CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Safety fears over two-way Tottenham Court Road

Cars, lorries and taxis will be restricted by 2020 as part of the £35 million revamp.

17 June, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

SAFETY concerns have been raised over the new two-way Tottenham Court Road after a man was hit by a bus.

Air ambulance crews stood by as the pedestrian, in his 30s, was treated for head injuries.

There were warnings that his injuries could be life-changing but medics said yesterday (Wednesday) his condition had improved. Residents and businesses said the incident at the junction with Torrington Place came as no surprise amid confusion about Transport for London and Camden Council’s revamp of the famous London street.

Adam Mohammed, who works at Hiba food stall in Tottenham Court Road, said: “I didn’t see it happen because I was busy working but I am not surprised. There are no signs saying the street is two ways. People are crossing thinking it is still one-way.”

The changes, part of the council’s West End Project, were introduced in April.

Jack Srimuang, who lives in Grafton Way and manages the food stall Nuwa in Tottenham Court Road, said: “I just saw a guy on the road with a head injury. People don’t realise it is two ways. I live down the road and I have to remind myself when crossing the road. People do it all the time – they cross without realising it is two ways.”

Nadia, who lives nearby, added: “It is an accident which is waiting to happen. It’s all about the council spending money to make it look good but people are going to die.”

Cars, lorries and taxis will be restricted from parts of Tottenham Court Road by 2020 as part of the £35 million revamp.

Jonathan Miller, from the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road, said: “For the church, we are looking forward to it being a bus-only street that goes two-ways. In theory, it should be safer, but this year there is a mixture of traffic and it is often congested and there are a lot of frustrated drivers and a lot of frustrated people.”

Tom Cunnington, head of bus business development at TfL, said: “Our thoughts are with the man who has been injured after a collision with a bus on Tottenham Court Road and we will work closely with the bus company, the police and Camden Council to understand the cause of this.”

He added: “We’re committed to a Vision Zero approach to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London roads, which is why we have invested in roads and public spaces around the West End to help reduce danger and we’ve worked closely with Camden Council on their decision to remove cars, lorries and taxis from the area.”

The bus driver is not under investigation and no arrests have been made.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We sent an incident response officer, two medics in response cars, a motorcycle responder and an ambulance crew to the scene. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance. “We treated a person at the scene and took them to hospital as a priority.”

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