Hampstead High Street Public Realm Improvements

Closes 23 Jan 2019

Opened 10 Dec 2018


We are consulting you on proposals to improve the public realm and reduce bus journey times along Hampstead High Street and its junction with Heath Street. This leaflet provides you with information on what the issues are and what changes we are proposing to address them.

Camden Council is working with Transport for London (TfL) to improve bus journey times and reliability across the borough. Following a review of various bus routes Hampstead High Street has been specifically identified by TfL as a location where bus journey times could be improved.

One of the main causes of congestion along Hampstead High Street is the narrow carriageway caused by parked vehicles adjacent to the Greenhill embankment.  Much of the carriageway along this section is less than 6m wide which makes it difficult for two large vehicles, particularly buses, to pass each other forcing one vehicle to wait for the other vehicle to pass which contributes to congestion and queuing along Hampstead High Street especially during peak periods.

The junction of Hampstead High Street and Heath Street is another location that has been identified as another location where journey times can be improved.  The carriageway width on the Hampstead High Street approach to the junction is 9.7m with 5.1m for the westbound lane and 4.6m for the eastbound lane.  Although there is enough space for two vehicles to wait at the stop line, vehicles approaching the junction will typically wait in single file which reduces the capacity of the junction as only a single vehicle can pass through at a time.

The existing zebra crossing on Hampstead High Street by Oriel Place is very popular and results in vehicles frequently stopping to allow pedestrians to cross.  This often results in long queues along Hampstead High Street as vehicles are unable to reach the main junction when the lights are green.

Other issues at the junction include narrow footway widths along the western side of the junction and a very narrow pedestrian crossing across Holly Hill as well as existing pedestrian crossings not fully accommodating established desire lines.

Proposed changes

To address the above issues the following improvements are proposed:

  1. Restricting parking and loading along the southern side of Hampstead High Street during peak hours

    By preventing parking and loading between 7-10am and 4-7pm Monday to Saturday along the southern side of Hampstead High Street (adjacent to Greenhill) the carriageway space available along this critical section will be wide enough to allow buses to travel in both directions without having to wait for the other to pass.  This will relieve congestion during the busiest part of the day while still providing parking facilities during off peak hours.

  2. Reconfiguring the Hampstead High Street approach to the junction

    Altering the line marking on the Hampstead High Street approach to the junction allows the existing single westbound lane to be converted in to two westbound lanes.  The new lanes will be marked as one ahead/left turn lane and one dedicated right turn lane which provides the best layout for junction efficiency and minimises the risk to cyclists.
  3. Converting the existing zebra crossing by Oriel Place to a signalised pedestrian crossing

    The conversion of the zebra crossing to a signalised crossing leads to significant improvement to traffic flow in the area due to the ability to be able to coordinate it with the junction.  This ensures that traffic is not held at the crossing while the green light is in operation at the Hampstead High Street / Heath Street junction.

  4. Introduction of a new diagonal pedestrian crossing at the junction

    The route between the southern side of Holly Hill and the Tube station is an acknowledged pedestrian desire line that is regularly used by pedestrians aiming to get from the station to the western side of Heath Street.  This is being formalised through the introduction of a new pedestrian crossing between the south western corner and the north eastern corner of the junction.  All of the existing crossings will also be widened to accommodate more pedestrians.

  5. Footway widening

    There is space available to widen the footway on the western side of Heath Street by up to 1.8m.  The majority of this widening is proposed at the south-western and north-western corners of the junction and will help provide more space for pedestrians

  6. Other improvements

    As part of the works we will also be adding advanced cycle stop lines to all approaches, a new 35m long mandatory cycle lane on the northbound approach and new KEEP CLEAR markings will be added to the Heath Street northbound lane in front of Holly Bush Vale to prevent southbound right turning vehicles from blocking traffic.

    The proposals are shown on the below plans.

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Give Us Your Views


  • Frognal and Fitzjohns
  • Hampstead Town


  • Anyone from any background


  • Transport and streets