LOCAL SAFETY SCHEME – ST. GILES CIRCUS
(OXFORD STREET / TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD / NEW OXFORD STREET / CHARING CROSS ROAD JUNCTION)
St. Giles Circus is a very busy signalised junction between Tottenham Court Road, New Oxford Street, Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road. There are pedestrian facilities on all arms of the junction except the New Oxford Street arm.
As part of Camden Council’s policy to reduce accidents involving personal injury, the Council is proposing to improve road safety at this junction in order to reduce the number and severity of accidents.
During the period from December 2000 to November 2003, there were 65 accidents of which 12 were classified as being serious. The table below shows the different classification of accidents involving vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The Council would be pleased to hear your views on the proposed measures shown in detail inside this leaflet. Details on how to respond to this consultation are given on the back page of this leaflet.
This response is based on feedback from Camden Cycling Campaign members and from Colin Wing, coordinator of Westminster Cycling Campaign.
CCC is pleased that ASLs have been introduced at the three arms of this junction. But, although Edward Quartey assures us that these ASLs will have feeder lanes, we are disappointed that they are not shown on the diagram, so that we can check that they are up to the required standards.
The DfT’s TSRGD of 2002, paragraphs 12-14 specifies that every ASL is required to have a feeder lane. Also that the feeder lane should be long enough for cyclists to bypass the queue of motor vehicles without weaving. The draft London Cycling design Standards (LCDS) specifies that the feeder lanes should be 1.5m wide.
This area is very heavily used by pedestrians. Therefore we have made some suggestions concerning pavement widening, siting of a crossing and light phases that will be of benefit to people on foot.
New Oxford Street (eastern arm)
The main problem faced by cyclists here is congestion due to westbound buses at the approach to the junction. The extent of this congestion obviously varies, but it usually stretches at least as far back as the junction with Earnshaw Street.
It is essential that an adequately long feeder lane be constructed. If necessary, the pedestrian island should be reduced in size or moved towards the eastbound carriageway, which has only a single lane of traffic.
The bus lane in New Oxford Street (at approximately 2.9 m) is not wide enough for buses to overtake cycles, or for cycles to get in front of buses when they are waiting at the signals before the left turn into Charing Cross Road. However, this may not be critical: we suspect that not many cyclists take this route, since it is possible to short-cut this junction by using the eastern end of Shaftesbury Avenue.
Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road (western arm)
A cycle feeder lane is required. This side of the carriageway, from about 30m before the junction has two motor traffic lanes, both of which are very narrow. There should be a single motor traffic lane like the rest of Oxford Street, which would allow plenty of room for a 2m mandatory cycle feeder lane. This would also provide an opportunity to widen the footpath on the approach to this junction. The ban on vehicles other than taxis and buses should be enforced (for example, by means of cameras), in order to help with road capacity here.
Tottenham Court Road (northern arm)
The pedestrian crossing is too far away from the pedestrians’ desire line, which is to cross directly between Oxford Street and New Oxford Street. It should be moved to the correct position and included in an all-green phase for the four crossings at this junction. This should be facilitated by the footpath widening suggested for Oxford Street (see above).
Charing Cross Road (southern arm)
The bus lane in Charing Cross Road is welcome, as it should assist cyclists, especially if there aren’t any buses around. However, the proposed width of 3m will not permit a bus to pass a cyclist (or a cyclist a bus) without leaving the lane. The bus lane should be made wide enough to accommodate a mandatory cycle feeder lane (e.g. 3m + 1.5 m) so that cyclists can undertake buses waiting at the lights in order to access the ASL box.
We understand that cyclists will continue to have an exemption to the left turn ban at this junction. The light phasing proposed below should allow this turn.
Another problem encountered by cyclists in this area is the prohibition of the right turn from Sutton Row into Charing Cross Road, which is reasonably safe for cyclists. CCC requests that cyclists be granted a right turn exception.
Light phasing at the junction
The consultation document does not specify the signal phasing, but we support the following phases:
- 1. All northbound traffic on Charing Cross Road (including straight on to Tottenham Court Road, right turning into New Oxford Street and cycles and buses turning left into Oxford Street). Plus buses and cyclists in the segregated lane from New Oxford Street into Charing Cross Road.
- 2. All traffic emerging from Oxford Street and New Oxford Street.
- 3. All green pedestrian phase.
The pedestrian phase could even permit diagonal crossings of the junction.
Centre of the junction
All the cycle feeder lanes should be extended across the junction. See the diagram B21 in LCDS, which illustrates ‘Cycle lanes continuous through signal controlled junctions’.
Do you agree with the proposal for a pedestrian crossing on the New Oxford Street arm of the junction? (This will provide a safer crossing facility for pedestrians especially as a number of pedestrians cross at this location from Centre Point into Tottenham Court Road).Yes
Do you agree with the proposal to convert the nearside lane on Charing Cross Road on its approach to the junction into a bus lane? (This will enforce the existing no left turn into Oxford Street).Yes
The response has been copied ti Dave Stewart and Ed Quartey requested to check his design with Dave.
Subsequently we heard that the scheme had been shelved pending the Route 38 Bus Initiative.