King's Cross has a long standing and fast growing reputation for being possibly the worst pedestrian danger spot in the entire capital. At "over a kilometer including three escalators, five pelican crossings, two uncontrolled road crossings, two sets of steps", the Transport for London (TfL) recommended route from Thameslink platform A to the Victoria line joins a host of badly designed pedestrian routes at the UK's busiest transport interchange see Ian Buckland's excellent blog for more.
Residents, workers and those passing through are blighted by the strong desire to control where and when we walk held by Network Rail, TfL, and Argent King's Cross. With their heads firmly in the sand, these property developers insist on making us walk around, on herding us into sheep pens and on forcing us to walk passed their shops when all we want is to get from A to B in the shortest and most desirable route possible – that's why the routes we want to take are called 'desire lines' in planning jargon.
- They refuse to bridge the tracks at the back of the station to reinstall the old Battlebridge Road/Wharfdale Road link;
- They are making us wait forever to see promised improvements to York Way;
- They tantalise us with hints that the sheep pens at the notorious Gray's Inn Rd/Euston Rd/Pentonville Rd/York Way junction might one day be removed;
- They force us to avoid the sheep pens on Pancras Road by crossing from Argyle St to King's Cross station by walking out into the middle of traffic on Euston Road;
- They seem to have forgotten we exist at all if we want to walk from Camley St, Goodsway or Midland Rd into the rear of St Pancras or King's Cross Stations; and
- TfL have joined in the fun by closing off or not sign posting quick access routes to tube lines.
Commuters, workers and residents look on the wondrous crossing at Oxford Circus which for us it seems will always be a pipe dream.