Following the fatal collision on 4 September 2021 which resulted in the death of Dr Marta Krawiec while cycling to work, Camden Council has installed interim safety measures at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road.
“This report outlines proposals to provide temporary improvements to the junction of Southampton Row / Theobalds Road. Improvements include:
- Changing the southbound Southampton Row approach to the junction from three lanes to two to reduce the risk to cyclists of vehicles turning left from the current centre ahead-only lane
- The current central ahead-only traffic lane will be replaced with a temporary island to separate vehicles turning left and vehicles going straight on. It will also allow cycles to access a new cycle box (advanced stop line)
- Amending the nearside left-turn lane so that cyclists and buses can travel straight ahead through the junction, while general traffic will only be allowed to turn left
- Adding advanced stop lines for cyclists at the traffic lights on Southampton Row to provide a safe space to wait in at the front of queuing traffic
- Removing pedestrian guard railing at the north-east corner of the junction; subject to further assessment and road safety audit (Stage 2).
The scheme will be implemented under a temporary traffic order and will last until circa January 2022. At that point, it is intended to bring forward, subject to consultation and approvals, further road safety improvements at this junction.”
The measures were installed on 3 October, having been designed, approved and implemented in under one month. We commend the Council on its speed of reaction to this terrible event and look forward to the promised further improvements. Cyclists and motorists seem to be using the new layout as designed. Cyclists will be better able to ‘read’ the new layout when they are put in place.
The changes only partially address one of the many issues with this junction and the wider area. We would expect the medium term improvements in the New Year to include radical modifications to the junction so that a cyclist would be protected in space on any approach to the junction and on any exit from the junction and protected in time as they cross the junction (e.g. by dedicated cycle signals).
And we want the long term improvements when the gyratory is removed to provide protected cycling in both directions on Bloomsbury Way– Theobalds Road, on High Holborn and on Southampton Row–Kingsway.