Before this recent improvement, Princeton Street allowed motor vehicles to travel westbound only from Red Lion Street to Red Lion Square. Cyclists were provided with a No Entry bypass allowing them to travel in both directions.
This new road closure prevents motor vehicles from avoiding signals by taking a short cut from Theobalds Road via Red Lion Street into Red Lion Square to Proctor Street.
The closure is implemented very nicely with a short cycle-only and no parking stretch of road between the driveway (in front of the blue van in the photo) and the row of bollards. Photo 2 shows a view of this section.
Photo 3 shows that the previous No Entry bypass and cycle lane was so narrow as to be impassable to most non-standard cycles including cargo bikes and inclusive cycles such as recumbent tricycles. The new arrangement provides access to all types of cycles.
Photo 4 shows the view from Red Lion Street, warning drivers that there is no way through.
The Red Lion Street map extract shows that although the rat run to Proctor Street via Princeton Street has been closed, Red Lion Street is still subject to other short-cuts as is clear from the heavy levels of motor traffic around peak times. For example, drivers can get from Theobalds Road via Eagle Street to Proctor Street or cut right through Red Lion Street to High Holborn.
Red Lion Street is classified as a local road and is on the popular cycle route from Kings Cross via Lamb’s Conduit Street to High Holborn.
When can we have a Healthy Red Lion Street?
A mid-point closure of Red Lion Street, for example around the junction with Eagle Street would cut off both of the above-mentioned rat runs while giving it a new life, perhaps something like Lamb’s Conduit Street.