TFL Open up Pentonville Road at off peak hours!

Mayor Boris Johnson has promised to make road traffic more fluid in London. Here a suggestion for Kings Cross that will also help local residents get a lighter traffic flowIMAGE_333.

Pentonville Road has been closed for normal traffic for quite some years now.  This caused an automatic increase in traffic in the strange diversion of the West bound traffic from Pentonville Road into Swinton Street and Grays Inn Road forcing traffic into streets with many residential properties – in other words where people live.  However the bus lane is virtually empty at off peak hours.  It would be an easy and modern change to open up Pentonville Road at off peak hours or as required.  Low cost traffic regulation systems such as LED lighted signs could make this very easy.  This would speed up passage to Kings Cross for all road users and ease traffic in Pentonville Rise, Swinton Street and part of Grays Inn Road for some hours. So why not do it?  Open up Pentonville Rd up to Kings Cross during off peak hours!  It will work – take it from a local!

Cycle Route suggestion for Pentonville Rise:
Also the recently changed street lanes on Pentonville Rise, so far do still not take account of the much needed cycle lane.  As discussed earlier, it is far safer to request cyclists to take Pentonville Rise than offer them the bus lane on Pentonville Road, which requires a dangerous crossing.  However this would have to include a crossing passage at the bottom of Pentonville Rise, where traffic again divides dangerously, but the single lane system there could make it easier to come up with a cycle friendly solution. In my humble opinion cyclists could be asked to go around the small Vernon Square and wait at Vernon Rise / Kings Cross Rd for a green light of a to be designed traffic light that guides them into Swinton Street and hence into Kings Cross.


About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Road Safety in Kings Cross. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to TFL Open up Pentonville Road at off peak hours!

  1. Ian says:

    These one way systems around Kings Cross have been here since the 70’s (?), and are surely now out of date. As you say, the southern one way system forces buses and lorries around residential streets. The same happens on the northern side, as the heavy traffic flowing south down York Way is forced around Wharfdale Road and Caledonian Road, where many people live. I am no traffic expert, but surely a rethink of this whole badly designed system is long overdue, and the redevelopment of Kings Cross is the ideal opportunity. Take the heavy traffic away from the residential streets, use York Way both ways, and Pentonville Road, so that they are not routed through residential areas. The benefit to local people as streets become more amenable to shops and cafes etc would be immense.

  2. Sophie Talbot says:

    Another cyclist went down at the junction just before Christmas… When oh when will we get traffic sorted in KX!!!!!

  3. Aron Cronin says:

    Two observations:
    – there was a revised traffic scheme included in the original (early 1990s) plan for the High Speed Link station at Kings Cross. When that station plan was dropped – rightly! – the traffic scheme also vanished;
    – on the Pentonville Road off-peak hours suggestion, doesn’t this fail on congestion at the southern end? There are the buses queued at the stop outside the old Thameslink station plus only a short stretch of road on turning left by the Scala before the lights at Grays Inn Road.

    Aron Cronin

  4. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    Hi Aron. That’s why I suggested off-peak hour only, something like 22.00-06.00. Part of the problem of the diminished of lane space is by the way the right turn for East Bound Traffic into Kings Cross Road.

  5. Andrew says:

    I would be a very strong advocate for a revised traffic scheme, – two way on York Way and lower Caledonian Road and getting traffic off the residential streets.

    Any news on the Movement and Public Space Strategy that Colin Buchanan are completing for Islington?

    Has anyone heard if anything is planned following TfL’s audit report (completed by Living Streets and TRL?).

    I will write to TfL now.

  6. Daniel says:

    Republished comment with permission of TFL

    Our Ref: 1002613929

    Date: 07.01.2009

    Dear Mr Zylbersztajn

    I would like to thank you for your e-mail suggesting changes to the road layout at Kings Cross and Pentonville Rise.

    I thank you for taking the time to bring your concerns to our attention. Our engineers will consider your suggestion as part of their next review of this location.

    As I am sure you will appreciate, many factors must be considered before a road layout can be changed. For instance, the accident statistics for the area; surveys may have to be undertaken to establish the types of traffic using the road, pedestrians, cyclists etc etc. In some cases we must consult with local residents and stakeholders in order to get their views.

    Additionally, our funds are finite and, as such, we must ensure that money is spent in areas of most need and where we will achieve the most effective results.

    Thank you again for contacting us.

    Yours sincerely

    Shakirat Oluwa (Miss)
    Customer Service Advisor – London Streets

  7. Andrew says:


    I sent a letter on the 14/1 (as I note above) to TfL asking for details on what actions have come out of the Living Streets/TRL audit of the King’s Cross area.

    I received a response today (that was quick, thanks TfL!) stating that the audit report has received considerable interest, notes that the views in the audit are those of the people taking part in the audit and not TfL, and that the report is currently being considered by TfL/GLA King’s Cross Coordination Forum.

    I will ask for more information about the GLA King’s Cross Coordination Forum, that sounds like something we should be involved in or should be able to provide input to! 🙂


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