Madras Place: action long overdue

So often when I meet residents impatient for action, it comes down to delays or indifference from TfL. That certainly seems to be the case at Madras Place, N7.

This is the dangerous crossing over the Holloway Road from St Mary Magdalen church to the Central Library and Fieldway Crescent. It’s a busy point for cyclists and pedestrians to get from the west side of Islington to Highbury Fields and beyond. It’s also where Lisa Pontecorvo was killed, wheeling her bicycle across the road, last year.

My colleague Caroline Pidgeon has been helping out by tabling various questions to Mayor Boris – here’s the latest exchange.

Junction of Fieldway Crescent/Holloway Road/Madras Place , Islington

Question No: 3344 / 2009

Caroline Pidgeon

Can you explain why it is taking so long for TfL to make any improvements to safety at the junction of Fieldway Crescent/Holloway Road/Madras Place following the first anniversary of the tragic death of community activist Lisa Pontecorvo?

Answer from the Mayor:

I appreciate that the length of time it is taking to progress what appear to be simple changes to the layout and operation of the junction of Holloway Road/Madras Place and Fieldway Crescent is frustrating. The timelines involved are partly due to the nature and complexity of the Transport for London Road Network and the need to balance the competing demands and priorities of all users, at both the local and strategic level. This is particularly the case at this junction, where the needs of cyclists and pedestrians crossing Holloway Road not only need to be balanced against the vehicular traffic travelling along the corridor, but also against each others’ desires to cross the road.

TfL has now developed six options providing the most appropriate changes at this junction given these competing demands on the network. Further work is required to narrow these to a preferred option(s), to take forward for more detailed development.

Acknowledging the complexities involved in delivering schemes on such a strategically important and heavily congested road network, I note that in some cases scheme delivery has taken longer than it should. TfL is continuing to take steps to address these issues and has reviewed the activities being undertaken across the business with the aim of streamlining and integrating processes to drive improvements in delivery.

As answers go, this one is heavy with jargon, but light on real action. Islington residents are less interested in streamlining and integrating processes, and more interested in getting across the road in one piece.

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