Greening of Phoenix Road
Phoenix Road plus Brill Place connects Eversholt Street with Midland Road and is in principle an excellent pedestrian and cycle link between Euston and Kings Cross/St Pancras stations. But it is not attractive, especially for pedestrians. Camden have money from HS2 to improve it and have come up with a set of ideas which are set out in two large and very thorough reports which are available here and here.
Motor traffic and cycle flows on the corridor are relatively low (see pages 26 and 27 of the Stage 1 report). They show a maximum of 144 motor vehicles per hour in the morning peak (sum of both directions, west of Chalton Street) and 175 in the evening peak, with cycle flows of 24 and 27 (very low). The measurements were done in 2017; motor traffic is likely to be higher now that motors have diverted up Ossulston Street, though Google sends motors via Polygon Road rather than Phoenix Road. For comparison, cycle flows on Ossulston Street were 232 and 230 (a.m. and p.m. peak hour).
So there are not many cyclists using the corridor. This may increase once the Midland Road tracks are open but Eversholt Street is not an attractive route unless you are going to Euston station and anyone making that journey is probably already using Ossulston Street so cycle numbers probably will not increase much.
6 options are proposed, ranging from a minimal treatment which would not affect the road layout (option 1A) to a complete closure (option 4). Option 4 is not supported by Camden so we’ll discount it.
Option 1A retains the current road layout with some greening and reduction of carriageway width to 4.8m. 1B converts it to one-way, alternating westbound and eastbound and should therefore reduce rat-running. Option 2 has closures to motor traffic (modal filters) between Ossulston and Chalton Streets and between Chalton and Werrington Streets. Option 3 adds another road closure between Eversholt and Werrington Streets and 3B is the same but with added measures on neighbouring streets to reduce or prevent traffic displacement. Option 4 is a full closure but is not supported by Camden. In all cases, cycling is permitted in both directions throughout and access is retained for emergency vehicles.
In the Stage 2 report they suggest how the actual street layouts might look. The main issues are whether the carriageway should be linear or ‘meandering’.
From a cycling point of view any reduction in motor traffic is a good thing. We normally would have concerns about the interaction with pedestrians in shared space. However, as cycle counts are low perhaps this is not a major issue here and the improved streetscape might outweigh any concerns. If one of the options 2 or 3 were chosen we should probably ask that the design makes it clear that cyclists are allowed and that also the meandering design might be better as it would signal to cyclists that low speeds are appropriate.
More information plus the online response form is at https://consultations.wearecamden.org/groundwork/greening-phoenix-road/
Meanwhile please feed your comments to us via the threads on this issue, or by email to email@example.com . Responses are due by 31st May so we’ll send in our formal response by the 28th.