The City of London and the London Borough of Camden, in conjunction with Transport for London, have developed an ambitious scheme to improve the Holborn Circus junction. This significant proposal was subject to public consultation in March 2011, and received much public support.
The scheme will address the root causes of the high accident rate at the junction. The overall layout of the junction will be made simpler and safer for all users. New signalised crossings will be provided, making it much safer for pedestrians to cross the roads leading into the junction. The general environment around the junction will be improved, with a new public space being provided in front of St Andrew’s Church.
Transport for London has committed to fund the scheme, and construction of the junction is planned to take place in 2013.
Since the March 2011 consultation, the proposals have been enhanced further based on the comments received, with a view to maximising safety at the junction.
Amongst other changes, we have introduced a southbound contraflow cycle facility at the south end of Hatton Garden. This will provide a southbound route for cyclists wishing to cross Holborn Circus. This proposal has been developed in consultation with cyclist groups and is consistent with the London Borough of Camden’s policies to encourage cycling, and remove barriers to cycle accessibility, including providing two-way cycling on one- way streets.
A key element of the Holborn Circus proposals is that Hatton Garden will operate one-way northbound at the junction with Holborn Circus. In addition to this, it is now proposed that the right turn from Charterhouse Street into Hatton Garden should no longer be permitted. This will remove the potential for conflict between right turning vehicles and vehicles travelling north from New Fetter Lane.
In addition to addressing a potential safety issue, this proposal would reduce unnecessary rat-running traffic on Hatton Garden. A recent traffic survey found that over an entire day, 125 vehicles turned right into Hatton Garden from Charterhouse Street. Of these, 107 (86%) were rat-running vehicles that did not have a destination in Hatton Garden itself.
Another key change to the design is that it is now proposed to change the advisory cycle lanes on High Holborn, Charterhouse Street and Holborn Viaduct. It is now proposed to convert these to mandatory cycle lanes on the approaches to the junction. This will provide important protection to vulnerable users. As on-street loading would not be permitted in the mandatory cycle lanes during the active hours, it is proposed to create a new inset loading bay on the High Holborn approach to the junction to accommodate demand for loading.
Proposed new loading bay on High Holborn
We are now seeking the views of residents and businesses on the affected streets regarding these proposed changes.
What Happens Next
Following the consultation with residents and businesses on the banned right turn and the changed loading arrangements, these elements of the design will be reviewed in light of the comments received. This will complete the final design stage.
It is anticipated that construction of the Holborn Circus scheme will commence in summer 2013. Local stakeholders will be contacted again prior to commencement of works to inform them of the works plan and program.