Three new permanent cycle routes bring a host of benefits to Camden

Camden council today (15 December) has decided to make permanent three cycle routes, initially installed to address transport issues arising from the pandemic. The final schemes will also include multiple additional new features to make each street safer and healthier.

The three routes covering York Way, in partnership with Islington Council, Prince of Wales Road and Chalk Farm Road were originally installed in 2020 as the pandemic created new road safety challenges in Camden.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden
“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how communities in Camden live, travel and work.

“We want our streets to have more space for everyone to walk and cycle, for you to be breathing cleaner air, for children to get to and from school safely and for businesses to be able to flourish.

“Whilst most of the national restrictions on travel were fully lifted in July 2021, we know that many people remain concerned about the use of public transport. As a result, there is a growing risk of a car-led recovery from the pandemic, with traffic levels in Camden already at or higher than pre-pandemic levels. And with the return of restrictions in some form currently, it’s vital to continue to provide people with alternative ways of getting around.

“These cycle lanes have proven to be very popular and a great success, which is why we have consulted on making them permanent features. Having listened to the feedback received we have adjusted them accordingly by adding new elements and the removing some others.

“The permanent scheme proposals feature new measures to make these streets even healthier, including safer junctions for pedestrians and cycles, improved pedestrian crossing facilities, widened cycle tracks and new cycle parking facilities, new benches to help people to stop and rest as well as more trees and further planting on street to provide much needed shade, shelter and also to help tackle climate change.”
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

Each route runs along key local streets and have been uniquely designed using feedback to solve specific local issues.

The Chalk Farm Road Scheme helps to make motor traffic less overwhelming and make the street more accessible and welcoming for those walking and cycling through the area and visiting shops. Meanwhile, the more residential Prince of Wales Road Scheme provides a safer route for those cycling to Kentish Town West Overground station, Talacre Gardens, Talacre Sports Centre and the wider connections to Queen’s Crescent and King’s Cross via Royal College Street.

The York Way scheme takes an important and heavily used route to the transport hubs of King’s Cross and Euston and also connects to further high-quality cycle routes to provide people with an alternative to using motor vehicles in the more congested parts of the borough and beyond.

A range of engagement and consultations took place for each cycle lane, ensuring that local residents, businesses and stakeholders were able to have their say and comment on the designs. For each cycle lane the public were able to share their views on Commonplace throughout the trial and take part in a full consultation. The council would like to thank everyone who shared their views and improved the schemes.

Councillor Adam Harrison continued:

“Making cycling easier and safer is one of the keys of our Transport Strategy. Cycle lanes open new freedoms for many more people to ride a bike more easily and safely, including for children, older residents or those with a disability who are able to cycle.

“In Camden, more than two-thirds of people do not have a car, and already more than 80% of trips made by our residents are by public transport, walking and cycling.

“Additionally, the benefit to cost ratios for the three schemes highlight the financial benefits of these. For example, on Chalk Farm Road it has been estimated that for every pound invested in the permanent scheme, the benefit in return is £5.80, meaning that the benefits from the scheme are significantly greater than the cost of implementing them.”

Kirsten Watters, Camden Director of Public Health said:

“Cycling has many benefits for your physical and mental health. It’s a cheap and easy way to get active, no matter your age.

“You don’t even need to own a bike and throughout the borough there are a range of hire bikes available.

“These cycle lanes, along with Camden’s support for other healthy forms of travel, are providing a safe and convenient way to travel, stay active and help the environment.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the council have more than tripled the length of segregated cycle network to around 24km, delivered 19 new cycling “permeability” schemes that make it easier to get around on a bike and added over a 120 new dockless bike hire bays to provide dedicated spaces for hiring bikes and removing street clutter.

You can read more information on each scheme below: