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We have to start somewhere in making our streets safer and less polluted

02 August, 2018

View of the traffic from Judd Street

• ANY Bloomsbury resident doubting the benefit of the latest local traffic plans should make the short trip to Gray’s Inn Road and track (by bike, preferably) the steady stream of vehicles turning left into Guilford Street, onto Lansdowne Terrace, and up through Hunter/Judd Street before turning onto Euston Road, having cut out a big chunk of the King’s Cross gyratory, (No entry! Backlash at plans to shut off Judd Street to cars, July 26).

It’s this through-traffic the scheme will eliminate, making the area much safer and more pleasant for residents, as well as easier to cycle and walk around, while still being accessible to assorted delivery vehicles and scaffolding lorries.

Yes, traffic will be displaced on to the main arteries in the short term. But road use is a factor of the conditions we put in place – look at any European city which has made better decisions on this – and people can and will change how they move themselves and stuff around the city.

We’ve already seen that with the Tavistock Place scheme, where an initial build-up of traffic on Judd Street has now dropped back to previous levels (still too high).

We have to start somewhere in making our streets safer and less polluted, and Camden Council is to be wholeheartedly supported for taking this brave step, especially in the face of vociferous, minority local opposition.

We saw with Tavistock Place that this opposition does not represent local opinion when that scheme was supported, in the consultation, by a majority of local residents (even on Judd Street).

We need streets that encourage people like Helena Azzam (Walkers and cyclists of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, voice your opinion on changes, July 26) to make her choice of a motorised trike, and Mike Elles (Closing Judd Street makes no sense and will increase pollution, July 19) to start riding his bike more often.

Come on, people of Bloomsbury, let’s see ourselves as pioneers in creating a city, fit for the future, without the filthy air and congested streets that we know are endangering the health of young and old alike.

Judd Street, WC1


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