TfL’s new plans in King’s Cross “ignore cyclists’ safety”

A ghost bike stands where Min Joo Lee was killed near Kings Cross

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has slammed Transport for London’s redevelopment proposals for the busy King’s Cross junction, claiming they do not adequately respond to the safety concerns of London cyclists.

The lack of interconnected and protected cycle lanes in every direction of the proposed gyratory system particularly stood out as dangerous, the campaign group claimed. It has urged Londoners to oppose plans by TfL, which ended a month-long consultation period on Monday.

A spokesman for the LCC said: “We’re disappointed that TfL’s plans for this major junction fail to provide safe passage for people cycling in any direction.

“We’re deeply concerned that the disconnected cycling facilities will leave cyclists vulnerable to being hit by turning vehicles, particularly lorries.

“There have already been several cycling fatalities at King’s Cross, and if these plans are implemented as they stand, there well could be even more serious injuries or deaths.”

Many people in the community blamed the death of Min Joo Lee, a final-year fashion student at the University of the Arts London, in October 2011 on the area’s poor road signing and lack of adequate space for cyclists. She was killed by a lorry when cycling through the junction.

Image from TfL

TfL is currently in talks with Islington and Camden councils, which share a border along the junction, to revise the series of one-way streets that create a looping gyratory system around Euston Road and Pentonville Road.

On the LCC’s website, the campaign group writes that although there have been small improvements in the number of mandatory cycle lanes, there are still major danger zones for commuters.

“[Cyclists] still have to battle as two lanes of motor traffic squeeze into one lane on York Way. This is where Min Joo Lee died.

At her inquest in December the lorry driver, Terry Gibbs, exclaimed that the Mayor should take out one of the traffic lanes and put in a proper bike lane. We agree with him, so did the coroner.”

King’s Cross is also one of the proposed routes where the north-south cycle Superhighway will intersect with London’s busy inner ring-road. The area has also seen an increase in traffic in recent years due to large-scale development in the area.

During the consultation period, a TfL leaflet read: “We have worked in partnership with stakeholders to plan a number of interim changes to roads in the King’s Cross area. These will improve conditions for road users, including cyclists.”

TfL is yet to announce the outcome of the consultation period and did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.