Cycling Wasteland No. 2 is dealing with a major obstacle for cyclists in Central London. This one annoys me particularly because it has been built on purpose and it is utterly unnecessary. It’s not only a missed opportunity but a man made nuisance for cyclists.
I’m ranting against the fact that Lloyd Baker Street is a one way street.
Probably you’ve never heard about this street. It’s a small and quiet road in Clerkenwell crossing Amwell Street. It’s an important street for cyclists who want to go from Angel towards Tottenham Court Road.
As you can see on the map the most direct route on quite roads from Angel towards the West leads through this tiny street. Lloyd Baker Street connects the cycle path on Tavistock Torrington with Myddelton Square and the triangle St. John Street / Goswell Road / City Road.
Again, as with Bath Street, I’m only talking about 50 meters of road. After having entered Lloyd Baker Street one can turn right on Lloyd Street and then left on Lloyd Square / Wharton Street.
However, a law abiding cyclist coming from Myddelton Square who wants to get to Ampton Street (which leads to the Tavistock-Torrington cycle path) would have to make a significant detour. I suspect that a lot of cyclists just stick to busy main roads.
As you can see on the second picture there is a nasty barrier which currently blocks westbound traffic. However there is absolutely enough room to build a contraflow system.
The only sensible argument opening Lloyd Baker Street for westbound cyclists could be that the next junction (Wharton Street / King’s Cross Road) is a little bit difficult to cross. It is a little bit hard to see the traffic on King’s Cross Road while standing on Wharton Street. If this was a concern, it could easily be addressed: just install traffic lights at this junction.