Headmaster brands Islington's cycle superhighway 'an accident waiting to happen'
- Credit: Polly Hank
A headmaster has blocked off the brand new cycle superhighway built outside his school, because he considers its current design "is an accident waiting to happen".
Two traffic cones have been placed outside Drayton Park School during drop off and pick up times by primary head Damien Parrott, who is worried about the danger that cyclists speeding past on Cycleway 38 pose to his pupils.
Many staff and parents raised concerns with him about the cycle lane which was completed in May and runs from Finsbury Park to Highbury Fields.
"A number of near misses between cyclists and children, have caused aggressive confrontations in front of our children," he told parents in a letter.
Mr Parrott decided to witness what was going on first hand, and after standing at the gate he "came to the conclusion that the situation is a very dangerous one".
He said: I watched heavy electric bikes hurtle down the lane past young children.
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"I watched someone cycle down the lane sitting up, not holding onto their handlebars and thus with no quick access to their brakes."
He continued: "As the cycle lane is curved before our gate, with cars parked on the road side, visibility for both pedestrians and cyclists is limited.
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"The consequences of a single mistake, in which a cyclist hit one of our children, could be disastrous. Cycling accidents lead to serious injury and death."
Mr Parrott is meeting with council staff to discuss his concerns.
"I want to stop putting the cones out as soon as possible, because a better solution has been put in place by the appropriate authorities," he said.
Jo Cardow, whose children attend the school, told the Gazette: "It's literally like the M25. Bikes are bombing down there at a rate of knots unaware there are children coming out of the school.
"Some of the cyclists are going faster than the 20mph speed limit being imposed on cars, and some of them are on e-bikes as well."
A council spokesperson said : “We’re determined to create a fairer, greener, healthier Islington for everyone, with more pleasant, safer spaces for people to walk and cycle. The safety of children is absolutely vital to this, and we’re meeting with the executive head of Drayton Park School this week to discuss the concerns that have been raised.
“The cycleway offers a route for people, including families with children, to travel more safely in our borough, and will help to improve air quality and reduce emissions.”