Party leaders join demonstrators demanding action at notorious accident black spot
PARTY leaders from Islington Council joined dozens of demonstrators on Monday in a protest about a notorious accident black spot in Holloway Road, Highbury.
Cyclist Paul Standeven, 48, spoke of how he was badly injured at the junction opposite the Central Library, Madras Place, after trying to avoid a pedestrian. He was flung off his bike and hit his head on a car.
Mr Standeven suffered bad head and neck injuries following the accident four years ago. “For two years I suffered severe loss of memory,” he said.
The junction is where King’s Cross campaigner Lisa Porticorvo was knocked down and killed by a lorry and a 29-year-old women pedestrian was seriously injured two weeks ago.
Campaigners say the problem with the junction is that drivers travelling north frequently move forward completely unaware that cyclists have a green light to cross east-west.
Lib Dem leader Councillor Terry Stacy and Labour leader Councillor Catherine West joined members Islington’s Living Streets campaign and local Cyclists Action group to campaign for safety improvements to the junction.
Caroline Russell, chairwoman of Islington Living Streets, said the aim of the demonstration was to make London Mayor Boris Johnson realise that local people are fed up with the time it has taken to take action on this crossing.
She added: “It’s quiet clearly dangerous and it is only a matter of time before someone else is injured or worse. As a cyclist I’ll never ride across this junction – I’ll always dismount.”
Chris Ashby, of Islington Cyclist Action Group, said the junction was one of the first in London to have a cycle and pedestrian crossings.
“It was a good idea at the time but it just isn’t safe,” he said.
“It’s too complex. The entrances to Holloway road have all changed and cyclists and pedestrians can’t see the red light.”
Cllr Stacy said that Mayor Johnson needs to “stop dithering” on this junction. “Transport for London are meant to be working with the council on this crossing but they have come up with a lot of waffle. By crossing this road at this junction you take your life in your hands.”
Labour Cllr Barry Edwards said there had been no improvements in the design of the crossing for 25 years. “We need a complete re-arrangement so that it is safe,” he said.