The Council is asking local people in Holborn for their views on proposals designed to remove through traffic from the area between Southampton Row, Gray’s Inn Road, Guilford Street and Theobald’s Road.
Local groups were consulted during December 2002 and January 2003 and raised a series of issues in particular streets. These include too much traffic, traffic moving too fast and drivers failing to obey traffic restrictions (such as banned right turns). Following a public meeting in February 2004, a traffic study was undertaken in the area, to address these concerns. The results of the study were presented to a public meeting in September 2004.
These proposals are designed to treat the area as a whole. At the public meeting, people decided that there were some measures that should be consulted on individually (see Proposal 1 below) and others that should be consulted on as options for the area (see Proposal 2 below).
This document also provides an update on other schemes that could have an effect on the area. Please note that, subject to consultation and approval by Councillors, the Council would like to implement the changes proposed during 2005/2006. However, the Council may not be able to implement all of them during 2005/06.
The following proposed changes would help to reduce through traffic in the area.
Allowing goods vehicles to access premises in the northern part of Lamb’s Conduit Street by passing through the pedestrianised section
The Lamb’s Conduit Street pedestrian zone bans vehicles between Dombey Street and Rugby Street, although it allows deliveries to premises in this section. Camera enforcement has been in place since June 2004, so if banned vehicles go through the pedestrian zone, drivers can be fined.
Delivery vehicles serving premises in Lamb’s Conduit Street between Rugby Street and Great Ormond Street legally have to drive via Millman Street and Rugby Street. This proposal would allow delivery vehicles to legally drive through the pedestrian zone if they serve premises anywhere in Lamb’s Conduit Street.
Effect: This would divert larger vehicles from Millman Street and Rugby Street onto Lamb’s Conduit Street and would help to support local businesses.
Road narrowing in Millman Street (south of the junction with Great Ormond Street)
Please note that the road can only be narrowed at the location shown on the drawing to the left if proposal 1(a) is approved.
Effect:This would mean that large delivery vehicles have to use Lamb’s Conduit Street rather than Millman Street and Rugby Street. It is estimated that this change would divert 25% of the traffic, or 7 large delivery vehicles an hour, in the morning peak onto Lamb’s Conduit Street from Millman Street and Rugby Street. The road narrowing would allow access for emergency vehicles and refuse vehicles to Millman Street and Rugby Street through a lockable bollard or gate. However, narrowing the road could cause problems for large vehicles delivering to residents or for removal vans.
Raising the road to the level of the pavement on Roger Street at its junction with Gray’s Inn Road
It is proposed to raise the road to the level of the pavement at the location shown in the photograph in a similar way to Northington Street at its junction with Gray’s Inn Road.
Effect: This would help to slow down traffic and provide a better crossing point for pedestrians. It would discourage traffic from using John Street and Roger Street as a short cut and encourage traffic to use Gray’s Inn Road.
The two options below would further reduce traffic in the area by encouraging through traffic to travel on surrounding roads (Gray’s Inn Road, Southampton Row, Guilford Street and Theobald’s Road). Option A would reduce traffic speeds in the streets affected, and Option B would involve closing some roads in the area. It is intended that emergency vehicles and cyclists would be exempt from the proposed road closures. Option A and Option B are alternative schemes, but could be implemented in addition to the elements of Proposal 1.
This option involves raising the road to the level of the pavement at two junctions. There is an example locally at the junction of Guilford Street and Doughty Street.
Raising the road to the level of the pavement
at the Doughty Street/Roger Street junction and the John Street/Northington Street junction.
Raising the road to the level of the pavement(see shaded section in the drawing above. Through traffic could be reduced by up to 20 fewer vehicles in the peak hour (5% of traffic flow) as traffic would be encouraged to use other roads, such as Grays Inn Road instead. It would be easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
This option involves closing four roads and rearranging parking. It would cut out most of the north-south through traffic between Guilford Street and Theobald’s Road, which would divert to surrounding roads (Gray’s Inn Road, Southampton Row, Guilford Street and Theobald’s Road).
Option B would remove more through traffic than Option A. However, Option B would also have a bigger impact on access for residents and local businesses.
Closing Great Ormond Street at its junction with Queen Square
Effect: Closing Great Ormond Street at the location shown on the drawing to the left could reduce through traffic traveling via Great Ormond Street and Boswell Street/Old Gloucester Street by up to 100 vehicles an hour (about 36%), in the morning peak. Hospital traffic would only be able to travel via Guilford Street and Lamb’s Conduit Street. Most vehicles would be able to turn round at the junction of Powis Place.
Closing Orde Hall Street at its junction with Great Ormond Street, making Orde Hall Street two-way
Effect:Closing Orde Hall Street at the location shown on the drawing, in combination with proposal B(i), would mean that traffic accessing Great Ormond Street Hospital would have to use Guilford Street and Lamb’s Conduit Street instead. It is estimatedthat this could reduce traffic travelling via Orde Hall Street and through the area by up to 20 vehicles in the morning peak. One parking space would need to be moved to allow a clear turning space to be provided opposite No 26 Orde Hall Street, although it might still be difficult for large vehicles to turn round. If Orde Hall Street were closed, it would be necessary to make it two-way.
Making Harpur Street one-way southbound (that is, one way from Dombey Street to Theobald’s Road)
Effect:If Orde Hall Street were closed, any traffic entering Lamb’s Conduit Street from Theobald’s Road would be able to leave the area via Dombey Street and Harpur Street.
Rearranging parking in Great Ormond Street
It is proposed to introduce “at any time” waiting and loading restrictions on the north side of the road between Powis Place and Lamb’s Conduit Street. This would mean that parking would be banned at all times but loading would be allowed for up to 20 minutes in this section of the road. Parking bays would be relocated within Great Ormond Street.
Effect: This would help to remove delays to emergency vehicles due to the current parking arrangement, an issue raised by Great Ormond Street Hospital. It is unlikely that the number of parking spaces would change.
Closing Doughty Street at its junction with Guilford Street
Effect: Closing Doughty Street at the location shown on the drawing would stop Doughty Street being used as a through route. It would prevent through traffic on Doughty Street avoiding traffic lights at the junction of Gray’s Inn Road and Guilford Street. In the morning peak over 400 vehicles per hour turn into Doughty Street southbound from Guilford Street, with about 150 northbound vehicles turning into Guilford Street. The closure would remove most of this traffic, which would divert mainly onto Gray’s Inn Road. If this junction were closed, some traffic driving though the area might try to use Lamb’s Conduit Street, Great Ormond Street and Boswell Street instead. Therefore B(i) has been included as part of Option B.
Closing Brownlow Mews at its junction with Guilford Street
Effect: Approximately 10 vehicles per hour use this street in the peak, but if Doughty Street only were closed the numbers using the Mews would increase. Closing Brownlow Mews at the location shown on the drawing is therefore a necessary additional measures to B(v).
The Council intends to make other changes designed to reduce through traffic in the area. These changes have been supported in public meetings and are shown here for information only.
Advanced warning signs of Lamb’s Conduit Street pedestrian zone
Advanced warning signs will be installed in Theobald’s Road to indicate to drivers that they cannot drive through the Lamb’s Conduit Street pedestrian zone, which is now enforced by camera. The advanced warning signs will discourage drivers from entering the area.
Direction signage for Great Ormond Street Hospital
Signs will be put up on the area’s boundary roads directing traffic to the hospital via Guilford Street and Guilford Place. This will reduce traffic circulating in the area by motorists who are unfamiliar with local roads trying to find the hospital.
Camera enforcement of banned right turn into John Street from Theobald’s Road Observations showed that between 15 and 50 vehicles in the peak hour were making this illegal movement. Cameras are now enforcing this banned movement.
Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) in general supports the idea of a proposal such as proposal 1, as this proposal should achieve a reduction in the volume of of motor traffic, which will improve the area for cyclists and pedestrians.
We do however have a reservation concerning proposal 1(a): we are concerned that the congestion caused by the presence of delivery vehicles in the pedestrianised part of Lambs Conduit Street will hinder the progress of cyclists on what is a recommended cycle route (marked yellow on the TfL guides). It could even make journeys on this route more hazardous due to the presence of these larger vehicles. The alternative route used by delivery vehicles via Millman Street and Rugby Street is not a marked cycle route and is a preferable alternative as far as CCC is concerned. We recognise that the rejection of 1(a) implies the rejection of 1(b). We do however, support 1(c).
We have been unable to choose between options A and B of proposal 2, both of
which appear to be useful. We like option A because it improves conditions for pedestrians. However, as cyclists, we could gain more from the supposed reduction of traffic offered by option B. We therefore encourage you to implement both of them.
Q1Do you agree with allowing deliveries to pass through the pedestrianised section of Lamb’s Conduit Street to serve premises in the street (Proposal 1 (a))? No
Q2 If you answered yes to Q1, do you agree with the road narrowing in Millman Street (south of the junction with Great Ormond Street – Proposal 1 (b))?
Q3 Do you agree with raising the road to the level of the pavement on Roger Street at its junction with Gray’s Inn Road (Proposal 1(c))? Yes
Q4 Do you prefer:
We like both A and B