The council is proposing major changes to Lambs Conduit Street with a view to improving safety for pedestrians and to stopping its current misuse by motorists. The plans are here.
As you will see from the plans, the council is offering two options, both of which should prevent motor vehicles from rat running through, but retain 2 way cycle access.
Lambs Conduit Street is considered as two sections- a north section (Gt Ormond Street – Rugby St.) and a south section (Rugby St – Dombey St.).
Option 1. The north section will be one-way northbound for motor vehicles (which could only get there via Rugby St) with a contraflow cycle lane. The south section will be a two-way cycle track with no motor vehicles allowed.
Option 2. The north section will be one way northbound and the south section will be one way southbound for motor vehicles. There will be contraflow cycle lanes in both sections to allow two way cycle flow.
The consultation leaflet describes the contraflow cycle lanes for both options as being only 1.2 metres wide. The width of these cycle lanes should be increased to 1.5 metres.
For both options, the contraflow past the
no entry at the Great Ormond Street (north) end requires a no entry plug treatment (ie a physical island) otherwise the
no entry would require an
except cycles sign which probably wouldn’t be allowed.
Please note that the consultation leaflet contains an error in the interpretation of the information in the following table:
Pedal Delivery Qther Public Service Total Cycles Vehicles vehicles Vehicles 31 9 18 3 61
The leaflet claims that the table shows that approximately 1 in 3 vehicles abuse the existing traffic measures. In fact, the figure is (18+3)/30 motor vehicles (more like 2 in 3) – cyclists should not be included in the total.
Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) supports Option 1 for the following reasons:
rat-running under Option 2**
Currently Lamb’s Conduit Street is used as a south-north
rat-run, but Rugby Street is not a
rat-run because you can only get to it from the north (via Millman Street or Great Ormond Street) and it takes you to Lambs Conduit Street which sends you back north again. Under Option 2, it will be possible to go south from Rugby Street on Lambs Conduit Street and thus there will be a possible
rat-run from Guilford Street to Theobalds Rd which has the potential to be heavily abused. There is already a
rat-run from Guilford Street via Great Ormond Street and Queen Square south, and the new one will be considerably shorter.
*Problems for cyclists under Option 28
CCC would expect problems for northbound cyclists with motorists exiting Rugby Street and overrunning on the turn into the contraflow lane.
Potential to drive the wrong way under Option 2
CCC would also expect some motorists to drive the wrong way down these relatively short sections of one-way street.
While both options involve new trees, benches and cycle parking, option 1 offers more of these as there is less road space and hence a bigger pavement area.
Although CCC believes that Option 1 is the only viable one, we recognise that it does not allow delivery vehicles to get to the businesses in the south section of the street and this might be considered unreasonable. Solutions to this, which are not on the plan include:
A few extra loading bays, possibly including at the south end.
A rising bollard somewhere.