Camden Councils proposes
The proposals comprise the following:
- Raise the existing zebra crossing on Hilgrove Road (close to Belsize roundabout). This will help reduce vehicle speeds approaching Belsize roundabout. It will also improve pedestrian accessibility by providing a step free crossing point.
- Widen the southern footway on Hilgrove Road where it meets Belsize roundabout. This will help further reduce vehicle speeds by changing the angle at which vehicles approach Belsize roundabout from Hilgrove Road. The existing central island markings will be removed which means the available carriageway width will NOT be reduced.
We are happy with the proposal to build out the kerb at Hilgrove Road where it meets the roundabout, on the basis that, as you say, it will not reduce the carriageway width.
We support the proposal for a raised zebra crossing across Hilgrove Road. Whilst it is good to ensure that traffic does slow down, as with your design, we’re not sure that this will necessarily help all that much with the problem of collisions.
We would like to remind you that there should be the cycle logos on the roundabout.
You mention: “There have been four collisions on Belsize Roundabout in the past 3 years involving a vehicle hitting a cyclist due to speeding or careless driving”, but do not say where these collisions occurred. Our experience of the area is that traffic tends to approach the roundabout from Hilgrove Road at reasonable speeds, given the narrow road and the zebra crossing.
One of the difficulties with roundabouts is the tendency of cyclists to hug the periphery, making it appear to motorists that they are leaving at the approaching exit even when they are not; motorists either wanting to leave or join the roundabout can then collide with them. If motorists approaching the roundabout are slowed down, this could help them to identify correctly where cyclists are going, but we think it is marginal.
The main problem is speed on the roundabout, and the general unsuitability of roundabouts for cyclists. The best solution would be to remove the roundabout.