St Paul's Crescent and Agar Grove Safe and Healthy Streets consultations

Closes 14 Dec 2021

Opened 23 Nov 2021

Overview

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 Cycle Permeability Programme.  This included making trial changes on St Paul’s Crescent and Agar Grove in October 2020, when we introduced measures to help cyclists travel more easily and safely between the two streets, helping make the streets safer and healthier.

London Borough of Camden is now consulting on making the trial changes permanent and creating a safer and healthier street environment by removing barriers to cycling.

About the St Paul’s Crescent and Agar Grove Cycle Permeability Scheme

St Paul’s Crescent on the northern side of Agar Grove was closed to vehicular traffic for many years with a continuous pavement on Agar Grove prior to the trial cycle permeability measures being introduced. This was the case for many years – since at least July 2008 according to Google Maps, but probably much longer. The trial scheme has made both streets more accessible to cyclists by providing a cut-through across/through the pavement where the two streets meet.

This provides better connections and links to Camley Street, St Pancras Way, St Paul’s Crescent (south of Agar Grove) and York Way to the south, and to Camden Park Road, Camden Road and Torriano Avenue to the north.

The scheme was designed to make it easier and safer to travel by bike between St Paul’s Crescent and Agar Grove, in line with Camden’s ambition to improve cycling access and priority across the borough. To do this, during this trial we have:

  • Dropped a section of kerb on the Agar Grove pavement.
  • Designated a 24hr waiting prohibition (including for loading/unloading) at the southern extremity of the section of St. Paul’s Crescent which remains open to all vehicular traffic at the side of no. 36A St. Paul’s Crescent.
  • Removed pedestrian guardrails from the pavement on Agar Grove to improve cycling access and the streetscene.
  • Added footpath markings to highlight the cycle cut-through.

The designated parking places on St Paul’s Crescent and Agar Grove are unaffected by the scheme.

Before the scheme was installed, extensive guardrails make it difficult for cyclists to access the cut-through.

Image description: Before the scheme was installed, extensive guardrails make it difficult for cyclists to access the cut-through.

 

A dropped kerb and removed guardrails provide improved access for cyclists.

Image description: A dropped kerb and removed guardrails provide improved access for cyclists.

 

We implemented the scheme as a trial in October 2020, under an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) which came into force on 24th September 2020, as part of Phase 1 of our Cycle Permeability Programme. The decision report related to this ETO (and others) was approved on 4th September 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, would take place relating to any proposed permanent changes. The trial scheme went live in October 2020 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 the scheme should be made permanent after the end of the 18-month trial period. The proposed permanent scheme would remain unchanged from its trial version.

Feedback during the Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) Period

Residents and stakeholders were able to provide Camden with feedback via the “Safer Travel in Camden” Commonplace map and the Safer Travel inbox (safetravel@camden.gov.uk).

Eight emails relating to the scheme were received from local residents and stakeholders during the trial ETO period. 

  • 4 emails expressed support for the scheme.
  • 3 emails did not support the scheme, these were all from individuals.
  • 1 email was neutral towards the scheme.

Those that responded positively to the scheme, some of whom expressed that they cycled regularly, were supportive of measures to improve cycling facilities generally. Some felt that improving the St Paul’s Crescent cut-through would be useful to them as local cyclists since it linked up well with other cycling routes in the area.

Of those that were not in support of the scheme, concerns centered mainly on the removal of the guardrails, which was thought to be potentially dangerous to pedestrians, and on the issue of mopeds and motorcycles potentially using the cut-through illegally. Two respondents were concerned that the trial measures would lead to a rise in moped and motorcycle traffic use on the cut-through, and that this could constitute a hazard to pedestrians.

Feedback was also provided by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) regarding Camden’s wider programme of improvements in general, rather than the St Paul’s Crescent scheme in particular. The RNIB provided details of principles to be followed when designing streetspace schemes to ensure accessibility and inclusivity for people with sight loss, of which ensuring the streets and pavements are built in a way that minimises and discourages pavement obstructions has been considered for this scheme.

What we are now consulting on?

Based on officer observations, feedback received from residents and stakeholders during the trial period, and in line with policies and objectives set out in our Camden Transport Strategy, Climate Action Plan and Clean Air Action Plan we are now consulting on making the trial changes to St Paul’s Crescent and Agar Grove permanent.

The proposed permanent scheme will remain unchanged from its trial version.

You can view the final scheme drawings in the Related section below.

Why your views matter

As 40% of households in the area do not have access to a car and public transport patronage levels 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 (ETO) 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 page.

The Council will 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.

Give us your views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Transport and streets