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Quietway too busy thanks to Uber and Google Maps

17 May, 2019

Prebend Street route

• IT is always pleasing to see a campaigning article about the dangers of traffic on our roads claim a front-page slot, particularly when it highlights a complex issue that councillors have been working on for many months, (Cyclists in Clerkenwell ‘are lambs led to slaughter’, May 10).

Islington Council is determined to make our borough less traffic dominated and safer for pedestrians and cyclists, to help encourage active travel and to tackle poor air quality. As a local councillor, I am pleased that much progress is being made to improve routes and key junctions for cyclists across the borough.

The section of Quietway 2 that runs through Prebend Street (in St Peter’s, not Clerkenwell ward) was opened four years ago as part of the Mayor’s Transport Plan. The significant increase in vehicular traffic in the area is much more recent and, as is acknowledged in the article, is largely due to Uber drivers and other Google Maps users.

Even huge lorries ignore the weight restriction signs at the start of this part of the route in an effort to squeeze their vehicles into a narrow entrance while causing near-accidents and shear­ing off the traffic island bollards on the way.

The overwhelming number of cars, lorries and motor cycles come from the main feeder road, New North Road. This is a very busy A-road that cuts across the end of the Quietway.

Residents of New North Road and its surrounding streets suffer from air and noise pollution the traffic causes and, like Quietway 2, there are also dangers to all users from vehicles that speed along it.

The council has taken steps in the past months to safeguard cyclists turning into the streets on both sides of New North Road after a number of accidents caused by cars, but that is a relatively simple and affordable measure to implement.

To regulate the flow of traffic into Quietway 2 is a complex exercise that will impact well beyond Prebend Street itself. It will take many hours of research and consultation involving hundreds of residents and road users – something the council is committed to doing with the support of Transport for London.

Let’s work together to find lasting solutions for all our community to these issues. Look out for the start of the council’s consultation in a few months’ time and, please, do have your say.

CLLR VIVIEN CUTLER
Labour, St Peter’s ward

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