The headlines of the proposed changes, which form part of the Bloomsbury Clear Zone initiative are:
Gordon Street & Gordon Square become one way southbound
Diagram nos: 1. Redesigned junction; 2. No entry to northbound traffic; 3 improved pedestrian & cycling facilities
Motor traffic prevented from turning into Malet Street from the north, and cannot turn right when exiting into Torrington Place.
Diagram nos: 1. No right turn; 2. Redesigned crossing; 3. wider pavements; 4. southbound cycle access only
Q1. The Camden Cycling Campaign agrees that there is a safety problem at this junction
Q2. We are pleased to support this proposed simplification of the junction.
Further suggestions: We would like to propose that a new zebra crossing is constructed across Malet Street at this junction to reflect the high pedestrian flows and need for improved pedestrian priority.
The Camden Cycling Campaign welcomes the proposals for Gordon St/Gordon Sq which are clearly aimed at improving safety for cyclists at the Seven Stations Link (SSL) junctions.
Q3. We would like to see less Euston bound MOTOR traffic on this road.
Q4. However we are extremely concerned about the planned introduction of new one way streets on the following grounds:
- As the council well knows CCC has always been opposed to one way streets on the grounds that they are intrinsically unsustainable traffic management measures.
- Whilst one way working would simplify these complex junctions, we still believe that unacceptable hazards remain.
- One way working would sever important cycle links northwards to Euston Station and Hampstead Road (as shown on Camden Council’s official cycle map). This would require cyclists who wish to remain legal to embark on a substantial detour via a considerably busier road.
We therefore propose the following solutions in order of preference.
- Road closures (with cycle gaps) of both side of Gordon Square at the SSL junctions. All through motor traffic that uses Gordon Sq should be routed via Woburn Place. This is by far the best solution in terms of reducing dangers for cyclists and maintaining optimum accessibility. All the other proposals below represent substantial compromises which will either lead to high risk of cycle/motor vehicle collision or increased cyclist journey time.
- Traffic signals for the entire SSL junction on the west side of Gordon Sq, and a road closure plus cycle gaps for the east side. As long as the phasing is designed to ensure that cycle and motor vehicles do not have to turn across each another’s paths, this will optimise cyclist safety; but the downside is longer journey times through the junction.
- On west side of Gordon Sq a no entry plug with a cycle contraflow lane and a road closure with cycle gap on the east side of Gordon Square. This would allow two way cycle flow along Gordon Sq west and maintain cycle links to the north, but we remain concerned over the complexity of this junction and the relatively high risk of cyclist casualties.
Since the original proposal was also to make Gordon Street one way southbound between Endsleigh Gardens and Gordon Square, if this is retained instead of our proposed road closure in option 3, we would suggest a similar cycle plug at the south end of Gordon St.
For option 3 we strongly recommend that the carriageway width in Gordon St at its junction with the SSL be reduced to around 3 metres, with the wide swept junction curves made much tighter (to deter motorists from shooting across the cycle track at speed). We would also like to see the segregating islands extended closer to the junction to give cyclists more protection from motor traffic.
Finally, we are concerned over the potential for motor traffic displacement to, and greater pressure on, the Gordon St/Endsleigh Gdns junction. We recommend that this junction be reviewed after scheme implementation to assess whether new measures are required to protect vulnerable road users.
Note: A no entry plug with a cycle contraflow lane is where a road is two way to motor traffic throughout its length except for a short length of one-way working at one end. This means that entry into the road is banned at one end for motor traffic, but there is a short section of contraflow cycle lane past to allow cyclists to travel past the no-entry signs.