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Lever Street: ‘Gridlocked traffic and pollution’ caused by TfL’s banned right turn, neighbour claims

PUBLISHED: 13:29 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 10 October 2018

A no right turn between City Road and Bath St is causing

A no right turn between City Road and Bath St is causing "gridlock traffic" on Lever Street. Picture: Trevor Hankins

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TfL roadworks have created “gridlocked traffic and pollution” outside housing association flats in Clerkenwell.

Traffic on Lever Street caused by no right turn. Picture: Trevor HankinsTraffic on Lever Street caused by no right turn. Picture: Trevor Hankins

A banned right turn has been introduced from Bath Street into City Road, and neighbours say this has left vehicles idling in Lever Street for up to 12 hours every day.

People living on Guinness Court, in Lever Street, say this is causing constant noise and pollution, which is hampering their quality of life.

Trevor Hankins, who’s chaired the Guinness Court Residents’ Association for 25 years, told the Gazette: “We know we live in a concrete jungle but we have never had things so bad as we do now – it’s congested on a daily basis.

“Lever Street has been a car park with gridlocked traffic, noise and particle pollution since it [the no right turn] started – TfL has taken no notice of our concerns.

“We told TfL not do it and also suggested it should wait until the works going on at the corner of City Road and Bath Street are completed because Lever Street is the only option for drivers to get down at the moment.”

The current construction work at City Road’s junction with Bath Street is part of the Quietway 11 project, catering to cyclists and pedestrians.

TfL did run a consultation on the no right turn, which ended on December 4, 2016.

In TfL’s final report it noted “a small number of residents living on the one-way section of Lever Street who currently turn right would need to take an alternative route.”

It predicted this would involve drivers crossing into Shepherdess Walk and then cutting back onto City Road.

TfL conceded this “could prove an inconvenience to these motorists” but said the “substantial benefits” for pedestrians and cyclists outweighed any negatives.

Transport bosses anticipated people would find “alternative routes in advance” to avoid “rat running on residential streets”.

But Trevor, a cabbie for 38 years, says this has not happened, and he claims congestion is also affecting Dingley Road, Dingley Street, Pear Tree Street and Compton Street.

Trevor also fears the additional pollution is harming air quality outside St Luke’s CfE Primary School, in Radnor Street.

He added: “I even told them [TfL}, in my personal opinion, I believe there will be a tragedy because drivers will be so frustrated they could jump a light and hit somebody.

“Why are there no signs telling vehicles ‘don’t go to Lever Street because you can’t turn right?’”

Sam Monck, TfL’s head of network sponsorship, said: “We continue to work with Islington Council in support of its campaigns against engine idling, and in improving safety for walking and cycling around all schools in the area.

“The changes to the City Road and Bath Street junction will improve conditions for people walking and cycling, opening up a brand new southbound cycle crossing across City Road and widening pedestrian crossings.

“Journey times by car in the area may take longer than usual until construction finishes in November.

“However, our modelling has shown that the changes will have a minimal impact on traffic once complete.”

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