Trial improvement scheme in Camden delivers community benefits

New data from Camden council reveals the benefits of council investment, working closely with the community, in Queen’s Crescent.

The figures confirm a fall in motor traffic levels, both in the immediate locality and in the wider area following the introduction of trial changes, in May 2021, which aim to make it easier to walk, shop and cycle locally.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden„ said: “Over many years, local residents and businesses have told us that they want to see improvements to Queen’s Crescent.

“To respond to this, we secured nearly £2 million of investment for Queen’s Crescent. The changes we have trialled are making the Crescent, a vital community street, a healthier and safer place to walk, cycle, shop and spend time in. We are experimenting with these measures to give local people a chance to see how they work. A full and final public consultation on permanent changes will begin this month.”

The Queen’s Crescent area has some of the lowest levels of household access to motor vehicles in the entire borough, but has long suffered from high levels of through traffic.

An important local neighbourhood centre, over 30,000 people also live within a 15-minute walk of Queen’s Crescent, and figures show that over 90% of shopping trips in Camden are undertaken by walking, cycling or public transport.

Further information provided by local businesses during the trial also shows that 80% of their customers live within a 15-minute walk of Queen’s Crescent.

Headline figures since the start of the trial in May 2021 show:

  • A 33% reduction in motor traffic across the neighbourhood’s local roads and a 12% reduction on the main roads in the area.
  • Over 100% increase in cycling on Queen’s Crescent, which includes a 234% increase in Lime bike trips in the Queen’s Crescent area from July 2020 to July 2021.
  • A significant drop in motor vehicles on Grafton Road, a key cycle route in the borough, which is on Cycleway 6 linking Hampstead Heath to central London and beyond.
  • Air quality improvements seen across all 25 Air Quality monitoring sites with a 25% reduction in dangerous Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations compared with 2019 levels.

Councillor Harrison continued: “Whilst these figures are impressive, we will continue to listen and act on the views of the local community on how they have been experiencing the trial. We have already made some changes in response to these, including to the seating areas in the Crescent.

“In response to feedback from residents about security after dark on Queen’s Crescent, we along with our partners Street Space, organised an evening Long Table event in December.

“Residents were invited to take a seat at a table set up along the pedestrianised section of Queen’s Crescent and encouraged to give feedback on the scheme and ask questions about the street’s future.”

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