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Don't risk our lives, plead cyclists

PUBLISHED: 14:18 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:11 14 October 2010

LIVES could be put at risk if transport bosses go ahead with a plan to remove traffic signals from one of Finsbury s busiest cycle crossings. Transport for London is considering removing lights from a junction in St John Street – even though, at peak time

LIVES could be put at risk if transport bosses go ahead with a plan to remove traffic signals from one of Finsbury's busiest cycle crossings.

Transport for London is considering removing lights from a junction in St John Street - even though, at peak times, it allows hundreds of cyclists an hour to cross between Owen Street and Chadwell Street.

Cycling campaigners fear that if the lights are removed, bike riders will risk life and limb trying to cross St John Street - a major north-south route.

Councillor George Allan, a keen cyclist and a Liberal Democrat member for Clerkenwell ward, said: "It would be a devastating blow to the safety and convenience of the hundreds - if not thousands - of cyclists who use that junction every day.

"If they do away with the lights, cyclists would just have to take their chances. It would put people's lives at risk."

The junction is one of 145 where traffic lights could be removed as part of Mayor of London Boris Johnson's pledge to smooth traffic flow in London.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor's transport advisor, said: "We've identified 145 sites where we think the signals may no longer be doing a useful job."

Councillor Allan has called on Islington Council to "see off this threat", adding: "I'll be taking to the streets if they go ahead with this. I will demonstrate outside City Hall."

John Ackers, of Islington Cyclists Action Group, joined Councillor Allan in calling for the proposal to be scrapped.

He said: "Did TfL just put a pin on the map to identify these junctions? There's a reason why those lights have been put there. This is a really major junction and we would vigorously defend its traffic lights."

A TfL spokesman said: "We have identified 145 sites across London where traffic signals could be causing unnecessary delays. We are currently holding discussions with local boroughs and stakeholders about whether these traffic signals could be removed or replaced with alternative measures which would serve all road users.


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