Camden Council proposes to construct two pedestrian refuge islands on
Southampton Road, one just north of the junction with Kingsford Street and one
just south of the junction with Kingsford Street.
Southampton Road is a busy road in the Gospel Oak area of the borough, part of a longer route with
Malden Road that links Kentish Town to Hampstead. Bus routes 24 and 46 use Southampton Road
and with a number of schools in the vicinity there are significant numbers of pedestrians.
In the three-year period to September 2007, there were 6 recorded traffic accidents in
Southampton Road between Mansfield Road and Malden Road, which resulted in 1 serious and 5
slight personal injuries. In total, 3 pedestrians, 2 drivers and 1 motorcyclist were injured. Council
officers have studied the accident data provided by the police and made a number of site visits to
Click here to see the consultation leaflet On our website as LB Camden has hidden the file
The officer tells me that the gap between the pedestrian refuge islands and the footway is 4m on both sides of each islands. Southampton Road is not in a 20mph zone, but Kingsford Street is the boundary for the 20/30mph limits.
He says: the island just south of the junction is in a 20mph limit and the one just north is in a 30mph limit. Unfortunately, we do not have any speed surveys for this road, but we feel that the new islands will improve pedestrian safety and also reduce even further speeds on Southampton Road, therefore making it safer for cyclists.
But at the northern island, could this be a case of using cyclists for traffic calming?
We understand that the gaps between the pedestrian refuge islands and the kerb are intended to be 4 metres wide in all cases.
According to LCDS Section 3.6.4, for a road with buses and with 85th percentile speeds between 21 and 30 mph, a lane width of 4 metres is acceptable. This is a width where a cyclist should claim the whole lane at the pinch point, rather than sharing it with another vehicle.
Since the speed limit to the south of Kingsford Street is 20 mph, we are confident that the southern island will not be a hazard for cyclists and the same applies to northbound cyclists approaching the northern island.
For southbound cyclist approaching the northern island, safety would depend on the speeds of the vehicles behind them. You were unable to provide any information on measured speeds, so we ask that the position should be monitored and if necessary, further traffic calming be added north of the northern island.
The Council say (March 2009) that only the southern refuge island will be built.