Camden Council is proposing a number of measures as part of a Safer Routes to School scheme for the Hampstead Area, and Local Safety Schemes for Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Hampstead High Street/Rosslyn Hill.
Main measures include speed humps in Lyndhurst Road, Netherhall Gardens & Nutley Terrace,plus new zebra crossings in Hampstead High St & Belsize Lane, and entry tables for some side roads.
The Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) welcomes the majority of the measures in this proposal. We particularly appreciate the area wide approach to tackling the problems caused by motor vehicles, and the new zebra crossings in Hampstead High St & Belsize Lane which will prove of substantial benefit to pedestrians.
Lack of key measures
We are however disappointed that despite this being a Safer Routes to School scheme which should encourage parents & children to walk & cycle, there are no measures which are specifically aimed at making conditions better for cyclists.
We are also concerned by the absence of measures in Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Belsize Lane or Hampstead High St/Rosslyn Hill to slow down motor vehicles.
Our biggest specific concern is the 6 proposed traffic islands in Fitzjohn’s Avenue to slow down motor traffic and which will apparently be designed to prevent pedestrian use. These islands will lead to cyclists being
pinched by motor vehicles, despite the proposed advisory cycle lanes alongside.
Rather than create unusable space in the middle of the road and a weaving motion for cars & lorries, it would surely be better to reallocate this dead road space to some useful purpose elsewhere (eg a cycle lane or wider pavement). Evidence suggests that motorists are more likely to slow down if they are at risk of crashing into oncoming traffic, than being moved apart and having to dodge intermittent traffic islands.
Our view is that speed tables are by far the best measure for Fitzjohn’s Avenue due to their proven speed reduction capabilities, and it is worth abandoning the traffic island component of this scheme. We suggest applying for funds and incorporating this as a phase 2 to this scheme at a later date. The added benefit of speed tables is they can also offer pedestrians a crossing point.