Camden Council’s Cabinet this evening (Wednesday 14 December) approved a range of cycling, pedestrian, road safety changes and public realm improvements to the High Holborn, Drake Street, Procter Street, Red Lion Square and Southampton Row area, following a consultation with residents, businesses and key interested groups between October and November 2022.
The approved scheme will: Reduce Drake Street and Procter Street to one traffic lane and one bus lane (permitting cycles and taxis), to allow space for a segregated cycle track. Bus stops and bus stands will be relocated and consolidated. It will also add a “cycle gate” on Procter Street at the junction with High Holborn and a separate signal operated cycle lane on High Holborn, approaching Procter Street, providing further road safety benefits for people cycling, and also add a cycle early release and bigger cycle box at the junction of High Holborn and Southampton Row, with two-stage right turn facilities, and buff-coloured surfaces at pedestrian crossings.
Two-way cycling in and out of Red Lion Square will also be permitted, along with the introduction of a westbound exit from Fisher Street onto Southampton Row for cycles only, as well as improved wayfinding for eastbound cyclists to improve the connection to Red Lion Square and provide an alternative southbound route from Southampton Row to High Holborn that avoids the Theobalds Road/Drake Street junction.
Other changes include a contra flow cycling on Catton Street, increased cycle box sizes from 5m to 7.5m at the junction of Theobalds Road and Drake Street, extending the existing southbound bus lane, also permitting taxis and cycles, on Southampton Row from Catton Street through the junction to 20m south of High Holborn, change the ahead and right turn lane on Kingsway north to a right turn only into Remnant Street, relocate the existing loading bay on High Holborn by 50m, with loading permitted 24 hours a day while east of Procter Street, allow loading but ban parking on the north side of High Holborn between the hours of 7pm-7am, with a new cycle facility provided east of Procter Street outside of loading hours. There will be a loading facility on Procter Street on the approach to High Holborn, permitted 7pm-7am, Improvements to public realm in the area by adding planting including rain gardens.
The permanent implementation of the changes to High Holborn, Drake Street and Procter Street is expected to start in March 2023.
“It has been clear for too long that the Holborn area needs safety improvements. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of people who have died on the roads here while cycling,” commented Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden. “We have brought in a number of permanent safety improvements over the last few years, the most recent being in August this year at the Southampton Row/Theobalds Road junction.
“I would like to thank everyone who responded to our consultation on the proposed safety scheme for High Holborn, Drake Street and Procter Street. The responses led to amendments to include contra-flow cycling on Catton Street and further improve connectivity for cycling through the area.
“This is also a chance to bring in other “Healthy Street” improvements in this area, including better pedestrian facilities, adding plants and trees, and extending bus lanes.
“Working together with TfL, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, and the mayor of London, these agreed changes will help ensure that the safety of cyclists is prioritised in the Holborn area, whilst improving the area for residents, businesses and visitors.”
(Picture – Camden Council)