Letters on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields - Credit: Chris Kenyon

Patients choosing active travel

Dr R, Islington, full name and address supplied, writes:

As a doctor working at a busy North London Hospital I have started to notice a brilliant change as a result of Islington council’s active transport and People Friendly Streets policies.  

There has been a steady increase in the number of patients choosing active modes of transport to attend their hospital appointments. Just last week a 70-year-old patient was proudly showing me photographs of her new bicycle and telling me how much she is enjoyed her cycle to clinic. She was encouraged to try cycling by the lowtrafficislington.org group

I am of course aware that not all patients are able to travel by foot, wheel or public transport, however, where they can, it’s fantastic for me to see their journey to the hospital benefitting their mental and physical health. 

Cyclists need to act more safely

The cycle lanes in Liverpool Road, Islington

The cycle lanes in Liverpool Road, Islington - Credit: André Langlois

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Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington, writes:

I read with interest the front page of the Gazette (July 15, 2021) titled ‘Islington crowned top borough with healthiest streets’ in which Cllr Rowena Champion says she is delighted but also points out cyclist casualties cause concern.

It goes on to say 4pc of Islington’s streets have protected cycle lanes, apparently almost 50 cyclists were either killed or seriously injured in 2018, I wonder why?

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Having seen how some cyclists ride, I am not at all surprised, all too often when waiting outside the church in St Paul’s Road going to Highbury Corner, all too often I see cyclists come down St Paul’s Road and go straight across the lights when they are red into Balls Pond Road, the same thing coming in the opposite direction.

People Friendly Streets in Islington are designed to improve the roads for pedestrians and cyclists

Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes in Islington are designed to improve the roads for pedestrians and cyclists - Credit: Archant

This also happens when the lights are red for Newington Green Road and Essex Road. It begs the question as to why some cyclists do this? Do they not realise that they put not themselves but other road users in danger. When they (cyclists) do this they make the decision to ignore traffic signals, as far as I know from reading the Highway Code, there is no exemption for cyclists to ignore traffic signs.

Often when people are crossing on a controlled crossing when the lights are in favour of pedestrians, you get cyclists riding through the people crossing the road, if you pull them up about it often all you get is a mouthful of four lettered abuse.

All too often when travelling on a bus in traffic, I see cyclists coming up the nearside between the bus and pavement edge and, if they can’t force their way through they jump up onto the pavement and then cut in front. If they can’t do this, then often they can get caught in a blind spot and get dragged along by a vehicle, especially if the said vehicle is turning left.

I am not saying that all cyclists do this but also you get cyclists hurtling along on the pavement, I’m not talking about little children but adults who should know better. It is all very well Cllr Champion lauding this but she also needs to spend some time of her undoubtedly valuable time, and come and observe how cyclists behave around Highbury Corner, a lot of them completely ignore the cycle lanes and ride on the pavements, especially along the side of the roundabout between Upper Street and Holloway Road which is now allegedly pedestrian only.

Site scene of Archway Junction ahead of plans to introduce more cycle lanes

Site scene of Archway Junction ahead of plans to introduce more cycle lanes - Credit: Archant

The worst culprits are the Deliveroo riders, the coalition adds that the Islington Council needs to work with TfL to improve safety for cyclists on the main roads, well what about also improving safety for people who have to walk on the pavements not only do we have the menace of people cycling on the pavements but also these e-scooters. I suggest that TfL, Islington Council and also the police start a campaign to stop people cycling and riding e-scooters on the pavement and start by first advising people about this, and if they persist on doing this, then confiscate the cycles and e-scooters from persistent offenders.

Perhaps if the law on riding cycles and e-scooters on the pavement was enforced then the roads would be safer for all. Oh I forgot! What are the police these days? You never seem to see them and when you do they seem to ignore people riding on the pavement.

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