Kings Cross road safety in pictures – get the basics right

We used thousands of words to describe the problems at Kings Cross in the deadly junction complex at the bottom of York Way and the top of Grays Inn Road/Pentonville Road.  Here's a couple of pictures that tell a story taken this evening when i hung about there for 10 minutes at about 1815.

In this first picture you can see quite clearly that the street light doesn't work on the tiny over crowded pedestrian island, now unprotected by railings.  In the gloom it's very hard to see pedestrians darting about. It's always tricky to work out who is responsible for this sort of thing (it's a TfL road at the junction of Camden and Islington) but I'd guess it is Camden maintenance problem.

Kx light out

This second picture shows an all too common occurence – cars trying to fight their way across the box junction and not making it.  Then causing a hazard for everyone as vehicles from the other direction weave around them.  This is a nightmare for cyclists.  It's an offence too – as the highway code is pretty straightforward that you shouldn't enter a box junction unless your exit is clear.   It's another bit of poor design – it's hard to see the junction exit before you advance over the start line on the other side of the lighthouse building.  Wouldn't it be nice to have an old fashioned traffic police officer who hangs out at this junction at rush hour to sort out this sort of thing and be a deterrent.  Until TfL fix the junction.

Box junction offence

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 Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, Road Safety in Kings Cross. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kings Cross road safety in pictures – get the basics right

  1. N1 Cyclist says:

    You seem to imply that the removal of railings is a negative thing for cycle safety. In fact this is one of the most positive things tfl can do. Railings can be incredibly dangerous if a cyclist ends up down the left hand side of a vehicle (due to a bullying/impatient driver, their own stupidity or some other reason) on a junction since they are left with no escape – see for instance this case: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/london/warn-of-dangers-partner-of-dead-cyclist-in-plea-to-politicians-7578895.html.

    As a cyclist I am incredibly concerned about some of the apparently knee jerk responses and politician’s logic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vidzkYnaf6Y) occurring around this junction. The fact is the single most dangerous thing about this junction is its busyness. If a cyclist handles it properly it’s not nearly as inherently poorly designed as some cyclists claim (it’s far from perfect – the pedestrian crossing on the entrance to York Way from the Euston Road a prime example of a problem at the junction), but handled properly on the whole it’s not as a bad as people like to claim.

    Painted cycle lanes are often of dubious benefit as on a major road like this people tend to ignore them, and tfl almost universally poorly implement them. The response most people are likely to demand from tfl is the use of some form of segregated cycle lane, but it’s widely accepted that while giving the illusion of safety these are often actually far more dangerous than using the road and tfl often seems to design them in the most confusing, accident promoting way possible.

    The most effective solution to road safety would be better education and enforcement of the (and more comprehensive) rules for all parties. Cars and motorcycles that use cycle advanced stop lines must be fined, as must drivers that overtake immediately before a left turn. And as you mention above better enforcement of yellow box junctions is really important too. Points on peoples licenses should help with that. Cyclists too need to be better policed. Fines should be more readily given for dangerous and illegal behavior like red light jumping, banned turn offenses, riding on the wrong side of the road/the wrong way down one way streets and riding through junctions on the pavement. Also I think the police ought to fine cyclists that go up the left hand side of lorries when there’s not a specific filter lane located there. Repeat offenders should even be banned from cycling. And finally pedestrians also, should face punishment if they are caught walking out in front of traffic.

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