Concerned residents Caroline Russell, John Ackers and Paul Standeven
Published: 11 May, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
A NEW lorry-ban scheme in the shadow of the Emirates Stadium was this week branded “dangerous” for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who are “totally confused”.
The scheme, at Drayton Park, which has new width restrictions, is meant to ban all but essential lorries, but has no signage and has already been the scene of several near misses involving cars since it was completed last week.
It is also directly opposite the offices of Islington Disabilities Partnership, where social workers spoke about their fears for people with learning difficulties trying to cross the road.
Furthermore, there is no dedicated cycle lane, which means cyclists have to compete to use the narrow routes with motorists.
The scheme, opposite Drayton Park station and close to a primary school, divides traffic into two narrow lanes in both directions on either side of the road, with a central lane for utility and emergency vehicles only.
There are two pedestrian islands.
However, there are arrows but currently no signs indicating whether motorists should use the outside lane or drive through the centre of the scheme. As a result they do both. Residents say it’s a “free for all”.
Islington Council did not responded to a request for a comment, but it is believed that new signs will be put up at the spot and there will be CCTV cameras to stop lorries taking a shortcut.
A social worker from the disabled people’s centre, who didn’t want to be named, said she was very worried about the lack of safety features for pedestrians.
“We have lodged complaints to the council,” she said.
“We have people with learning difficulties who need to cross the road. But they take their life in their hands.”
Caroline Russell, who chairs pressure group Islington Living Streets, said the aim of the scheme was to stop big lorries using Drayton Park as a short cut.
She said: “Even with the signs and promised CCTV cameras, I don’t think this scheme has been properly thought out.
"It’s extremely dangerous for everyone and should be redesigned.”
John Ackers, of Islington Cycling Action Group, said that despite early consultations the scheme provides no consideration for cycling.
“The original scheme contained cycle lanes which we supported. They obviously got rid of them and didn’t even bother to tell us.”
Another resident, Paul Standeven, said it appeared that the scheme had been designed by motorists for motorists.
“There doesn’t appear to have been the slightest thought for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.