Following the Bloomsbury Vision, proposed by Terry Farrell and then worked up in more detail by Burns and Nice, Camden Council proposes changes in Byng Place, Malet Street, Montague Place and Great Russell Street.
To see some background of the Bloomsbury Vision:
look on our website
Summary of proposals
- Widen footways and narrow the road
- Option 1 – cycle lane at footway level (as it is now most of the way)
- Option 2 – footway including cycle lane 50 mm above road (described as at same level). No marking of cycle way
- no effort has been made to design a crossing for westbound cyclists needing to turn into Malet Street.
- how on earth are traffic flows going to be reduced to the level required for shared use to be feasible?
- cycle parking?
Byng Place details Camden website(6.6 Mbytes) LB Camden has hidden the file (soon after consultation)
- Widen footways and narrow the road
- Cycle parking outside ULU, Senate House etc
- Remove kerb segregation on contraflow cycle lane at southern end of street
- Raise carriage way at three locations and at junction with Montague Place
- the council officers assure us that no vehicles will be allowed to enter at northern end in spite of arrows on drawing
- remove segregation of contraflow at southern end? (coaches may park there)
- cycle parking outside ULU?
Malet Street details on Camden website(3.1 Mbytes) LB Camden has hidden the file
- Relocate coach parking on north side of road
- Widen footways
- Retain two way cycle access, but take out the central two way cycle track.
- All vehicles can travel eastbound, provide cycle contraflow westbound on south side of street (no kerb separation).
- the eastbound cycle lane at the west end of Montague Place appears to have lost its segregation
- absolutely no thought given as to how cyclists are to get from Montague Place to Malet Street (who has priority? where do cyclists wait?
Montague Place details Camden website(4.3 Mbytes) LB Camden has hidden the file
Great Russell Street
- Yellow box at junction Bloomsbury Street
- widen footway add pedestrian refuges
Great Russell Street Camden website(4.0 Mbytes) LB Camden has hidden the file
20 mph limit
The amount of traffic calming proposed would seem to justify a 20 mph zone; we would like to see a new 20 mph zone including this set of roads and some surrounding ones.
LCN+ Route 6
Although the various proposals refer to maintaining existing cycle access, absolutely no attempt has been made to maintain the continuity of this route, which is Camden’s primary north-south route. We refer to this in detail in our response below.
The proposals for Byng Place fail to take account of the route of LCN+ Route 6 which runs between Byng Place and Malet Street. We therefore disagree with both options.
As mentioned a few weeks ago, we would like to point out that the existing cycle lane is already at footway level (so cannot be raised).
The plans continue to omit the existing and for cyclists very useful uncontrolled crossing between the two zebras, which can be seen in the first photo on page 3. The CRISP Report on Route 6 recommended formalising this as a crossing for southbound cyclists heading to Malet Street. Following this, Dave Stewart had a design produced, so the idea is not unknown to Camden Council. Note that turning left off the cycle track opposite Malet Street is not an option because of conflict with pedestrians.
No attempt seems to have been made to reduce traffic flows and there appears to be nowhere between the two zebras for pedestrians to cross the road. Is this helping pedestrians?
Byng Place Option 1
This option has the cycle lanes at footway level but the road at its original level. Without a cycle crossing for Route 6, for example by formalising the use of the uncontrolled crossing, this option is of no use to cyclists.
Byng Place Option 2
This option has the carriageway, cycle lanes and footway at the same level, with a 50 mm kerb separating the road, but no marking of the cycle lanes. If the kerb were to be omitted cyclists could ride in the road when necessary, in particular to cross over into Malet Street; and pedestrians could cross at any point they wish to.
In the long term, would you like to see the cycle lanes in Bloomsbury separated to flow in the same direction as other traffic?
Referring only to the Torrington – Tavistock corridor: currently cyclists have a clear run through, unimpeded by motor vehicles; the only with-flow solution which would be acceptable is one where cyclists get the same level of service. This could be achieved, for example, by reduction of vehicle flow and a 20 mph speed limit in the roads; or by having adequately wide with-flow segregated tracks. We have been informed that the former is not under consideration and that there is not space for the latter.
The zebra by Gordon Square already is on a raised table as shown in the second photo on page 3.
A significant array of cycle stands should be provided on the north side.
The introduction says
existing vehicle and cycle provision will be retained, but the road markings appear to show motorists being allowed to turn left into Malet Street from Torrington Place (see the arrow marking above the zebra leading to Malet Place); the first photograph shows the segregated southbound cycle lane allowing us to enter against the no entry sign but there is then no indication of this on the plan. Our reply below assumes that existing vehicle and cycle provision will be retained.
Cycle exemption at north end of Malet Street
The existing contraflow is very useful in that it provides space for cycle parking; the left turn into it is rather too tight, but that could be remedied. Please ensure that whatever it is replaced by allows as much or more space for cycle parking.
Northbound contraflow at south end of Malet Street
We are opposed to the removal of the segregation for the contraflow lane. It was put in to prevent coaches parking there and blocking cyclist access northbound; we fail to see why similar obstructions will not occur again if the segregation is removed.
What is the proposed width of the unsegregated contraflow cycle lane? It looks very narrow, certainly much narrower than the equivalent shown for Montague Place (apparent on the Montague Place plan)
Junction with Keppel Street
This junction was recently re-built with a raised table and a narrowing of the entry to Keppel Street as part of the improvements recommended by the CRISP on LCN+ Route 6. The drawing shows a retrograde scheme: the junction needs to be made much sharper. As shown in the diagram, motorists turning right from Keppel Street can speed round straight into the path of northbound cyclists.
The existing row of cycle stands by the segregated lane outside ULU appear to be fully occupied in the photo. Students going to ULU want to park there, not 100 metres further down the road. Far more are needed. The new cycle stands outside Senate House are very useful and the supply should not be reduced.
LCN+ Route 6 runs between Malet Street, Montague Place and Montague Street via the south west corner of Russell Square. Little respect seems to have been paid to the continuity of this route.
The introduction to the consultation says: “maintain existing vehicle and cycle access”, but cycle access is severely degraded by the failure to design cyclists’ movements through the junctions.
Do you agree with removal of the existing segregated cycle tracks?
Only if the new arrangements can be designed to link up with the directions of travel for cyclists at both ends of the street.
Junction of Montague Place with Russell Square
The scheme does not specify how cyclists are to get from Montague Place to the southbound contraflow lane along the inside of the island on the south-west corner of Russell Square, which the existing segregated facility is designed to enable. This will need to be considered unless/until Russell Square becomes two-way all the way round.
Junction of Montague Place with Malet Street
The plans do not specify how cyclists are to get from Montague Place to Malet Street: who has priority? where do cyclists wait?
The eastbound contraflow cycle lane at the west end of Montague Place (erroneously labelled as Montague Street) appears to have lost its segregation, without mention or attempted justification; again, how are cyclists coming this way meant to cross Malet Street? (the marked
contraflow cycle lane seems to assume they will only want to go up Malet Street, not continue, as most seem to do, along Montague Place eastbound).
The current supply of cycle stands opposite the north entrance to the British Museum should be replaced with a larger number at an equally convenient location.
Great Russell Street
Bury Place has a countraflow cycle lane not marked on the plan. Also part of LCN+ Route 6.
Existing loading bay shown near the BM entrance is currently a Taxi stand. There is also a
Pay and display near the corner with Montague Street.
Although the British Museum has its own cycle parking, there is very little cycle parking outside – many lamp posts have bicycles attached to them. This should be remedied.