephant & Castle was gridlocked this afternoon by what one commuter called a "busipede" - just days before the junction's notorious roundabout is removed.

Pressure has been building at the busy south London hub for the last few months, as part of £25m roadworks that will overhaul the troublesome double roundabout.

From this Sunday (6 December), Transport for London says road users will see "a drastic improvement" to the route: the roundabout - which has been the scene of more than 80 collisions since 2012 - will be removed and two-way traffic introduced for the first time in 50 years.

TfL said it was the first milestone in plans to make the area safer for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, by next year.

The rest of the improvements - which includes replacing the uninviting subways with pedestrian crossings and a dedicated cycle route through and around the junction, as well as improvements to the Elephant & Castle Tube station - will follow in the coming months.

A new 20mph speed limit will also be introduced.

Those changes can't come soon enough, judging by today's chaos - which started during rush hour but appears to have rumbled on into the afternoon.

Commuters complained of being stuck in the "epic" traffic jam for as long as an hour, as TfL puts the finishing touches to its new system, which has meant shutting off some of the main roundabout's lanes.