The council states that this scheme offers improvements for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time, relocating Dalby Street to make room for a new development. They affect Prince of Wales Road near to the railway bridge.
One of the improvements for cyclists consist of “providing cycle lanes on both sides of the road under the railway bridge”. In fact, they are taking away an existing segregated cycle lane under the bridge.The proposed ones are advisory.
The other improvement for cyclists consists of widening the road space to 4 m on both sides of the zebra crossing to the west of the bridge.
But there are several other issues:
- nothing is stated about cycle access to Talacre Sports Centre: are they supposed to use the new, rather narrow access road or to go the same way as the pedestrians?
- the question of cycle parking outside Kentish Town West Station: currently there are cycle stands, but none shown on the plan.
- the new loading bay between the zebra crossing and the bridge pushes the traffic out to the right, causing a potential pinch point for cyclists.
The consultation leaflet is available on the Camden Council website. Click here to see the consultation leaflet
Question. Do you agree with the proposal for highway improvements on Prince of Wales Road? No
CCC’s wrtten response
CCC was not consulted on the decision to stop up and relocate Dalby Street, but sent the a letter (following) when we saw the traffic order (Traffic Management Order Ref:ES/TE/ED/1/06/S247) in September 2006.
Unfortunately the decision to resite Dalby Street did not take into account the effects on Prince of Wales Road, in particular, the narrowing of Prince of Wales Road by the railway bridge. This may force eastbound cyclists to move out into the vehicle lane at an already awkward railway under-bridge.
Cycle lanes under the bridge
We dislike the cycle lanes under the bridge. Short cycle lanes are useful only to get cyclists past queues of vehicles (as in the case of feeder lanes for advanced stop lines). Otherwise they tend to lure cyclists in to the side of the road away from the safest riding position, contradicting the National Standards for Cycle Training.
Eastbound cyclists riding in the correct position should be well away from the vehicle in the loading bay and properly visible to drivers behind. Such a path would be on the outside edge of the proposed cycle lane. It would be better to encourage drivers to share the road and slow down here. Therefore we reject the proposal for the eastbound cycle lane.
The same criticism applies to the westbound cycle lane, and in addition, the presence of the adjacent bridge pillar indicates that a wider cycle lane would be needed. The existing segregated lane with the wide kerb at least protects cyclists while under the bridge, but it does reduce flexibility of cyclists movements. After serious thought, we would prefer to keep the segregated cycle lane on the south side.
The key issue here is the width of the gaps between the island and the kerb. The plan supplied with the consultation shows these widths as 4m. If they were reduced to 3m, then cyclists would have to take the lane and overtaking by motor vehicles would be impossible. The danger width is 3m-4m when cycles ride with cars and vans, but on a road (like this) with buses and HGVs, the gaps should be at least 4.2m. (See the Cambridge study) on buildouts.
Cycle parking (6 spaces) is currently available outside the station. The plans do not indicate a location for cycle parking. Bearing in mind the proposed increase in capacity at the station, it would be sensible to increase the number of stands.
Cycle access to Talacre Sports Centre
Cycle access is not mentioned: it should be considered. The new access road will be narrow and used by HGVs delivering to the Sports Centre. A special cycle access track should be constructed adjacent to the pedestrian access path.
Build out inside bridge pillar at junction of access road
This is intended to create a better view for drivers emerging from the access road and to provide a boundary to the loading bay. As we mention earlier, it forces all vehicles to move out on the approach to the bridge. The narrow area of footway outside the bridge pillar is no use to pedestrians but may tempt drivers to park while dropping off at the station.
We suggest mirrors could be used to provide drivers with a view along Prince of Wales Road, making this build out unnecessary for that or any other purpose.
Position of zebra crossing and loading bay relative to the eastbound bus stop
The rather small adjustment to the geometry of the zebra (move west 3.5m and reduce the central refuge) is still going to mean a sharp outwards manoeuvre for eastbound cyclists to go round the loading bay. Also, when this bay is occupied, cyclists won’t be able to see what’s coming out from the new access road until they’re round the occupant. More importantly, vehicles exiting the new roadway won’t likewise be able to see cyclists or, indeed, any other vehicle until they’re round the parked vehicle.
The original position of the zebra is nearer to pedestrians desire lines and is not so close to the bus stop.
It is clear that the position of loading bay is causing problems: requiring a build out and forcing the zebra westwards. Perhaps it could be situated on the south side of the road to the west of the build out for the zebra crossing.
Letter to Alex Djan, 21 Sept 2006
Camden Cycling Campaign wishes to lodge a strong objection to the proposal to narrow Prince of Wales Road at Kentish Town West railway station (Traffic Management Order Ref:ES/TE/ED/1/06/S247) as a result of the proposed stopping up and relocation of Dalby Street.
This location is already dangerous for cyclists and the proposed narrowing will force eastbound cyclists further into the main traffic lane at an already awkward railway underbridge. Cycle movements here are likely to increase as more people use cycles to access the popular Talacre Sports Centre and as use of the North London Line station at Kentish Town West increases (Tfl plan to enhance train frequencies). Provision for cyclists should be increased, not reduced.
The segregated cycleway situated on the south side of Prince of Wales Road indicates the already acknowledged desirability of having cycle provision on this section of highway and the recognised danger associated with the narrowing at the railway bridge and the consequent absence of scope for emergency avoiding action. A similar facility for eastbound cyclists would be desirable.
We have no record that we received a formal consultation notice on the plans, as is required by our position as a statutory consultee, hence our late response.