Queen's Crescent Motor Traffic Free Environment Trial

Closed 28 Feb 2021

Opened 27 Jan 2021

Results updated 20 May 2021

During Jan/Feb 2021 we consulted on changes proposed for Queen's Crescent.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views. We had over 300 responses and following the consultation, we have made the decision to implement the proposed changes as a trial with ammendments based on your comments. 

The new scheme will now be implemented from the 27th May and a letter has gone out to all local residents and businesses. You can read the decision reports relating to this, and our feedback to the consultation responses in the decision report. 

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Overview

We know from listening to local people from this area that there is a desire to improve pedestrian facilitates and reduce traffic dominance on Queen's Crescent. We know that car ownership, in this area, is low and that pedestrian volumes on Queen's Crescent are high. The Covid-19 pandemic means more people are spending more time in their local areas and local Neighbourhood Centres, such as Queen's Crescent, are more important than ever. These areas are at the heart of communities, providing goods, services, jobs, and, especially during the pandemic, sometimes the only friendly faces many who live alone will see.

We understand that Queen’s Crescent is used as a ‘through route’ by many motor vehicles, making it less attractive as a neighbourhood centre for everyday essentials and services within walking distance of the local community. 

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 clean air.

As 69% of households in Camden do not own a car and public transport capacity remains much lower than before the pandemic, we known that safe easy walking, cycling and scooting routes are more important than ever. Data shows that over 90% of trips made for shopping purposes in Camden are by walking, cycling or public transport.

Camden has already secured £1.1m to support public realm improvements on Queen’s Crescent within the existing market area (between Malden Road and Grafton Road), with the associated community co-design highlighting priorities to address traffic volumes and road safety. In line with the proposed improvements included in the Queen’s Crescent public realm project Stage 2 report, we would like to trial measures to make walking and cycling safer and easier and respond to the challenges raised by the pandemic. 

The proposals will trial a motor traffic-free environment that reduces traffic volumes and speeds, supports the existing market and local businesses, and allows more space for social distancing, walking, and cycling. The proposals also include measures at the junction of Queen’s Crescent and Grafton Road to prevent rat running traffic from using Grafton Road and Vicar’s Road and create a safer and quieter environment for residents in that area. Emergency services will retain access to all properties as they will be exempt from the proposed measures.


Background to proposals
The need for improvements to Queen’s Crescent to support walking and cycling and reduce traffic volumes and speeds was first identified in 2015 via the Gospel Oak Regeneration consultation. Since then, a scheme of public realm improvements on Queen’s Crescent has been developed in response to the findings of the Gospel Oak Regeneration consultation. Since 2015 the scheme has been through the following steps:

  • 2015 – Local community shared priorities for Queen’s Crescent via the Gospel Oak Regeneration consultation, identifying key issues including dangerous driving and rat running. Suggestions were made to reduce through traffic and improve the pedestrian and cycle environment.
  • 2019 - £1.1m was secured from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund to support improvements to Queen’s Crescent.
  • 2019 – Camden undertook a co-design with the community to guide a programme of public realm improvements and support for the market. Through this process local people expressed a clear priority to address vehicle dominance on the street and improve pedestrian experience
  • 2019 – The Queen’s Crescent Public Realm Strategy was prepared which included green planting and trees, build outs and raised tables to slow traffic, feature lighting and infrastructure to support the market.
  • 2020 – A full public consultation on the Queen’s Crescent Public Realm Strategy was due to take place during the summer of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the consultation had to be postponed.

During the summer of 2020 a proposal in the Stage 2 report was brought to the funder’s (the Greater London Authority (GLA)) Design Review Panel. The GLA’s panel indicated that a more ambitious scheme should be considered to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic and the priorities raised by the community in the Stage 2 report. During the community co-design of the Queen’s Crescent Public Realm project, local people expressed a clear priority to address vehicle dominance on the street and improve the pedestrian experience, which included:

  • Slowing traffic
  • Restricting/reducing parking
  • Reducing congestion/traffic numbers
  • Making Queens Crescent one-way

In response to the feedback from the GLA and local residents an enhanced public realm scheme is being proposed as a trial. The experience gained during the trial and the information gathered from the community to date and during the trial will feed into a proposal for a permanent scheme which will be consulted on in Autumn 2021. This permanent scheme proposal will potentially contain both elements of the trial and elements of the proposals within the Stage 2 report of the Queen’s Crescent Public Realm project.  

Why we are consulting

We would like to consult local residents and other stakeholders on proposals to trial a motor traffic-free environment along a section of Queen's Crescent, between Basset street and Weedington Road. We appreciate that working with the community to prototype and adapt will lead to a better solution for the street and so are keen to trial and test options before deciding on a final design that will be brought forward for consultation in Autumn 2021. However before starting such a trial we wish to understand any concerns that you might have and to listen to your suggestions of what might work best. 

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, other data/information and policy consideration, it is intended to implement the scheme using temporary street furniture on a trial basis, using an "Experimental Traffic Order" (ETO). The trial proposals are intended to help encourage walking and cycling as well as affording space for social distancing to support local businesses on Queen’s Crescent and ensure the safety of the local community. 

It is proposed that the trial would last for a period of approximately 6 months at the end of which there will be a full public consultation to inform the final designs of the Queen’s Crescent Public Realm Strategy. The trial scheme would be monitored throughout, and the results of the trial will help inform the final consultation. During this period, we will work with local businesses, stakeholders and the community to test and refine plans. We also hope to arrange events with the community and to test hosting a market on additional days of the week.

To view the plans and find out more about what each proposal would achieve, click on the links in the Related Section at the bottom of this page.

In line with the new Department for Transport guidance, we are consulting on all new Safe and Healthy Street schemes so that we can engage our local residents, businesses and stakeholders in changes happening on their streets. The purpose of this consultation is to provide an opportunity for you to comment on proposed trial scheme.

Camden Council held an online event on 17th February where Officers presented the proposals. Officers covered issues raised in the consultation responses to date, questions sumbited by stakeholders and questions raised during the event. You can watch a recording of this event here. 

What happens next

  • This consultation runs for a four week period (until February 24th 2021). 
  • Once the consultation closes, the feedback received will be assessed and incorporated into the scheme where possible. A decision will then be made to proceed with scheme or not.
  • The trial scheme, if approved following this current consultation, would be implemented in March 2021 and will enable the local community, traders and business owners on the street to test how the new public space created by the trial could be used. This could include the market operating on additional days, creating outdoor seating for business/market customers and other aspects of the Queen’s Crescent Public Real Strategy, including more greening, better lighting and support for the market.
  • After 6 months of the trial, there would be a further public consultation on a permanent scheme which may potentially contain both elements of the trial and elements of the proposals within the Stage 2 report of the Queen’s Crescent Public Realm project.
  •  Detailed design and final construction of the permanent option selected, if approved following the above further public consultation.

Areas

  • Gospel Oak
  • Haverstock

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Business and local economy
  • Community and living
  • Environment
  • Leisure
  • Policing and public safety
  • Transport and streets