Gazette letters: Cycleway 38, NHS, Jewish exhibtion, road closures and Christmas charity shopping

Cycleway 38 on Liverpool Road. Picture: Andre Langlois

Cycleway 38 on Liverpool Road. Picture: Andre Langlois - Credit: Archant

Erik Pagano is calling for a judicial review of Cycleway 38, writes John Hartley, Islington, full address supplied.

I can’t comment on this process, but I do take issue with a couple of his points. He says he’s an experienced cyclist and that “there are no safety problems on Liverpool Road” and that “you can’t create a cyclist haven in inner city London on Victorian streets”.

One of the benefits of segregated cycle lanes is that they enable new, less experienced, cyclists - including young children - to feel and be safe whilst learning to move around in an environmentally friendly, efficient and sustainable way.

As for Victorian streets - if you accept, as he seems to, that the status quo – ie domination by motor vehicles – cannot be changed, then, obviously you cannot change the status quo. However, Victorian streets were not built to be dominated by huge motor vehicles – they are the ones that take up all the space. Bicycles and pedestrians require much less road space so the Victorian streets will become much freer, safer and cleaner if the status quo can be changed. This is what People Friendly Streets is all about.

A quick look at will show you how desperate Islington residents are to stop rat-running and see their environment improved. For more information about People Friendly Streets see

Liverpool Road has been suffering from huge volumes of traffic displaced by the changes to Highbury Corner. Sat navs and waze are re-routing drivers onto our residential road so there is now far more traffic than on the main A road Upper Street, writes Lucy Facer, Liverpool Road, Islington.

Cycleway 38 is an important step towards Liverpool Road becoming a People Friendly Street. The key to making the cycleway a success is the council must take further action and implement measures to significantly reduce traffic to make it safe for residents and pedestrians.

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During Covid-19 it is of vital importance that there are safe cycle lanes to encourage people to cycle to work and school instead of using public transport or adding further vehicle congestion to the already busy roads.

Many families I know have commented how they find cycling on Liverpool Road unsafe and so have avoided it but are now keen to use the new cycle lane.

My family learnt to ride our bikes on quieter roads during lockdown but as traffic returned my daughter has found Liverpool Road too busy and frightening to cycle on. However, the new cycle lane has made her feel safe enough to cycle on it safely again.

As a resident of Liverpool Road, I understand the cycle lane may cause some inconvenience as we adjust but they are outweighed by the many benefits. Launching a law suit against the council is unhelpful at this time, instead we should allow the 18 month experimental period for the scheme to bed in and focus on additional traffic reduction measures to address the volumes of traffic and air pollution we are suffering.

Liverpool Road needs to become a healthy People Friendly Street to increase road safety, reduce air pollution and create a safe environment for residents, pedestrians and school children.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your recent articles about children and young people’s NHS services in North Central London (NCL), write Medical directors and chief nurses from north central London NHS Trusts.

The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic put our local NHS under huge pressure with unparalleled demand, and significant staff sickness. Colleagues responded heroically and, although this is not unexpected, we will be forever grateful for their efforts and their resilience.

We changed services and care provision at an unprecedented rate to ensure the public and our staff were kept safe. Our approach was co-ordinated across the region, and this included a temporary reorganisation of children’s services which saw the closure of several paediatric emergency and inpatient departments and unfortunately the cancellation of many planned medical procedures. People worked together across NCL, and Great Ormond Street Hospital supported a number of children’s services to help out the system.

Winter is always the busiest time in the NHS, and this year we have the likelihood of a second Covid-19 surge.

With this in mind, we are working more collaboratively than ever before through our partnership of local health and care providers, North London Partners, to ensure we are one step ahead – reviewing key services and putting plans in place to make them as safe as possible.

This includes adapting services for children and young people and, as your readers will be aware, the temporary closure of the children’s emergency departments at the Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital (which has been temporarily closed since March this year). These changes were designed by doctors and nurses, and took account of the numbers of children and young people attending and being admitted to our hospitals, including the two busiest children’s units in NCL, North Middlesex and Barnet Hospital, which has recently reopened. These changes have been implemented to ensure that emergency and planned care for children and young people can continue uninterrupted during a second surge or winter pressures.

We absolutely recognise how unsettling these changes may be for patients and their families, especially when they have been treated by a particular hospital for a long time. But we would like to reassure everybody that the changes are temporary and have been carefully thought through over the last four months. They have also been risk assessed by experienced doctors and nurses who have worked in our hospitals for many years.

These changes are now being thoughtfully implemented to ensure that children and young people can access safe and effective care when they need it – despite the unprecedented pressure and uncertainty created by the pandemic. We have the correct number of doctors and nurses in post at all of the hospitals to provide safe care.

As always, the ambulance service provides the fastest response in a serious or life-threatening emergency. The London Ambulance Service will take children and young people to the nearest open paediatric emergency department, whilst providing any immediate necessary care. If a child does come to the Royal Free Hospital or UCLH, they will be assessed by a member of the nursing team, and will be redirected, transferred or referred to an alternative local hospital when it is safe to do so.

As we all brace ourselves for a further Covid-19 surge, we would ask patients and the public to understand that these decisions are never taken lightly, are not implemented unless we are assured they are safe, and that any permanent changes would require full public consultation.

We hope that over the coming weeks your experience will be positive and that you will feel reassured and confident in the care we are continuing to provide to your loved ones.

If any parent is unsure where they should take a child in need of emergency treatment they should visit or call the NHS 111 service. In a life-threatening emergency you should still dial 999 immediately.

• Signed by: Dr Chris Streather, Royal Free London group chief medical director; Julie Hamilton, Royal Free London group chief nurse; Flo Panel-Coates, chief nurse, UCLH; Dr Tim Hodgson, medical director, specialist hospitals board, UCLH; Dr Charles House, medical director, medicine board, UCLH; Michelle Johnson, director of nursing, Whittington Health; Dr Clare Dollery, medical director, Whittington Health; Alison Robertson, chief nurse, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Dr Sanjiv Sharma, medical director, Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Our new Chabad House on Upper Street will have a permanent exhibition of local Islington Jewish history, writes Rabbi Mendy Korer, Chabad Lubavitch, Islington.

The exhibit will include photos, artefacts and stories of Jewish people that have lived in the borough throughout the past few centuries.

Examples of items we are looking for are photos of shops, religious paraphernalia from the synagogues, stories of peoples lives and interactions. Should you have any contributions, please do email me at Thank you,

Thank you.

Well done to all the local councils that agreed and went along and closed the so many access roads throughout North London A disgusted Islington resident, full address supplied, writes.

You have created a brilliant money-making machine and have also allowed all those inconsiderate cyclists plus now, the newly electric scooter trend, to rule the roads while making the car owners and those who drive for a living feel like criminals, and treating them as such.

The road closures are not for the benefit of nothing more than for the local council to fill up their pockets and for the radical anti-car and pro-bicycle hot heads. As if car owners and drivers, didn’t have enough to pay out already,

now they are being punished even more by the radical thinkers.

Enough is enough. Instead, why not concentrate and penalise all those selfish cyclists that want the best of both worlds, expecting vehicle drivers to respect them, while they pick and choose if to follow road rules or not. We all know that they have created a wild west where cyclists just ignore red lights, pedestrian crossings, mounting onto pavements to cut corners etc. Start punishing them and stop ignoring that constant nuisance that is happening every day on every roads and street.

If you’re looking to celebrate Christmas a bit differently this year, our Charity Shop Challenge will help you think outside the box when it comes to your festive shopping, writes Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail director, British Heart Foundation.

Our high street shops and eBay and Depop stores are packed with countless unique treasures waiting to be discovered, making your gifts all the more meaningful this year. There are also plenty of good quality furniture and homewares on offer too, if you’re giving your home a festive spruce.

Every pound raised in our shops and online stores help us support the 670,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases across the East of England, many of whom are at increased risk from Covid-19. Now more than ever, we urgently need your support this Christmas so we can continue funding life saving breakthroughs.

The BHF’s shops and stores are now back up and running, with measures in place to keep staff, volunteers and customers safe.

To get involved in the BHF’s Charity Shop Challenge, simply head to your nearest store or browse the BHF eBay shop for unique and affordable gifts. You can also share your finds on social media using the hashtag #BoughtAtBHF.

To find your nearest shop please visit:

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