Euston Circus proposals

TfL have recently posted details of a consultation on their proposals for Euston Circus. They are here:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/streets/euston-circus/

This page contains a form for the public to send feedback and also links to the consultation leaflet.

This is what Camden Cyclists coordinator Jean Dollimore had to say:

The proposed scheme appears to do nothing at all for cyclists.

TfL claim that it provides simpler and safer journey options for cyclists (meaning?) and that they have enhanced the contraflow cycle lane for cyclists travelling from East to West on Euston Road (it is a bit less complicated...)

I was concerned that it doesn't show anything to indicate that LB Camden will soon have southbound buses and cycles on TCR (Tottenham Court Road). I asked on of them about this and he replied:

We have been working closely with TfL on the Euston Circus scheme and I can confirm that Euston Circus has been designed to be compatible with the TCR 2-way scheme and the wider West End improvements – the consultation only relates to the Euston Circus scheme as the projects are on different timescales and Euston Circus will be built prior to the TCR scheme.

All the same, that aspect worries me.

The other point to understand is although LB Camden intends to make TCR two-way, they have been unable to unpick the gyratory north of Grafton Way. This is because TfL have failed to make the road between TCR and Gower Street two-way (they claim that it's not wide enough, since the underpass is going to stay in place...not sure if it's worth challenging them there).

After being shown a preview of the plans a few weeks ago, Camden Cyclists have worked with people in the LCC cycle planning and engineering group to propose a safe way for cyclists to cross north-south across the junction. A copy of this proposal can be seen on our website.

I hope that everyone will go on TfL's website and say something to make an impression that this proposal has absolutely nothing to do with cyclists safety.

This post was edited by gegi at 12:26pm 7 September 2013.

Replies

I guess one has to comment on the scheme that is proposed. I think we all desire the longer term Tottenham Court Road two-way scheme, but what's on the table is a short term, lower budget improvement scheme funded by British Land's Section 106 contribution. I guess we should try and get the best result for cyclists from that scheme and ensure it does not prejudice longer term improvements.

I note that the left turn from Hampstead Road into Euston Road eastbound has been banned (hence the 90 degree kerbline). It's not clear whether the right turn from Euston Road (adjacent to Euston Tower) towards Gower Street (passing UCLH) has also been banned. I've used these turns a couple of times while cycling, although it's not on my regular commute. Are there many other cyclists here who use them? If so, would cyclists value Toucan crossings rather than pedestrian crossings, which would maintain connectivity for cyclists despite the banned turns?

  • By gegi at 11:27am 28 January 2012

This is a lower budget scheme!? I suggest that keeping the gyratory does jeopardise future improvements and that this is the main problem (apart from the underpass of course).

If they are spending money on remodelling the road they can afford to make the junction more 'Dutch'. In particular it is essential to design out conflicts between cyclists and left turning lorries.

We should all reply to the consulation.

Maybe something along the lines of:

- dedicated cycle lanes / paths on all approaches (there is space)

- separate traffic lights at each junction for motor traffic going left or straight/right

- cyclist green for straight ahead together with pedestrians (but not when motor traffic has the green light for turning left, to avoid left turn accidents)

- left turn cycle paths which bypass the traffic lights

There should be a southbound contraflow cycle lane on the east side of Tottenham Court Road to allow cyclists to access University College Hospital and Warren Street.

I noticed that this TfL webpage about Euston Circus has been updated with new text and a new drawing:

"Following the consultation in spring 2012 and TfL's Better Junctions programme, the layout has been amended to further improve facilities for cyclists and people travelling by bus to and from UCLH.
The new design sees the introduction of a bus lane westbound from Gower Street to Tottenham Court Road on the slip road outside University College Hospital for local buses and cyclists, and associated modifications to the junction of Euston Road and Gower Street."

The revised plan has removed the segregated east bound cycle path between Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road. If the replacement bus lane is to be a safe option then we will at the very least need an ASL at the Gower Street Junction in order to avoid the two lanes of left turning traffic. This is not shown on the revised plan.

Unless there is a means to cross this junction safely (eg. cycle crossing timed to allow cyclists to cross over Gower street at the same time as pedestrians), TfL will have created yet another very unsafe junction for cyclists: Two lanes of traffic all flowing to the left, with cyclists invited to go on ahead!

I am very surprised that Tfl do not seem to use any kind of audit or rating system for the safety of their proposals, and of each element within them (ie every new junction modification). 

TFL are just starting to use a rating system, something a bit similar to what Rachel Aldred is using here:

http://rachelaldred.org/writing/thoughts/less-atrocious-isnt-good-enough-whats-wrong-with-the-aldgate-highway-changes-plan/

Unfortunately, way too late for this dog's breakfast of a design at Euston Circus, which will need to be torn up again almost as soon as it is built, if the proposed improvements to TCR/Gower St are any good at all. 

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