Marchmont Association
Bloomsbury London WC1

'Residents and businesses improving
the local area for the benefit of all'

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety by staff

  Traffic and Pedestrian Safety


Traffic and Pedestrian Safety

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We successfully lobbied Camden to implement a range of improvements to traffic and pedestrian safety in our area, including the dangerous Marchmont Street/Tavistock Place junction in 2011 and the pedestrian and environmental improvements along the entire length of Marchmont Street in 2011/12.

The changes to the Marchmont Street/Tavistock Place junction significantly improved safety for cyclists using the busiest cycle route in London and the junction is now less confusing. However, there were still excessive waiting times for pedestrians crossing Tavistock Place and the two-way cycle lane continued to confuse pedestrians, who 'diced with death' daily as they crossed the 'four lane highway'. Camden Council ran a trial traffic scheme from November 2015 along the Torrington Place-Tavistock Place route between Tottenham Court Road and Judd Street, involving wider cycle lanes on both sides of the street and single lane motor traffic westbound and eastbound from Gower Street. We held a well attended public meeting in September 2016 to give local people a chance to find out more about these proposals and to have their say. Following a Public Inquiry, the Council has made the trial scheme permanent, pending further consultation on reversing the one-way working, westbound, the closing date for which is 24th December 2018.

We welcomed the Council's decision to introduce a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit as a means of calming through traffic and improving pedestrian safety although we have yet to see the full benefit of the Mayor of London's 'Central London Grid', which proposed turning several local roads into 'Quietway Routes' where through traffic will be discouraged. The Council modified its designs for the 'contra-flow' cycle lane in south Marchmont in response to our concerns. However, the lane is hardly ever used by cyclists, unlike the successful Cycle Hire Scheme introduced by the Mayor of London in May 2010. Whilst this scheme has proved extremely popular, it has attracted 'new' cyclists, many of whom display a rudimentary knowledge of the Highway Code, including cycling on the footways and travelling the wrong way down one-way streets, to the continuing annoyance and endangerment of pedestrians and other road users. We were also eventually able to persuade the Council to insert permanent material in the problematic tree pits, which had become a hazard for pedestrians at key locations, including three pinch-points in Marchmont Street and the congested footway opposite Russell Square station.

Our proposals for reducing the negative impact of through traffic and improving pedestrian connectivity in Brunswick Square were adopted in principle by the Council's Transport Planners in 2008/09, with some of the associated works being included in Camden's Transport Strategy. We worked in partnership with Camden to organise a pre-consultation workshop and public meeting to gain the views of local people on options for improving the south west corner of the square, where Bernard and Grenville Streets meet, but the plans were put on hold in December 2012 due to shortage of funds to implement the works. The proposed works included removing the redundant roundabout (see photo), extending footways and introducing new and improved crossing facilities to create a safer and more pleasant environment for pedestrians and cyclists. When the Council eventually published its proposals, they included the closure of Lansdowne Terrace, which we formally objected to following a resolution passed at the 2018 AGM. We also objected to the Council's proposal to close Judd Street at its junction with Euston Road, but this was also given the go-ahead, despite residents' concerns about the effect on access and egress in and out of the area. Another proposal for the northern section of the Mayor of London's North-South Cycle Superhighway, which enables cyclists to turn right into Judd Street from Tavistock Place/Regent Square, was approved with minor changes following concerns expressed by RNIB about changes to the pelican crossing near the Town Hall. We asked for some interim improvements to be carried out to the unsightly northern verge of Brunswick Square, to improve pedestrian movement and public safety. These were implemented. Proposals for improving Cartwright Gardens, linked to the University of London's Garden Halls development, have been on hold, pending decisions on other schemes.

Although minor street repairs are normally dealt with quite quickly by the Council, other issues sometimes take longer to resolve, but on the whole our roads and footways have improved beyond recognition since we began our improvement campaign. You can report street defects via Camden's on-line service (link to web site below). You can also let us know your concerns via the link in any of the 'Get Involved' boxes on this web site, or post comments on our blog site (see link in News section on the Home Page).

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Created On 04 November 2010

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