Kings Cross remains a Race Track against promises to change it!

In spite of not one, or two, but three expensive consultations since the 1990s on changing the gyratory system at Kings Cross, the roads remain race tracks, where cars and motorbikes regularly rev and speed up. Against the real evidence of speed related accidents on Swinton Street, Caledonian Road and now Acton Street, no significant changes have still been implemented.

Residents were let to believe to expect traffic calming, counter traffic cycle lanes, ways to reduce speed, but the Kings Cross gyratory remains largely unchanged.  Even tiny Swinton Place is remaining a rat race track for whenever Swinton Street gets jammed up, and Britannia Street is used by motorists to try and short cut into Pentonville Road via Weston Rise, or consider the short cut between Penton Rise, Weston Rise and Wicklow Street. If it was not for me, there would not even be a pedestrian push button traffic light at the beginning of Swinton Street, something I persuaded TFL to install, after yet another high-speed accident at that corner, some ten years ago.

Kings Cross, I know I have said it often, is a residential area today, with lots of pedestrians and cyclists. Children go to school here, adults to work, there are hospitals, student residences and hotels. We are not willing to continue to take the pollution by cars that are forced through our streets, nor do we wish to accept their noise nor the dangers posed by continuously speeding vehicles.

Good that I have an email from Sadiq Khan, where his assistant promised to look into the traffic at King’s Cross, before he got elected, sent to me on 11/3/16:

“Mayor of London Sadiq will fight at every turn for better homes, better policing, better transport and an economy that works for business and for workers. Every Londoner should have the opportunities that so many of us take for granted but so many still do not receive.

Sadiq knows that many local people feel that King’s Cross traffic gyratory system desperately needs redesigning, with concerns around safety for all road users and pollution in the densely populated area.

Transport for London (TfL) has been consulting on a redesign since 2011 and that they intend to consult on a high level proposal shortly and on final details in 2017.  Sadiq understands there are frustrations around delays with the process and he will contact TfL to seek reassurances around the timetable and that local people are being properly consulted.”

Whilst parts of Kings Cross Road are now Zone 20,  much of Kings Cross is still waiting for the traffic calming promised. This morning 3rd of July, 2017, an Audi crashed right into the zebra crossing island and into a house on Acton Street, as can be seen on the photo. That this remains possible is only caused by the broad speed inviting one-way street system that is continuing to give drivers a totally false idea. How many more accidents until changes are going to be seen, if I may ask, Mr Khan?

Affected Streets:

  • Acton Street
  • Britannia Street
  • Caledonian Road
  • Euston Road
  • Grays Inn Road
  • Kings Cross Road
  • Penton Rise
  • Pentonville Road
  • Swinton Street
  • Wicklow Street
  • Weston Rise
  • Wharfdale Road
  • York Way

A side note to Camden on other vulnerabilities at Kings Cross on their roads: Seaford Street / Harrison Street remains a short-cut into Grays Inn Road for motorists trying to avoid the traffic lights, and Harrison Street is bizarrely used for intermittent speeding by young motorists, as it has no speed humps, unlike Cromer Street. Heathcote Street / Mecklenburgh Square remains a short-cut for motorcycles between Grays Inn Road and Guilford Street in spite of it being a route used by nursery children to Thomas Coram’s Nursery and children on their way to Coram’s Fields.

About Daniel Zylbersztajn

Daniel Zylbersztajn, is since 2012 correspondent to the German independent left of centre daily newspaper taz, die Tageszeitung and Jüdische Allgemeine, and a Pilates Teacher. Born in Germany but also raised in Holland and Israel, he is a long term resident of London Kings Cross (first in 1991), involved parent, local and social activist, and positive lifestyle advocate. He also held posts in research, and conflict work, a.o. for the Palestinian - Israeli peace village Wahat al Salam ~ Neve Shalom. He holds a BA in history and politics from SOAS and two Master degrees, in Urban Sociology (Goldsmiths) and Sports Coaching (Brunel). He is founding and committee member of Coram's Fields User Group, the parent and community voice of Central London's biggest and oldest children playground and was its first spokesperson and chair. Daniel tweets under @zylbersztajn
This entry was posted in Bad Gyrations KX Campaign, Gyratory consultation 2016, New, Transport, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kings Cross remains a Race Track against promises to change it!

  1. Geoffrey Eagland says:

    And drivers treat York Way, which is nominally 20mph, like a drag strip. Meanwhile, many of the buses at the bus stand ignore the sign that advises them that they must switch off their engines. To be fair, most offenders comply when reminded, but some seem to take real umbrage.

  2. OC says:

    The 20mph speed limits around KX are a joke – they are never adhered to and have not contributed to slowing traffic. York Way is still a race track for many vehicles and motorcycles in particular. Something else needs to be introduced there, or maybe a spate of highly visible speed traps might work, I’ve never seen any on York Way so I do wonder what the point of an unenforced speed limit actually is.

  3. John Ashwell says:

    My neighbour and I on Wharfdale have recently had e reply from our councillor to say that the detailed design proposals following the consultation have been delayed – rather than early 2017 they are hoping for later in 2017 to receive the TFL proposals – then further consultation I believe, then planning periods to implement – I am not holding my breath that we will see any real change before 2020…

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