This proposal is of interest to us because it may affect the southern end of Route 6 (Camden north-south route). It concerns the Bus Lane than runs alongside the contraflow cycle lane on the north side of High Holborn. In fact northbound cyclists on Route 6 ride in this bus lane between Newton Street and New Oxford Street.
The proposal is to take out the parking inside the Bus Lane and put it on the other side of High Holborn. This seems very sensible and the result is a straighter Bus Lane.
It will be useful to have the Bus Lane properly marked and we could ask for a cycle logo in it to help cyclists find their way. I also note that a new cyclists’ right turn marking is shown by the junction with Bury Place – also useful.
This bus lane forms part of LCN Link 28 in Camden. Cyclists following that link come from Newton Street, crossing High Holborn to use the westbound bus lane before turning right from New Oxford Street into Bury Place. The signals at the junction of Newton Street allow such cyclists to get a clear run through the bus lane. However, due to the absence of cycle logos in the bus lane, it is not obvious that the route is intended to use it.
But even more cyclists use a westbound route from Kingsway and share the bus lane with buses and taxis. Some continue up Bury Place and others continue westbound on New Oxford Street. This is another reason to mark the bus lane for cyclists as well as buses. In fact all bus lanes should be regularly marked for use by cyclists.
In addition we have observed that many westbound cyclists use the eastbound contraflow cycle lane, possibly due to lack of signing. This manoeuvre is hazardous, both on entry to the cycle lane and on exit.
The need to mark the bus lane for cyclists was recorded in the CRISP report for link 28. We note that you plan to place blue signs to indicate that the lane can be used by buses cycles and taxis, but request that you also mark the bus lane with two cycle logos.
The proposed marked right turn for cylists into Bury Place is appreciated.
Straightening of the Bus Lane
We believe that the straightening of the bus lane and the lengthening of the entry to it will be an enhancement from cyclists point of view. In the current layout, there is a risk of cyclists on the left side being overtaken at the bend and squeezed off the road. The enclosed part of the bus lane by the traffic island is too narrow for a bus to overtake a cyclist safely: cyclists should be encouraged to use the centre of the bus lane. The long entrance to the bus lane gives cyclists extra room to get over into it, particularly when approaching from the west.
There are railings on each side of the triangular traffic island; as well as on the edge of the pavement build-out to the north of the island; and on the curve of footway facing side the traffic island. Excessive railings are a hindrance to pedestrians and a hazard to cyclists if they need to get off the road e.g. to avoid a bendy bus. They are also detrimental to streetscape.
Please would you consider removing all of the railings in this area, except the short stretch on either side of the bus lane by the traffic island. The bus lane is very narrow and we wouldn’t want a pedestrian to fall under a bus.
Please provide additional cycle parking in this area – at least space for 12 cycles to park. On recent visits we have observed 7-10 bikes locked to the railings.