Response to TfL's proposed changes in King's Cross

Transport for London's proposed changes to the road network around King's Cross are disjointed, half-hearted and almost entirely sub-standard - well below the quality required to encourage more people to cycle in London.

There is next to no physical separation from motor traffic in the proposals, which should be a basic requirement given the volume of motor traffic on the roads in the consultation area. Even the painted cycle lanes that are being proposed are discontinuous, disappearing at bus stops and at junctions. 

King's Cross proposals

Every junction in the plan employs Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs), several of which do not have clear paths to access them. These are an inadequate design approach for cycling, especially at junctions carrying volume and type of motor traffic as these ones. Indeed the ASL at the Caledonian Road junction (which has no feeder lane) may actually encourage people to filter into dangerous positions up the inside of large vehicles in an attempt to access the ASL. At these kinds of junctions London desperately needs to employ new methods to make cycling attractive and safe - signal separation of motor vehicles and cycle traffic.

There is a hint at this approach for the right turn into York Way from Gray's Inn Road. However, it appears to have been badly implemented, with what looks to be a two-stage crossing of Euston Road, as well as a strange waiting area on Gray's Inn Road that leaves cyclists waiting to cross perpendicular to the direction they wish to progress in. This crossing will involve needless delay and will therefore be unattractive as an option, compared to using the carriageway itself into York Way, which will involve no delay, or just one signal phase.

So two parallel design approaches have been provided - an ASL (again, inaccessible) at the location where Min Joo Lee was killed by an HGV driver who failed to spot her, and a circuitous route that involves delay. Neither of these approaches is acceptable. Safety and convenience should not be traded off against each other. There should be a direct, safe and attractive route through this junction, suitable for all, not two separate compromises. 

There are other considerable missed opportunities - no contraflow provision on York Way, or Caledonian Way, or on Pentonville Road. Cycling through this junction without these direct options will remain inconvenient. Perhaps these may come with the arrival of the North-South cycle route through the area, but the current proposals on offer are so piecemeal and inadequate it is hardly worth bothering to implement them. A 17-year-old amateur can come up with proposals that are substantially more coherent and attractive than what TfL have produced.  


The consultation closes Tuesday 25th March - respond here. See also responses by Mark Ames and the London Cycling Campaign