Camden backs down over planned Primrose Hill road closures

A landscape image of King Henry's Road in Primrose Hill

Camden Council had proposed blocking through traffic from King Henry's Road in Primrose Hill entirely - now it will just implement width restrictions to prevent HGVs using the area - Credit: Google

Plans to stop through traffic in King Henry's Road and Elsworthy Road entirely have been dropped by Camden Council. 

The town hall had proposed blocking vehicles from using the roads as part of a "safe and healthy streets" area. 

But after extensive opposition – more than 70% of 1,665 people responding to a public consultation opposed putting barriers in place at three key junctions – council bosses are now recommending width restrictions to prevent HGVs using the roads instead.

The decision is likely to be approved by the town hall's environment chief, Cllr Adam Harrison, on August 17.

Plans for a Healthy Schools Street in Elsworthy Road will also go forward, as will pavement widening on Primrose Hill Road. These will be implemented using an experimental traffic order (ETO) valid for 18 months.

The Healthy Schools Street outside of St Paul's Church of England Primary means cars and vans will not be able to access the part of Elsworthy Road between Primrose Hill Road and Elsworthy Rise from 8-9am and 3-4pm during term-time weekdays. 


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Opposition to stopping through traffic focussed on increased use of Adelaide Road and the Swiss Cottage gyratory, leading to increased congestion and pollution. 

The schemes were opposed by a number of local schools, with the staff at St Paul's Primary critical of the road closures and the Healthy School Street. 

A map showing how access to King Henry's Road in Swiss Cottage could change. 

The original, now altered scheme - Credit: Camden Council

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In its objection, St Paul's Primary wrote: "If you are restricting the ability of cars to use Elsworthy Road and King Henry's Road you will just make the backlog of cars on Primrose Hill Road worse, especially at busy times.

"This will add to the pollution and traffic risk for pupils of St Paul's who enter and leave the school via Primrose Hill Road."

Cllr Adam Harrison

Cllr Adam Harrison is set to approve the revised scheme next week - Credit: Kareen Cox / Camden Council

Camden said it would monitor the impact of this during the ETO period.

In the report recommending the Healthy School Street, the town hall's environment director wrote: "It is hoped that this will reduce the chances of vehicles stopping and idling adjacent to the school, with potential associated safety and air quality implications."

Opposition councillor Oliver Cooper (Con) said: ""I'm relieved that we've made Camden listen to residents. Conservative councillors surveyed hundreds of residents and found overwhelming opposition to Camden's initial proposals for road closures, which would have meant more congestion on Adelaide Road, Primrose Hill Road, and Swiss Cottage Gyratory."

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