Our association supports the proposals by Camden Council to make the road layout and traffic changes permanent along Torrington Place, Byng Place, Gordon Square, Tavistock Square and Tavistock Place (Torrington Place / Tavistock Place route: Proposed improvements for walking and cycling).
Since November 2015 the amount of motor vehicle traffic travelling west along Torrington Place between Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road has been significantly lowered resulting in greatly reduced air and noise pollution.
This has also led to less motor vehicle traffic along Howland Street and New Cavendish Street, and also Charlotte Street.
The changes to the traffic layout have made it safer for those who choose active transport such as walking and cycling in Fitzrovia. We also support the widening of pavements along the length of the route.
However, we recognise that there are concerns from residents living to the east in, for example, Judd Street who are experiencing a higher volume of traffic as a result of the scheme. We understand that Camden Council is proposing changes to traffic flows to reduce motor vehicles in those streets and we hope this will address concerns by residents about congestion and pollution from motor vehicles.
We are also concerned that the operation of the loading bay along Torrington Place may be hazardous to cyclists and we would like the council to look at measures to improve loading arrangements. We are particularly concerned about large goods vehicles in this street and their inherent blind spots.
We would also like the council to consider taking measures to improve picking up and setting down of passengers by taxis and private vehicles around the Torrington Place and Huntley Street junction. We recognise that many residents who are elderly or disabled need access from the pavement to a motor vehicle.
We are also concerned about the proposal to remove the kerb stones segregating the eastbound cycle track along the whole length of Torrington Place to Tavistock Place. The current design of the eastbound track is robust and we consider that converting this to a “stepped track” does not protect cyclists and is open to abuse from motorists entering the track or mounting the stepped kerb. Less experienced cyclists may also have difficulty getting off and back on the stepped tracks if they are blocked by a motor vehicle.
Overall we are pleased with the trial of the scheme and support the proposals put forward.