Emerging Project

Safer Road Junctions

Idea: Make crossings & junctions safer for pedestrians & cyclists in accordance with Healthy Streets principles

As outlined in Barnet’s Long Term Transport Strategy, improving road safety is critical in Barnet: approximately 100 people are killed or seriously injured on the borough’s roads every year, almost two every week. Although lower per kilometre driven than other boroughs, both the number and severity of collisions must be reduced. The junction of Chipping Barnet High Street and Wood Street has been highlighted as a TfL priority location due to higher than average numbers of collisions involving vulnerable road uses (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists). In addition, pedestrians and cyclists do not feel safe, with fear of collisions currently a barrier to cycling for 46% of Londoners and too much traffic a barrier to walking for one in five.

Improving key road junctions in Chipping Barnet could both reduce traffic speeds (a key way to reduce the severity of a collision) and improve the experience of moving in and around the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging more active modes of travel and time spent here. Healthy Streets principles highlight opportunities at junctions for widening footways, removing street clutter and upgrading signal equipment to enable pedestrians and cyclists to cross with more time and greater priority. Reallocated road space could be used for public space, planting, markets and other community use.

1. High Street & Wood Street

St John’s the Baptist’s Church junction is of key concern for improving pedestrian and cyclist safety and accessibility. There is also potential to need to create a junction arrangement that is more in keeping with the important historic setting. Tactics include:

  • Providing one-stage pedestrian crossings for better connections between the college, church and high street/town centre.
  • Creating a wider public realm area outside the church
  • Re-thinking the High Street traffic management, possibly restricting vehicular access to local and public transport

Such a scheme would require a transport, access and public realm study to assess the impacts of the project on local traffic, strategic movement and bus operations, as well as the potential local public realm, air quality, environmental and safety gains.

2. High Street & Meadway Junction

This junction also requires improvements for pedestrian and cyclist safety, and better traffic flow. These works could be part of the redevelopment of High Barnet Tube Station, and should link with improved pedestrian accessibility to the station from the high street. Tactics include:

  • Make it easier and safer for pedestrians with isolated footway widening, guard-railing removal and enabling one-stage crossings
  • Pedestrian routes could be made clearer and more prominent to all road uses with colourful surface treatments on crossings, and improving signing/wayfinding to the station

Any changes to signals operation / guard-railing removal would be subject to a junction study including potentially modelling and a road safety audit.  

Other junctions

Could improve junctions and crossings throughout the high street and wider area to further improve pedestrian and cyclist access, road safety and smooth traffic flow.

Why it is useful:

  • Improves road safety for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly vulnerable people
  • Creates a sense of place that is welcoming and safe to pedestrians and cyclists
  • Improves the quality of the local environment and encourages more people to dwell for longer
  • Reduce vehicular dominance and associated negative impacts including road collisions, congestion, and poor air quality
  • Better regulates, smooths and manages unwanted (through) vehicular movements

Who needs to be involved:

  • Council: Project Commissioner / Funder
  • Transport for London
  • London Buses
  • Town Team: Champion
  • Local community stakeholders
  • Transport Planning Consultants
  • Public Realm Designers
  • Landscape Architects / Urban Designers

How to get started:

Short-term

  • Undertake a town centre and area wide multi-modal transport, movement, access, parking and placemaking study
  • This study should aim to take account of the existing situation but also community aspirations, future innovation, proposed developments and predicted growth. The study should be collaborative with key technical and local community stakeholders actively involved
  • The study should also aim to review existing bus routes, stops, stands and services.  Solutions should aim to reduce the negative impacts of buses on other road users and therefore enable improvements at key junctions including that at St John the Baptist church
  • Short term physical measures could include making pedestrian crossings safer and more visible/dominant with supporting monitoring schemes. For example, changes in the road surface to increase pedestrian safety could first be trialled, such as the ‘Colourful Crossings’ example included below.

Medium Term

  • Following the above study, could implement lower cost / lower risk improvements to streets for pedestrian and cyclist safety, including improved junction crossings, signal improvements and more pedestrian crossings.
  • At this time also, undertake necessary modelling, public realm concept design and supporting work for any proposals to improve the public realm at the St John the Baptist junction.  This would need to involve Transport for London and London Buses.

Longer Term

  • Implement any larger-scale, more costly improvements, linked into wider strategic improvements.

Viability considerations:

  • Funding could be sourced through the Council with opportunities for match funding from the GLA and / or TfL funding bids or grants, such as TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods funding scheme, air quality and / or bus improvement funding.

Examples:

  • Public realm and junction improvements, e.g. Aldgate Scheme
  • Pedestrian priority surfaces, e.g. Blended ‘Copenhagen’ crossings
  • Temporary improvements designed by local artists, e.g. Colourful Crossings, Southwark