Sustainable UCL


Cycle lanes near UCL to be doubled in trial by Camden Council

30 November 2015

Tavistock vehicle use

One of London's most popular cycle routes is to be doubled in size in a 12-month trial.

Running past much of UCL's Bloomsbury Campus, the areas of Tavistock Place, Gordon Square, Byng Place and Torrington Place up to Gower Street will become one way for motor vehicles, by converting the westbound lane into additional space for cycling.

The existing route is currently the busiest street for cycling in the Borough of Camden and one of the highest in London. Numbers of cyclists have grown to a point where the cycle track does not provide sufficient space. Because of the width of the existing road, it is not possible to provide more space for walking and cycling without  reducing the space available for motor traffic.

The new approach to be trialled aims to provide a safer and more attractive cycling route, improving conditions for existing cyclists and helping encourage new cyclists in the area. The plan to remove westbound traffic also aims to make the corridor a more pleasant environment for pedestrians, potentially improving air quality and creating easier crossings.

An artist's impression of how the finalised changes to the route could look.

Dr Tom Cohen, Deputy Director of the UCL Transport Institute commended the approach:

"I’ve been told that Tavistock Place may have been London’s first formal cycle track and boy! is it showing its age. Not only has the width become plainly inadequate for the flows of riders, but putting the two directions side by side is not considered best practice. So I’m pleased to see Camden taking action and applaud the use of a trial – this way, we’ll all get to see how things go and it will be possible to tweak the scheme as necessary"

Richard Jackson, Director of Sustainability at UCL also welcomed the trial:

"As a cyclist, I’m excited about this development. More importantly, as a large number of our staff and students cycle, this trial really does have the potential to provide a safer and more pleasant route to and from UCL"

Work to convert the road space has already begun and is expected to be completed on the 23rd November. The trial will then run for 12 months, with Camden Council monitoring its impacts and considering views from users, businesses and local residents on whether to make the scheme permanent. Staff and students are encouraged share their views on the trial to ensure that the permanent road and cycle path layout best reflects their needs.

You can provide feedback on Camden's trial by emailing torringtontavistocktrial@camden.gov.uk. You can also tweet your feedback using the hashtag #taviplace. Read more about the plans on Camden Council's website.