Gazette letters: Highbury roadworks, Archway and FRAs

People cross the road at The Angel, where Islington High Street has been closed southbound. Picture:

People cross the road at The Angel, where Islington High Street has been closed southbound. Picture: CLLR CAROLINE RUSSELL - Credit: Archant

I read in this week’s Gazette we now have a further three months (minimum) disruption to traffic. Why? asks Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

The roadworks have now been going on since April. How long does it take to repair a water main? It seems forever and a day. I did see a sign saying the works would be done by early August – did they mean 2017 or 2018?

Not only this but the northbound traffic also gets caught up in the ongoing bridge repair/replacement works at Highbury Corner.

I’m sure there are many people like myself getting fed up with the seeming lack of progress in fixing this water main. I have passed the work sites many times in Essex Road and Upper Street on the way to the Angel Islington, at various times and all too often have seen a distinct lack of work being done.

When I was in the Army, if we were on exercise, we didn’t pack up and go home when night came. We were 24/7. If troops on exercise can do this, why can’t we have the work done 24/7 on a shift basis? I find this totally unacceptable.

Your article “Chaos at The Angel” highlights the continuing incompetence of TfL in its management of traffic in London, writes Tim Sayer MBE, Battledean Road, Highbury.

The drawn out saga of the bridge replacement works at Highbury and Islington station is another example. I am amazed there haven’t been fatalities at the crossing over the Holloway Road by the Little Waitrose, and head-on collisions as vehicles try to get round lines of buses on both sides of the Holloway Road, which is quite narrow at that point – and even narrower where vehicles and cyclists have to struggle past the bridge works.

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Why the 263 service can’t be extended to Highbury Barn (it used to run there) is a mystery. At the moment, 263 buses that terminate at Highbury Corner park outside Tesco, sometimes backing up and covering the zigzag lines at the pedestrian crossing. At least, they did – that part of the road is now being dug up as well (is this work connected with the bridge?) and the buses bunch up outside the magistrates’ court.

I would also suggest the southbound bus stop by Waitrose is moved a hundred metres or so north to help the flow of traffic.

It’s time Sadiq Khan had a thorough clear-out of officials at TfL. He needs to show improving London for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is a priority. So far, I have seen little sign it is.

I read the article about Jeremy Corbyn opening the Archway pedestrian area an Archway resident writes.

I just want to inform you this area is a health hazard. One day someone will get hurt as cyclists ride on cycle lanes and carry on cycling on pedestrian areas. Although people shout at them to walk their bikes on pedestrian areas, they’re ignored.

In response to your Editor’s Comment, I wanted to clarify Islington Council has committed to publishing all Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) for buildings in the borough and we will do so, writes Cllr Diarmaid Ward, executive member for Housing and Development.

Every council block has a robust FRA carried out at least every three years, with some blocks assessed every year. There are more than 1,500 FRAs for buildings in Islington and we want to publish them all in a clear and accessible format. Our aim is to publish the FRAs for the 49 buildings of 10 storeys and above first, with publication of the remaining FRAs following this. In the meantime, residents can request copies of the FRA for their building by emailing Residents without email can request via their local Area Housing Office.

The council is responsible for about 35,000 properties in the borough and residents’ safety in their homes is our top priority. When concerns are brought to our attention, such as in the case of Spa Green, we take them seriously and fully investigate. I want to assure all Spa Green residents we are acting on the advice we have received from the fire brigade.

Since 2013, we have spent £7million on fire safety works, with a further £38m of works planned. Ensuring everyone in our borough has a safe, well-maintained home is at the heart of our goal of making Islington a fairer place for all.

Thomas Cooper is a hero for making public the poor state of fire stopping between Spa Green Estate flats writes Matthias Rosenberg, full address supplied.

The ingress of cigarette smoke and odours from other flats is a well-known problem which residents often try to sort out themselves given the council’s reluctance to deal with the issue.

To paraphrase an email I received recently from a council employee when seeking advice: smoke will find its way through cracks and openings in the fabric of the building.