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Camden Council announces permanent safety changes to protect cyclists at Holborn “killer junction”

Emergency measures were first introduced in September following the death of children’s doctor Marta Krawiec, the fourth cyclist since 2008 to have been killed at the Southampton Row and Theobald’s Road junction

Camden Council today announced that work will begin next week on permanent safety improvements at a junction in London’s Holborn district where several cyclists have been killed in recent years in collisions involving large vehicles.

The most recent death, of children’s doctor Marta Krawiec in August 2021, at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobald’s Road led to protests by activist group Stop Killing Cyclists and London Cycling Campaign.

The junction forms part of the notorious Holborn gyratory, where safety measures announced in late 2019 by Camden Council were put on hold after the Transport for London (TfL) Liveable Neighbourhoods programme was frozen.

Dr Krawiec’s death last year meant she was the fourth cyclist killed at the same junction since 2008, while a further three have died at other junctions on the Holborn gyratory.

> Hundreds protest outside Camden Council’s offices in call for safer streets following latest cyclist death in Holborn

“Immediate” safety measures were introduced by the council in September in response to Dr Krawiec’s death, which aimed to provide more space for people on bikes. A month later, 7,500 people signed a petition urging London Mayor Sadiq Khan to “take rapid action on dangerous junctions” in the city.

Today Camden Council confirmed that the emergency safety measures introduced at the junction in September will be followed by a permanent overhaul of the road layout, including new segregated cycle lanes, bike boxes, bus, taxi and cycle lane improvements and a redesigned traffic light system for cyclists.

New “cycle gates” and early starts at traffic lights will be introduced to allow cyclists to navigate the junction separately from other traffic which will, according to the council, “help reduce conflict between cyclists and motor vehicles.”

Councillor Adam Harrison, cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden, said in a statement: “We are determined to do all we can to make the Southampton Row-Theobald's Road junction as safe as possible for cyclists.

“In September we said that the changes we introduced then would be just the beginning. We are now set to make the permanent safety improvements needed to make this junction safer for everyone.

“We have worked together with the local community, ward councillors, cycling groups, TfL, London's walking and cycling commissioner, and the mayor Sadiq Khan to agree changes that will transform how cyclists use the junction and ensure that their safety is prioritised.”

> 7,500 sign petition urging Sadiq Khan to make London’s junctions safer for cyclists

Harrison praised the speed in which the project was able to be implemented, and called for greater clarity over a long-term financial plan for Transport for London.

“I believe this approach of working at a rapid pace to tackle unsafe junctions is one that TfL and boroughs should adopt more broadly, in order to bring us closer to 'Vision Zero' of no road deaths and casualties as soon as we can,” he said.

“To keep people safe on our roads, London desperately needs a proper deal. Uncertainty over what TfL can fund next means we may not be able to fix what we need to, and in discussions about other parts of the borough of Camden where I have concerns it is clear that the current situation means we are unable to plan properly for other, much-needed safety changes."

Work on the junction is scheduled to begin on Monday 24 January and will last approximately six weeks.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Slight tangent inspired by the photo. Am I right in thinking that "die-ins" will be made illegal under the protest bill going through parliament?

mike the bike replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago

Secret_squirrel wrote:

Slight tangent inspired by the photo. Am I right in thinking that "die-ins" will be made illegal under the protest bill going through parliament?

Perhaps not.  The House of Lords rejected many of the proposals in the bill and the government is, as they say, thinking things over.

chrisonabike replied to mike the bike | 2 years ago

You can only hope that they decide to bin most of it.  When the House of Lords is telling you that you're being reactionary...

brooksby replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
1 like

I think the Lords were also annoyed that the Govt got the Commons to vote through the bill but then added about 37* new 'laws' before presenting it to the Lords. 


*It probably wasn't 37 - I made that up because I couldn't be bothered to look it up.  It was a very high number, though...

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

57 varieties, 50 shades of gray, 48 green bottles hidden in a suitcase...

mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
1 like

The House of Lords are probably worried that most of their sittings could be construed as a 'die in'.

chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago

Like the tale of the man who dreamt he was giving a speech in the House of Lords and awoke to find he was.

I may have to revise my stereotypes though given the polite savaging many gave the government's admittedly blatant law-stuffing on this one.

Freddy56 | 2 years ago

My work locality so delighted with any improvements to the cycle safety on the roads

MarsFlyer | 2 years ago

Councillor Adam Harrison is a star. Under his leadership, In 2020 alone, the length of protected cycle lanes almost trebled; we made 15-20 permeability gains; the first LTN and 17 other useful road closures appeared as well as a dozen school streets and 70 new bikehangars. 2021 has made many of the exerimental orders permanent (with wands to be replaced by stepped tracks) and 2022 is brining more protected cycle lanes, like the one up Haverstock Hill to Belsize Park.

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