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The Judd Street scheme will benefit residents and those who travel to the area

02 August, 2018

• I WRITE to clarify a number of points in your front page report in the New Journal, (No entry! Backlash at plans to shut off Judd Street to cars, July 26).

The article states that: “Camden is preparing to block off Judd Street… to all traffic apart from cyclists…” but this is far from what is actually proposed, which is to close two junctions to all traffic apart from cyclists and emergency vehicles. Vehicle access to Judd Street and all adjacent roads will be retained.

The junctions are:

1. Judd Street with Euston Road.

2. The top of the link to Guilford Street via Lansdowne Terrace.

In practice this means that people will still be able to travel in cars or by taxi to or from their homes or businesses at any address in Judd Street – including the Town Hall and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

The report fails to mention the motivation behind the proposed changes, which is to complete a north-south cycle route that enables safe travel by bicycle to destinations between Kentish Town and Elephant and Castle.

The closure of Judd Street to motor vehicles at the Euston Road is needed to enable the construction of a safe cycle crossing and an additional pedestrian crossing over Euston Road, linking Midland Road and Judd Street.

To make Judd Street a route where people choose to walk and cycle (that is, a Healthy Street), motor traffic levels need substantial reduction – more than 7,000 motor vehicles were using the street each day even in September 2015 before the changes in Tavistock Place.

This is bad for residents and for everyone else who uses the street, particularly if they walk or cycle.

The report described residents’ concerns about a “spiralling route” for motor vehicles. There is no need for a people to use such routes.

All they need to do on leaving Judd Street is to take the most direct route to a main road. For example, they can head south via Hunter Street to Guilford Street.

In order to return to Judd Street, they use main roads as far as the nearest local road. People coming from the north could come via Woburn Place or via Acton Street.

If, as residents fear, people (for example, Uber drivers) try to come into the area via Dukes Road, filtering will need to be applied to prevent such abuse.

The argument by Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group (BRAG) and others that motor traffic doesn’t go away but moves somewhere else is only partially true.

Usually changes such as those under discussion result in more people choosing to walk or cycle instead of using motor transport, benefiting their own wellbeing and reducing motor traffic levels.

The scheme will substantially reduce the noise, air pollution and traffic danger in the streets concerned, benefiting residents and all who travel into the area to work and to study.

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN
Co-ordinator
Camden Cycling Campaign

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