Camden’s public consultation on reversing the direction of motor traffic on Tavistock Place was extended for a couple of weeks to compensate for failures in their website. It eventually closed on 6 January 2019. At the time of writing we await the results of the consultation.
Many thanks to all who responded in support of maintaining the current eastbound flow of motor traffic. We hope that this is the final act in the long-running saga of Tavistock Place!
In case you wonder why there’s yet another consultation…the brief history is:
Nov 2015: Tavistock Place trial starts (with motor traffic eastbound only)
Autumn 2016: Consultation on making the trial permanent received over 15,000 responses with 79% in favour but Camden decides to hold a public inquiry.
Autumn 2017: Public Inquiry
May 2018: The Inspector’s report recommends not making the trial permanent but suggests that Camden could consider reversing the motor traffic to flow to westbound.
Sept 2018: Cabinet decision to make trial permanent and then consult on westbound option.
Camden is now consulting on the direction of the motor traffic; that is, whether motor traffic should run eastbound (as now) or whether it should be changed to westbound.
Why should people who walk and cycle reject westbound motor traffic?
The westbound option would provide a clear run for motor vehicles all the way from Grays Inn Road to Edgware Road, allowing them to avoid the Euston Road, using instead Sidmouth Street (part of the CS6 route) and the Tavistock Place corridor. The eastbound option was designed to eliminate this rat run.
With the westbound option, at peak hours there are predicted to be 300 – 400 extra motor vehicles on Tavistock Place between Gordon Square and Bedford Way. (This motor traffic will eventually reduce when HS2 closes the top of Gordon Street – maybe in 2022).
With the westbound option, there are critical safety disadvantages on the corridor at two of the junctions:
Gower Street Junction: In the existing eastbound option only cycles (no motor vehicles) cross Gower Street. But westbound motor flow introduces a very serious safety risk for cyclists. All that is offered for westbound cyclists at this junction is an ASL with early release, so anyone arriving during the green stage is at serious risk of a left hook by motors turning from Tavistock Place into Gower Street southbound.
Gordon Square (west) Junction: In the westbound option, right turning motor vehicles will cross the track; and there will be 100-300 more of them using the west side of Gordon Square, which must increase the likelihood of a collision.
There are difficulties joining the corridor at four other junctions:
Bedford Way and Woburn Place Junctions: In the westbound option, on each of them the current left+ahead cycle lane on the northbound approach is removed to provide a left-turn-only motor lane with no provision at all for cyclists. Very unpleasant for people joining the westbound cycle track.
Marchmont Street Junction:
For the popular right turn out of Marchmont Street, cycles have to turn onto the track sandwiched between southbound and westbound motors – not safe or comfortable.
Judd/Hunter Street Junction: The westbound motor and cycle traffic is mixed but passes through a narrow funnel ensuring that each vehicle (motor or cycle) runs separately. The additional straight-ahead motors will make this junction far less comfortable for cycling
Camden’s consultation closes on Monday 24th December.
We need positive responses from the vast number of people who see the importance of this scheme. Since it is a vital link in the central London Grid and the street is used by staff and students of the colleges in the area, Camden will accept responses from a wide area.
And please tells us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help out with leafletting!