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Camden High Street is being pedestrianised in an 18-month trial

Camden Council has announced a trial that will see the iconic high street go car-free

Sydney Evans
Written by Sydney Evans
Contributor
Illustration of a pedestrianised street in Camden Town
Photograph: Camden Council
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Anyone who has walked the length of Camden High Street is familiar with the internal pep talk required before embarking on said journey. Repeat after me: don’t take a CD passed to you by a stranger (it’s not free), don’t take a shortcut and find yourself lost in Camden Market and don’t expect to see the same Camden that was once a haven for subcultures, from mods to punks and ravers. Oh, and don’t get run over on the bit of road outside Camden Town station exit that sort of seems pedestrianised but isn’t. 

But this could all be set to change, as Camden Council has announced plans to pedestrianise the high street. According to London guru IanVisits, the entire length of the road from Camden Town tube station up to just before the canal at Hawley Crescent will be closed off to cars.

TfL has provided £130,000 for development of a trial which will last 18 months and is expected to be implemented in early 2025 at the very latest. While emergency vehicles and bicycles would still be allowed to use the road, it’ll be completely free of cars, with deliveries for businesses diverted to Buck Street.

As many as 40,000 people are estimated to visit Camden High Street at any one time, so opening the road to those on foot would mean you’d no longer have to fight for a spot on the pavement. 

Image of pedestrians walking down Camden High Street
Photograph: Andrei Nekrassov / Shutterstock.com

Having initially announced plans to pedestrianise the high street in 2019, as part of the GLA-funded Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme, the official consultation is finally up and running and will be open to the public until 30 August 2024. 

Hoping to ‘expand cultural activities into the street’, the plans also include bringing al fresco dining to Jamestown Road. What’s better than an Aperol spritz in the sun? A curbside one. 

Despite its history as London’s countercultural hotspot, Camden has struggled to keep its cool in recent years. Opening it back up the people that live, work and visit it could be just the surge of vitality it needs.

The consultation is open to both residents and visitors to Camden, and you can take part here.

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