The King’s Cross Racetrack strikes again…

 Crash-090916-2 Enjoying a well earned pint after work in local pub The Ruby, Simmonds Bar or Miller's, doing the last minute shopping at Tesco's or hurrying home to or from the station pedestrians and cyclists were witness to a spectacle worthy of a Formula One race or Rally Cross high jinks yesterday evening. 


If only Murray Walker had been there to commentate: 


The blue car speeds past closely followed by a black one both clearly racing each other around and across the King's Cross Gyratory system down The Cally to take that oh so tempting hair pin bend at Balfe Street: 'Break Neck Corner'. 

The blue car takes the corner well at high speed, missing all obstacles, well done, fantastic driving by those fearless young lads – they're away! 

The black car doesn't fair so well and careers off the road mounting the pavement to hit the cycle parking bays in front of the telephone boxes at great speed. The sound echos out, a massive thunder clap. Both airbgs in the black car inflate, thank god no-one is hurt. 

The two unlucky lads get out looking bewildered but otherwise fine. The crowd gathers, three fire engines from Euston arrive in seconds to make the scene safe, dowsing suspicious fluids leaking from the now smoking black car with sand to avoid any possible explosion. 


Given no-one was injured, it was a thrilling sight and one I'd have enjoyed enomously had I been at Lydden Hill race track. But I wasn't.


Thanks to Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police refusing to allow LB Camden or Islington to scrap the horrendous King's Cross gyratory, or introduce a 20 mile an hour speed limit on this notorious attraction for boy racers, pedestrians and cyclists in the high density residental areas that form this race track remain constantly at risk.



King's Cross Gyratory marked in red

This time no-one was hurt. Just seconds before pedestrians and cyclists had been walking directly in the path of the crash ready to cross over the road at Balfe Street, it doesn't bear thinking about had this happened in those few seconds.

TfL and the Met please, please think very seriously about the pleas from our locally elected politicians who are pressing you to scrap the gyratory and introduce a 20 is plenty speed limit before you respond with your set answer – this time you could do something incredibly positive.

If you are reading this article, whether or not you live or work in King's Cross, Please sign the 20 is Plenty petition.

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. She also manages King's Cross Community Projects
This entry was posted in Bad Gyrations KX Campaign, Road Safety in Kings Cross, Transport. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The King’s Cross Racetrack strikes again…

  1. I am glad they hit the telephone mast. The same actually almost hit me when they came down earlier Pentonville Rise swinging into Swinton Street where I cycled my Nihola three wheeler with my 15 month year old inside. Hearing teh squeeking of tires going around the sharp corner I was alerted to the imminent danger and had to press into a gap between two parking cars in order not to get hit. If I would not have had that gap, I probably would not be writing this now and my daughter probably would be dead. I hope they will the highest possible sentence!!

  2. in plain english an insistence on 30mph makes no difference to the amount of traffic that can get through the one way system.

    tfl insist on a 30mph limit for bogus traffic flow reasons that don’t make sense on an arterial road system as short as the kings cross one way with that many traffic lights.

    the limiting factor on traffic flow is not the top speed but the time spent waiting at lights. the time difference between using some or all of the one way system at 30mph and 20mph is so small that it is negated by the 90% probabilty of sitting at a set of traffic lights during your circuit.

    TfL shoudl do some traffic flow dynamics and not churn out nonsensical rules about speed limits for arterial roads

  3. Eric Burbage says:

    I’m impressed by that cycle stand. A good case for more of them, I reckon.

  4. Geoff says:

    I do not disagree that the gyratory ought to be altered. I also agree that a 20mph would not make a significant difference to journey times and would be a sensible measure on certain roads. However, the sort of person who gets involved in this type of situation is not one who pays particular heed to the local speed limits. A camera and or road calming measures might go some way to persuading these idiots to consider their actions.

  5. Paul Convery says:

    At Islington’s West Area Committee on Tuesday 15th September, Councillors voted to add Wharfdale Road to the list of streets which will become limited to 20mph. However York Way which is controlled by Camden remains unchanged.

    However, one positive development to report is that Islington is now making some progress with Camden in discussions about returning 2-way traffic on York Way. I have been pushing for several years to get some movement on this and, at last, there may be some grounds for optimism. But we now need to exert pressure on Camden and Islington’s Caledonian Ward councillors are talking to the councillors in Camden’s adjoining ward St Pancras and Somers Town.

  6. On the last official Kings Cross Development Forum before it became defunct ( around 2003?) a study was presented to calm traffic at Kings Cross. It included changing directions, and making Kings Cross Rd, and Acton St two way traffic roads. There were voting cards, but the proposed changes failed because Kings Cross Development Forum stopped. No idea where these plans are. I wonder where this study is held?

  7. Jonathan Simpson, of Labour Kings Cross said to me that they have been working on representations of the issue for over two years and are totally willing to work with the Lib Dems on the issue.

  8. Ian says:

    Very glad to hear that, Paul. Please keep pushing for the York Way option. It would make an incredible difference to Wharfdale and Caledonian Road, and the large amount of residents there.

  9. Andrew says:

    Agree, this is good news about Wharfdale Road, thanks Paul.

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