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Camden’s plans for York Way revealed … still require some changes

March 15, 2011

York Way needs wider pavements, traffic calming and pedestrian crossings

Pedestrian improvements are badly needed on the southern section of York Way – along the east side of Kings Cross station. Over the next few months Islington, Camden and Transport for London will begin works to widen pavements and introduce better pedestrian crossings along the stretch between Euston Road and Wharfdale Road.

York Way is the boundary between Camden and Islington and – despite many other improvements in the area – both Boroughs have neglected the road in recent years. For obscure historic reasons, Camden Council is the highway authority for all of York Way so it is responsible for the carriageway and the pavements on both sides of the road.

Camden has now published plans for one stretch of York Way – to widen the pavement alongside the station flank wall, to introduce a pedestrian crossing by Caledonia Street and to re-position the main bus stops and the bus stands.

Last year, Islington Council proposed to return York Way to two way traffic as a first stage in removing the entire gyratory that includes Wharfdale Road and the bottom of Caledonian Road. This was intensely opposed by TfL and by Camden – not least because further junction improvements at Euston Road would become very complicated if two-way traffic were reintroduced on York Way without corresponding changes to all the other roads in the area. So Camden has proceeded with a new scheme that has several reasonably attractive features:

  • Widened pavement alongside the Kings Cross station flank wall;
  • Some widening of the east side of York Way between Euston Road and Caledonia Street
  • A pedestrian crossing just before Caledonia Street that creates a traffic “pinch point” by reducing all traffic to single lane.

Cally Councillors are still pressing for further changes to the scheme notably to restrict more of the carriageway to a single lane beyond the new crossing at Caledonia Street. And we are still waiting to see proposed plans for two further schemes: to significantly improve pedestrian crossing at the Euston Road junction; and the Wharfdale Road junction. The Camden scheme is funded by £1m of S106 payment from Network Rail which arises from the redevelopment of the station.

Paul Convery comments “I am disappointed that Camden has still not accepted changes that Islington proposed. There still may be a chance for last minute modifications. And I really want to see the scheme for the Wharfdale Road junction – not least because one of the key elements of the Kings Cross station redevelopment was the removal of the York Way entrance which was next to the Wharfdale Road junction. Ideally I want to see a pedestrian bridge across the tracks at Wharfdale Road but I fear that time is running out. With a price tag of around £8m required to build such a bridge, I really cannot see much chance of capital funding materialising to build this”.

Meanwhile Paul has started discussions between Islington Council and Transport for London to examine the case for returning two-way traffic on Caledonian Road in the stretch between Wharfdale Road and Pentonville Road. This alone would effectively remove the gyratory system around the north side of Kings Cross and bring relief to Wharfdale Road and the other residential streets around it.

A copy of the latest Camden plan can be downloaded by clicking here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave Twisleton-Ward permalink
    March 15, 2011 11:25 am

    Making Caledonian road two-way does make some sense, as there’s no additional inflow between Wharfdale Road and Pentonville, is there?

  2. Mike Sweeney permalink
    August 1, 2011 5:58 pm

    Good to see some progress being made here. The junction of York Way at Euston Road, is a nightmare to cross and vehicles park on the station entrance side just past the traffic lights, this is idiotic, especially black cabs parking up, causing traffic disruption, chaos and danger! The black taxis parking there cause part of the traffic congestion and problem.

    Pedestrians will always try to cross here and cut corners by not crossing at the main traffic lights.

    As for the bus stops outside Kings Cross, south side on York Way – its another crazy place to walk past. It is full of persons waiting for the buses with bags and suitcases on the pavement and they block the pedestrian pavement – one cannot walk past safely and stress free! You are always conscious of how you are going to navigate through the crowd of bus waiting customers. Some control needs to be put in place there to allow pedestrians access on the pavemnent area to and from York way. Accidents and people flare-up are waiting to happen.

    Whats happing – any feedback on that part – just in case I have missed past posts here?
    Mike Sweeney

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