The denouement of Camden Council’s grand opera of chaos will be performed this month as the final section of Gower Street will change to two-way working, and a new motor-vehicle turning restriction will come into operation on Tottenham Court Road.
From Saturday 21 May Gower Street will become two-way between Grafton Way and Euston Road and “drivers will no longer be able to turn left onto the Euston Road from Tottenham Court Road and should instead use Gower Street,” says Camden’s West End Project team in a letter to residents and businesses.
This banned turn will also operate outside of the Tottenham Court Road restriction times. Which means drivers unfamiliar with the new road layout will either breach the banned turn or seek a route through Fitzrovia’s already congested narrow side streets.
However, the changes will relieve some of the motor traffic queuing and air pollution on the eastern section of Grafton Way.
Drivers will also be banned from turning right into Hampstead Road from the Euston slip road, according to the maps published by Camden.
In advance of these changes Camden will be working on Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street and the Euston slip road to make minor road repairs and change road markings and road signs.
“During the weekend of the 14 and 15 May all westbound bus stops directly outside UCLH will be closed. Buses will be diverted down Gower Street and Grafton Way,” says Camden.
All road users are advised by Camden to be mindful of the changes and stewards will be in place for the first few days after the changeover.
“Thank you for your patience while we completed this aspect of the project. As you get used to the changes please take care when walking, cycling or driving in the area,” says Camden.
Cyclists travelling north up Gower Street “are advised to use Grafton Way to access Euston Road, in either direction, or Hampstead Road”.
“There is no cycle lane on the final northern section of Gower Street, but Grafton Way has a separate [advisory painted] cycle lane and Tottenham Court Road has a bus and cycle only lane,” says Camden.
Councillor Adam Harrison, cabinet member for a sustainable Camden said:
“The transformation of Gower Street to two-way traffic is another important step as the West End Project comes closer to completion.
“I would like to remind pedestrians of the important need to look both ways when crossing Gower and Bloomsbury Street.
“There are a number of pedestrian crossings along the road which I would encourage people to use, including a brand-new crossing between UCLH and Euston Square underground station. We will also have stewards on the street to remind people of the change for the first few days as well as Transport for London staff to assist drivers.
“I would like to thank Grafton Way residents in particular for their patience in having larger than usual amounts of traffic on their road until we could make this final two-way change,” he said.
Certain sections of Tottenham Court Road are restricted to buses and cyclists only between 8am and 7pm from Monday to Saturday. There are no changes to these restrictions.
Editor’s note: This news report was updated on Thursday 12 May to include a statement from Cllr Adam Harrison.