A whole slew of new plans for driving, cycling and walking in and around Bloomsbury and Kings Cross have been released in the last couple of weeks. Individually each is worth looking at it. Collectively they will add up to a major revamp of the street environment and traffic in the area. All come on top of the existing Tavistock Place trial scheme that we have already written about.
Here’s our attempt to summarise the basic details of each.
Note that consultations on all these close Sunday 20 March.
This is the most radical of the lot, reversing over 30 years of a one-way system that has bedevilled Kings Cross residents and businesses. Proposals include:·
- Introducing two-way traffic on many of the streets that currently operate as one-way. Reducing traffic on some (mainly residential) streets
- Providing new and improved pedestrian crossings at key junctions.
- Contra-flow cycle lanes on remaining one-way roads as well as new cycle crossings at key junctions
Meetings in Kings Cross have already taken place and the Kings Cross Environment website has a good account. But it’s a long haul on this one. A second consultation in early 2017 is planned ahead of final proposals.
From the south, this comes into our area along Phoenix St behind Mt Pleasant Sorting Office, before proceeding along Ampton St, Sidmouth St and Regents Square to the Judd St junction where it connects with the proposed ‘Central London Grid’ along Midland Road to Royal College Street, Camden Town and Swiss Cottage. The new route would involve major changes to the road layout including dedicated cycle lanes replacing sections of traffic and bus lane on Farringdon Road and Farringdon Street, redesigned junctions with improved priority for cyclists and new traffic restrictions including banned turns for motorists, wider footways and public spaces, new signalised pedestrian crossings, and changes to parking and loading.
TfL has developed two options here – both would have major impacts on Judd St. Under Option 1 only cyclists and pedestrians would be able to enter and exit Judd Street at the Euston Road junction. This would allow a dedicated cycle crossing across Euston Road. The knock on effect would be much reduced through traffic on Judd Street. Under Option 2 motorists would not be able to enter Judd Street by turning left or right off Euston Road – but they would still be able to head straight over from Midland Road. Motorists would not be able to exit Judd Street onto Euston Road – a change that would allow a separate traffic signal stage for cyclists and pedestrians. Under both options there would be:
- A cycle-only green signal to allow cyclists to cross Euston Road
- New signalised pedestrian crossing on Euston Road, west of Judd Street, with a widened central island.
- An extended bus lane on Euston Road westbound
- Wider pavement on Judd Street
Midland Road would have its own improvements, with a northbound protected cycle lane, a large raised area between St Pancras and the Crick Institute and a raised cycling lane heading south.
Plans here are:
- Public realm improvements to the corner of Brunswick Square where it joins Bernard Street and Grenville Street, providing a large pedestrian-only space with new trees, seating and better lighting. This is only possible by closing Lansdowne Terrace where it meets Brunswick Square.
- Access to Lansdowne Terrace from Hunter Street or Bernard Street would be closed to motor traffic (but not cyclists). Southbound motor traffic would continue to Guilford Street via Grenville Street
- Access to Lansdowne Terrace would be retained from Guilford Street.
- Road raised to pavement level
- New zebra crossings provided on Grenville Street and Bernard Street
- Pavements widened on Brunswick Square, Lansdowne Terrace, Bernard Street and Grenville Street
- New cycle track between Brunswick Square and Lansdowne Terrace.
- Inset parking bays to accommodate majority of existing parking provision. There would be a net loss of two residents’ permit parking bays.
Final piece in the jigsaw – some smaller scale plans for this stretch of road with raised footways and a new zebra crossing to replace the pelican crossing at Bidborough St.