Healthy School Streets Consultation - Lyndhurst Gardens and Belsize Lane Proposals

Closed 3 Nov 2022

Opened 13 Oct 2022

Overview

Healthy School Street Consultation – Maria Montessori School (Lyndhurst Gardens) and St Christopher’s School (Belsize Lane) Proposals

Overview

We are seeking your views on proposals to introduce Healthy School Street traffic restrictions outside Maria Montessori School on Lyndhurst Gardens and St Christopher’s School on Belsize Lane, and to install cycle hangars on Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road

The Covid-19 pandemic changed how people in Camden live, travel and work. Many people have spent more time closer to home, making our neighbourhoods more important than ever. We want our streets to be safe spaces for you to walk and cycle, for children to get to and from school safely and healthily, for businesses to be able to flourish and for you to be breathing cleaner air. We want to ensure that our streets support in both continuing recovery from the pandemic and by providing a lasting legacy of greener, safer, healthier travel, helping us to deliver our wider Transport Strategy objectives.

69% of households in Camden do not own a car, and around 85% of all trips by Camden residents are made on foot, by bike or on public transport. Supporting and encouraging those who can walk and cycle, by creating safer, healthier streets, will also help ensure that there is more space available on public transport and on our roads for those who need it the most.

In line with our Camden Transport Strategy and Climate Action Plan, and to continue supporting safe, active travel following the pandemic, we have been making changes across Camden as part of our Safe and Healthy Streets Programme.

Healthy School Streets create a safer and healthier environment by temporarily closing roads to motor traffic outside schools during drop-off and pick-up times. This enables more children to walk, cycle or scoot to school, with less air pollution, road danger, congestion, and more space for people to interact. The schemes help to discourage car trips, particularly amongst parents and carers, by providing a safe and inviting space for more walking, cycling, and scooting.

Seventeen Healthy School Street schemes have been rolled out across Camden since March 2020. This brings the total number of Healthy School Street schemes in the borough to 20, with 27 schools having timed or permanent road closures. The monitoring data that we have collected on these schemes, which can be accessed on our website, has shown that they have had a significant impact on reducing traffic levels outside schools, contributed to improved air quality and are strongly supported by pupils who want us to do more to improve their journey to school.

About the proposed Maria Montessori School and St Christopher’s School Healthy School Street scheme

Over the past two years, our Commonplace Safe Travel webpages have allowed residents to provide feedback on positive and negative transport issues across Camden. We have received a number of comments that Lyndhurst Gardens and Belsize Lane suffer from high levels of congestion at school run time creating an unhealthy and unsafe environment around the school. We have also collected traffic count data across an average week during school term time which shows us that traffic levels on these streets are at their highest during school run times. Figure 1 below outlines data collected on Lyndhurst Gardens and Figure 2 outlines data collected on Belsize Lane.

Figure 1 – Lyndhurst Gardens Average Weekday Daily Traffic Levels w/c 15th March 2021

 

Figure 2 – Belsize Lane Average Weekday Daily Traffic Levels w/c 15th March 2021

 

Figure 1 shows that on Lyndhurst Gardens, traffic levels peak to an average of over 110 vehicles between 8am to 9am, and then peak again to over 50 vehicles between 3pm to 4pm. Figure 2 shows that on Belsize Lane, traffic levels peak to an average of just under 80 vehicles between 8am to 9am and over 70 vehicles between 3pm-4pm. Both of these streets, and others in the local area, are residential with little space for such numbers of motor vehicles around these times. Therefore, we are proposing to implement timed Healthy School Street motor vehicle restrictions on the streets adjacent to the schools between 8.15am - 9.15am and 3pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday during school term only.

The proposals would make it safer and easier for children to walk, cycle or scoot to school, with less air pollution, road danger, congestion, and more space for people to interact. We propose to trial the below measures, using an Experimental Traffic Order, for a period of up to 18 months, at which point a decision would be made whether to make the scheme permanent, remove it entirely, or keep it with some changes. If we proposed any substantial changes to the permanent scheme, we would hold another consultation. A scheme drawing for the proposed measures can be found in the Related section at the bottom of this page. We are proposing the following changes:

  • To create a timed Healthy School Street motor traffic restriction on Mondays to Fridays during school term time only from 8.15am - 9.15am and 3pm - 4pm, by preventing non-exempt motor vehicles from accessing Lyndhurst Gardens between its junctions with Lyndhurst Road and Wedderburn Road, and Belsize Lane between its junctions with Wedderburn Road and Ornan Road / Belsize Lane.
  • To install relevant signage to alert people driving to the restrictions and Automatic Number Plate Recognition enforcement cameras at the above junctions. The signage would state the times when the road closures would be in place to all motor vehicle traffic and would be closed during school holidays.

The following vehicles would be exempt from the timed Healthy School Street restrictions:

  • Cycles including standard and electric powered bicycles
  • Vehicles registered to properties and businesses on the sections of Lyndhurst Gardens and Belsize Lane within the timed restriction area (exemptions would need to be agreed with the Council)
  • Any vehicle being used for ambulance, fire brigade or policing purposes
  • Refuse collection vehicles
  • Door to door services such as Plus Bus and Dial A Ride
  • Blue Disabled Badge holders that require access (exemptions would need to be agreed with the Council)
  • Vehicles belonging to parents or carers of pupils of either of the schools that have a disability that prevents them from walking, cycling, or scooting to school (exemptions would need to be agreed with the Council)

School staff and visitors to the schools would not be exempt. Taxis and delivery vehicles would also not be exempt, and such trips would need be scheduled outside of the restricted times or the vehicles would need to be parked outside of the restricted area and the final leg of the journey completed on foot. However, exemptions could be applied for in exceptional circumstances, such as when elderly or disabled people may need essential taxis during the restricted hours.      

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras would only issue fines to non-exempt vehicles being driven into the restricted area during the restriction times, so any vehicle already parked within the restricted area could be driven out at any time without receiving a fine.                               

If the scheme goes ahead, details of how to apply for an exemption will be posted to residents and businesses in the consultation area.

The following photo shows an example of an existing Healthy School Street, which demonstrates how the proposed scheme could look.

Photo of Healthy School Street Signage on Croftdown Road; similar signage is proposed to be installed on Lyndhurst Gardens at the junctions with Lyndhurst Road and Wedderburn Road, and Belsize Lane at the junctions with Wedderburn Road and Ornan Road / Belsize Lane

 

About the proposed cycle hangar installations on Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road

Residents in Camden have told us that they would like to have more lockable cycle parking close to where they live. We know that a lack of somewhere to keep a bike safely can put people off taking up cycling. As a result, we are rolling out a programme of installing cycle hangars across the borough.

Cycle hangers also help to deliver our own Transport Strategy priorities, which were strongly supported when we consulted on them, including increasing cycling, improving air quality, and making our streets and transport networks safe, accessible, and inclusive for all.

Therefore, we are also consulting on introducing the following proposal on a permanent basis:

  • To install two cycle hangars on Wedderburn Road outside Belsize Court. This would require the removal of 7.2 metres of resident parking space and provide secure cycle parking for up to 12 cycles for local residents.
  • To install two cycle hangars outside number 28 Lyndhurst Gardens. This would require the removal of 5.2 metres of resident parking space and provide secure cycle parking for up to 12 cycles for local residents.

The above proposal would help us to provide new secure cycle parking space for local residents. There are currently 330 residents on the waiting list for the nearest cycle hangars on Belsize Avenue.

Cycle hangars are installed and maintained by Cyclehoop, the Council’s approved supplier. Further details are available on their website: https://www.cyclehoop.com/product/shelters-canopies/bikehangar/

Each hangar is 1.33m high with a curved profile roof (see image below). Maintenance is covered by the annual membership fee which is currently £36 per year.

Photo of cycle hangars, which are proposed to be installed on Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road

Why your views matter

The proposed changes, if approved, would be implemented as a trial under an Experimental Traffic Order for 18 months. Officers would seek the views of local residents and stakeholders during the trial period to help decide, alongside monitoring data and relevant policy contexts, whether to retain, remove or amend the scheme after the 18-month trial period. The proposed installation of the cycle hangars would not form part of the trial and would be installed permanently, if approved.

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 page.

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 consultation responses, relevant policies, officer observations, and other data/information including monitoring information collected to date.

All of this information will be considered in making recommendations in the report about (1) whether the proposed changes should be implemented as a trial under an Experimental Traffic Order for 18 months; and (2) whether the cycle hangars should be installed permanently.

We would collect a range of pre and post scheme monitoring data: traffic counts on the streets proposed to have restrictions and those nearby to ascertain the impact of the scheme, monitoring of traffic speeds, levels of cycling, and air quality as well as working with the school to learn about pupil’s thoughts on the scheme and its impact on travel behaviour. We would also have a Commonplace survey open for the duration of the trial so that feedback could be collected on the scheme and Camden officers would be available to answer any questions or concerns via our dedicated Healthy School Streets email inbox and phone line on 020 7974 8796.

What happens next

 As the consultation is now closed,your views, and those of everyone who contributes to this consultation, will be analysed and considered, alongside relevant data available on the scheme and in light of how the scheme aligns with our current policy objectives, in order to put forward recommendations on whether to proceed with the proposals. A summary of this analysis will be provided in the decision report, and will be made available on the Camden Council website in due course.

If you have any other ideas for improvements to make travel safer and healthier in this area, please go to Safe Travel Camden Map  to make some suggestions.

Areas

  • Belsize

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Transport and streets