Camden council are consulting on a local safety scheme that is intended to improve safety for cyclists on the eastbound cycle track in Maple Street. It’s on the Stations Link to the west of Tottenham Court Road.
CCC were consulted in advance about this scheme as it is mainly about cyclists safety.
There had been a high incidence of cyclist casualties at the junctions of Fitzroy Street and Whitfield Street. (2002-2005)
- 3 collisions at junction of Maple/Fitzroy where a right turning vehicle (in Maple Street) hits a cyclist on the track before turning into Fitzroy Street.
- 2 collisions at junction of Maple/Whitfield where a vehicle in Whitfield Street fails to give way and hits a cyclist on the track.
- 1 collision by entrance to Matthew Hall House (on south side Maple Street between Whitfield Street and Tottenham Court Road)
The cycle track is on the
wrong side of the road. But we concluded that the safety and convenience advantage at the junction of Tottenham Court Road outweighs considerations in Maple Street. All the vehicles in Maple Street turn left into Tottenham Court Road, making it safe for cyclists on the right to go straight across.
In addition, the track lines up with the track in University Street which is convenient for the right turn into Hunter Street. Finally, it is easy to get into the
wrong side track from Clipstone Street and Cleveland Street.
The proposals match those that we agreed at the meeting, but we’d like to hear comments from other people who ride along Maple Street.
Euston Road and Tottenham Court Road Improvements
We were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss these proposals with the officers Dave Stewart and Yetunde Owoyemi in advance of the consultation. However, as the cycle track in Maple Street is used by many of our members, the consultation has raised some important points as follows:
The green cycle track markings should continue across the junction at Fitzroy Street. In fact it already does and when we met with officers in July they agreed that it should be retained. Please ensure that this is the case.
Our members are concerned about the increase in delay to cyclists at the junction of Fitzroy Street due to the shorter phase in which they can proceed. At the meeting with officers, CCC suggested that the cycle signal should synchronise with signals at Tottenham Court Road, so that cyclists proceeding east on the green light at the Fitzroy junction catch the green phase at Tottenham Court Road in order that they can then go straight through to University Street. This would help offset any reduction in the green phase at this junction and would encourage compliance with the red phase.
There was discussion of the fact that the cycle track is on the
wrong side of the road which (i) is probably a cause of the cycle collisions at the junction with Fitzroy Street and (ii) make it more difficult for cyclists to turn into Tottenham Court Road. However we still believe that the advantage in safety and convenience at the junction of Tottenham Court Road for the majority of cyclists who straight across outweighs considerations in Maple Street itself.
But for cyclists who need to turn left into Tottenham Court Road, there is a question about the effect of the signals at Fitzroy Street and the time taken to reach the junction. if the timing is right they can change sides at the ASL, otherwise they may need to ride in the carriageway.
We note from information provided by Yetunde Owoyemi during the consultation, that at the above signals, the cycle phase will precede the phase for vehicles on Maple Street. Is this the best choice of phase order for cyclists? That is, would the average cyclist be likely to arrive at the ASL at Tottenham Court Road before the vehicles in the following phase? If that is the case, they should have two advantages:
- they have a chance to cross the ASL to turn left
- they should be subjected to the minimum delay.