TfL shifts on KX killer gyratory

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for managing the hazardous road system in KX has consistently maintained that it is not feasible to remove the outdated, overcrowded and dangerous gyratory.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.

King's Cross gyratory system 2011 (this graphic is free to copy)

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: TfL releases this statement.

Update 22 Dec 2011: Islington Trib and Camden New Journal announce shift

Update 22 Dec 2011: BBC carries the story (thanks Andrew!)

Alternative image, click to enlarge jpg:

King's Cross gyratory system 2011 (image free to reproduce)

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 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to TfL shifts on KX killer gyratory

  1. Good News that let’s one hope!

  2. Ian says:

    Well done, everybody, keep the pressure up. I refuse to believe that a safer system cannot be implemented which considers pedestrians and cyclists as of equal importance, if not more so, than heavy lorries, vans and cars.

  3. Pingback: Gyratory traffic schemes, extended one - way systems etc - Page 3 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  4. Clare Hill says:

    Thanks for posting Sophie, heard it here first. Horse’s mouth out today of course: which is a serious case of deja vu: yet another review! “The findings will enable an informed discussion regarding the future of the Kings Cross gyratory system and the aspiration to return it to two-way working.” Surely there’s enough findings around already…

  5. Clare this is a major shift so I don’t have any sense of deja vu! TfL have consistently refused to look at removing the gyratory. There are currently no findings or recommendations that look in detail at removal of the gyratory. I think we should all feel good that pressure has forced them to change policy on this…

  6. Sean Murray - Retail specialist | Urban activist says:

    The power that social media has played in enabling the wider community to voice their concerns and for TFL etc to see this response, means there’s no hiding place this time. We sure have to be relentless in our campaign to make KX (indeed, all of London) a truly people friendly place, but this is a remarkable and welcome turn around and the ‘end of the beginning’…

  7. Pingback: Kings Cross cycling safety campaign – Ken Livingstone interview and Caroline Pidgeon questions to Mayor | Kings Cross Environment

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