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.