The new lightly segregated cycle tracks in Royal College Street have been with us since last August. A key element of the scheme was to remove the previous bidirectional cycle track (on the west side of the carriageway) and to introduce a pair of 2m wide cycle tracks. See our report on the new scheme. In doing so southbound cyclists are less likely to be involved in collisions at side road junctions as they have better sight lines and they are more visible to motorists. This southbound route has now become more popular with people who formerly used St Pancras Way.
Counts made in December 2013 show that the number of people using the tracks had increased:
- North of Pratt Street – 1028 cyclists in 24 hours in 2011 and 1532 cyclists in 2013 (49% increase)
- South of Plender Street – 826 cyclists in 24 hours in 2011 and 1134 cyclists in 2013 (37% increase)
We urged Camden Council to consider installing one of the internet-linked electronic cycle counters with a roadside display that have recently become available. They agreed on the basis that it will be valuable to have an ongoing record of usage as this route is extended and other new routes are linked to it. The cycle counter arrived earlier this week and started to record just before Easter: it counts the cycles on both tracks. The photo was taken a couple of hours after the counter was started and showed a count of “180”. For some reason the figures don’t show in the photo – a technical problem with the phone camera used.
Motor traffic speeds have decreased
All traffic humps were removed from the street as a trial and raised junctions were introduced at the side roads. The carriageway was narrowed from 2 traffic lanes to 1 traffic lane. The street is a 20 mph limit and has been for several years. Speeds have been an issue because of the straight and wide nature of the road even with extensive traffic calming.
Results of speed surveys in December 2013, giving the 85th percentile.
North of Pratt Street
2008 – 27.1 mph 2013 – 21.4mph 21% decrease
South of Plender Street
2008 – 30.5 mph 2013 – 25.9 mph 15% decrease
2008 – 29.8 mph 2013 – 28.5 mph 4% decrease
The following improvements have been made following a post-implementation review of the scheme involving CCC and Camden officers.
- moving the parking bays in line with outside of the wider loading bays. This will provide a 500mm wide ‘buffer’ door zone between the inside of the bays and the cycle lane and will have a further traffic calming benefit by creating a consistent width, narrower traffic lane. We hope this will reduce motor speeds in the middle section of the road.
- extending some zebra zig-zag markings and installing armadillos within them to provide further protection for cyclists
- changes to the temporary barriers and provision of additional armadillos opposite the National Power works site to provide further protection for cyclists.
Following planters being damaged by drivers reversing their motors into them when trying to park:
- flexible bollards installed in front of the more vulnerable planters
Temporary barriers (traffic cones) on approach
There are two motor lanes on the approach from Pancras Road; one of these has been closed with traffic cones since February 2014. This had the immediate effect of improving safety for cyclists waiting at the southern end of the RCS track. This shows the following to be feasible:
- the permanent reduction to a single motor lane
- the installation of a ligthly segregated cycle track on both sides of Pancras Road
Northern and Southern Extensions
We have been consulted on drawings for both northbound and siuthbound extensions
- The northbound extension will go across Camden Road and as far as Kentish Town Road.
- The southern extension will run on Pancras Road in the first instance go as far as the junction with Midland Road.
These will be consulted on soon after the local elections.
The next challenge is to complete the route to Judd Street with a contraflow across Euston Road.