Camden Council proposes to upgrade the old and damaged speed cushions on Leighton Road. These are arranged in pairs inside traffic islands.
Two of the pairs of speed cushions will each be replaced by a zebra crossing (one of them raised) about 1/3 and 2/3 of the two-way stretch of the road.
Three other sets of speed cushions will be improved. They propose altering the fourth set (outside no 125) and removing the island to make room for some extra parking bays: the design is strange ; and it takes away one place where pedestrians can cross.
There are existing substandard (barely 1 m wide) cycle lanes on both sides of the road: the current speed cushions reach about half way across the cycle lanes. The drawing isn’t detailed enough to show whether the new ones will have the same problems.
Apart from the lead-in lane on the approach to Kentish Town Road junction, it may be better to ask for the cycle lanes to be taken out. The gaps inside the islands are all 3 metres or a little over. Following discussions, members said they preferred to keep the cycle lanes as a way to pass traffic queues and to keep a share of the road.
Click here to see the consultation leaflet LB Camden has hidden the file and we don’t have a copy
The introduction of two new zebra crossings is welcome, not only because they lead to the removal of two of the seven sites with speed cushions, but also for the sake of the many pedestrians needing to cross Leighton Road.
Speed cushions are poor for cyclists (compared with raised sections of road) because cyclists usually abandon the safe position in the centre of the lane to go round one side or the other. The siting of speed cushions on the approach to the narrow gaps between kerb and central refuge is a particularly bad case of this condition.
Wherever possible, please use raised tables instead of cushions. In any case where you retain the cushions, please ensure that cushions are sited midway in the gap so that cyclists can pass on either side.
Speed cushions outside 123-127 Leighton Road
The proposal at this site is very bad for cyclists. Eastbound cyclists will already have come out from the cycle lane to pass the parked cars and if they don’t want to ride next to the car doors may choose the central gap which is in the middle of the road.
In the absence of an island, I would suggest that a normal speed hump would be much more effective and would certainly be safer for cyclists.