Objections to proposed left turn ban in Camden Town

'The traffic is like water - it has to escape somewhere'

Monday, 20th January 2020 — By Samantha Booth

richard cotton Camden New Journal 2020-01-16 at 17.58.39

Labour councillor Richard Cotton wants TfL to think again

CAMPAIGNERS are re-bolstering their efforts to halt Transport for London from blocking a left turn in Camden Town.

The transport authority wants to introduce a pedestrian crossing across Camden Road by the British Transport Police headquarters and then get rid of the left turn from Camden Street into the road. Nearby residents say they support the crossing idea but urge TfL to consider other options on the turn ban, including add­ing a traffic filter light onto the traffic signals.

Phil Kemp, who lives in Jeffreys Street, said it will push traffic trying to get to Holloway through residential streets. Camden Cycling Campaign, meanwhile, said many on two wheels were concerned that banning the turn will put more traffic on the side streets.

Writing in the New Journal this week, Kate Gemmell from Tenants Residents Associations Camden Town (TRACT), said: “The issues with the junction could be addressed with a bit more planning and adjustment to the traffic light sequence and introduction of the 20mph speed limit to both Camden Street and Camden Road through this busy section of town.”

Labour ward councillor Richard Cotton said the plans were “disastrous” for residential streets.

“The traffic is like water, it has to escape somewhere,” he said. “I did write back to them and said it seems to me that almost everybody has been ignored.”

In a letter to Andrew Dismore, London Assembly member for Camden and Barnet, Heidi Alexander, the deputy Mayor for Transport said the junction was “one of the most dangerous junctions in London”.

Responding to concerns about traffic on residential streets, she said: “As with all TfL schemes, this change has been modelled and TfL is confident that traffic is expected to disperse over a wider area. When alternative options were considered, which did not include the banned left turn, traffic impacts on Camden Street would likely result in vehicles seeking to ‘rat run’ to avoid the traffic queue leading up to Camden Road. This traffic queue would also have resulted to delays for the 10,000 bus passengers that travel through the junction in the morning peak.”

Objections and representations on TfL’s plans can be made until February 6. Mr Dismore said it was a “pity” that TfL had not listened to residents’ feedback.

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