A week is a long time in politics, a year is a short time in bureaucracy.
Make that 4 years, in the case of Transport for London. I’ve blogged before about the pelican crossing outside Angel tube station. It’s a nightmare: southbound traffic from two roads (Upper Street and Liverpool Road) feeds into it and hapless pedestrians who wait for the ‘green man’ find that traffic is still passing, because the signal timings are so bad.It’s usually safer to ignore the signals, keep your eyes open, cross your fingers, and make a run for it. Not the best place to practice the highway code.
Back in 2004, I launched a campaign to improve the crossing. We got the Council on board; it seemed everyone agreed that something should be done. In particular, we argued that moving the crossing, or adding a second crossing, north of the junction with Liverpool Road (so pedestrians would compete with less traffic), would be best. With some 46,000 people a day coming out of the station, you’d think the case for change would be urgent.
Well, finally we hear that TfL may consider moving the crossing, as part of a consultation on changes to the 38 bus route. The problem is that it may be bundled with other changes that are less acceptable to people in Islington. So we need to ensure that residents know this is their chance to get action on the crossing. And that TfL are left in no doubt that whatever happens to the rest of their plans, we still want the crossing moved.
So earlier this week, I was out with a couple of my team first thing, trying to get the perfect photo to illustrate the problem. We had a 15 minute ‘window’ on our way to work, surely enough time for one snap? Easier said than done, as Keith & I lurk in the middle island, with lorries, buses and the Islington rush hour all around us.
‘Stand outside the railing’, yelled Adam, my man with the camera. Visions of this blog coming to you from A&E, featuring ambulance response times… But in the end we got the ‘money shot’ – cars vs people while the green man shows – and hurried off to our various day jobs. The results are up on the campaign site and Facebook. As for TfL, it’s their job to sort out this crossing, now.