Gazette letters: Snow, cycling, anti-knife pledge and TfL

A snowy Islington Green. Picture: CASPAR WILLCOX

A snowy Islington Green. Picture: CASPAR WILLCOX

I was walking back from work on Friday evening and saw Islington Green looking so beautiful covered in a blanket of white, writes Caspar Willcox.

A lone trader in Chapel Market. Picture: MERVYN RANDS

A lone trader in Chapel Market. Picture: MERVYN RANDS

Last Thursday, only a few hardy London traders braved the blizzard conditions in Chapel Market, writes Mervyn Rands.

The elections in May 2018 are a once-in-four-years opportunity to shift Islington’s transport policy onto a progressive path focusing on walking, cycling and traffic reduction, writes Eilidh Murray on behalf of Cycle Islington.

Usually at local elections most people vote for their favourite political party. But we urge voters to ignore national party policies and consider local policies. Two adjacent Labour councils, Islington and Hackney, have in the past four years had very different transport policies. This needs to change.

We don’t expect everybody to get on their bikes – at least not on Islington’s roads today. TfL’s 2016 Analysis of Cycling Potential report shows Islington residents make 185,800 trips each day that could be cycled – about one each. But only 14 per cent of trips are actually made by bike. We want the next Islington Council to get serious about creating low traffic, low pollution, healthy streets that will give the opportunity to tens of thousands more residents to cycle safely to work or school.

To help focus the minds of prospective councillors, Cycle Islington is calling on all the political parties to include the five asks below in their election manifestos: a high quality Liveable Neighbourhood bid; protected cycle tracks on main roads; secure on-street bikehangars; more “quick wins” delivered; a Quietway 10 for the many.

Our website describes each of these asks in detail. We urge readers to support our campaign by following our CycleIslington Facebook page or our Twitter feed @CycleIslington.

I write in response to last week’s story “String of violent muggings hits Archway as neighbours bemoan cuts to cops’ budget” regarding knife sales in Islington, writes a resident, Hilldrop Road, Islington, full name supplied.

I have read several articles saying that legislation is changing and several major retailers have agreed to adhere to a set of principles to prevent the underage sale of knives in stores and online. Is this true? I can see little evidence walking round shops in the borough this weekend. I did not see any notices displayed anywhere.

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This is welcome news. Where is the new legislation documented and do shops display it?

It is quite amazing that packets of cigarettes are kept in a cupboard with the door firmly closed behind a counter, but a knife can be purchased for a pound and payment made at a self-service machine.

I read in that the planned removal of the gyratory system at Highbury Corner is going ahead later in the year, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

I would like to ask why this is. On the February 21 London news that followed the 10pm news on BBC1, TfL, which I assume is responsible for the road layout at Highbury Corner, was pleading poverty and saying it was unable to repair potholes in the roads it controls until 2020.

Why, if TfL is unable to afford to repair potholes on the roads that is controls, is it able to find the countless millions that this hare-brained scheme is going to cost? Did it not learn from the mistakes made a few years ago when somebody came up with the bright idea of putting the bottom end of Caledonian Road back to two-way working, only for a couple of years or so later to revert back to its one-way working?

Why anybody would want to sit in the green area of the roundabout I fail to see. Far better to go the few feet to Highbury Fields and be away from both the traffic noise and exhaust fumes – but, then again, that is using one’s common sense, which seems to be lacking from the powers that be.

I say: stop this farcical scheme going ahead and leave Highbury Corner roundabout as it is. If there is any money to spend on public transport, use it instead to improve the eyesore that is Highbury and Islington station – by reopening the old entrance on the opposite side of Holloway Road, and providing lifts down to platform level on the Victoria line interchange with the line to Moorgate.

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