TfL is proposing to install a central island in Camden road opposite Sandall road so as to prevent right turns into and out of Sandall Road and the Car Wash on the north side of Camden Road and also right turns into and out of the two entrances/exits from the service Tesco service station opposite.
This island is to be installed as a six month experiment, with a view to making the area much safer for pedestrians. TfL consulted on a similar scheme in 2004 and started to erect the barrier. But were persuaded to take it away when vehicle drivers started to do U-turns and tried to overtake buses at inside the barrier.
However, following many local representations regarding safety, TfL are trying again with an island and some “No U turn” signs.
It’s clear that the island is needed in this place, but it is very bad that TfL has not considered cyclists right turn movements from Sandall Road. We wrote in response to the 2004 consultation:
“Many cyclists coming from further north use Bartholomew Road and Sandall Road in order to access LCN+ Route 6 via Murray Street. The nearest convenient crossing of Camden Road for cyclists further north east is at Middleton Grove (beyond Brecknock Road). In addition cyclists attending Camden School in Sandall road need to cross Camden Road at this point.”
“We feel that it is absolutely essential that cyclists should be able to make the equivalent of a right turn at this junction. The minimum that could be done would be to provide a cycle gap and road markings through the proposed railings in the centre of Camden Road. Ideally, there should be traffic signal control to allow cyclists to make this crossing, either by converting the existing pelican crossing to a Toucan, or independently.”
Last time, they refused to take up either of our suggestions. This time, I think we should try to get them to put in a cycle gap.
Camden Cycling Campaign is in favour of this serious attempt to prevent all of the motor vehicle right turns across Camden Road from Sandall Road and in and out of the Car Wash and Tesco store/service station.
However, it is essential to maintain a means for cyclists to turn right out of Sandall Road. LCN+ Route 6, the main cycle route to Bloomsbury and the West End runs along Cliff Road, the south-east side of Camden Square and Stratford Villas.
Many cyclists who live in the Leighton Road/Bartholomew Road/Lady Margaret Road area need to make a right turn out of Sandall Road so as to access Route 6 in Murray Street. The next convenient crossing over Camden road is much further north in Middleton Grove.
Ideally a toucan crossing should be provided, but failing that a gap in the island would at least allow the manoeuvre.