We started from Castlehaven Community Centre. Look at a map of the planned itinerary. We were unable to complete the entire route, so omitted a visit to the following on the north and west of the route:
– the 5-way junction at Tufnell Park station,
– looking at 2-way cycling in Falkland Road,
– how to cycle from the southern into the northern part of Torriano Avenue and also across Brecknock Road into Hilldrop Crescent from Torriano Avenue
– and the crossing of Camden Road at Sandal Road.
Junction of Castlehaven Road and Prince of Wales Road: cyclists right turn exception
Our first stop was at the junction of Castlehaven Road and Prince of Wales Road. Cyclists would like to have a right turn exception to allow them to cross over either into Willes Road or into Anglers Lane and on to kentish Town Road. We discussed using the pedestrian crossing phase, but concluded that a better solution is to give all vehicles on Castlehaven Road a head start over those in Grafton Road.
Junction of Healey Street and Prince of Wales Road: cycle gap required
We turned back down Castlehaven Road, right into Castle Road. We then turned into Healey Street and inspected the lack of cycle gap at the junction of Prince of Wales Road. There is a dropped kerb on both sides: all that is needed is a gap for cyclists to pass through on either side of the gate.
Junction of Hadley Street and Castle Road: minor improvements to cycle gap
We went back down Healey Street and via Castle Road to the junction of Hadley Street. There are two well-marked cycle gaps, one on either side of the fire gate. However the approach from the west is a bit sharp and the ramp is rather too steep. For nighttime riders, the black bollards should have white flashes painted.
Right turn from Prince of Wales Road into Talacre Road
It is difficult to turn right into Talacre Road from Prince of Wales Road. Steve suggested a refuge in Prince of Wales Road and the possible moving of a parked car. We believe that a 20 mph limit on Prince of Wales Road would be beneficial to pedestrians and cyclists and that such a refuge would help to slow down traffic.
Railway Bridge on Prince of Wales Road
Following works related to the Dalby Street development, Camden Council consulted on a scheme to replace the existing cycle tracks with short cycle lanes under the bridge. We asked that the eastbound segregated track be retained. See our response to the consultation. Unfortunately LB Camden has removed the consultation document from their website, so you can’t see what they proposed.
We still believe that the segregated track is beneficial, but are not happy about the projecting piece of jagged paving on the other side of the road, which will force cyclists out into the stream of traffic.
The road resurfacing works were a bit of a distraction and we felt that this site needed revisiting when the work is complete.
Prince of Wales Road: cycle gap to Queens Crescent
Cyclists coming from the west have difficulty making the left turn. The black bins also obscure the view. We appreciated that the area had been made pleasant with trees and seats. We suggest that the angle for the left turn be made less sharp and that the bins be moved away from the site line.
Malden Road: door zone cycle lanes? 20 mph limit
We discussed these cycle lanes which are in the ‘door zone’. It was noted by two of the participants that most of the cars are residents and that there’s not so much risk of being doored as in a shopping street (but nobody should ride within a metre of a parked car). They also stated that the marked lanes kept drivers away from the cars, making room for cyclists
There is no evidence for this, actually quite the contrary unless the lanes are >1.8m wide.. And if you cycle in the outside of the lane to avoid doors (as you should) then cars will be nearer to you than if there were no lanes due to the ‘my space/your space’ effect.
and also when the road is very busy the lanes provide a way of getting forward, for example to the ASL. I agree – but these are called ASL feeder lanes and should extend past the queue limit with no kerb-side parking allowed.
Some of us feel safer riding on the outside, but others felt that the lanes tended to encourage inexperienced cyclists.
..to cycle in a dangerous and inappropriate road position
The arguments shown in italic were made by others reading this report.
There was a definite call for a 20 mph limit in Malden Road.
See note at end of this report.
There is a good east-west route along Islip Street and Holmes Road, across Talacre Road into Marsden Street and on to Queens Crescent. For the section between Holmes Road and Talacre Road, Athlone Street is always rather busy, but people don’t know about Wilkin Street even though it has a cycle gap at the mid point closure; it might be worthwhile signing a cycle route along Wilkin Street. See the location on Street View
The section of Inkerman road between Grafton Road and Willes Road is one-way westbound; we suggest that there should be an exception for cyclists. Lightweight treatment is suitable as usage is low and we wouldn’t be able to move the tree. See the location on Street View
Arctic Road – Regis Road connection
People campaigned for this link for many years and it was open for a few months in 2009. Then Asphaltic, the adjacent business had it closed and because LB Camden has no jurisdiction over Regis Road, it has been unable to reopen it. Many people in Kentish Town have campaigned to have it reopened. It would be very beneficial to postmen as well as local pedestrians and cyclists wanting to get to the High Street.
Alice pointed out that as the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum are already interested, we should encourage them to take action. See the location on Street View
The cobbles in the gutter are a hazard to cyclists: they are uneven and due to the narrowness of the road, cyclists are often forced to ride over them. There is also a desire to find another route through to Regis Road if ever a development takes place; we lost an opportunity when the student hostel was built on the bend. There is also concern about the excessive number of crossovers on the footway and of some footway parking which takes pedestrian space.
Kentish Town Road
The general road surface is very poor and the irregular surrounds to drain covers are a particular hazard. Cyclists often need to make detours round them rather than taking the best road position. This particular one is close to the junction with Islip Street.
Islip Street at Kentish Town Road
The segregated contraflow cycle lane is very much appreciated, but it is not navigable by a bike with a trailer or a long bike such as a tandem. A minor change to make the angle more gentle would be beneficial.
Wolsey Mews: 2-way cycling
This is a very useful road running parallel to Kentish Town Road between islip Street and Gaisford Street and has been resurfaced recently. It is one-way southbound. We believe that two way cycling would help to provide a very useful bypass to Kentish Town Road. In fact it would be particularly useful northbound as it would save crossing the main road.
Caversham Road, Gaisford Road and Patshull Road: No Entry except cycles
Each of these roads is one way for the last 50m or so on the approach to Kentish Town Road. It would be very convenient for cyclists to be able to allowed to enter – so as to escape from the very busy Kentish Town Road. We have been making a case for these three ever since we presented arguments for permeability to Camden Council in 2008. Following this, Camden Officer Chris Nicola prioritised the items in the list (see his prioritisation). Note that they are given high priority (1) and that many of the others on the list with lower priority have already been implemented as well as many others in Kings Cross, Fitzrovia and West Hampstead. Cyclists coming up Anglers Lane may want to turn right into Gaisford Road; to facilitate this movement, itbwas felt that a refuge in Kentish Town Road would be a good idea. The photo shows the junction of Gaisford Road and Kentish Town Road. We felt that the public space around the junction could be enhanced so as to make a pleasant little area. See the location on Street View
Rochester Road at Junction of Kentish Town Road
Rochester Road provides a useful quiet route between Camden Road and the southern end of the high street part of Kentish Town Road as well as linking to Castle Road and routes westwards. It would be a very useful addition to cyclists permeability to be able to provide a way for cyclists across the footway and through the railings.
Note on meeting about Improvements in Gospel Oak and Haverstock Wards
LB Camden is currently doing a feasibility study for Improvements in Gospel Oak and Haverstock Wards. To quote from email from officer Jacqueline Saunders:
The initial GO brief prepared last year concentrated on key corridors in the area (Southampton Road/Malden Road and Mansfield Road and accident hotspots) as well as public realm improvements. Much of GO is within a 20mph restriction but the aim is now to cover these main corridors as well. However, there is only a small pot of funding to take this forward this financial year, with most to be done next year.
This year we are preparing a feasibility brief for a 20mph and road safety scheme (as part of our rolling 20mph/road safety programme) in the Haverstock area – ie to introduce a 20mph area for streets currently not in a 20mph limit for the area bounded by Haverstock Hill/Agincourt/Maitland Park Villas and Pond Street, and to investigate road safety issues. This area was in our top ten priority areas for road casualties.
We have now decided to combine the two schemes into one brief which effectively covers all of Gospel Oak and Haverstock wards. This will effectively bring the whole area under a 20mph limit, with a particular focus on road safety in Haverstock.
Camden Cyclists sent in some suggestions and subsequently met with officer Brian Deegan. Regarding the cycle lanes in Malden Road, he suggested that providing high standard lanes with a 0.5 metre buffer outside the cars would be very effective in traffic calming.