TfL announces strategic review of Kings Cross junction safety

Organisation also flags up planned improvements there and at Bow Roundabout

by Simon_MacMichael   December 22, 2011  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it will begin a full ‘strategic review of traffic movements' in the Kings Cross area starting in spring next year, including the junction where 24-year-old student Deep Lee was killed by a lorry while riding her bike to her place of study in October.

The news comes two days after Ms Lee’s boyfriend, Kenji Hirasawa, and Debbie Dorling, whose husband Brian died after being struck by a lorry at Bow roundabout, also in October, attended a candlelit vigil at Kings Cross on Tuesday evening to remember the 16 cyclists who have died on London’s roads during 2011.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has a report of that vigil on its website.

TfL says “the study will consider how all road users, especially vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, travel along the TfL and local borough road network around Kings Cross.”

In a press release, the full text of which is reproduced at the end of this article, it also says that it has “completed its initial review into the proposed Pedestrian Improvement schemes at three junctions outside Kings Cross station.”

The junction of York Way and Pentonville Road where Deep Lee died was an area of particular focus for the review.

Following her death, local road safety campaigners highlighted that a report previously commissioned by TfL had made a number of recommendations regarding safety improvements at the junction, but those had not been acted upon.

Today, TfL said it has “now completed its initial review into the proposed Pedestrian Improvement schemes at three junctions outside Kings Cross station, in particular considering the location at the junction of York Way and Grays Inn Road where there was a fatal collision involving a cyclist in October.

“The pedestrian improvement scheme has been developed and agreed with Camden Council following earlier reports by TfL identifying the need for enhancements at busy junctions around the station, helping pedestrians move more safely through the area.

“The scheme, which will deliver wider pavements, reduced street clutter and new advanced stop lines for cyclists around Kings Cross station, has been reviewed to see if any further changes were possible prior to commencement of main construction in January.”

Meanwhile the roadway at York Way is to be widened in the New Year to provide more space for motorised traffic and cyclists through the junction, with completion of the works due ahead of the Olympics.

The organisation added that it will also “include the York Way junction within its ongoing cycle safety junction review to identify, discuss and plan further improvements.

“Were any potential options to be identified which would benefit all road users, TfL would look to install these after the London 2012 Games.”

TfL also said that it “continues to investigate making improvements to the junction at Bow roundabout,” where another cyclist, Svitlana Tereschenko, lost her life in early November, less than a fortnight after Mr Dorling had been killed there.

It said it “has now identified potential options for improvements. Detailed modeling and design is now being carried out and more details will be available in the New Year, when TfL begin discussing the improvements with key stakeholders and cycle groups.”

Following those two recent fatalities at that junction, it was revealed that TfL had not acted upon recommendations of another report it had commissioned there which called for the introduction of a number of safety measures for cyclists and pedestrians that were never put in place.

Commenting on the reviews announced today, Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Any fatal collision on the Capital's roads is one too many and the Mayor and TfL are determined to work night and day to reduce that number.

“We will be working closely with all partners to carry out a strategic review of how traffic moves through the area. However, we have an important commitment to provide pedestrian improvements around Kings Cross station ahead of the London 2012 Games. Work will begin to deliver these during Christmas while we continue to investigate further changes at this location.”

LCC has cautiously welcomed today's news from TfL, with the campaign group's Mike Cavenett saying: "There's still a long way to go before we see a people-friendly King's Cross, but hearing this significant change in language from Transport for London is a great Christmas present.

"It's vital the reviews at Bow and King's Cross come up with solutions that provide real benefits to cyclists and pedestrians."

7 user comments

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The proof of the pudding, as they say......

posted by Paul M [309 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 13:59

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"...significant change in language from Transport for London..."

Talk is cheap.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 14:16

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The language used for the TfL statement still has that ring of obfuscation and in some ways I'd be ratgher alarmed by an announcement that the road is to be widened at the junction. This is perhaps one of the most counterproductive actions on a road with a track record of crashes, and the past evidence is that crashes simply migrate from the spot 'improvement' to where the road conditions revert to the original standard.

If anything the gyratory system at Kings Cross needs fewer lanes, with clearer definition, and a radical look at the way Caledonian Road-Euston Road traffic fights with Grays Inn Road-York Way traffic as the flows are forced into a merge and separate section barely 100 metres long, made worse by the dreadful state of the road surfaces.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [481 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 14:18

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There are plenty of studies of this area, what is required is for TfL to actually do something about the problems.
The cynic in me thinks this might be a way of burying the issue for a few months until the fuss has died down and then they wil do nothing. Thinking

The scheme, which will deliver wider pavements, reduced street clutter and new advanced stop lines for cyclists around Kings Cross station, has been reviewed to see if any further changes were possible prior to commencement of main construction in January.”
Meanwhile the roadway at York Way is to be widened in the New Year to provide more space for motorised traffic and cyclists through the junction, with completion of the works due ahead of the Olympics.

Far too often wider pavements have been at the expense of cycle lanes. TfL will still try and cram as many motorvehicle lanes in as they can but will almost never give space for a decent cycle lane.
The ASLs won't be of any use with decent lanes and some policing to stop them filling up with motorbikes and taxis.

posted by thereverent [298 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 18:26

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I used to work in London and would commute 13 miles by bike every day. My workplace was basically right next to this junction - and this was the worst part of the entire journey. I had a few close escapes, and it got the point that, more often than not, I would just get off my bike and walk the last few hundred metres.

Something definitely has to be done - sooner rather than later.

Check out my blog at www.bikingadventures.co.uk

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posted by CraigTheBiker [11 posts]
22nd December 2011 - 22:18

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Is there a way to reach the Belgrove Street bike hire rack without using Euston Road or Gray's Inn Road? I always seem to end up walking up a one-way street at some point.

This whole area seems badly-thought-out.

posted by a.jumper [698 posts]
23rd December 2011 - 2:52

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(duplicate removed again)

posted by a.jumper [698 posts]
23rd December 2011 - 2:53

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