Making Camden safer and healthier with improvements for walking and cycling
Two trial Safe and Healthy Streets schemes in Camden have recently been completed at Haverstock Hill and across the Camden Square area.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed how people in Camden, and across the country, live, travel and work. The council want its streets to have more safe space for everyone to walk and cycle, for children to get to and from school safely and healthily, for businesses to be able to flourish, to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles and for everyone to be breathing cleaner air.
The council also wants to ensure that its streets support a strong recovery from the pandemic and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer, healthier travel, in line with our Camden Transport Strategy.
“Camden's Safe and Healthy Streets bring big benefits for residents' quality of life in Camden - by keeping more people safe from road danger, reducing air pollution and cutting carbon emissions.
“In Camden, more than two-thirds of people do not have a car, and already more than 8 in 10 trips made by Camden residents are made by public transport, walking and cycling. But we know this can rise further if we make our streets as safe and as welcoming as possible.”
As the cost of living continues to increase, the council also wants to support those looking to cycle more, leaving their car at home when they can as cycling can be around 94% cheaper than the annual cost of running a car.
To help residents cycle more, the council has organised a 50% discount with Lime bike hire for anyone hiring a bike locally throughout these trial schemes, alongside free cycle training and bike loans from the council.
On Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill the improved pedestrian crossing facilities and trial cycle lanes will support more walking and cycling here and across Camden.
Over the autumn and winter the council will be running a series of engagement activities for local residents and businesses to hear from as many people as possible on what they think of the trial changes. We will also be supporting more people to try the cycle lanes including led cycling rides and work with local schools.
The trial scheme in the Camden Square neighbourhood was developed with residents to meet the road traffic challenges in the area and through a range of changes will bring a healthier and safer environment that supports walking and cycling across the area. This includes new cycle lanes and new pedestrian crossing points.
Councillor Harrison continued:
“The five new pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes being trialled on Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill are absolutely vital for helping people travel more safely around Camden, whether it's switching from car to bike for some journeys or walking to the shops and restaurants of Belsize Park and Steele's Village.
“I am also pleased that four local schools, the Royal Free Hospital, and Great Ormond Street Hospital backed the new walking and cycling changes.
“The Camden Square trial scheme means less traffic using local residential streets as a cut-through between main roads, as well as providing better facilities for walking and cycling and more space for people to cycle and walk across this area.
“I am already hearing from residents how the new, quieter roads allow them to, for example, travel to and from King's Cross more safely as well as within the Camden Square area.
“As well as contributing to our vision of zero casualties on our roads, both schemes are part of our collective effort to cut the carbon out of transport, and slash air pollution on our way to World Health Organization standards.
“We will welcome feedback from residents, businesses and all other stakeholders, throughout both trial’s, ahead of a final decision on whether or not to retain, amend or remove the trial schemes.”
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said:
“We are determined to build a greener, fairer Londoner for everyone and enabling more people to walk and cycle more often is vital to this.
“These changes on Haverstock Hill and in Camden Square, completed as part of TfL’s Healthy Streets scheme, is great news for Camden, making it easier and safer for local residents and everyone travelling through the area to travel on foot and by bike.
“We’re continuing to work closely with Camden to make roads across the borough safer as part of our commitment to improving London’s network of high-quality routes and infrastructure - and will be working with all boroughs over the coming months to develop our future plans for investment.”
Caroline Clarke, Royal Free London group chief executive, said:
“We are delighted to support this trial which we think will help make it safer for our staff to cycle to work. Cycling and walking are great ways to keep fit, improve your mental health and reduce your carbon footprint.”
Both schemes have been implemented under an 18-month Experimental Traffic Order, enabling the improvements to be implemented on a trial basis. This will allow the Council to observe how the proposed changes are operating before carrying out a full public consultation, after twelve months, to decide whether or not the schemes are to be made permanent.
The council welcome comments on the changes we are making via our online Commonplace website:
- Haverstock Hill and Rosslyn Hill
- Camden Square neighbourhood Cycleway 50 route
- Camden Square neighbourhood traffic management changesov.uk/Haverstock for Haverstock Hill improvements
To learn to cycle for the first time or improve cycle skills the council runs free courses for adults and children alongside free bike loans for people interested in giving cycling a go. Visit: www.camden.gov.uk/cycling
The above photos show: Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden and Timothy Gaymer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust