Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Kings Cross Town Centre

Plans (or more accurately, a lack of effective public realm planning) for Kings Cross Town Centre and Kings Cross Square were discussed last night with Camden Councillor Paul Braithwaite and chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon.

King's Cross Forum member Hugh Lake pointed out the lack of coordination and ineffectiveness of Camden's Placeshaping Strategy for the area, which ignored aspects of transport and development south of the square. The GLA Transport Committee chair admitted in the meeting that the Mayor and Transport for London were not tackling the area adequately, nor were Boroughs.

It was noted that the TfL plans for cosmetic junction improvements (due for completion next year) were based on a report (Buchanan consultants) using data which predates the reopening of St Pancras International Station in 2007 (see pages 14-26).


Following the meeting, London Assembly Transport Committee chair Caroline Pidgeon received confirmation in a response - which she had to use the Freedom of Information Act to get! - that two of the crossings do not meet national minimum standards on safety. (Already clear from the 2008 report) They are unsafe and don't provide enough time for pedestrians to cross. This crossing time is further diminished by vehicles running red lights.

Caroline Pidgeon is also urgently seeking input into the TfL review of the junctions that is taking place behind closed doors, and wants, as a bare minimum, for them to use up-to-date info on the number of pedestrians using the junctions and, even better, to actually listen to the pedestrians and cyclists using the junctions.

Lee Baker today put a short article on Lib Dem's website about their walkabout and their mayoral candidate's campaign " Why not transform Euston Road into a boulevard that is a pleasure to walk along and across?" (Referring to the 100 Great Spaces 2009) Mayors make great promises in campaigns; the current mayor has brought blue cycle lanes and hire bikes, but neglected the previous Mayor's and Design for London's plans for Euston Road.

Background paper (no date) on King's Cross 'place shaping' from RUDI

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