Permanent safety changes made at Southampton Row/ Theobalds Road junction

Camden Council has now completed the latest in a series of permanent road layout changes at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road. 

The changes were made following a public consultation to make the junction safer for cycling through the use of segregated cycle lanes, bus lane improvements and improved traffic lights for cyclists. This follows immediate road safety changes made in September 2021

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

It has been clear for too long that the Holborn area needs safety improvements. Our thoughts are with the families, friends and former colleagues of cyclists who have died on the roads here.

“Following the immediate road safety changes made in September last year, we have now completed a range of permanent safety improvements that were needed to make this junction safer for everyone.

“Working together with the local community, ward councillors, cycling groups, TfL, London's walking and cycling commissioner, and the mayor Sadiq Khan, these changes ensure that the safety of cyclists is prioritised.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: "The changes made by Camden Council to the junction at Southampton Row and Theobalds Road are a vital step in reducing the risk of accidents for people walking and cycling in the area. They follow immediate changes to the road layout made in September 2021 in response to significant road safety concerns. 

“There is still more to do to eradicate road deaths and serious injuries from our streets, but improvements like these are welcome as we build a greener, more sustainable and safer London for all” 

The council is continuing to work at pace with TfL to make more permanent changes to improve road safety in this area in particular to reduce the risk to cyclists along High Holborn and Proctor Street. Consultation on more proposed changes will take place in the autumn, if approved any potential construction would be scheduled to start in early 2023. 

The council is also continuing to seek funding from Transport for London’s Liveable Neighbourhoods programme to improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists in the wider Holborn area, as well as creating enhanced public spaces and access to public transport. 

The latest changes made at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road are: 

  • New sections of segregated cycle track northbound and southbound on Southampton Row .
  • A new “cycle gate” southbound on Southampton Row at the junction with Theobalds Road. This is where cyclists are held at a red signal while motor traffic flows through the junction, then cyclists get a green signal to enter an enlarged cycle box area so they can then move before the motor traffic. 
  • New cycle boxes (advanced stop lines) for cyclists in all directions providing safer spaces for cyclists .
  • An “early start” of around 4 seconds at traffic lights for cyclists on the northbound and eastbound approaches and an “early start” for buses and cyclists on the westbound approach to help reduce conflict between cyclists and general traffic 
  • Cyclists able to turn right in two steps (stages) on all approaches. A two-stage right turn allows cyclists to more forward when signalled, before waiting in a safe designated area before turning right .
  • The hours of operation of the southbound bus, cycle, and taxi lane between 150 Southampton Row and the junction with Theobald’s Road extended to 24 hours a day with two loading bays available (10am - 1pm and 8pm - midnight).
  • An extended southbound bus, cycle, and taxi lane between the junction of Southampton Row and Catton Street running 24 hours a day with no loading provision.
  • An extended eastbound bus, cycle, and taxi lane from Vernon Place to 124 Theobalds Road. This lane will be 24 hours a day between Vernon Place and the junction with Lamb’s Conduit.
  • A relocated bus stop X on Theobalds Road to the south of the junction to provide even spacing between stops and allow cyclists easy access to the segregated cycle track. 
  • A realigned and widened pedestrian crossing on Vernon Place. 
  • A new left turn for cyclists from Southampton Row into Vernon Place. 
  • The removal of the pedestrian guardrail around the junction to reduce potential harm to cyclists .

For more information see: Making travel safer in Camden - Camden Council