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Next steps at Southampton Row junction

Changes proposed after LCC petition and protest are a big leap forward, but far from perfect. We give our analysis on the changes.

Rapid action is possible

Camden Council has launched a consultation on a second phase of proposed changes to the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road, where Dr. Marta Krawiec tragically died in August after being hit by a left turning lorry. These changes, due to be installed in early 2022 are a big leap forward in safety but are still far from perfect. While they will make cycling through the junction much safer we do not believe this design will enable people of all ages and all abilities to cycle through this area therefore not leading to a greater number of people cycling.

These changes follow London Cycling Campaign’s petition signed by more than 7,500 of you as well as our protest at the junction. This led to rapid action with temporary changes being made to the location where Dr Krawiec was killed that have improved conditions at the turn she was killed. The next phase improves several of the remaining issues at the junction for safety.

The proposed changes

Our local Camden group has produced an in depth analysis of the junction you can read here. Overall the changes address many safety issues and remove what TfL and DfT call “critical issues” at the junction.

Southampton Row plans

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  • The cycle gate on the southbound direction of Southampton Row addresses the danger of left turning motor vehicles hitting people cycling. This is the only allowable left turn at this junction, hence this risk doesn’t exist on other arms.
  • The protected cycle tracks on Southampton Row are very welcome. We would like to see cycle tracks on Theobalds Road as well, and hope these will soon be extended as we need a continuous cycle network to enable large numbers of people cycling.
  • While 24 hour bus lanes are welcome, they are still too dangerous for families to be able to cycle with young children and are not a substitute for safe cycle lanes.

More is needed

It’s great news that Camden Council and TfL are looking to address safety issues at this junction, and have moved forward so rapidly, but this needs to be done for all dangerous junctions in London. That’s why we are calling on the Mayor and councils to rapidly rollout safety improvements at every London junction where those walking and cycling lose their lives, with the most dangerous prioritised first.

What TfL and DfT call “critical issues” at junctions must be addressed to ensure that every arm of each junction is safe to cycle or walk through. That way these junctions will help realise the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan for no fatal road collisions or serious injuries in London by 2041, rather than trash it.

The London Assembly has agreed to pass on our Dangerous Junctions petition to the Mayor for a response. We are gearing up our campaign to push the mayor on TfL with several strands of this vital campaigning work coming soon – sign up to our newsletter below to learn more as and when we can reveal our next steps.

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