Dear Councillor Jones,

UCL’s response to the Tavistock Place and Torrington Place cycle lane trial

I am writing on behalf of University College London (UCL) in support of the new road arrangements on Tavistock Place and Torrington Place. As one of the largest institutions in the Borough of Camden, with over 38,000 students and 11,000 staff, the local environment plays an integral role in supporting a healthy, productive and safe community.

The changes to the Tavistock Place and Torrington Place cycle lanes are providing a safer means of cycling to and from the campus, as well as creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment by removing a large number of vehicles. Many of our staff and students choose to cycle to work. We recognise the important contribution that this makes to their health and lifestyle, as well as the wider benefits to both UCL and London, by helping to tackle congestion and air pollution.

Evidence suggests that a larger proportion of UCL’s community would cycle if they were provided with better facilities and felt safer on London’s roads. UCL is already taking positive steps to play its part in supporting this, by providing cycle training and improving our cycling facilities. But there are wider infrastructure improvements which need to be put in place by London’s key transport bodies in order to increase uptake in cycling. In this regard, the new Tavistock Place and Torrington Place road layout represents a major step forward. These changes will allow more of our staff and students to enjoy cycling to work.

We recognise that the scheme also has wider benefits: it will help improve air quality, ensure that the roads are safer for pedestrians to cross, and create a more pleasant environment to work and study. Indeed, we believe that this scheme will provide the impetus to wider road improvements in the environs around UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, creating a safer and more pleasant area for all.

We will continue to encourage our students and staff to share their feedback with Camden Council to help shape the final layout of this scheme. Overall, UCL strongly welcomes the Tavistock Place and Torrington Place road improvements and is committed to working closely with Camden Council to ensure that these are made permanent.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Arthur

UCL President and Provost