- The Kings Cross one-way system was introduced in 1960s to improve motor traffic flow. However, some sections of wide road have remained to this day and these can be narrowed (and the pavement widened) to the benefit of pedestrians without detriment to motor traffic.
- Large numbers of pedestrians cross the road at the junction of King’s Cross Road with Swinton
Street where there are no crossing facilities. The provision of ‘green man’ pedestrian crossings at this junction will assist all pedestrians, especially the elderly or those with disabilities.
- As part of our general maintenance or renewal programme we would like to re-surface Kings Cross Road and renew the street lights.
- The sections of road in question are one-way and motor vehicles can travel at speed causing difficult conditions for cyclists. However, there is enough road space to provide cycle lanes to help protect and raise awareness of cyclists.
The plan from the leaflet
We support all the proposals, but we do have some reservations about item 5, the cycle lanes.
We are in favour of the reduction of Penton Rise to two lanes and the provision of a cycle lane. However, we note that most traffic coming down Penton Rise from Pentonville Road uses the outside and central lanes, primarily so as to avoid the sharper turn into the inside lane. This has the effect of leaving the inside lane relatively free of traffic and so helps cyclists. Consequently, in the new layout, cyclists are more likely to be riding along motor traffic. Penton Rise is also goes downhill, so cyclists can go at some speed. For both these reason, and given the fact that there is quite a lot of road space to play with, we would very much
like the cycle lane to be 1.8 metres wide. One factor uppermost in our minds in supporting the reduction of Penton Rise to two lanes is the effect this should have on traffic behaviour at the Pentonville Road junction, where cyclists proceeding straight ahead (into the bus lane) are regularly cut up by fast left-turning motor traffic. The existing three lanes encourage motorists to speed round this corner. When re-engineering Penton Rise, anything that can be done to sharpen the angle of this turn into it from Pentonville Road will be welcome.
We are not in favour of the cycle lane proceeding along King’s Cross Road from the junction with Penton Rise to the junction with Swinton Street. For one thing, it leads cyclists right in front of the give-way markings on Vernon Rise, which is not an advisable place for cyclists to be travelling in, particularly as motor traffic coming out of that side road will tend to be ahead of the give-way markings in order to see round the slight bulge directly to the north. Also, the cycle lane is shown continuing south of the new pedestrian crossing where it runs directly alongside a bus parking place – again, this is not a good place to be encouraging cyclists to be riding. The reduction of traffic lanes along this stretch of King’s Cross Road is welcome and should be sufficient to enable cyclists to proceed easily along it without this proposed cycle lane.
We are happy with the ASLs and, in general, we are very encouraged to see the reduction in traffic lanes and the re-allocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists.
Reply from Transport for London
Thank you for your useful comments regarding the ‘King’s Cross Road and
Penton Rise Improvements’ consultation leaflet.
The point about the removal of the nearside lane in Penton Rise is a
good one and we will investigate the possibility of making the proposed
cycle lane wider. One unresolved issue here is how much footway widening
is desirable/necessary. Trial holes are to be carried out shortly to
determine suitable positions for tree planting and this will have a
major bearing on the final design for this section. Therefore the design
will be reviewed following the results of the trial hole investigations.
We will also consider the argument for not having the proposed advisory
lane between Penton Rise and Swinton Street. The proposed arrangement
alongside the junction with Vernon Rise is a fairly standard one and we
were already considering cutting back the proposed kerb
bulge to the
north in order to ease the left turn movement for cyclists and prevent a
potential pinch point. At the existing bus stop, which is used by
coaches servicing the hotel, the cage markings currently extend beyond
the kerb build out. The proposed kerb re-alignment here will help
cyclists position themselves further away from the bus stop and
therefore the proposed lane could be unnecessary as you point out.
Please note that we are currently analysing all responses to the
consultation and reviewing the designs in the light of comments
received. Subject to the consultation and the availability of funding we
will be prioritising a first stage of implementation work in autumn
Central Area – Islington
Transport for London – Road Network Development