Pedestrian safety is paramount

Friday, 3rd December 2021

• SELECTIVE quoting the London Cycling Campaign as a cover for “garnering a few votes from a very vocal minority” most certainly is not leadership; it’s pure politicking, (The cyclists’ view on LTNs, November 26).

Elsewhere in local print, last week, Liberal Democrat Kate Pothalingham was more explicit: her concern was solely with vehicular movements between Upper Street and Essex Road which she believes are endangered under the proposed St Mary’s Church “people-friendly streets” (LTN) scheme.

She listed three connecting routes, one of them Gaskin Street. The junction of Upper Street with one-way Gaskin is an accident-spot in-waiting for those walking along the eastern side of Islington’s main shopping and dining thoroughfare.

Vehicles turn not only left / right from Upper Street but also cross over from Theberton, undoubtedly using the latter as a west-east cut-through between Liverpool and Essex roads, aided and abetted, of course, by satnav.

Perhaps Ms Pothalingham is unfamiliar with this area…

St Mary’s low traffic neighbourhood or no, Gaskin Street needs urgently to be closed to west-east vehicular movements while enabling continuing vehicular access for its businesses and Rothery Street residents, along with the Islington Green car park.

This could be done via a new Essex Road one-way east-west entrance exit via the Upper Street junction. All vehicles other than those belonging to the aforementioned groups would be prohibited.

It’s for Islington’s traffic engineers to work out the fine details of such changes but a brief survey with other pedestrians shows unanimous agreement about the current risks of crossing Gaskin Street on foot at its western end.

Pedestrian safety must be more than words in any proposed LTN around St Mary’s, otherwise any claim to be a “people-friendly’” neighbourhood will trip up at the first step.

Writing about safer streets alongside your correspondent in last week’s Tribune, it’s to be hoped that executive member for transport, Cllr Rowena Champion, is listening.

Ellington Street, N7

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