WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Parents cross about ‘dangerous’ Highbury Corner crossing

14 February, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Rebecca Johnson with her son, Lukas

PARENTS have attacked the planning of a pedestrian crossing just off Highbury Corner that still sees children dodging traffic at peak times to get across the road, nine months after the Tribune first highlighted the problem.

The crossing is outside the Hen and Chicken theatre pub in St Paul’s Road.

A choke point builds up with traffic from Holloway Road coming through Highbury Corner and getting stuck behind buses at a bus stop on St Paul’s Road. At peak times, including during the school run, there is still traffic waiting to move across the crossing when the pedestrian light turns green.

It’s understood Transport for London is planning to make changes to the problem bus stop this weekend that will allow cars to pass while it picks up and drops off, but for parents of pupils at Canonbury Primary School, it can’t come soon enough.

Janine Kramer, who has one child at the school and one in a local nursery, said parents had been complaining about the crossing since works finished on Highbury Corner.

“When you have children and you’re rushing to get them to school it’s just not safe,” she said.

“The cyclists are a problem too, it seems like cars and bikes are going when there are green lights for pedestrians. It’s a big issue. You’re worried about either the dangerous traffic or the cyclists every time you cross.”

Rebecca Johnson has two children at Canon­bury Primary. “There are always cars stopping somewhere in the middle of the crossing,” she said.

“When the traffic backs up, there’s just nowhere for them to go.

“There’s never enough time for cars to get through, and it’s really dangerous because they’re still there and trying to move when the pedestrian lights turn green. Cyclists are zooming through as well. I’ve seen pedes­trians hit by cyclists when the pedestrian lights are green.

“It’s so bad that I know parents that avoid this crossing now. It’s that dangerous. It’s better than it was when the works finished on Highbury Corner. There’s much more space for pedestrians, which we want to keep. It’s just the backed-up traffic.”

And it’s not just parents who have been caught out by the poorly planned system. Dr Jacqueline Kaye of Avenell Road said she has had near misses three times in the past three weeks while crossing the junction.

“It’s just been an accident waiting to happen,” said Dr Kaye. “It’s amazing no one has been seriously hurt yet.”

Nigel Hardy, TfL’s head of healthy streets investment and delivery, said: “Safety is our top priority, which is why we’re working closely with Islington Council to make changes to reduce the likelihood of traffic queuing over the pedestrian crossing.

“Work to move the bus stop on St Paul’s Road further west will start this weekend and we would like to thank local resi­dents for their under­standing during our work to transform Highbury Corner.”

– LETTERS: ‘Near-misses for pedestrians’

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