TfL's 'Streetspace for London' plans may result in Bloomsbury roads being closed to traffic along south, east and west borders. Do you know about this?

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Red lines show roads likely to be closed, with a question mark over Kings Cross Road (about which the TfL information is unclear; further information is awaited)

See Map Below © The Guardian for wider area

Officials told the Guardian that work was commencing in mid-May and would take six weeks. However, responding to a request for clarification, TfL stated that plans are still being finalised and they cannot yet confirm the detail or provide a map.  No information has been sent to the affected residents and businesses.

 

TfL announced new ‘car-free zones’ in London in a press release in 15 May: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/car-free-zones-in-london-as-cc-and-ulez-reinstated

 

The press release states that, as lockdown is eased, TfL believes it can promote social distancing by:

  • discouraging people from using public transport – it must be used only ‘as a last resort’

  • encouraging more walking and cycling

  • discouraging the use of cars, and is therefore making several major roads vehicle-free.

 

Although the press release states there will be car-free zones, what is in fact being introduced is a series of vehicle-free streets, which cuts off most vehicle access to the Bloomsbury area.

The likely wider geographical extent of the closures is shown in the map below.  But for the east Bloomsbury and Holborn area what we do know is that:

 

  • The entire north-south route (Upper Woburn Place/Southampton Row/Kingsway/Aldwych), between Euston Road and Waterloo Bridge will be closed*

  • The entire east-west route of Theobalds Road and Clerkenwell Road, between Southampton Row and Farringon Road will be closed*

  • Most or all (the press release is unclear) of the Farringdon Road/Kings Cross Road, between Clerkenwell Road and Kings Cross will be closed*.

 

*Closed to all vehicles except buses and emergency vehicles. 

 

So the only entry points to will be:

 

(Streets marked in red (below) are not suitable or wide enough for lorries.)

 

  • from the south: via Gray’s Inn Road (which is to be narrowed to two single vehicle lanes), then entering from the east (via Sidmouth Street).

  • from the east: from Gray’s Inn Road at Guilford Street (but then only via the very narrow Herbrand Street as Lansdowne Terrace has also been permanently closed during the lockdown) or Sidmouth Street.

  • from the west: Tavistock Place via Gower Street (which has been narrowed; it is currently southbound only but will become two-way and absorb all the traffic from Tottenham Court Road, which is also to be vehicle-free – apart from buses)

  • from the north: the very narrow Duke's Road *, which can be accessed from the east from Euston Road or from the north on Church Way (there is no entry from the west on Euston Road).

Tiny Duke's Road was to provide the only direct access from the Euston Road BUT this is now also being closed - see below 

* BREAKING NEWS:  Duke's Road, together with Upper Woburn Place, is now also to be closed to westbound traffic on Euston Road, removing the last remaining entry point from the north to this area.  This information is buried in the legal notices on page 30 of the Camden New Journal of 18.6.20. Reason given: 'to introduce social distancing measures...'

 

The only exit points will be:

  • to the south: going west onto Guilford Street or Sidmouth Street then south on Gray’s Inn Road.

  • to the north-east: from Mabledon Place on to Euston Road (eastbound only); on Sidmouth Street; or Guilford Street towards Gray’s Inn Road.

  • to the north-west: no direct route; the only way is via Mabledon Place, right on to Euston Road and then immediately left on to Ossulston Street (two way traffic but with width for only one lane at most points; not suitable for lorries)

  • there is no exit to the west.

Comment

 

This will have a huge impact on our neighbourhood, much of which will be bordered by the closed roads.  There is no information given about where displaced traffic will go or its impact on pollution in our area.

 

The major issue about how large construction vehicles for the multiple development sites in the area will enter and exit is just one of many questions to be answered.

 

The problems which will be faced by people with mobility problems (who may need transport) are referred to briefly by TfL and their solution is: ‘We're working to make sure that people with any mobility issues are still able to use the pavements as normal.’

 

BRAG will be commenting more fully.  Please let us know your views. E-mail us at info@brag.org.uk

The wider picture

The wider picture of the road closures

from Guardian article 15.05.20

Sadiq Khan has announced new ‘car-free’ zones in London.  The plan is actually to create a series of vehicle-free streets.

 

There are two interconnected areas to be enclosed by the vehicle-free streets:

  • One part is bounded by Euston Road to the north, and the Thames to the south – and the plans also extend further south over Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges. And bounded by Southampton Row/Kingsway to the west and Farringdon Road to the east.

  • The adjacent enclosed area is bounded by Clerkenwell Road and most of Old Street to the north, and by the Thames to the south.

Some information [but no clear maps] can be gleaned from https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/streetspace-for-london#on-this-page-3