TFL’s and Mayor’s repeated empty promises on KX-Gyratory!

Camden Council introduced 20 Miles on its few roads at Kings Cross already, but most are managed by TFL. Here Swinton Place off Swinton Street, WC1X

A promise to deliver a 20 miles speed reduction for the Kings Cross Gyratory has been broken again. TFL had previously promised to introduce the speed reduction by October 2022. After breaking this promise the area was promised the speed reduction for February 2023, but nothing happened yet again.

Kings Cross has fought for over three decades for traffic reduction and better, more resident-friendly traffic flow. In 2016, under Boris Johnson as mayor, a planning application for a complete change of the gyratory at Kings Cross involving most streets, went successfully through a consultation stage. Whilst there were some discussions about the details of the plan, it was a major win for the community after years of campaigning and fatalities involving cyclists and motor traffic. The area also suffered for a long time from some of the worst air- and noise pollution levels in London, due to traffic. Sadiq Khan agreed to deliver the plans Johnson had OK’ed, subject to funds, but the implementation was delayed, because the gyratory.was designated as an HGV parking space for HS2 building construction at Euston – Kings Cross was never used for that purpose, but it succeeded in pushing the transformation out of sight.

In 2020 we learned that TFL had quietly shelved the transformation plans from 2016. Money was cited as the key factor. There was a petition to save the plans. Then, some argued, if only one pragmatic thing could be done now, to improve the situation, it would be, at the very least, a speed reduction to 20 Miles, which would also be a low-cost option for TFL.

On direct question at City Hall Sadiq Khan agreed to deliver this back in 2020, as it fitted the safer streets schema. But since that time Kings Cross has been kept waiting. Following further questions, TFL said they would deliver the speed reduction by October 2022 and was disappointed. They then went on to promise it by February 2023, only to not keep the promise yet again.

All councillors and London Assembly Members of the affected areas were made aware of the blunder last week, in the hope that this will bring about the implementation through political resolve. Kings Cross Councillor Liam Martin-Lane said that councillors are actively pushing for speed reduction as part of the gyratory changes and that they appreciate that change is overdue.

Kings Cross hopes the train that will deliver what was promised by TFL will arrive soon and with no more delay.

Article changed 7 March 2022: Added Clr Liam Martin-Lane response.

This entry was posted in Bad Gyrations KX Campaign, Gyratory consultation 2016, Transport and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to TFL’s and Mayor’s repeated empty promises on KX-Gyratory!

  1. Albert Beale says:

    I had no idea that there had ever been a plan to use some of the KX one-way system as a holding area for HST HGVs – yet another reason to hate the whole HST farrago. HS2 has more and more negative impact on this area; some of you might be aware that cycle lanes were removed from Euston Road because the space was needed to speed up lorries going to and from the Euston building site. A sane world would move lorries out of the way of bikes, rather than the other way round!
    – Albert Beale (at 5 Caledonian Road).

    • Paul Convery says:

      I don’t think there was a plan for any HGV holding area around the gyratory. It was more exotic. The HS2 excuse I was told was that the construction site at Euston Square would need to take a lane of Euston Rd’s width and this represented such a potential risk to free flowing traffic that TfL would not tolerate any other changes to the inner ring road that might upset the equilibirium. Seemed implausible to me at the time. Indeed it never happened. However, TfL did subsequently fiddle with the lanes on Euston Rd quite extensively!

  2. Daniel Zwi Zylbersztajn-Lewandowski says:

    Here is one document I have on record. There was something about parking too because I remember that people got upset that we may have HGVs standing in some of the roads. I will have a look if I can find it. Either way, this document is clear, “we, TFL, are holding things, because of projects including HS2.”

  3. Daniel Zwi Zylbersztajn-Lewandowski says:

    Found it, both Paul and I are correct. It may be a case of initial plans and later plans… Both things happened. Here is correspondence from myself from 15 August 2016 and a response by then Councillor Sarah Hayward (Kings Cross, Camden). I cut the emails at their head, because they contain the names of others.
    Daniel Z:
    Sarah H:

  4. Paul Convery says:

    Sarah Hayward wouldn’t have made that up, so I’m glad this was unearthed. There’s a growing list of reasons why the 2016 KX gyratory removal plan got shelved and I guess they became a cumulative burden. I always thought many of these were individually fixable obstacles although some of them a result of expecting too much from the scheme (like everything would be fine for buses, cyclists, pedestrians, more and better public realm and – even – OK for traffic flow). A political decision could have been made that some of the expectations in the scheme, whilst desirable, were in danger of crashing the scheme (which is what happened) and could be de-prioritised.

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