Camden Council is proposing a number of measures as part of a Safer Routes to School scheme for the Highgate Area, for Parliament Hill, La Sainte Union and William Ellis Schools.
This scheme is based on feedback from teachers and children concerning the safety of children’s journeys to and from the three schools. As with previous such schemes, the aim is to encourage children to walk or cycle to school, which we should praise.
As to improvements for cyclists: there is an improved junction and some new 20 mph zones.
The junction at Gordon House/Highgate/Chetwynd:
Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) strongly supports the council’s aim to encourage children to walk or cycle to school. We are therefore pleased to be able to comment on the details of the Highgate Area Safer Routes to Schools scheme.
The scheme includes some changes that are of major benefit to cyclists, in particular the new 20 mph zones and the improved junction at Gordon House/Highgate/Chetwynd roads.
CCC believes that the proposed changes to the above junction are very important. It is pleased to see the plans for the improved pedestrian facilities as well as for the advanced stop lines (ASLs) and feeder lanes. Cyclists’ movements through this junction are currently difficult to achieve and the improvements are long overdue.
CCC feels that the council is currently making a good effort to slow traffic in Highgate Road, with its experimental 20 mph zone. It would therefore like to encourage the council to retain this.
Altogether this appears to be a good effort to make the area close to the schools safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The improvements to the Highgate Road zebra crossing is key to this proposal – many children that come by bus use this crossing.
We have the following two criticisms of this scheme:
Concerning the overall scheme: it is very local in its effects. It is probably sufficient for children walking to school, but inadequate for those who might come by cycle from further away, e.g up Highgate Road or along Gordon House Road. Therefore, although it will make it a little safer for children who already cycle, it may not have done enough to encourage new children to cycle to school.
Concerning the 20 mph zone for Lissenden Gardens and Glenhurst Avenue: these are not through roads and the use of humps seems excessive.