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Cyclists recognise the huge benefits of the Tavistock-Torrington trial scheme

16 November, 2017

• NICKY Coates, chair of Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group, says that the recently-completed public inquiry showed the trial of the Tavistock Place/Torrington Place cycle tracks to be a failure (Failure of the traffic trial, November 9).

It did nothing of the sort.

Our witnesses at the inquiry provided evidence on:

• The importance of the route to very many cyclists travelling into Camden from neighbouring boroughs, whether to get to work, to get to university or other classes, to visit shops, or for social reasons;

• The inadequacy of the pre-trial road layout causing dangerous confusion to cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers at junctions;

• The huge benefits of the trial scheme for people cycling with children and those using child-transporter and “cargo” bikes;

• The necessity of well-designed, wide, segregated, cycle tracks for people with mobility impairments using adapted or specially-constructed cycles.​

It is true that the data provided by Camden could have been more resilient. But their statistics do show that since the trial over 1,000 cyclists per hour have been using Tavistock Place at peak times.

Several witnesses who touched on the numbers question, including professional witnesses retained by the opposition, stated that they have clearly increased.

Before the trial this was already the busiest route for cycling in Camden and one of the busiest in London.

The numbers using the old narrow lanes were already too large for the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians, resulting in several serious injuries, whereas there have been no serious injuries to anyone since the introduction of the trial.

Prior to the public inquiry a very large number of people had expressed their views via the widely-publicised consultation that the council carried out earlier this year.

It is noteworthy that 73 per cent of respondents with addresses in Camden favoured the trial scheme including a majority of those living in all but one of the immediately adjacent postcode zones.

Nicky Coates is chair of a small group of local residents who opposed the trial scheme at the inquiry.

The scheme is widely recognised as too important for the health and wellbeing of Camden’s citizens to discard. Any return to the pre-trial layout would be a massive backward step bringing unacceptably increased dangers to cyclists and pedestrians.​

Camden Cycling Campaign


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