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First steps to remove the hated Kings Cross one-way system

December 21, 2011

GLA member Jennette Arnold and Cllr Paul Convery at the danger junction

Transport for London has caved-in to intense pressure and agreed to take the first steps to remove the “gyratory” roads that blight Kings Cross. The concession follows a top-level meeting where Islington’s City Hall representative Jennette Arnold and Cllr Paul Convery pressed the case for short-term safety measures and long-term removal of the one-way system.

TfL has now announced they are “looking at options for radical change up to and including removal (and) discussions are commencing with Islington and Camden to scope out and undertake such a review in the New Year.” Representatives from the two Boroughs are expected to meet TfL officials on January 12th.

Widespread public concern about pedestrian and cycle safety at Kings Cross reached a peak following the tragic death of Min Joo Lee on October 3rd at the junction of Grays Inn Rd and Euston Rd/Pentonville Rd. Because TfL had been warned of the dangers at this junction, campaigners and local politicians have called for a corporate manslaughter investigation against TfL.

The key cross-party meeting on November 25th was convened by Jenette Arnold (Labour) and attended by City Hall representatives Val Shawcross (Labour), Jenny Jones (Green) and Mike Tuffrey (Lib Dem). TfL have plans to restructure the Grays Inn Rd junction in time for the 2012 Olympic Games to deal with increased pedestrian footfall during the Games. But the officials agreed to look again at the plan to consider greater safety and enforcement measures particularly for cyclists at the Grays Inn Road approach.

The Kings Cross one-way system actually consists of two separate gyratories: a northern triangle – York Way, Wharfedale Rd, Caledonian Rd; and a southern section – Pentonville Rd, Penton Rise, Kings Cross Rd, Swinton Street/Acton Street and Grays Inn Rd. Around this road system are a number of very dangerous junctions and crossing points.

TfL has now conceded that, following from the extensive debate about cycle deaths around the one-way system, the entire road system needs to be reviewed.

Local Councillor Paul Convery who is also Islington’s Executive Member for transport says “I am delighted that pressure has made TfL change its position so fundamentally. It is bizarre that only a fortnight ago, London Mayor Boris Johnson, told the London Assembly in a debate about London’s worst 10 spots for road deaths that it was “not feasible to remove the one-way system” at Kings Cross. Well, his own transport agency has now acknowledged that it could indeed be feasible … but no-one has yet thought how to do it. This latest announcement starts the process of figuring this out. It is the start of a long struggle but at least it’s a start.”

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sophie Talbot permalink
    December 21, 2011 12:20 pm

    This is fantastic… Thankyou so much to Paul, Jennette and all involved in getting this major about turn from TfL 🙂

  2. Sean Murray - Retail specialist | Urban activist permalink
    December 21, 2011 7:39 pm

    Indeed, great work.

  3. March 2, 2012 4:24 pm

    A joined-up approach with neighbouring Camden and with TfL and the future Neighbourhood Forum will be essential in this long-term project https://callylabourcouncillors.org.uk/2012/02/29/1million-to-cut-accidents-and-make-the-cally-road-safer/

Trackbacks

  1. Kings Cross cycling safety campaign – Ken Livingstone interview and Caroline Pidgeon questions to Mayor | Kings Cross Environment
  2. Caledonian Ward Islington elections 2014 – Labour Party statement | Kings Cross Environment

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