Camden Council proposes amendments to the Grafton Road timed closure. They offer four options:
1. Retain the existing timed closure with a revised layout and new Variable Signs (electronic signs displaying information like those used on motorways), reverting to northbound vehicles giving priority to southbound vehicles when the timed closure is not in force. The width restriction would remain.
2. Install a full timed closure for motor vehicles between Barrington Close and Kiln Place (except emergency vehicles and pedal cycles).
3. Re-open Grafton Road to two-way traffic, retaining the current layout and width restriction.
4. Do nothing – retain existing timed closure and layout.
This response to the consultation from Camden on the Grafton Road Timed Closure is from Camden Cycling Campaign, the local borough group of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). We have approximately 650 members and represent the interests of cyclists living or working in the borough of Camden. We consulted our members by email on this issue and this response reflects the views of the membership.
The consultation presents four alternatives for the arrangements at the north end of Grafton Road:
1. Retain the existing closure with new road layout and electronic signs.
2. Put in a full closure with cyclist and emergency vehicle exemptions.
3. Re-open the road to traffic at all times, retaining the width restriction.
4. Leave the situation as is.
We support any of the options except option 3, which we strongly oppose.
Grafton Road is a residential street with a busy primary school and the recently refurbished sports centre and swimming pool and is part of the ‘quiet’ version of one of the main north-south cycle routes (LCN route 6a). This provides a quiet, less polluted and much safer alternative to the very congested Kentish Town Road. There are also three further primary and three secondary schools within a short distance and the road is heavily used by parents and children as well as
cyclists. The current tidal flow system works extremely well; before it was introduced this was a notorious rat-run in spite of massive and obtrusive traffic-calming measures (approximately 600 vehicles per hour used this road at peak hours and there were a number of collisions and injuries to pedestrians), now it is what it should be – a residential street with access for vehicles – and is now much more pleasant, safer, and less polluted.
A full closure (option 2) would make the road even quieter, but we understand that residents and businesses want to maintain some access from both ends so, though this is our preferred option, we would be happy with either of the two timed closure options (1 and 4). We do not believe that many motorists disobey the signs and the current road layout is fine, so option 4 (no change) is quite acceptable to us. John Chamberlain
July 5th 2013