The junction of High Holborn, Kingsway and Southampton Row has been identified by the Council as requiring improved pedestrian facilities to improve the safety of pedestrians at this junction.
A high number of pedestrians use this junction daily on their travels between the Holborn Underground Station and the vast commercial surrounding area. The phasing of the traffic lights at the moment makes pedestrians, crossing the south side of High Holborn over Kingsway, wait on triangular islands. Pedestrians crossing over High Holborn, outside Holborn Underground Station, also have to wait on the triangular islands. These islands are often overcrowded with the
high number of pedestrians waiting to cross in all directions.
The existing pedestrian crossing on Southampton Row at this junction is currently uncontrolled i.e. there is no push button that pedestrians can use to make traffic come to a stop.
At this junction, in the 36-month period up to the end of August 2006, there were 35 accidents of which 1 was fatal, 5 were serious and 29 were slight. 17 of the 35 accidents involved pedestrians, 3 involved cyclists and 7 involved motorcycles. The fatal accident involved a pedestrian and of the 5 serious accidents, 4 involved pedestrians. This junction has one of Camden’s highest accident rates.
The Council would therefore like to improve this junction to reduce the number of accidents by providing the following measures (as shown on the attached drawing).
• The removal of the two triangular traffic islands both located on the south side of the junction and relocating this crossing further south into Kingsway. This will allow pedestrians to cross this arm of the junction without having to wait in the islands in the middle of the road.
• Widen the pavement outside Holborn Underground Station and outside Sainsbury’s, both located on the south side of the junction. This would increase the footway area to accommodate the high pedestrian flows to and from Holborn Underground Station.
• Red and green man traffic signal facilities on all four arms of the junction. This will allows pedestrians to cross all arms of the junction safely.
• New cyclists’ stop area on all approaches to the junction
The removal of the two triangular traffic islands is very welcome indeed.
The ASL boxes will be useful for cyclists if they can reach them. However, no feeder lanes are shown on the drawing, probably because the designer has not considered taking road space from vehicular traffic and giving it to cyclists. We request that you consider reducing the number of lanes from 4 to 3 on High Holborn and from 3 to 2 on Kingsway so as to allow room for feeder lanes of adequate length: that is, long enough for cyclists to get past traffic queues that are likely to occur in that location. This applies also to left-side feeder lane on Southamption Row.
We question the wisdom of the left turn only lanes on High Holborn and Kingsway, because left turn only lanes are usually regarded as unsafe for cyclists. The TfL response to the TRL review for TFL recommends that junctions on the LCN+ network that feature uncontrolled left-turn only lanes should be identified and assessed for remedial action. Although this road isn’t on LCN+, the same principle still applies. Please consider replacing them with
left and straight ahead lanes on High Holborn and Kingsway,
Finally, speeds are a problem for cyclists crossing this junction and having to change lanes with fast moving vehicles behind them. Please would you consider the feasibility of raising the junction with a view to slowing down motor vehicles.