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Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Highbury Corner, One O'Clock Club and crossing Holloway Road

PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 August 2019

V1 bomb damage in 1914. Still having an impact at Highbury Corner? Picture: ISLINGTON LOCAL HISTORY CENTRE

V1 bomb damage in 1914. Still having an impact at Highbury Corner? Picture: ISLINGTON LOCAL HISTORY CENTRE

Archant

I regularly take the 43 bus to Holloway and I am surprised that the Highbury Corner Road works are still going on, writes Jeanette Ju-Pierre, Islington, full address supplied.

It must be over a year now.

It seems that the German V-1 flying bomb which sadly hit Highbury Corner on June 27, 1944, is still impacting on us today, after 75 years. When will the Highbury Corner works be completed?

The traffic has to go around the tree island, which causes a bottleneck, delaying motorists and pedestrians. There must be a solution.

The One O'Clock Club stay and play group is a popular and valued part of our broad range of council-supported provision for children in the local area, write Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and rransport, and Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, executive member for children, young people and families, Islington Council.

We are committed to continuing to fund its excellent work, which we have supported for many years, despite unprecedented cuts to the council's funding by central government.

Unfortunately, the building the One O'Clock Club operates from is in a poor condition. A new survey will be conducted to understand what work is required in the short-term to ensure that the building remains safe. We are committed to carrying out these works.

To be clear, no decision has been taken to close the building.

Likewise, no decisions have been made about the wider project concerning the buildings in this part of Highbury Fields, which were subject to a public consultation in 2018. An update was shared with stakeholders earlier this year to explain that we are reviewing the scope of the scheme to see if improvements can be made within the budget available.

There was a miscommunication about this with the One O'Clock Club last week. We are extremely sorry about the concern and upset this has understandably caused them, people who use the service and local residents.

We are meeting with the One O'Clock Club as soon as possible to discuss this and to reaffirm our commitment to securing their future.

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Further to the Gazette's article last week ("Highbury Fields Bandstand told its building will likely be closed down"), I have now received assurances from Cllr Claudia Webbe that the council remains fully committed to supporting the One O'Clock Club and that no informal or formal decisions have yet been taken on the wider Highbury Fields buildings project, writes Cllr Caroline Russell, Green Party, Highbury East ward.

She says there was a "miscommunication" with the One O'Clock Club and that the council is extremely sorry for the concern this has understandably caused.

While appreciating Cllr Webbe's apology and assurances, I have reservations that the "miscommunication" can only have arisen from conversations that are genuinely happening at the town hall. Discussion about the new buildings for the Fields has been going on for years, while the existing ones fall further into disrepair. The council needs to make the new scheme happen, as a matter of urgency, and the One O'Clock Club must be a central part of it - continuing to provide essential services for local children and invaluable support to their parents, as it has for generations.

I am writing to point out the potential dangers to life and limb for people trying to cross Holloway Road outside Highbury and Islington Station, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

Yesterday afternoon and again this morning, when I went to do so, crossing from Highbury Fields, the traffic lights were red against the traffic yet I and other people had to walk round vehicles that were blocking the crossing, making the green man sign on both sides of the invisible.

There is a set back stop marking on the road inside Holloway Road. This, if obeyed, would allow pedestrians on both sides of the road to see the stop/go pedestrian signals.

Unfortunately, traffic coming off Holloway Road intending to proceed around the three remaining sides of what used to be the roundabout, chooses to ignore this stop line, and so, if unable to carry on past the pedestrian crossing due to traffic already being held by traffic, just blocks the crossing.

Surely it is high time for the so-called experts who designed this road layout to admit that they have a potentially lethal flaw in its design?

A simple solution to my mind would be to install a yellow box junction on this pedestrian crossing so that when the lights are in favour of the pedestrians it can be seen clearly from both sides of the road that it is safe to cross.

This scheme was supposed to make it safer for pedestrians but in my view, it has not done but instead made this crossing point as dangerous as, if not more so than, it was claimed to be originally before the roadworks were started.

The same thing can also be said about the pedestrian crossing across St Paul's Road outside the Hen & Chickens pub. Why does the pavement have to jut out from the pavement line at the bus stop for buses going down St Paul's Road away from Highbury? All it does is cause a traffic jam in that direction when a bus or buses have stopped there.

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