Cyclists have reacted angrily to a decision to scrap plans to improve safety at a junction on the A10 notorious for high collision rates.
Transport for London has ditched a series of improvements at the Stamford Hill/Clapton Common intersection in Hackney after a majority of respondents to a consultation feared they would increase traffic and congestion.
TfL has also put on hold the part-pedestrianisation of Highbury Corner roundabout in neighbouring Islington after concerns were raised about increased delays to buses.
TfL said collision rates at Stamford Hill last year were the lowest for some time. But its report failed to take account of several serious collisions this year including the death of a pedestrian in a bus crash in March.
Jono Kenyon, co-ordinator of Hackney Cycling Campaign, said: “By cancelling all work TfL are effectively saying it is business as usual at a horrendous collision site.
“For TfL to state that safety has improved when we have continued to see several serious collisions including fatal ones whilst the consultation was open is very disappointing.”
Lawyer Kevin O’Sullivan, of Cycle Legal, who lives nearby, said: “The spate of accidents in the last few years have nearly always had as their victim a vulnerable road user- a cyclist or a pedestrian. This should clearly signpost to TfL that the junction is too dominated by big vehicles and not enough is there to protect the vulnerable.
“With the size of the road at Stamford Hill six lanes wide, if TfL can’t find space for segregated cycling there – as they have done successfully further down the road towards Seven Sisters – then they can’t find space for cycling anywhere.”
TfL said 55-65 per cent of the 730 respondents opposed various parts of its Stamford Hill plan, with 29-40 per cent in favour – though many felt the plans for safer cycling and walking did not go far enough.
There was greater support for changes at Highbury Corner, where the western side of the roundabout would be closed to link it to the roundabout’s central island.
Of the 2,823 responses, 71 per cent thought the changes would improve conditions for pedestrians, 67 per cent thought they would improve conditions for cyclists and 59 per cent thought they would improve conditions for Tube and Rail users. However about a third feared the impact on bus routes and 28 per cent said replacing the gyratory with two-way route would have a negative impact on traffic.
TfL and Islington council said they would consider all responses to the proposals before deciding whether to proceed.
Alan Bristow, Director of Road Space Management at TfL, said: “We’re pleased that so many people have fed back on our proposals to improve Highbury Corner. We are now carefully reviewing all the issues raised to ensure that any proposed improvements work for everyone and can create a better environment for all those who live in, work in or visit the area.”
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It is encouraging that the majority agree that these ambitious plans will improve Highbury Corner, which is badly congested, difficult for pedestrians and cyclists, and leaves green space stranded on a traffic island.
“The next step is to carefully consider all the responses and look at how best to minimise the effect of changes to bus routes, before publishing our response, which will outline a way forward. If proposals do go ahead, we will work with TfL to minimise the gap between the end of the current bridge work at Highbury Corner and the start of improvement work.”