Haverstock Hill/Prince of Wales Road/Maitland Park Villas pedestrian & cycle facilities
As part of a Safer Routes to School scheme for Haverstock School, the council is consulting over proposals to allow cyclists to travel through the road closure in Maitland Park Villas into Haverstock Hill.
It is proposed to:
- Install a cycle route link to Maitland Park Villas. This would involve replanting two (fairly recently planted) trees to ensure there is enough width for the cycleway with the fire gate beside it. The cycleway would be marked with green tarmac.
- Provide a pedestrian crossing phase in the traffic signals. This would allow people to press a button to stop all the traffic and cross the road safely when the ‘green man light shows. The inclusion of this phase would slightly increase the waiting time and queue lengths at the lights for traffic, but would not exceed the road capacity. Red tactile paving to assist visually impaired people would also be included.
- Make the crossings on two of the arms of the junction (to the East and South)
toucan crossings, which allow cyclists to cross with pedestrians. The measures would include widening of the existing crossings, additional sections of cycleway on the pavement and special buff-coloured tactile paving, to indicate the edges of the area of pavement that would be shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
- Alter the road layout on all the approaches to the junction to allow for two full width traffic lanes as well as a 1 m wide cycle lane, which would provide access for cyclists to the advance stop line areas.
The Camden Cycling Campaign is keen to see this scheme proceed.
However as we had already indicated prior to consultation, and have since been strongly backed by our members when we consulted them on this proposal, a 3rd Toucan crossing is required for the northern arm of the junction. This is backed up by feedback from our membership suggesting that few cyclists would use the 2 Toucans proposed (Prince of Wales Rd & Haverstock Hill south) to make the right turn from Maitland Park Villas into Haverstock Hill.
One aspect of the scheme we concerned about is cyclists travelling down Haverstock Hill on the green traffic signal phase, and turning left into Maitland Park Villas. The high speed of some southbound motorists as they turn into Prince of Wales Road, combined with cyclists having to brake and swing out as they negotiate to turn onto the track, will lead to a risk that less experienced cyclists could be shunted from behind by motor vehicles. Whilst we do not expect this manoeuvre to be particularly frequent, it is important to consider how cyclists can be better protected from this scenario.
A solution may be to tighten the corner of the junction to force motor vehicles to slow down as they negotiate the bend. Or alternatively to create a piece of
quiet roadspace next to where the track heads towards the carriageway, by modifying the kerb alignment so that there is a slight indent which leaves the road motor vehicle free, but allows cyclists to get onto the track.
There are some concerns about whether there might be a degree of pedestrian/cyclist conflict, but we are of the view that conflict is unlikely to be a serious issue unless there is a major increase in cycle flows via Maitland Park Villas.
It is worth recording an alternative solution for this junction, which would remove pedestrian & cyclist conflict, and tackle the hazard from cyclists exiting from Maitland Park Villas into the carriageway when the signals are green for vehicles travelling down Haverstock Hill and into Prince of Wales Road.
If the Maitland Park Villas track was under traffic signal control, cyclists could cross into Prince of Wales Road at the same time as the green pedestrian phase. The cycle track would exit south of the Prince of Wales Road pedestrian crossing and the cyclist would be fed into the Prince of Wales Road advance stop line.
What happened after
The council agreed to put in the third Toucan requested by CCC and the work was started in Summer 2004. But when the green surfacing for the cycle approaches to the Toucans was installed, Nick Harding (Living Streets) started to protest. Eventually he persuaded the council to modify the design. The third Toucan and what goes with it has been removed. The new plan is here:
The scheme will be put into action and monitored during January 2004.The results of monitoring will be reported at the WCRSAG meeting in February 2004.
Dave Jenkins says: In a further revision not shown on this plan (suggested by Alex Williams when answering Sally Dixon and Nick Harding’s last letter on the subject) is that the cycle link from Maitland Park Road has now been shifted sideways, so that the kerb line on the eastern side becomes a continuation of the kerb on the eastern side of MP Road. The existing tree shown on the plan on that side has not been there for some time and will therefore not now be replaced.