A proposal related to LCN+ Link 27 which comes up West Hill and then turns into South Grove, arriving in Highgate Village close to the Bus Stands.
The CRISP Study identified a problem related to the fact that vehicles speed at the top of the hill and push cyclists close to the pavement on the approach to the junction of Highgate West Hill/The Grove and South Grove. It recommended that a raised table should be built at this junction to slow down the vehicles.
But the proposal from LB Camden ignores this recommendation.
Instead, it proposes:
- raising the zebra south of Witanhurst Lane.
- changing the priorities at the junction for southbound traffic so that South Grove loses priority
- reduce the width of Highgate West Hill
- build out the footway on south side of the junction
The change of priorities will make the right turn into South Grove very difficult for northbound cyclists.
As the consultation document explains, this proposal is intended to improve conditions on LCN+ Link 27. However, the proposed design ignores the CRISP Report on this route, which recommends a raised table across the junction (see data sheet 27-4g). This recommendation was agreed by Dave Stewart as well as representatives of Camden Cycling Campaign and LCN+; and it was recorded in the report by Camden Consultancy Services.
The CRIM noted that northbound cyclists are squeezed when they reach top of the hill and the vehicles behind them start to accelerate.
We understand that the proposed plan arose from an informal conversation between Camden officers and the Highagte Society and are amazed that the recommendations of the CRISP should be overturned in this way, with no discussion with cyclists’ representatives.
Raised junction table
Camden Cycling Campaign still believes that a raised junction is essential for cyclist safety at this junction for the following reasons:
- vehicles may still enter or exit South Grove at excessive speeds to the detriment of cyclists safety.
- vehicles will proceed southbound on Highgate West Hill at increased speeds due to removal of the give-way markings.
- although the proposed footway build outs will achieve some reductions in vehicle speeds on the approach to the junction they will not prevent the non-turning vehicles from rushing on and squeezing cyclists.
- a significant proportion of traffic turns into The Grove and will continue to left-hook cyclists. Speeds will not be much reduced by the new layout, especially as The Grove is one-way northbound at this point.
Change of priorities
We do not object in principle to the change of priorities at the junction. However, it does make things worse for cyclists coming up the hill and then turning right into South Grove. The squeezing of cyclists by vehicles proceeding along Highgate West Hill as they reach top of the hill still applies in the new configuration, but in addition, cyclists have to wait for the oncoming traffic before turning right. Further, cyclists proceeding out of South Grove will be confronted by faster moving traffic than before. This makes a raised table even more essential.
We object to the proposal to raise the zebra crossing; it will effectively apply a brake on cyclists arriving at the top of the hill when they should be trying to increase their speed and take up a central position ready to turn into South Grove. We also note that this crossing is not on the pedestrian’s desire line and suggest it is moved nearer to the junction, possibly being integrated into the raised area.
Note the above response was sent without consulting members as we believe that the problem must be dealt with urgently.