A 2008 report commissioned by TfL said that at the junction of York Way ‘casualties are inevitable’ and that at busy times the junction was ‘like a battleground’
It has taken TfL a remarkable four years to rebuild the pedestrian crossing at the junction of York Way and Pentonville Road. But simple observation shows madness at this junction continues that endangers all road users, in part as warned by local activists.
I shot some video and took some pictures just after getting off a train at Kings Cross this Friday 1 June at about 1700 to demonstrate.
I observed the taxi in the photo dropping off a man in the middle of the road – not even bothering to pull over to a safe place. The video below then shows traffic streaming around this passenger as the lights go green and he is stranded in the middle of the road. The video also demonstrates that the chicane behaviour continues where vehicles criss-cross in front of each other endangering cyclists. Pedestrian safety continues to be questionable as poor junction design causes traffic to back up across the junction with alarming regularity and pedestrians then flood between the vehicles.
The video at 1:33 also shows the craziness of the taxi drop off here on the West side of York Way. Taxis cut across abruptly and then cause obstructions either by stopping short or in the middle of the road. Notice that there is a double red line at this point. The redoubtable Sean Murray has been banging on at Camden et al about this for ages in an epic email correspondence. It’s mired in the failed relationship between Camden and Network Rail and TfL at this point. But it seems to be TfL’s fault. Camden’s Senior Engineer Andrew Helyer in response to Sean’s questions says
With respect to the taxi drop off issue at the southern end of York Way, Camden are not the traffic authority for this southern section of highway but we do support use of the new drop off facility on the other side of the station instead. However, until the new station is fully completed and the works for the new Station Square commence after the Olympics, the future of the York Way drop off remains subject to further discussion between the relevant stakeholders.
It’s obviously a stupid place to put a drop off. In the face of the evidence the taxi drop off should be closed temporarily on the precautionary principle while they work out if it should be kept open. The failure of TfL to tackle problems at this junction has already led to a police corporate manslaughter investigation reported in the The Times. TfL also know that this junction complex at York Way, Pentonville Road, Grays Inn Road does not comply with their own cycle design standards. It’s another failure of TfL’s controlling mind. It’s hard to think of another brand new crossing that has had this much political attention focussed on it that is this bad.