As you will be aware the King’s Cross area is developing at a rapid pace. In 2007 St Pancras Station reopened to passengers. Since then we have seen the redevelopment of King’s Cross Station and the rejuvenation of former industrial sites both to the north of and between the stations.
As a result of this, Pancras Road has seen a large increase in private car, taxi, coach, cyclist and pedestrian activity. As the highway authority it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of all modes of transport using our road network.
There are three areas outside the station which act as pick-up / drop-off points. Two of these areas are located on either side of the Eurostar entrance (opposite Kings Cross Station) and the third one is located further north along Pancras Road.
Council Officers have been working with Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police with regards to the issues resulting from the operation of these drop off and pick up bays. Vehicles mainly use the parking bays nearest the Eurostar entrance, whilst bays further north along Pancras Rd are being under used. This imbalance is causing unnecessary congestion close to the Eurostar entrance, to the southern section of Pancras Road.
Two minute parking restrictions (5 minutes for disabled bays) are in place to keep bays free and traffic flowing, however vehicles regularly overstay the maximum permissible time.
Unfortunately additional vehicles often choose to double park instead of using the empty bays further along Pancras Rd, creating a safety hazard for pedestrians crossing the road and for cyclists travelling along Pancras Road, often also resulting in traffic congestion approaching from Euston Road. In addition, a number of vehicles are performing U-turn manoeuvres exacerbating safety concerns to pedestrian and cyclists’ movements.
To help resolve the issues mentioned in this letter, we are proposing to make the first two areas immediately outside the Eurostar entrance a drop-off area only and make the third area to the north as a pick-up area only.
To ensure that vehicles use the drop off area to simply drop passengers off and then move on, we are proposing to introduce long slender traffic islands alongside the existing parking areas. We believe that as vehicles enter the area they will be forced to move on quickly as they are likely to be followed by other vehicles either requiring the space to drop-off themselves or needing to exit. The area will in effect be “self-enforcing” allowing for the efficient use of the available parking spaces. Given that there will be only one point of entry and exit, the introduction of the traffic island will also make U- turning impossible, improving road safety in the area.
The proposed changes are shown on the enclosed drawing. We are also proposing the introduction of signage to direct drivers to designated pick–up and drop–off areas, as well as the short term car park located further north along Pancras Road. If agreed, we are planning to implement the changes soon and use marshals for the first two weeks to ensure drivers understand and comply with the separate drop off and pick up areas.
Initially we intend to draw up an experimental traffic management order to help us enforce these changes. Experimental orders are used to allow the council to monitor the effect and change as necessary. An experimental order lasts no more than eighteen months before they are abandoned, amended or made permanent. This allows stakeholders to add further comments whilst the scheme is in place and we will make a decision over permanence at a later date.
We would welcome your views on our proposals, which should be received by no later than 20 March 2016. Please use the details outlined above for your response or to contact us for any further queries you may have about the proposals. We look forward to hearing from you. All responses will be considered and Camden Council will take a decision on the proposals in June 2016.