Grafton Way Safe and Healthy Streets Consultation - Permanent Proposals

Closed 20 Mar 2022

Opened 1 Mar 2022

Overview

Proposals to make trial Cycle Permeability changes to Grafton Way permanent

View of Grafton Way with cycle signage

 

Photo of Grafton Way cycle contraflow looking west from Whitfield Street

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how communities in Camden live, travel and work. We want to transform our streets, so they have more safe space for everyone to walk and cycle, for children to get to and from school safely, for you to be breathing cleaner air, to reduce carbon emissions from road transport and for businesses to flourish. We want to ensure that our streets support recovery from the pandemic and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer, healthier travel helping us to deliver our wide Transport Strategy objectives. Transport strategies and plans - Camden Council

As 69% of households in Camden do not own a car and public transport usage remains much lower than before the pandemic, we know that safe and easy walking, cycling, and scooting routes are more important than ever. Supporting and encouraging those who can walk and cycle, by creating safer streets will ensure that there is more space available on public transport and on our roads for those who need it the most.

To help respond to the transport challenges on our streets caused by the pandemic, and in line with our Camden Transport Strategy and Climate Action Plan, we have been making changes across Camden as part of our Safe and Healthy Streets Programme. This included making trial changes on Grafton Way in January 2021 as part of our cycle permeability programme, when we introduced measures to help cyclists travel more easily and safely in both directions on a section of street which is one-way for motor vehicles, helping make the street safer and healthier.

The rest of the information below sets out our proposals to make the current, trial scheme on Grafton Way permanent.

About the Grafton Way Cycle Permeability Scheme

The overarching aim of the cycle permeability programme is to help overcome barriers to cycling. Many streets in the borough are one-way and links between streets on desired routes and Camden’s cycle network are often severed by infrastructure, traffic restrictions or highly trafficked major roads. The cycle permeability programme aims to make more Camden streets more accessible to cyclists and provide better connections and links through measures such as adding two-way cycling on one-way streets and cut-throughs at physical road closures. A number of such permeability improvements for cyclists have been made in recent years at various locations across the borough.

Grafton Way is a street running east to west, linking Tottenham Court Road and Cleveland Street, including the southern side of Fitzroy Square. Prior to the trial scheme being implemented, Fitzroy Street was one-way for traffic, westbound, between Fitzroy Street and Tottenham Court Road.

The scheme provides an eastbound contraflow (where cyclists can travel in both directions) for cyclists between Fitzroy Street and Whitfield Street and now allows cycling in both directions between Cleveland Street and Whitfield Street (Fitzroy Square is pedestrians and cyclists only), to improve cyclists’ access to streets and destinations in this part of the West End and Fitzrovia, and connections to the wider cycle network. Unfortunately, it is not possible to continue the eastbound cycle contraflow as far as Tottenham Court Road under Phase 2 of the Cycle Permeability Programme as this would require traffic signal amendments at Tottenham Court Road. This is outside of the scope of the programme due to the associated costs and timescales involved. 

We implemented the scheme as a trial in January 2021, under an Experimental Traffic Order which came into force on 23rd November 2020, as part of Phase 2 of our Cycle Permeability programme. The decision report related to this Experimental Traffic Order (and others) was approved on 13th November 2020 and is provided in the Related section at the bottom of this page.

This decision report noted that a further consultation, after approximately 12 months of the trial scheme being implemented, would take place relating to any proposed permanent changes. The trial scheme went live in January 2021 (once implemented) and during this period, the scheme has been monitored and comments from local residents and stakeholders have been received.

This consultation now asks local residents and stakeholders to give their views on whether or not the scheme should be made permanent after the end of the 18-month Experimental Traffic Order trial period.

Monitoring information

During the trial period of the scheme we have been collecting monitoring data which can be viewed in detail in the Monitoring Factsheet provided in the Related section at the bottom of this consultation front page. Headlines include:

  • Traffic levels overall on Grafton Way have increased post scheme implementation. ‘After-scheme’ traffic flows increased by 39% compared to ‘Before-scheme’ flows.
  • Following scheme implementation, average speeds have increased on Grafton Way (12.5mph to 17.3mph), however still observe the 20mph speed limit.
  • Cycling flows have increased post scheme implementation. Cycling eastbound has increased by 18% and cycling westbound has increased by 13%. Overall cycling has increased by 14%.
  • Analysis of the data indicates a total of two collisions were recorded between 1 January 2017 to 26 November 2020, before the scheme was implemented. Following the scheme implementation, no collisions have been recorded.

Feedback received during the trial

During the trial, residents and local stakeholders were able to provide feedback on the scheme. The feedback is summarised in the Monitoring Factsheet in the Related section at the bottom of this consultation front page.

What are we now consulting on?

Based on the monitoring data and the feedback received from residents and stakeholders during the trial period, and in line with policies and objectives set out in our Transport Strategy, Climate Action Plan and Clean Air Action Plan, we are now consulting on making the following trial changes permanent:

  • Keeping two-way cycling (contraflow cycling where the traffic only flows one-way) on the section of Grafton Way between Fitzroy Street and Whitfield Street.
  • Keeping signage and on street cycle symbols and other markings to show permitted cycle route.
  • Keeping waiting and loading prohibitions (double yellow lines with double kerb blips), on Grafton Way, including at the junctions with Fitzroy Street and Whitfield Street.

You can view drawings of the changes in the Related section at the bottom of this consultation front page.

Why your views matter

As 63% of households in the area do not have access to a car and public transport usage remain lower than before the pandemic, we know that safe and easy walking, cycling, and scooting routes are more important than ever. Supporting and encouraging those who are able to walk and cycle, by creating safer streets will ensure that there is more space available on public transport and on our roads for those who need it the most.

The previous changes were implemented as a trial under an Experimental Traffic Order for 18 months. We committed to undertaking a public consultation after around 12 months of the trial scheme to seek the views of local residents and stakeholders on making the trial scheme permanent after the 18-month trial period. 

Your views are important in providing feedback both on the proposed scheme as a whole and elements of it, and we would therefore welcome your responses on the pages that follow. To view the plans and find out more about the proposals, click on the links in the Related section at the bottom of this consultation front page.

We would be pleased to hear your views on the proposals as well as any alternative suggestions or objections you may have to any aspect of what we are proposing.

 

What happens next

After the consultation, a decision report will be produced and published online via our website. Local residents and stakeholders will be notified of the outcome. The report will consider a broad range of information including officer observations, consultation responses, feedback received during the trial period, relevant policies, and other data/information.

The report will then outline if at the end of the trial period, the experimental scheme should be made permanent, modified, or allowed to lapse. Subject to the decision to make the scheme permanent, officers will continue to monitor the scheme and will consider additional measures if necessary. These will be progressed and publicly consulted on as part of a separate scheme.

Areas

  • Bloomsbury

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Transport and streets