‘Lorries and cars queue in back streets’ after Parkway pavement change
TfL to review pavement widening
16 July, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby
William Miller in Camden Town
PEOPLE living in Camden Town’s back streets say their lives have been made a “living hell” by a new road scheme.
The pavement in Parkway, a main road, has been extended, reducing a two-lane street to one near the Britannia Junction.
But, residents with homes nearby say drivers are trying to beat new jams by rat-running through their roads.
The streets, they say, are clogged for hours between 3pm and 8pm every evening with queues of cars, lorries, and cement trucks.
William Miller, a resident of Gloucester Crescent said: “It’s a combination of Parkway and the narrowing of Euston Road down to one lane which has been a disaster and that means traffic backs into all the streets around.
“To do what they’ve done is insanity and has caused utter chaos around here with residential streets packed with cars and even lorries with their engines on at a standstill.
“The bigger issue here is that TfL [Transport for London] is using the creation of socially distanced areas and cycle paths to drive through measures that pre-Covid would’ve needed lengthy consultation.
He added: “Now they can do it overnight. They think they can put things in place to trial them for a few months but this is not the time to do experiments when people are being told to avoid public transport but the government is telling people to go back to work.
“I will fight until the cows come home to get people out of cars, I’m all for it – I cycle everywhere – but forcing cars and trucks into backstreets does not improve the air quality in London. It does the opposite. It’s actually an environmental disaster.”
The TfL changes are part of their Streetspace initiative which is using pandemic powers to quickly bring in changes to make travelling around the city easier for cyclists and walkers.
The measures are temporary and will be monitored for between 12-18 months. Then there will be consultations on schemes TfL plan to make permanent.
Cavendish School is among those to complain about the impact of the new scheme.
Governors writing on behalf of the girls’ primary school in Inverness Street have told Camden Council and TfL they are concerned the pollution it is causing will affect the health of their pupils.
Sam Monck, TfL’s head of healthy streets, said the scheme was being reviewed, but said: “It’s absolutely vital that London’s recovery from coronavirus is sustainable, which is why we’re working closely with councils to rapidly create extra space for walking and cycling.”