Camden To Double Cycling Space Around Torrington Place

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 31 months ago
Camden To Double Cycling Space Around Torrington Place

This graphic shows the startling unfairness in some of London's road space — and explains why Camden is about to start a trial replacing one lane of car traffic with a second cycle lane.

Tavistock Place, Gordon Square, Byng Place and Torrington Place up to Gower Street will become one way (eastbound) streets by converting the westbound lane into a westbound cycle lane. The existing cycle lane will become eastbound only. Torrington Place between Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road is already one way only, but the carriageway will be narrowed to allow a new, westbound cycle lane. Streets around Gordon Square will also become one way north- and southbound, to reduce traffic conflicts.

Why is this happening? The route is extremely popular with cyclists — a recent survey recorded over 1,000 during the morning rush hour. There are even more pedestrians: around 1,800 were counted during morning rush hour, and over 2,500 during lunch. Yet motor vehicles are allocated nearly half the road space. The council says the roads have a poor safety record, mainly because of collisions between vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians.

Adding another cycle lane will give those on two wheels more freedom to move easily, and should reduce confusion for pedestrians crossing the road. There will also be a new zebra crossing at the junction of Torrington Place and Huntley Street.

If you're wondering what will happen to existing motor traffic, Camden says a lot of it is rat running around Euston and will likely evaporate back to more appropriate routes. The council also points out that Tavistock Place and Byng Place have been closed completely in recent years, and neither caused chaos in the surrounding area.

Work to convert the road space will begin on 6 November and is expected to last until 23 November. The trial will then run for 12 months, with the council monitoring the impact on traffic and local air quality.

You can read more about the plans on Camden Council's website.

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Last Updated 29 October 2015


Bloody brilliant, fantastic news. It only takes five minutes in the morning rush hour to see how many more cyclists than cars use that route, and the allocation of space clearly doesn't reflect the level of interest in cycling along there. There's far too much potential for conflict between drivers, cyclists and people on foot at the moment, particularly with the silly two-way cycle lane running down one side of the street.

Can't wait to see how this works in practice. If only some other London boroughs were as foward thinking as Camden.


It's not about percentages and statistics it's about deliveries to businesses try that on your cycle, it's about ambulances, try that on your bike, it's about home deliveries, try getting your Tesco delivery on a bike. How will you get your tofu, lentils and Lima beans from your local deli when they give up trying to deliver ? But then you don't live here do you? You just want a smooth ride through. Oh and if you do live in the area lets hope your house, flat or business doesn't catch light cos the fire engine won't be able to get through the suddenly vaporised traffic that will still be surrounding roads. Get real Camden.


These kind of statistics are misleading. A bus carrying 90 passengers is one vehicle, a Dial-a-Ride van carrying 10 people counts as one vehicle, one cyclist on a bike is one vehicle. It's people not vehicles that should be quoted. Also, road space atm can be used by all vehicles including cyclists, giving space to just one mode is not efficient and many cyclists don't use segregated facilities even when they're available because they're slower. It also means loss of flexibility especially during roadworks and makes crossing roads more complicated for pedestrians that form the majority particularly for those in wheelchairs and other impaired mobility issues. This will become very clear once many of these segregate cycle lanes across London start opening.

peter b

this is a great improvement to a busy route for pedestrians and people on bicycles. The area is also close to the central london colleges and this will benefit students also.
Byng Place has always been dangerous for pedestrians and people on bikes. These improvements should make it safer - and more pleasant for all users.
Well done Camden