Caledonian Road traffic system ‘breaches our human rights’

Ewa Idzik wants the council to re-instate the one-way system

Ewa Idzik wants the council to re-instate the one-way system - Credit: Vickie Flores

A two-way traffic system introduced by Islington Council is in breach of the Human Rights Act, a petitioner has claimed.

In November, a one-way system at the bottom of Caledonian Road was removed as part of council measures to take it out of the King’s Cross gyratory.

Traffic lights were installed at Wharfdale Road’s junction with Caledonian Road.

As reported by the Gazette in March, Wharfdale residents said this has disrupted the flow of traffic, causing noise and fumes to infiltrate their homes.

Now, Ewa Idzik has launched a petition calling for the council to reverse the two-way scheme, citing Article 8 of the Act: right to a private and family life.

Ms Idzik, 49, said: “It feels like we are under siege. It’s a breach of our human rights. If you can’t live normally, then something is wrong.

“Every time the lights go red, a queue forms really quick. They turn green, the traffic disappears for a few seconds and then it happens all over again when the lights go back to red.

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“When the traffic is stationary, it’s so loud, even from the inside. Every time a bus exhaust makes that ‘kerching’ sound I jump out of my skin. The house rattles every time a bus starts. It’s so loud that I have been waking up through the night.”

Mum-of-one Ms Idzik said neighbours in Wharfdale Road have suffered health issues since the scheme was introduced, including one man who contracted asthma for the first time.

She says she has barricaded her windows with foam mattresses and wardrobes: “I come into my room when my husband is asleep and it stinks of exhaust fumes. He is just breathing it in. It’s not possible to live like this.

“If it was a business creating all this pollution, and keeping neighbours up all night, then the council would make it stop. The problem is that the council has caused this by getting rid of the one-way system. They can’t do this to people.”

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said the matter will be kept “under review” and added: “The change to the system is to make it much safer for local residents, as well as the huge number of pedestrians and cyclists who pass through the busy area every day on their way to work.”