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When a mistake is made over road changes, they don’t admit it

21 February, 2020

Pedestrian crossing just off Highbury Corner

• CONCERNING the report referring to the crossing at the Highbury Corner end of St Paul’s Road outside the Hen & Chickens theatre pub, as it quite rightly states, this was first highlighted nine months ago, (Parents cross about ‘dangerous’ Highbury Corner crossing, February 14).

I could not agree more with the people who are mentioned in this article. I use this crossing two or three times a week, either going to my voluntary work at the Marie Curie shop or going to Highbury and Islington station.

If I remember rightly there was a lot of opposition to this scheme happening. I was OK with the railway bridge at Highbury needing replacement, as it was time expired.

But not only is the crossing in St Paul’s Road a danger but also the crossing outside Highbury and Islington station, as all too often traffic stops across it.

There is a stop line in a few feet short of the crossing outside the station. But instead of stopping short and allowing people to have a clear line of sight in both directions, traffic very often stops on the crossing as it can’t clear it in time because of vehicles already on the remains of the roundabout waiting to either go round to Upper Street, or down St Paul’s Road; and being held at traffic lights.

Yes there was congestion on the roundabout but nothing like it is now. I notice that Nigel Hardy, head of Transport for London’s healthy streets investment and delivery says “safety is our top priority”.

One thing they won’t admit is that they have made a big blunder here, and are apparently working with Islington Council to make changes to reduce the likelihood of traffic queueing over the pedestrian crossing.

One cure for this would be to reopen the closed arm between Upper Street and Holloway Road and go back to a clockwise direction through the roundabout. This is why it was built in the first place in the 1950s/1960s, when the levels of traffic were not what they are today.

Moving the bus stop in St Paul’s Road is not the answer. If the pavement had not been moved out by a traffic lane’s width then buses stopping there going east would not hold up eastbound traffic; but then that would be admitting that they have got it wrong. And when do public servants ever admit to getting things wrong?

I also read the letter by Dr Jacqueline Kay (Plenty of near misses for pedestrians! February 14) and could not agree more. All too often I see people either cyclists or motorists driving through the Hen & Chickens crossing when the lights are clearly showing green for pedestrians.

As Dr Kay says, there are also lights at cyclists’ eye level showing green or red for them to stop the same as other traffic – but obviously they can’t or don’t want to see them.

Clissold Crescent, N16


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