LCC urges Londoners to oppose TfL's King's Cross gyratory plans - consultation closes on Monday

Campaign group says "interim" proposals fail to make area safer for cyclists ...

London Cycling Campaign (LCC) is urging people to oppose “interim” plans drawn up by Transport for London (TfL) for the King’s Cross gyratory, with the consultation period closing on Monday.

In an article on its website, LCC says that the proposals “lack connected and continuous protected cycle lanes or safe passage through the junction in every direction.

“There are considerable risks of potentially fatal left or right 'hooks' by lorries and other motor vehicles turning across the path of cyclists going ahead.

“Elsewhere in the junction, there are lesser risks of conflict with busy pedestrians areas.”

The area has seen a huge amount of redevelopment in recent years, and LCC points out that as new developments are completed, the area is seeing an increased level of cycle traffic.

It also notes that it will be one of the locations on the proposed North-South Cycle Superhighway, which will further increase the volume of traffic.

There are long-term plans by TfL and the two councils whose borders meet there – Camden and Islington – to remodel the gyratory system that links Euston Road and Pentonville Road.

LCC said: “There are many small improvements with more and wider mandatory cycle lanes and little bits of protected space.

“However, it will not possible to go through the junction in any direction without being exposed to unacceptable levels of danger.

“Some sections do not even meet the old cycle design standards set out a decade ago.”

The organisation outlines criticisms at several specific locations, for example saying that “Caledonian Road to Kings Cross Road involves major risks from large vehicles turning left and right across the path of cyclists,” and “is simply not good enough for a scheme supposed to reduce the danger to cyclists.”

The area includes the junction of Gray’s Inn Road and Pentonville Road where fashion student Deep Lee was killed by a lorry in November 2011.

Following her death, William Perrin of the King’s Cross Environment blog, which has also criticised the interim proposals, pressed for corporate manslaughter charges to be brought against TfL.

He said it had ignored the recommendations of a report it had itself commissioned into pedestrian safety in the area, which would also have improved cycle safety.

However, in October last year the Crown Prosecution Service said that it was unable to pursue the case, outlining a number of reasons for its decision that here was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against TfL for gross negligence manslaughter.”

At the inquest into her death last December at Poplar Coroner’s Court, Coroner Mary Hassell said: “Ultimately, cyclists and trucks don’t mix. The best possible way of having to avoid collision is to separate them.”

You can view the consultation and respond to it here.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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