Tavistock Square

Here is a piece I emailed to Camden Council in response to their closing of streets in Bloomsbury:

Torrington Place, Tavistock Place and Tavistock Square formed an essential east to west route. Its closure has brought chaos to the whole of Bloomsbury. It badly affects the route to Euston Station coming from the south or east, and has made the already chaotic junction of Gordon Street and Endsleigh Gardens a fraught and dangerous place for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The northbound top of Gordon Street had previously been reduced to one-and-a-half lanes for motor vehicles, and when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, this happens. Vehicles are jostling for position in order to cross Euston Road for most of the day and well into the evening. It’s an embarrassment that this city has been reduced to third world mayhem, and for what?
I pity the poor burghers of Bloomsbury. Residents and workers alike must detest the queues of traffic fighting their way from Guilford Street to get to the Euston area and beyond. Until the closures, Coram Street wasn’t heavily used. It now forms a crucial escape route from Guilford Street to Woburn Place. Traffic queues here just to save a matter of yards, but every yard matters. Judd Street is badly congested as vehicles turn left on to Euston Road, then face a tortuous drive to Gower Street. Traffic going further west towards Paddington then has to queue in often stationary traffic to Great Portland Street. All the good work making Russell Square two-way is undone, as it becomes the new Piccadilly Circus, an area to avoid. People have tried using Great Russell Street as an alternative going west, but this street regularly becomes gridlocked. It’s a narrow bus route, full of tourists, coaches and ice cream vans for most of the year. It just can’t take any more capacity.
People don’t generally drive in London for fun. They don’t drive in Bloomsbury because they want to, they do it because they have to. Vehicles won’t be taken off the roads of Bloomsbury, they will just stay on the roads longer, pumping harmful chemicals into the air as they crawl through the roads that are still open. There are hospitals and university buildings in this area. People need to get around and to make appointments. People need to get to Euston Station, and through to Paddington. People’s journeys should be made easier, not harder. TfL are issuing over five-hundred private hire licences a week. Where are all these vehicles meant to go? Who are these closures meant to benefit?
These closures need to be reversed immediately. Furthermore, I suggest that whoever was responsible for these closures be taken off town planning and put on to paper clip-counting duty.

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