Editor’s comment: Silent stand-off over CS1 serves no one
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The bravery of Sarah Doone is a poignant reminder that cycling infrastructure isn’t just an abstract concept.
As I said in this column last week, it isn’t my place (yet) to say what or who caused the collision that left her with life-changing injuries.
But safer cycling facilities should minimise the risks posed both by dangerous drivers and by dangerous road layouts – provided they are done properly. CS1’s older sibling CS2 – the route down the A11 in east London where three people died between 2011 and 2013 – shows what can happen when they aren’t.
So on the one hand, it’s understandable that Islington, Hackney and TfL have taken their time finalising plans for the short distance linking Kingsbury Road and Culford Road.
But on the other, the six cyclists injured in just that tiny stretch of road in a few years make it seem almost unfathomable that nothing has been done.
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CS1 is well used. As a result, a lot of cyclists find themselves making dangerous right-turns into Balls Pond Road every day.
We all have ideas about where councils should focus their attention and money, and it is a given that things like housing poverty and safeguarding kids are life-or-death situations.
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But in the meantime, the lack of information from just about everyone – one party refused to comment at all until it knew what the others were saying, and imagine if they’d all done that! – serves no one.
If other services are being prioritised, or if the plans are being redrawn thanks to public opinion, or if there’s some other obstacle that wasn’t anticipated, the people paying for it – and the cyclists waiting for safer streets – deserve to know.
Rest assured we’ll be keeping an eye on the scheme as it does – or doesn’t – finally materialise in the spring. That means you will, too.