Camden High Street Could Be Pedestrianised

Last Updated 09 July 2024

Camden High Street Could Be Pedestrianised
A row of shops - some with colourful decorations - on Camden High Street
You have to get up very early in the morning to see Camden Town this empty. Photo: Matt Brown

Plans to make Camden High Street traffic-free and give the space over to pedestrians have been announced.

Camden Council wants to ban vehicles on the stretch of the road between the junction with Parkway and Kentish Town Road (the junction where Camden Town station sits) to the south, up to the junction with Jamestown Road and Hawley Crescent (the last road junction before the bridge over the lock).

The area is notoriously busy with pedestrians, predominantly tourists and shoppers heading for Camden Market from Camden Town station. At first glance, it's an odd choice to end the pedestrianised zone before the Market itself, a decision that seems to have been made to prevent traffic from being sent on lengthy and unsuitable detours.

Railway bridge with 'Camden Lock' painted on it in yellow letters
Northbound traffic will be able to rejoin the road before the famous Camden Lock Bridge. Photo: Matt Brown

The vehicle ban would be in place 24/7, with the exception of emergency vehicles and rubbish collection lorries. Traffic — including bus routes — would be rerouted along Kentish Town Road and Hawley Crescent. At present, both Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road are one-way, carrying traffic northbound only. Kentish Town Road would remain northbound only, and as southbound traffic is currently unable to use either of these roads, it would not be affected.

Cyclists would still be allowed to travel northbound along Camden High Street, presumably on some sort of segregated cycleway to minimise collisions with pedestrians.

The side roads surrounding Camden High Street — predominantly Buck Street — would be given new loading and delivery areas to allow shops and restaurants to continue to function. A portering service may be trialled if there is demand from businesses. Additionally Jamestown Road — currently open to two-way traffic — would be made westbound only, opening up space for 'streateries' (outdoor dining areas for local restaurants and cafes).

Exterior of Camden Town tube station
Camden Town station sits at the southern end of the planned pedestrianised area. Photo: Matt Brown

Camden Council plans to trial the changes for a period of 'up to 18 months' before making a decision on whether to make it permanent. As IanVisits points out, there have been plans to pedestrianise Camden High Street in the past, but they never came to fruition. If the trial closure goes ahead, it will be implemented by late 2024 or early 2025.

An online consultation is currently open (until 30 August 2024) where you can see the plans in more detail and share your views and feedback with Camden Council.