Streets for People
West End Lane/Quex Road – enhanced pedestrian and cycle facilities at the signal junction
I am writing to ask for your views on the Council’s proposal to improve pedestrian facilities at the junction of West End Lane and Quex Road. As part of the Council’s policy, Camden has adopted a strategy called “Streets for People”. This aims to look at an area in a more holistic way; looking at all the traffic and transport needs of the area, but also aiming to take on board community safety issues.
As part of this process, local residents and other interest groups have requested improved pedestrian facilities at the junction of West End Lane/Quex Road. They expressed concerns regarding pedestrian safety and traffic speeds at the junction.
The Council is proposing to introduce signals at this junction in order to provide safe crossing facilities for pedestrians and also control the speed of traffic approaching the junction
It is proposed that this work will be undertaken during the winter period of 2005/2006. The funding for this work has been secured from Transport for London.
The proposed junction layout is shown in the centre of this leaflet.
The measures proposed are:
• Full signalisation of the existing priority T-junction of West End Lane and Quex Road.
• A dedicated pedestrian green phase in the new signals.
• Advanced stop lines for cyclists on all arms of the junction.
• Cycle filter lanes on all arms of the junction to aid cyclists’ progression to the advanced stop line areas.
• Removal of 6 resident’s parking spaces on West End Lane to create more space and improve visibility for all road users through the junction.
• Pedestrian refuge islands on all 3 crossing points.
The Council would be pleased to hear your views on the proposed measures. Details on how to respond to this consultation are given on the back page of this leaflet.
Do you agree with the proposed signal scheme at the junction of West End Lane and Quex Road?
The council is proposing to introduce traffic signals at this junction in order “to provide safe crossing facilities for pedestrians and also control the speed of traffic approaching the junction”. We get Advanced Stop Lines and (very short) feeder lanes. Cyclists are in general going to be inconvenienced by this scheme, as we will be obliged to stop much more frequently than is currently the case, but the benefit to pedestrians will obviously weigh more heavily with the Council. Some cyclist turns will be assisted, e.g., turning right out of Quex Road. The zebra crossing just to the north of the junction is to be removed, and presumably along with it the speed table it sits on. This will enable motorists to speed round this stretch of West End Lane when the lights are green. This doesn’t seem consistent with the Council’s declared interest in controlling traffic speed. I would therefore like to suggest that we ask for the new pedestrian crossings to be put on speed tables (or at least the one to the south of the present zebra crossing). West End Lane frequently gets very congested northbound, and this will vitiate the effective functioning of the traffic lights (and the ASLs).
We could ask for the whole junction to be raised rather than having 3 separate speed tables. / Why do we always get traffic light controlled junctions? Wouldn’t a mini-roundabout + ped crossings be more effective and more calming? Or do we continue to have an anti-roundabout position? (I quite like mini-roundabouts as they seem to be efficient, have a traffic calming effect, are OK to negotiate by bike, and result in less street furniture than lights).
agree with the need for some sort of physical speed limiting device, and think we should push for John’s suggestion of a raised table across the whole junction (although this could cost a lot and presumably hasn’t been budgeted for). A mini roundabout might work quite well for experienced cyclists – not sure whether less confident ones will appreciate this type of configuration. / Also, I am not sure that pedestrians will neccessarily get a better deal – the plus is better located crossing points for W End Lane and a protected crossing of Quex Road, the minus (once the zebra goes) is having to wait to cross W End Lane.
Without commenting on this particular scheme, there is a general move away from situations where motor vehicle drivers are required voluntarily to give way to pedestrians (cyclists don’t get counted), thus removing belisha beacon crossings and their replacement with lights, similarly the increased provision of lights at junctions. The latter is done because pedestrians simply don’t get any time at all to cross unless they run. This works particularly badly for the young and the less confident (witness the greater unwillingness of cars to stop at pedestrian crossings at school’s out time than if there are just adults, similarly with the elderly). / Non-lighted solutions provide for the aggressive and the assertive, but we need to think about everybody. Until the attitudes of drivers to vulnerable road users change (or are changed by threat of fines, disqualification etc), we will continue to need protection from their inability to think about the safety of others.
The short ASL feeders make the ASLs particularly useless. Much better to have a real streets for people scheme rather than an engineering for drivers one. difficult to see how the funding can be justified under the umbrella of Streets for People. The so-called facilities for pedestrians and cyclists actually lead to increased journey times for them, inconvenience and drivers racing through to catch the green lights. want better conditions for VRUs not
facilities that give them less priority and are really just there to keep them out of the way of drivers. Much better to implement a mini-roundabout on a speed table here with junction narrowing where the res parking is being removed. Have two zebras, where signalled ped crossings are shown at end of Abbey & Quex Road, then see if you can keep the existing one.
We generally approve of the endeavour to improve conditions for pedestrians, though regret the general move away from situations where motor vehicle drivers are required voluntarily to give way to pedestrians, presumably because of the increasing unreliability of motorists in this regard. From our point of view, the ideal solution would be a mini-roundabout with zebra crossings on all three arms, but recognize that driver selfishness may make traffic lights unavoidable.
Our main concern with the proposals is the removal of the speed table on which the zebra crossing to the north of the junction sits. (This isn’t mentioned in the consultation document, but presumably is a corollary of the removal of the zebra crossing.) This will enable motorists to speed round this stretch of West End Lane when the lights are green (and green lights encourage drivers to race in order to catch them). This doesn’t seem consistent with the Council’s declared interest in controlling traffic speed and will make the area more dangerous for cyclists (and pedestrians). We would therefore ask for some sort of physical speed limiting device to be installed – either speed tables for each of the pedestrian crossings or the whole junction to be raised.
We are also unhappy with the very short ASL feeder lanes, in particular with the Quex Road one. This is very ineptly designed, emerging from a line of residents’ parking. How are cyclists supposed to use it?! Better not to bother with the feeder lane at all if this all that can be provided.