The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Camden’s streets

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created new road safety challenges in Camden.

We want to make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle locally, shop on their local high street, reach their local green spaces, schools and NHS sites, all while maintaining physical distancing.

We are also looking to tackle future challenges caused by changes in the way that people travel once lockdown restrictions are eased. This includes a predicted rise in walking, cycling and car use with people less likely to choose public transport.  You can nominate a location for possible changes via our dedicated map.

Overall the number of vehicles using our roads during the lockdown period is down, but speeding has increased as a minority of irresponsible drivers take advantage of quieter roads. In London some average speeds are being recorded at 37mph on 20mph roads, and there have been at least 7 fatalities on London’s roads in this period.

What changes we are making

To respond to these challenges quickly we are making a series of safety-based changes to streets in Camden.

This includes widening pavements and reducing through traffic on residential streets. This will make it easier for people to access amenities and to use local roads to journey to key destinations or simply for exercise while staying 2m apart. 

We have identified a number of locations across the borough to begin to tackle these safety issues. These initial locations have been chosen as they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • New safety issues involving physical distancing, walking or cycling have been highlighted to us as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) 
  • Before the pandemic there had already been some local community engagement from existing projects which highlighted issues which we are looking to address
  • They are areas where we can make it easier and safer for people maintaining physical distancing while walking and cycling locally, to shop, reach their local green spaces, schools and NHS sites.

Nominate a location

We know that there will be other locations in Camden where physical distancing is proving difficult or through traffic is making it harder for people to walk and cycle, so we would like you get in touch to let us know where you think we should be making changes next.

You can do this by helping us identify locations by suggesting areas on our map.

Nominate a location

We will review every location that is highlighted and then work to prioritise places where we can deliver the greatest benefit and are the most practical to implement, as well as those that can help key workers, such as staff at hospitals and other NHS sites.

While we will not be able to respond to every suggestion received, we will add information to our website and onto the map for the areas where we do make changes based on your suggestions.

Thank you for taking the time to help us make travel safer in Camden.

Share your views

We know that there is an immediate need for these safety improvements in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) so we are using Experimental Traffic Orders for each location except for Kilburn High Road. These Experimental Traffic Orders, once made, can be brought into force relatively quickly.

We have already consulted with statutory emergency services on these changes, who have raised no objections. We are also notifying local residents, businesses and stakeholder groups within the local area as well as adding information on the street.
You can read the notification letters here:

The experimental schemes (excluding Kilburn High Road) will run for 18 months and you are able to comment at any time on the changes we have implemented. The Council would like to carry out a full public consultation after the experimental scheme has run for 12 months and will take a decision as to whether it can do this nearer the time in light of the circumstances then prevailing.

This consultation will then inform the Council’s decision as to whether, at the end of the 18-month experiment, the changes should be made permanent. Traffic levels will also be monitored, as required, on relevant streets after the scheme is implemented.

If you have any further questions or comments on the measures email: safetravel@Camden.gov.uk or call us on 020 7974 4444.

Kilburn High Road

What is the challenge on Kilburn High Road?

We already know from previous local engagement that there are strong local priorities around improving safety, reducing street clutter and improving the local air quality on Kilburn High Road. As a major town centre we know that the pavements are very congested making physical distancing difficult. We have been liaising with Brent Council (who have responsibility for the western side of the road) as we have both received concerns via local groups including the West Hampstead and Amenity Transport Group and Kilburn Life, alongside residents calling for changes to be made to address the narrow pavements.

Brent Council has predicted that as the lockdown begins to ease, the side of Kilburn High Road that belongs to them will be less heavily congested due to the lower number of supermarkets along that side of the road.

In line with our partners and Brent Council, we would therefore encourage those not using the supermarkets to use the western side of Kilburn High Road.

By working together, we aim to increase safe access to retailers while also ensuring that, in particular, emergency vehicles are able to pass along the road easily at this time. 

Brent is assessing all town centres, including Kilburn, as part of a wider strategic plan to prioritise them in line with the difficulties they may be experiencing at this time.

In order to respond to the challenge of narrow pavements in this location we are going to be temporarily widening sections making it easier for people to maintain a physical distance while shopping, queuing or moving through this area.

What will the work involve?

The temporary changes we will be making on Kilburn High Road are as follows:

  • Widening the pavement on the eastern side between Willesden Lane and Belsize Road using temporary barriers to protect pedestrians from vehicles 
  • Where possible increasing the total width of pavement to 5.8m to allow people to pass each other and allow queuing. Where queuing is not taking place we are aiming for a minimum width of 3.2m where possible
  • This will not be noisy work and will be completed by the 22nd May.

View drawings of these changes (PDF) 

How you can give your views

We have written to all residents and businesses in the area - view our letter (PDF).

We know that there is an immediate need for these safety improvements in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) so we are making these changes as quickly as possible. If you have any concerns or comments on the changes you can get in touch via safetravel@camden.gov.uk.

Constantine Road and Savernake Road

What is the challenge on Constantine Road and Savernake Road?

We know that these roads have a high volume of motor vehicles as people use Savernake Road to avoid the junction at Agincourt Road and Mansfield Road. Additionally previous local engagement relating to the Gospel Oak Healthy School Street scheme has highlighted a wish for an extension to the restrictions already in place.

Following the recent consultation, the Healthy School Street scheme has been made permanent, subject to statutory process as per the published decision.

In order to respond to this challenge we are going to be adding bollards on Savernake Road outside the entrance to Hampstead Heath between Lisburne Road and Roderick Road to prevent through-motor traffic.

What will the work involve?

The change we will be making on Constantine Road and Savernake Road is as follows:

  • Preventing through-motor traffic along Constantine Road/Savernake Road by installing droppable bollards between Roderick Road and Lisburne Road (near the entrance to Hampstead Heath). 
  • There will be some noisy work while we install the bollards on 21st May between 8am and 5pm.

Access to all properties on both sides of the restriction will be maintained so residents will still be able to reach their homes by car and receive deliveries but through-traffic will be prevented. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to travel through at all times. Emergency services and bin collection teams will be able to lower the bollards for access.

This change will reduce the amount of cars moving along Constantine Road and Savernake Road making it safer for people walking and cycling locally, to shop, reach the entrance to Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak Primary School and the Royal Free Hospital. 

View the drawings of these changes (PDF)

Sandall Road

What is the challenge on Sandall Road?

We know from previous engagement with the local community and stakeholders during the Kentish Town Healthy Streets project that there is a concern that drivers are using Sandall Road to travel east to west from the A503 (Camden Road) to the A400 (Kentish Town Road) through an area of residential streets. In order to respond to this issue we are going to be adding a bollard on Sandall Road near to the entrance to Cantelowes Gardens.

What will the work involve?

The change we will be making on Sandall Road is as follows:

  • Preventing through-motor traffic along Sandall Road by installing a droppable bollard near the junction with Camden Road 
  • There will be some noisy work while we install the bollards which will be completed on 21st May between 8am and 5pm.

Access to all properties on both sides of the restriction will be maintained so residents will still be able to reach their homes by car and receive home deliveries but through-traffic will be prevented. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to travel through at all times. Emergency services and bin collection teams will be able to lower the bollard for access.

This change will reduce the amount of through traffic travelling between Camden Road and Kentish Town Road via Sandall Road making it safer for people walking and cycling locally, to shop, reach the entrance to Cantelowes Garden and Camden School for Girls.

View the drawings of these changes (PDF)

Wilmot Place

What is the challenge on Wilmot Place?

We know from previous engagement with the local community and stakeholders from the Kentish Town Healthy Streets project Commonplace map that there is a concern that Wilmot Place and Rochester Road are being used by motor vehicles to avoid the junction of St Pancras Way and Camden Road. In order to respond to this issue we are going to be adding barriers and a bollard on Wilmot Place near the junction of Wilmot Place and St Pancras Way to prevent through traffic.

What will the work involve?

The change we will be making on Wilmot Place is as follows:

Preventing through-motor traffic along Wilmot Place and Rochester Road by installing barriers and a droppable bollard near the junction of Wilmot Place and St Pancras Way. 

There will be some noisy work while we install the bollards which will be completed on 25th May between 8am and 5pm.

Access to all properties on both sides of the restriction will be maintained so residents will still be able to reach their homes by car and receive home deliveries but through-traffic will be prevented. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to travel through at all times. Emergency services and bin collection teams will be able to lower the bollard for access.

This change will reduce the amount of motor vehicles moving through these streets making it safer for people walking and cycling locally, to shop and reach the entrance to Rochester Terrace Gardens.

View the drawings of these changes (PDF)

Clarence Way and Hartland Road

What are the challenges on Clarence Way and Hartland Road?

We know from previous engagement with the local community, from the Camden Town Low Emission Neighbourhood Commonplace map, and stakeholders, such as Holy Trinity & St. Silas School, that there is a concern that these streets are being used by motor vehicles as a short cut between Chalk Farm Road, Prince of Wales Road and Kentish Town Road. There was also a concern of dangerous driving. In order to respond to this issue we are going to be adding a bollards throughout the area to create a lower traffic area.

What will the work involve?

The changes we will be making on Clarence Way and Hartland Road are as follows to prevent through traffic:

  • Installing droppable bollards at the junction of Harmood Street and Clarence Way
  • Installing droppable bollards on Hartland Road north of the junction with Clarence Way (at Holy Trinity & St. Silas School/Church)
  • Installing a ‘No Motor Vehicle Sign’ on Hartland Road northeast of the junction of (the western part of) Hawley Road
  • There will be some noisy work while we install the bollards on 22nd May between 8am and 5pm.

Access to all properties on both sides of the restriction will be maintained so residents will still be able to reach their homes by car and receive home deliveries but through-traffic will be prevented. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to travel through at all times. Emergency services and bin collection teams will be able to lower the bollard for access.

This change will reduce the amount of cars moving through these streets making it safer for people walking and cycling locally, to shop, reach Castlehaven open space and Holy Trinity and St. Silas School.

View the drawings of these changes (PDF)

Pop up cycle lanes

What is the challenge?

We know that an increased number of people are expected to be cycling due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important that people travelling by bike are able to do so as safely and as comfortably as possible, and we know that many people will be taking up cycling for the first time or may be less experienced cycling on London’s busy roads. We have ambitious plans for our cycle network. This map (PDF) shows where we would like to add new pop up cycle lanes. We are currently applying for funding from TfL and the Department for Transport and information on upcoming schemes will be added below. 

What are we doing?

We are improving the existing cycle lanes on Goods Way between Kings Boulevard and Pancras Road making it safer for cyclists. This includes:

  • Widening the existing cycle lanes from 1.5m to 2.2m in both directions
  • Adding “flexible wands” to separate the cycle lane from motor traffic
  • Adding extra signage to ensure that we can enforce  any vehicles illegally waiting or loading in the cycle lane
  • Adding additional signage to ensure that motor vehicles are more aware of cyclists

You can download a drawing of the changes we are making here and view the decision report on our website here.

This is the first of several schemes we will be implementing to improve cycle lanes across the borough. More information will be added to these pages.

Contact us for support