Camden Council reveals multiple concerns over Cycle-Superhighway (CS11)

An artist's impression of the cycling superhighway in Avenue Road

An artist's impression of the cycling superhighway in Avenue Road - Credit: Archant

Camden Council has called on Transport for London (TfL) to conduct further traffic modelling for the propsed Cycle-Superhighway (CS11) scheme to take account of the likely impact of High Speed Rail (HS2).

Daniel Howard, who started the petition against the CS-11 scheme

Daniel Howard, who started the petition against the CS-11 scheme - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Camden Council refused to release its response to TfL prior to the mayoral election, but it has now been published, revealing several concerns about the impact of the scheme on borough roads.

It says the council is “broadly supportive” of CS-11 “in principle” - but expresses a wide range of concerns with the proposals, stating that “more work will have to be done to avoid unacceptable impacts on some Camden residents.”

The council is concerned about the danger of additional traffic around the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street which TfL’s traffic modelling predicts.

It said: “The area is currently recognised as being extremely sensitive in terms of traffic congestion...and any additional traffic flow could be detrimental to daily operations of the network.

“Having considered in detail the impact on these streets, we cannot support the predicted traffic increase on this part of the network and ask that appropriate mitigation is proposed prior to the implementation of the CS-11 scheme.”

As well as being worried about the implications for The Royal Free, the council said it has further concerns over the reassignment of traffic onto several of the borough’s roads.

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It names the junction of Awkwright Road and Finchley Road as one which could be badly impacted by the scheme because of the number of schools on Awkwright Road and nearby Fitzjohn’s Avenue.

It said: “Officers have been informed that a pedestrian countdown unit is likely to be installed, however the council has concerns that this is unlikely to mitigate the potential impact at the junction.”

Concerns are outlined about Avenue Road, the junction of Prince Albert Road and Albany Road, Belsize roundabout and Fairfax Road.

The council said that whilst it remains opposed to HS2, “we acknowledge its interface with CS-11 and the likely impact of both schemes on borough roads.”

It adds: “As information regarding the construction programme for HS2 becomes available, this should be taken into consideration by TfL, as agreed at the Hampstead public meeting on March 16 2016.”

The response is critical of the traffic modelling done by TfL prior to consultation, and calls for “further modelling using the most up-to-date and relevant traffic data, whilst working closely with the boroughs to address any concerns.”

Camden’s letter also raises “particular concerns” about possible delays to buses and increased bus journey times on Adelaide Road for routes CS11 and 31.

It said: “The council seeks further detail on the potential for mitigation of impacts to key bus routes.”

Camden’s response also raises the possibility that pedestrians forced to wait longer to cross roads because of CS-11 might resort to crossing “in an unsafe manner”, and calls on TfL to provide further clarity regarding wait times.

TfL’s proposal to ban right turns from Finchley Road southbound into Hillgrove Road is said to cause “significant concern” due to the likely diversion route being on sensitive borough roads.

Daniel Howard, who started a petition against the scheme which quickly gathered more than 4,000 signatures, said he welcomed the council’s response - but wished it had been made available earlier.

He said: “We actually did an FOI to obtain it because they wouldn’t release it during purdah, whereas Westminster Council released theirs and came out firmly against the scheme.

“But it’s encouraging to see that Camden Council officers are raising many of the same concerns we did.”

Mr Howard said he was also feeling hopeful after new Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to look again at three consultations on proposed cycle-superhighways, including CS-11.

He said: “We are still hoping they might re-run the whole consultation from scratch. It’s definitely significant that the council are highlighting that HS2 was not factored into the initial traffic modelling, and surely, at some point, common sense has to prevail.

“We have always said we are not anti-cycling - we are just anti this scheme.”