The consultants have provided the following
Route 38 Consultation Documents
The Route 38 Bus route goes from Victoria to Clapton and has buses every 2-4 minutes. The improvements are intended to help bus flow. CCC is currently being consulted on the proposals for the sections along Theobalds Road and Bloomsbury Way.
For details concerning these two sections, please look at the following information:
The outline bus proposals can be seen at:
The additional drawings with technical details show:
- a new section of westbound bus lane between Bedford Row and Old North Street which is accessible only to buses;
- the existing eastbound bus lane for buses, cycles and taxis – it is proposed that it operate for 24/7 or possibly 12/7.
If you scroll the drawing down you will be able to see the latest proposals for the junction with Grays Inn Road. There we see nothing much but ASLs without feeder lanes at all four arms of the junction.
This is a westbound one-way street and the outline bus proposals can be seen at:
The additional drawings with technical details show that
- a new 3m wide westbound contraflow lane for buses only
- the existing eastbound bus lane for buses, cycles and taxis to become operational for 12 or 24 hours, 7 days a week;
The Camden section of the 38 bus route follows the same roads as the proposed LCN+ Link 50. There is therefore great concern from cyclists that the conflicting interests of buses and cyclists should be considered very carefully and that the London Cycling Design Standards should be followed throughout. Cycle counters in Theobalds Road close to Jockeys Fields in autumn 2004 showed about 1800 eastbound and 600 westbound cyclists per week day.
Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) understands that the Route 38 scheme is seen as a pilot for intensified bus routes. CCC believes that it should be used as a pilot for the integration of cyclists in an intensified bus route. The ideas developed could then be used on other bus routes. CCC believes that the following road user hierarchy should be followed in this design:
buses > pedestrians > cyclists > delivery > taxis > all other motorised vehicles;
with the understanding that this may lead to some forms of transport being disadvantaged.
Cycle Audit should be deployed on all bus schemes. The TRL report “Review of Procedures Associated with the Development and Delivery of Measures Designed to Improve safety and Convenience for Cyclists”, (TRL Limited, 17 December 2004) states that CCE is preparing a checklist for considering the interests of cyclists in the light of bus priority measures.
- There is no westbound cycle lane in Theobalds Road. In addition there is a wide central reservation with hatching. If the latter were to be removed the space gained could be used to provide a cycle lane. To alleviate any resulting problems for pedestrians crossing the road, junction tables could be introduced.
- The new section of westbound bus lane in Theobalds Road is indicated as
buses onlyon the detailed drawing theobaldstech.pdf . Cyclists will therefore be expected to ride with the general traffic outside a bus lane which will itself be displaced outwards from the kerb to allow for a new loading bay.
The road safety implications of this proposal render it unacceptable. As last year’s fatality on Blackfriar’s Bridge amply demonstrated, it is not safe for cyclists to travel outside buses. TfL recognises this and on the roads for which it has responsibility.
CCC welcomes the fact that the existing eastbound bus lanes are to operate full-time and remain accessible to cycles and taxis. This should be of benefit to cyclists, though it would be better still if it were made significantly wider, to enable buses to overtake cyclists safely. Cyclists are often forced by sheer numbers to ride two or three deep. In addition the bus and cycle lane would be more effective for buses and cycles if taxis were to be excluded.
Grays Inn Road junction
It is appalling that the design for this junction shown in drawing theobaldstech.pdf ignores the work that LB Camden has put into designing improvements. The only cycling facilities shown consist of an ASL box on each arm without the necessary accompanying feeder lane. We include a schematic diagram to illustrate the details described here.
Every ASL should have a feeder lane of width 1.5 m and of length sufficient for cyclists to pass any traffic queue that may form at that location in accordance with DfT TAL 02/03. This will be particularly important as queues are likely to increase with the inclusion of a green pedestrian phase.
The pedestrian islands could be offset from the centre of the road to enable proper ASL feeder lanes to be implemented while not reducing, in fact increasing junction capacity as excess space on the exits from junctions is unnecessary since only one lane of traffic can proceed on the roads beyond.
This is a very wide junction for cyclists to cross with traffic behind them. Advisory cycle lanes should cross the junction as extensions of the feeder lanes at each of the four arms. This would give cyclists proceeding straight on priority over left-turning traffic.
Clerkenwell Road/Rosebery Avenue junction
We were not consulted on this part of the proposal, even in spite of the fact that it is Camden. Although we have now been sent a copy of the documents, we are unable to access the technical drawings on the website. But here are our comments (also illustrated on our diagram).
For eastbound cyclists, a pair of angled ASL boxes are required across Rosebery Avenue and Clerkenwell Road. As at least half of all cyclists here use Clerkenwell Road and they require a continuous cycle lane from the junction of Grays Inn Road to feed into the middle of the pair of ASL boxes.
Cyclists going left into Rosebery Avenue would proceed as at present in free-flowing traffic and would be able to use the central feeder lane to overtake queuing motor traffic to reach the left side of the ASL. Drivers wishing to turn left would have to give way to cyclists in the cycle lane going straight on and the presence of a green cycle lane would highlight the conflict point and the priority of cyclists.
Concerning the bus stops near to the junction with Grays Inn Road: with both bus stops numbers 200 (eastbound) and R0078 (westbound) occupied, westbound traffic will be completely blocked.
Zebra crossings are generally safer than Pelicans and avoid delaying traffic unnecessarily. Therefore substituting a Pelican for the existing Zebra at Bedford Row could significantly worsen pedestrian road safety.
When the bus stop outside No 43 is occupied, visibility of the traffic lane will be inadequate to allow vehicles to exit the proposed loading bay outside No 51 safely.
The proposed new westbound contraflow bus lane in Bloomsbury Way and Vernon Place(and in the two short sections of Theobalds Road on either side of Drake Street) is for buses only. As this is an LCN+ route, it is essential that cycles should have access to these contraflow facilities. Note that new Oxford Street currently has a 3 metre bus and cycle contraflow lane from the junction with Tottenham Court Road past the junction with Gower Street as far as the start of Bloomsbury Way. It would be a natural extension to the existing bus and cycle lane to extend it (backwards) along Bloomsbury Way.
Without this provision, westbound cyclists will need to continue to use the gyratory, which involves changing lane to the right while travelling south along Drake Street. Drake Street, especially at its junction with Red Lion Square, has long been a serious cyclist casualty black spot, which has never been addressed. Allowing cyclists’ use of the new contraflow bus lane would actually contribute to improving road safety.
CCC welcomes the extension to full-time operation of the existing eastbound bus, cycle and taxi lane. As in Theobalds Road, this bus lane would be more effective for buses and cycles if taxis were to be excluded.
Junction with Southampton Row
The drawing bloomsburytech.pdf fails to show even ASLs at this junction. It is essential that an ASL with an adequate feeder lane be installed at both the western and northern arms of this junction. To enable a safe and adequate feeder lane to be included on the western arm in Vernon Place, the number of vehicle lanes should be reduced to two (one left and ahead and the other ahead only). A similar arrangement is also required on the northern arm of the junction.