Posted: Friday 17th July 2020
  • King’s Boulevard to be pedestrianised, creating a traffic-free shared-use space for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Granary Square will see the removal of the existing carriageway to create fully pedestrian square linking Coal Drops Yard and the northern end of the estate

King’s Cross has received approval from Camden Council for two pedestrianisation schemes which will enhance the public realm and visitor experience at key locations in the 67-acre development.

King’s Boulevard, the 300m-long commercial and retail street, and main thoroughfare from King’s Cross and St Pancras stations to the King’s Cross Estate, will become a traffic-free shared-use space thanks to the removal of the central vehicle carriageway.

Bordered on one side by Google’s new landmark UK headquarters and Pancras Square on the other, King’s Boulevard was originally designed to accommodate pedestrians, buses and other vehicles. However, in response to the needs of those who live, work and spend time at King’s Cross, the Boulevard has been redesigned to become a welcoming, accessible and high-quality public space which can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

The remodelling of King’s Boulevard by landscape designer Gillespies will encourage visitors to spend more time on the vibrant retail parade and enhance the enjoyment of the area with new clusters of seating and freestanding planting to provide points to pause, gather and socialise. The redesign of King’s Boulevard will be delivered in line with the Google HQ building.

In further enhancements to the visitor experience, planning consent has been given for the full pedestrianisation of Granary Square. The iconic square, known for its thousand dancing fountains, is already a significant piece of public realm. The latest approval, designed by the original square designers Townshend Landscape Architects, will see the removal of the carriageway to create an entirely pedestrianised square which connects seamlessly to Coal Drops Yard.

As well as creating significantly more space for pedestrians, these public realm developments also support the estate’s sustainability commitments by removing vehicles and promoting active travel including cycling.

Julia Finlayson, King’s Cross public realm lead, said: “We know that public space and the pedestrian and cyclist experience is more important than ever. Securing planning approval for these two public realm enhancements will help us ensure that King’s Cross maintains its reputation as the best traffic-free space in central London. Across our 67-acre estate we have over 26-acres of open space, parks and squares, these enhancements will create even more open space to be enjoyed.”

Paul Winton, Senior Associate, from Gillespies, added: “The design for the Boulevard, and the accommodation of pedestrians and cyclists along this route, was reached following a thorough and inclusive design process based on UK best practice, consultation with local and national groups, and empirical evidence of existing and predicted pedestrian and cyclists’ movement along the Boulevard. This identified natural pause points and the design responds to this, with clusters of seating, freestanding planters and kiosks providing opportunities to rest, gather and socialise. It also facilitates future movement to and from the station entrances, and between the existing and new retail entrances along either side of King’s Boulevard.”

Martha Alker, Senior Associate, Townshends, commented: “We are pleased to continue to be  part of the evolution of the public realm at King’s Cross in response to changes in peoples habits and attitudes, a flexibility that was built into the master plan and the design of Granary Square, to allow users to continue to enjoy this great city space.”

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