Some remember campaigning on the street safety at Kings Cross for over 20 plus years, and the gyratory surely goes back well into the early 1970s.
One of the issues that continuously re-emerged was speeding cars and motorbikes on the short stretches of uni-directional roads of the Kings Cross gyratory, be it Pentonville Rise, Pentonville Road, Kings Cross Road, Swinton Street, Acton Street, Caledonian Road, York Way or Gray’s Inn Road.
Recently residents had a meeting with Camden and Islington councillors about the streets, discussing the safety issues and the axed plans by Sadiq Khan. This meeting followed a change.org petition request (see here).
We have been told that Khan intends to finally honour at the very least a speed reduction on our streets. Councillors promised to continue to lobby for changes on behalf of residents and vulnerable road users.
Today some Kings Cross residents could spot the first signs of that about to come true with some signs on Swinton Place stating 20 miles a speed limit.
Still, after checking, some of the 30 Miles signs such as on Kings Cross Road are still in place.
But perhaps it won’t be long now until they get replaced. It certainly makes one be hopeful.
We have added below some history, originally published on the old community site Kings Cross Environment.
————Kings Cross Environment 9/11/2020—————–
Andrew Dismore, the Labour Assembly Member in London City Hall had asked a question to Mayor Sadiq Khan recently, if streets around the gyratory could be lowered to 20 Miles, given longstanding suggestions by local residents. These argued that the one-way streets at Kings Cross, part of what is known as the Kings Cross Gyratory were too frequent providing space for quick thrill racing and speeding at excessive speeds. The area is highly populated with many residential blocks and a huge amount of people walking and cycling around the often busy roads. School children, college and university students add to the mix. Soon there is also to be a Dementia Treatment Centre built.
The point rose, after long-standing local Kings Cross resident Daniel Zylbersztajn-Lewandowski posed that question, given that TFL and surrounding local councils had implemented many safety improvements in other areas during the lockdown in 2020, but omitted Kings Cross, which had been under discussion for improvements for a very long time. Kings Cross. In particular, the area had passed the consultation stage for TFL improvements in 2016. Daniel suggested, and local councillors in Islington and Camden agreed, that as a bare minimum, at least speeds should be reduced to 20 Miles on those one-way roads, that make up the Kings Cross Gyratory.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan answered the question in City Hall as follows, on 2/11/2020
“Transport for London (TfL) and I are committed to reducing road danger for all residents and visitors to London. TfL has a programme to lower the speed limit by 10mph on over 140km of TLRN over the next four years, subject to funding. This includes the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on A501 Pentonville Road, Penton Rise, Swinton Street and Grays Inn Road, which is consistent with the surrounding local road network in both Camden and Islington and will also support additional safety improvements around the Kings Cross area.”
As you will know, TfL is in discussions with the Government over the funding support it needs following the impact of coronavirus on its finances. I hope that agreement can be reached soon so that vital projects such as these can restart.” (bold emphasis added)
Kings Cross residents hope that speeds will also be reduced on Acton Street, which was not specifically mentioned, but is part of the Gyratory and in fact connects Kings Cross Road and Grays Inn Road.
UPDATE 14/11/2020 Clr. Adam Harrison of Camden was assured by TFL that Acton and Swinton Street are indeed going to be slowed down as part if their Vison Zero road safety plan.