Jennette Arnold, (Greater London Assembly Member for the KX area) has won a major concession from Transport for London in a bid to ensure the safety of all road users in King’s Cross. TfL said yesterday:
“The Kings Cross one way system is a critical and complex part of the strategic network. Although changes have been made to it, it is acknowledged that there has not been a wide ongoing review looking at options for radical change up to and including removal. To address this discussions are commencing with LB Islington and LB Camden to scope out and undertake such a review in the New Year.”
This is a major shift from TfL’s position to date, in that the body responsible for managing the hazardous road system in KX has consistently maintained that it is not feasible to remove the outdated, overcrowded and dangerous gyratory.
Paul Convery, Councillor for Caledonian Ward which includes the northern section of the traffic system has just posted the news on the local councillors’ blog where he says,
“I am delighted that pressure has made TfL change its position so fundamentally. It is bizarre that only a fortnight ago, London Mayor Boris Johnson, told the London Assembly in a debate about London’s worst 10 spots for road deaths that it was “not feasible to remove the one-way system” at Kings Cross. Well, his own transport agency has now acknowledged that it could indeed be feasible … but no-one has yet thought how to do it. This latest announcement starts the process of figuring this out. It is the start of a long struggle but at least it’s a start.”
Paul explains that the gyratory is in two parts: a northern triangle and a southern section. Throughout the system are a number of highly dangerous crossings, junctions and fast straight sections of road with no crossings at all.
Yesterday over 100 people gathered in front of King’s Cross Station in a vigil to commemorate the 76 people that have died on London’s roads so far this year. Also remembered were those who have been disabled as a result of collisions on our roads – this figure is not known.
Local bloggers and campaigners are now asking everyone concerned with road safety in King’s Cross to keep the pressure up. The news of a review is very welcome indeed, however it would be very easy for that review to take place behind closed doors, to be facilitated by faceless ‘expert’ consultants and to result in yet another set of inadequate recommendations. We must keep pushing for the review to be inclusive, to be transparent throughout and to be that once and for all solution that we all so desperately need.
Update 22 Dec 2011: BBC carries the story (thanks Andrew!)
Alternative image, click to enlarge jpg: