Red signal for Hampstead zebra crossing plans: TfL and Camden Council make U-turn after ‘great opposition’

The zebra crossing in Hampstead High Street which may be turned into a pelican crossing under propos

The zebra crossing in Hampstead High Street which may be turned into a pelican crossing under proposed plans. Picture: Harry Taylor - Credit: Archant

Campaigners’ efforts to stop a zebra crossing being converted into a toucan crossing have been rewarded, as Camden Council has been forced into a U-turn.

In a report submitted by a Camden planning officer to Cllr Adam Harrison, Camden’s cabinet member for the environment, it recommends proceeding with some of the plans – regarding changes to how the cycle lane and loading bays operate – but leaving the current crossing arrangements in place at the junction with Oriel Place.

When the consultation was announced before Christmas, the plans faced opposition from locals against changing the plans for the crossing in Oriel Place.

One opponent of the plans, Hampstead Village Voice publisher Sebastian Wocker said they would be a “devastating blow to the local community”.

Transport for London (TfL), who put forward the plans alongside the council, acknowledged that the crossing was popular, but “results in vehicles frequently stopping to allow pedestrians to cross”.

In the report it is noted that TfL will still fund the altered proposals, as according to modelling they will still “provide significant benefits” and shave time off of the three bus routes – the 268, 46, and 603 – even when leaving the Oriel Place crossing as it is.

The report adds: “Although the signalisation of the zebra crossing does achieve greater journey time savings for some bus movements, officers acknowledge that there is great opposition to this proposal.”

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Hampstead Town councillor Oliver Cooper (Con) was a prominent opponent of the plans.

He told the Ham&High he was pleased with the outcome and said: “The zebra crossing contributes hugely to Hampsterad’s village atmosphere by giving pedestrians priority over traffic. As councillors, we will stay strongly and unequivocally opposed to losing the zebra crossing, and we know Hampstead residents will too.”