TfL to ‘speed up’ critical safety improvements at Holborn junction following cyclist death

·2-min read
Flowers left for Marta Krawiec  (Nigel Howard)
Flowers left for Marta Krawiec (Nigel Howard)

TfL has announced it will work with City Hall and Camden Council to “speed up” critical safety improvements to intersections in Holborn following the death of a cyclist last month.

Dr Marta Krawiec was the seventh cyclist to be killed on London’s roads this year when she was involved in a collision with a lorry at the junction of Southampton Row and Theobalds Road, near Holborn Station.

Campaigners from the group Stop Killing Cyclists were to hold a “die-in” protest at the site of the collision on Friday as they call for transport chiefs to carry out safety improvements at dangerous sites across the capital.

City Hall had announced in 2019 a £12.5 million scheme to transform the roads around Holborn station to improve safety, including by removing the one-way Holborn gyratory. The plans never materialised.

Marta Krawiec was killed while cycling in Holborn (Met police)
Marta Krawiec was killed while cycling in Holborn (Met police)

In a joint statement issued ahead of Friday’s protest, London cycling commissioner Will Norman, TfL’s head of healthy streets investment Penny Rees and Camden Council cabinet member for sustainable Camden Adam Harrison said that the plans had not progressed due to the “Covid-19 pandemic’s severe impact on TfL’s finances”.

They said: “Our sole focus is what happens next. As a priority, we are now working together to speed up a short-term plan to reduce road danger in Holborn, focussing on the Southampton Row and Theobalds Road junction to begin with.

“We are also looking into longer term proposals to improve cycling safety in the area across Holborn. We all remain fully committed to Vision Zero to stop death and serious injury on London’s roads.”

Simon Munk, an infrastructure campaigner with London Cycling Campaign, said the comments were “welcome and good news”, but added that it is “too little, too late”.

Mr Munk said: “We, and many others, have been saying for years that this junction is dangerous, is deadly. All we have out of the Mayor, TfL and Camden today is a commitment to do more quicker.

“They could’ve done more in 2019 when Camden was funded to do the scheme here. They could have done more in 2018 when Dr Peter Fisher died just round the corner. They could have done more in 2014 when cyclists were killed.”

The £12.5 million scheme in Holborn announced in 2019 was part of the Mayor of London’s “livable neighbourhoods” scheme, which has been suspended due to TfL’s financial situation as a result of the pandemic.

Six cyclists were killed on the roads around Holborn station in the decade leading up to the announcement of the scheme, making them some of the capital’s deadliest roads for cyclists.

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