Knowledge Quarter partner, Camden Council is introducing a trial that would temporarily change the traffic routes through the Bloomsbury area, as well as making some temporary improvements for people walking and cycling.
Why is the Council making changes to this area?
The trial is being introduced to help reduce traffic on the route, improve air quality and provide a safer environment for the large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
The existing cycle track is overcrowded and cannot accommodate the number of cyclists who currently use it or the predicted future increase. The Council has been looking at ways to provide more space for cycling and will trial wider cycle lanes, meaning that space available for motor traffic will be reduced to one lane.
What is a traffic trial?
The trial would be introduced using an experimental traffic order, which allow the Council to make changes to a street on a temporary basis to understand whether these are beneficial. The changes are proposed in response to an identified issue or opportunity, but are implemented for a fixed period of time, in this case twelve months, to test how the proposals work.
During the trial the effect of the changes will be monitored to understand the impact on road safety, air quality, walking, cycling and traffic. In addition a public consultation will be undertaken during the trial to get the views from all interested parties. The results of the monitoring data and public consultation will help the Council to decide whether the changes should be made permanent.
Are local residents and institution been consulted?
A number of local groups, residents and institutions have asked the Council to look at ways of reducing the impact of through traffic in the area. Consultation for the West End Project highlighted concerns from residents on Torrington Place about the potential increase in traffic in the section between Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road. As part of the approval for the West End Project, the Council agreed to bring forward proposals for a trial to reduce the impact of through traffic on local residents. Local groups, resident and institutions have join the Safer Bloomsbury campaign in December with a view to getting support from local businesses, colleges and other organisations.
More information on the trial can be found here.