All posts by icag

Upper Holloway Update

upper-holl-updateThis is the Northbound view on day one of the closure of Holloway Road to allow the work on the railway bridge to continue.

On 13 October, a letter to local residents said, “Cyclist access will be maintained during the road closures although they will  be requested to dismount in the shared space with pedestrians inside the closure.”  By 22 October, there was a change in plan…

holl-diversion-one The diversion is quite long (approx 1 mile), taking a cyclist along Fairbridge Road to the Sussex Way bridge and back along Hatchard Road and Marlborough Road.  Others will find no space for cycling and join the pedestrians…

holl-iccBut there will always be a rebel!


Traffic is being diverted along Junction Road then  Tufnell Park Road or Brecknock Road. It is expected that other surrounding roads will be busier than usual as drivers try to find other routes.

The planned Holloway Road closures at Upper Holloway Station are as follows:

Closed to all vehicles, in both directions

22.00 Friday 21 October until 5.00 Monday 31 October

22.00 Friday 18 November until 5.00 Monday 21 November

22.00 Friday 25 November until 5.00 Monday 28 November

24 December 2016 to 16 January 2017

But the Northbound carriageway will reopen

5.00 Monday 31 October until 22.00 Saturday 24 December, when it will close again.




Avoid Highbury Corner!

Cyclist using the cycle lane
Cyclist using the cycle lane

We are concerned about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians using the Highbury and Islington roundabout during the present road works; TfL have asked us to contact cyclists using this roundabout.  Our advice is to avoid the area if you can; we remain concerned that the diversion on the roundabout puts cyclists in a hazardous position as they pass motor traffic entering from Holloway Road.  We would like to see the former protected area for turning into Highbury Place  reinstated and improved.

TfL suggest ‘Southbound’ cyclists should use the Caledonian Road diversion and they say those seeking to exit the roundabout use Highbury Place should use the diversion along Corsica Street.   You are very welcome to leave comments at the bottom of this page.  As the photograph illustrates, passing the entrance from Holloway Road can be hazardous.

Night shot
Night shot

We are in discussion with TfL to try to improve the layout for walkers and cyclists.
The road works are expected to last till about August 2015 while the Post Office (which is now closed) is demolished. The layout will then revert to the previous one. Sometime later the rail bridge will be replaced. We’ll keep you up-to-date with the plans as we find out about them. This is a link to the TfL site giving the current details.

Contraflow pedestrian!
Contraflow pedestrian!

It is startling to see the risks that some pedestrians are taking at this roundabout.  Where did she come from?  Where is she going?

Meanwhile here are some clips from Cycleoptic (copyright Steve Nattrass), taken 2 February on a sunny afternoon – not rush hour, showing that the roundabout is not for the faint hearted cyclist. The one taken at night was shot on Wednesday 26 February 2015, when it was a ‘Match night’ – Arsenal playing at home.

Archway plans are not safe enough for #space4cycling

Our suggestions (PC users, click to obtain a bigger image. Touch screen users, tap for a bigger image)

Update 11 Feb 2015

We met TfL on Friday 6 February and they showed us revised plans which take our suggestions into account.  We are waiting to hear for more information from them.   We feel the drawings we made [see above and below] were good solutions to our requests. [Also below]  We look forward to further dialogue with TfL. We are, of course, pleased with the overall concept of ridding Archway of its gyratory. (Also present at the meeting were members of Better Archway Forum and Jeremey Corbyn M.P.  A representative from Living Streets was unable to attend.)

This is from our post of 5 December 2014…

TfL's proposals for Archway (click drawing for larger image)
TfL’s proposals for Archway (click drawing for larger image) View as PDF

Islington Cyclists Action Group Response to Transport for London’s Proposals for Archway

We are pleased that TfL recognise Archway needs to be improved for pedestrians and people who want to cycle. While there are some good aspects to this proposal, especially segregated tracks and floating bus stops, we have serious misgivings around some aspects of the design which we are very keen to see revised.

  1. Various cycle movements are dangerous, and could be made safe with proper segregated tracks throughout and protected “T” junctions.
    1. Coming from Highgate Hill crossing Archway Rd to Archway Park: It would not be clear that you should go around the bus and not inside it on the cycle track, which would be more logical. It also requires you to turn right across left turning traffic. This is being removed at Oval because it is unsafe. It has no place in modern cycling designs. 
      1. Cyclists could have their own crossing linking the cycle track by Clerkenwell Building to the one on Archway Rd in one go.

        Comparing current dangerous proposals to what we could have there. Which would you prefer?
        Comparing current dangerous proposals to what we could have there. Which would you prefer?
    2. Coming from St Johns Way to Junction Road or into the new plaza: requires you to turn right across left turning traffic.
      1. A cycle track could fork from the Holloway Rd track and go straight in Junction Rd or join up with bike track going north from Holloway Rd.
    3. Coming from Junction Rd to St Johns Way there is another left hook risk: requires you to turn right across left turning traffic.
      1. A cycle track along the central Archway island along with a cycle crossing on Archway Rd would ensure these cyclists are safe.
      2. If a bus stop is placed here, the cycle track should go on the southern side of the road, forming a bidirectional with cycles coming west from St Johns Way.

        Space for cycling and accomodating more suitable bus stop by providing bidirectional on southern arm
        Space for cycling and accommodating a more suitable bus stop location by providing bidirectional on southern arm
    1. Coming from Archway Station up Highgate Hill: requires you to mix with traffic before joining the bike track again
      1. The bike track could easily join up by removing central island
    2. Coming down Highgate Hill: requires you to mix with buses and traffic at Bus Stop C
      1. Could be a floating bus stop and create a cycle track all the way to the new one opposite Archway Tavern.
  2. Various cycle movements are impossible / overly complicated despite being very obvious desire lines
    1. Not clear how to get from Archway station into Holloway Rd
      1. need a segregated track, clearly distinguishing bikes and pedestrians that links to the southbound Holloway Rd track.
    2. Make Mcdonald Rd and Vorley Rd two way for cycling
    3. Impossible to cross Archway Rd north of Toll House Way
      1. Need a link from Archway Rd (northbound) to Archway Rd/Harberton Rd, especially at  Despard Road and Waterlow Rd
    4. From St Johns Way, there should be a cycle track north up Archway Rd on the east side of the central island.
  3. As well as motor traffic / cyclists conflict, there is a worrying amount of built in pedestrian / cyclists conflict too
    1. The cycle track through the plaza should be clearly marked; eg with planters, boulders, or benches facing away from the tracks
    2. Where possible, bus stop bypasses should be larger to provide more space for bus passengers waiting and alighting
    3. Pedestrian provision could be improved by building out the corner of St Johns Way/Holloway Rd and Archway/Tollhouse Way. This could substantially simplify crossings by enabling one stage crossings and has the potential for creating a greater sense of place. We are aware this would involve some restructuring of the greenery, but this would be outweighed by the ability to interact with it and enjoy it more.

      Wider pavements Less conflict between people on bikes and on foot.  More accessible public space.  Wider floating bus stop
      Wider pavements
      Less conflict between people on bikes and on foot.
      More accessible public space.
      Wider floating bus stop
  4. Cycle parking
    1. None has been marked. We very much hope there is ample throughout the area.
    2. Ideally this should be safer than “Sheffield stands”. Even with CCTV, hundred of bikes have been stolen in Islington in recent years, with stations as particular crime hot spots.
  5. Continuation
    1. TfL should explore continuing the bike tracks down Holloway Rd and West through the  Girdlestone Estate
  6. Bus users
    1. It is frustrating for there to be 2 bus stops for buses going in the same direction – people just want the first one. Therefore bus stops V and D should be united on St Johns Way.
      1. If this was done, there would be a danger to cyclists, so a bidirectional track would be needed (as explained above)
      2. The removal of bus stops V and D would reduce any potential conflict between bus users and cyclists.
      3. Space by bus stop V could be used for substantial secure cycle parking.

This clip of video shows cyclists going through the Gyratory at present (09.12.14)

We did this clip of video for the Space for Cycling campaign; this was the ‘ask’ for the Hillrise Ward.  A couple of cyclists negotiating the Gyratory Southbound. Don’t forget to sign the petition in the latest part of the campaign!

No space4cycling in Caledonian Ward

Here’s an interesting exchange of emails between Caledonian Ward resident Richard Truscott,  ICAG coordinator Alison Dines and Councillor Paul Convery about space4cycling in Caledonian Ward and elsewhere.
On 29 April 2014 21:41, Richard Truscott wrote:

I was wondering what you’ve heard from Islington Labour (& indeed most if the other parties) so far? I’m surprised to see that on the website most candidates are not even listed, despite the confirmed nominations having been published for at least a week. I’m also surprised that all the Islington Labour candidates I’ve seen listed are marked as being opposed to Space4Cycling.

I increasingly think the Space4cycling campaign is badly misconceived; it is all too easy for candidates who are not going to be in power particularly, I notice, the Greens to support it, but it is not so easy if you are from a party that might, but have not had an opportunity to be involved in the selection of schemes. In my own ward, Caledonian, the scheme is on a road that Islington Council doesn’t control, as are several other schemes, whilst one is I understand for a scheme Islington Council proposed, consulted on and got an overwhelming negative consultation response.

I have copied this to 2 of my own ward councillors, who I know are in favour of cycling, and the Islington LCC / ICAG contact. I regret not taking part in the discussions in Islington, which I must have missed at a busy time, but I never heard anything like as much about the discussion in Islington, where I live, as I heard about the discussion in Haringey, where I work. I am an LCC member and thoroughly support the principles of Space4cycling, of giving cyclists safe space on the roads, where necessary (which will be a lot of the time) separated road space, either as physically segregated lanes or separate quiet roads, and ultimately normalising cycling.

On 29/04/14 23:45, Alison Dines wrote:

We chose some big schemes for the ward asks as we found that in the LCC survey many people highlighted how difficult it was to cycle in places like Highbury Corner or Archway. In Islington, Labour have replied as one party with the attached e-mail which includes a letter and spreadsheet and your e-mail is timely as we are discussing how best to use their response.  We are hoping for local ward engagement with the Space for Cycling campaign so I hope other Labour candidates will reply to the e-mails they receive.

On 30/04/14 11:21, Councillor Paul Convery wrote:
Dear Alison,
Thank you for copying me into this reply. It seems like I shall probably end up being marked down by LCC as “non-compliant” which will be pretty absurd. I am not backing the LCC “ask” for York Way for a number of reasons which I epxlian below. But am I still a pro-cycling, road safety supporter? Yes, absolutely. I ride a bike and use public transport. So does my entire family. I have never owned a car in my life. I don’t even posess a driver’s license. But the LCC campaign is just about to categorise me as a non-supporter, a bad person, an anti-cycling candidate.That is not good politics. I think LCC has really been a bit sloppy in picking some of the ward asks. Some are not merely practical and supportable, but Islington Council is already taking steps to implement them. Others e.g. the Tollington one, is very difficult because, it’s a scheme that recently went out to public consulation and was overwhelmingly not supported because it seemed to involved complex and adverse traffic displacement.The Caledonian ask is much more complicated than it seems even though, superficially, who could possibly not support it, as I’ve been asked? One correspondent who just wrote back to me this morning said “gosh how can’t you support this … didn’t you know a young woman died there some time ago”. Well, the fatality of Min Joo (“Deep”) Lee on October 3rd 2011 is deeply ingrained in my memory. I am one of a small number of people who has viewed the horrifying CCTV recording showing the moment she perished. That’s why I helped the campaign attempting to get TfL prosecuted for corporate manslaughter in that death.

The reply that I have sent to the approximately one dozen emailers says that there may be much safer ways to bring cyclists travelling north-south through our neighbourhood and through the Kings Cross junction in particular. I also mention that York Way is not an Islington Council controlled road because Camden is the highway authority and we therefore have less direct control over it than if it were an Islington road.

But I also think there may be higher priorities for cycle-friendly initiatives in Caledonian Ward, for example, east-west permeability and safer routes to school for children on bikes. I have not been party to the mechanism that, in the words of the campaign “local people have decided” they want a segreagted cycle lane on York Way. But this proposal has never been discussed with the Council and certainly not raised with members representing either Caledonian Ward or Somerstown Ward (the Camden side of the road).

York Way is a particularly difficult road not least because it forms part of the Kings Cross gyratory system. Over the past 4 years, we have worked hard to remove the gyratory system which blights hundreds of homes in our neighbourhood. The gyratory is mainly controlled by TfL who have proved very resistant to change until quite recently. However, as a first step, Islington Council is shortly going to return part of the Caledonian Rd to 2-way working. So, we are making some progress. As part of these works, a new crossing treatment will be engineered for cyclists at the junction of Caledonian Road and Killick Street.

My reservations about the York Way scheme are two-fold:
(a) we are trying to remove the KX gyratory and return roads to more conventional configurations because those are safer for a start (particularly for pedestrians). It may be that a segregated cycle lane on York Way can be integral to that but, on first sight, it looks more like an “ask” which could compromise the case for undoing the one-way traffic up York Way.
(b) the proposal’s rationale seems to be that you should add a further extension to the Elephant-Kings Cross North-South Cycle Superhighway. But the Superhighway to KX proposal has a serious flaw: it funnels even more traffic (cyclists) into the already overcongested Kings Cross junction. Kings Cross is now completely saturated by every mode of surface transport: pedestrians, vehicles, cyclists. And that is going to grow in the medium term. So, increasing the volume of any mode of transport right into the middle of the Kings Cross junction is crazy. In my view, we should test whether alternative routes through/around Kings Cross are better. After all, if you look at the S4C “ask” for Barnsbury Ward it mentions a scheme to encourage cyclists off Pentonville Road, onto an alternative parallel route which would then lead east-west cycle traffic to bypass Kings Cross. I think that’s a very sensible principle which we should apply to north-south cycle traffic too.

Obviously this is an election period. People use it to make demands. Fair enough. As candidates we are all big enough and experienced enough to take this on the chin. But it is not a good way for LCC to engage with a Labour led Council that is fundamentally committed to road safety and to encouraging cycling when you put-up demands which appear designed to “fail” some candidates not because they actually oppose more space for cyclists but because the proposal itself is too complicated to just superficially “support”.

On 30/04/14 17:27, Richard Truscott wrote:

I am a Labour Party member but I’m particularly motivated over Space4Cycling to ensure LCC & the cyclists cause is not marginalised as a fringe “outgroup” issue of only interest to extreme greens. That’s I suppose Labour philosophy in general; a force for progressive politics but that can command a majority; I argue in the Labour Party for cycling (& get a good hearing) but recognise it needs to be balanced against other worthy causes & what can be achieved. And I do believe it is practical & justify able to create more space for cycling, proper Dutch space; for instance I argued (too late it turned out) within LCC & within the Labour Party for Drayton Park to be properly Dutch-ified with continuous segregated cycle lanes, but I think helped get the rotten original scheme at least made less bad. I’m confident under Labour Islington would be keen to create good Dutch style segregated cycling facilities where achievable & commanding public support. So let’s avoid becoming marginalised and engage with all parties fairly!

Party responses to space4cycling

Use your vote!
Use your vote!

Thank you for taking part in the space4cycling campaign.  Here are the responses from the local political parties.  If you haven’t taken part yet or want to know more about this campaign then go to the London Cycling Campaign space4cycling site.

Islington Labour Party

Islington Labour Party has responded centrally to the ward asks.  Some candidates, Paul Convery, Theresa Debono,  have also written to their local voters. 

Monday 28 April 2014

Dear ICAG and LCC members and supporters,

I am writing on behalf of Islington Labour to thank you for the many emails you have sent to our council candidates across Islington (all of whom are listed here) with proposed suggestions for cycling improvements in their respective wards. We welcome the effect your campaign has had in raising awareness of the forthcoming elections among cyclists in the borough.

In reaction, please find in the spreadsheet attached here both your suggestions and Islington Labour’s collective responses in brief. We are responding together, as we agreed with London Cycling Campaign that we would, because we are standing in next month’s elections as Islington Labour – a single party, not just 48 separate individuals.

Islington Labour recognises that cycling is one of the most sustainable modes of transport and that it makes a significant contribution to reducing road traffic congestion and improving health. We support policies and projects that encourage cycling and improve safety for cyclists on all of Islington’s roads.

Over the past year, Islington’s Labour council has taken a number of major steps to improve safety for cyclists and all road users, including becoming the first London Borough (Camden and the City of London have since followed suit) to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all roads that the council controls. We are lobbying Transport for London to do the same on their roads in Islington and we are working with the Metropolitan Police Service to seek closer enforcement of the new limit over time.

In December, at the suggestion of London Cycling Campaign, we announced new measures to boost cycle safety through extra training for Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers working for the council, its contractors and major developers in the borough. According to London Cycling Campaign, no other borough in London has imposed this requirement on developers. This means many regular drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles in Islington will be required to take the Safe Urban Driving training course.

Islington’s Labour council continues to tackle accident hotspots across the borough, to make local cycle network improvements and to improve conditions for cyclists through road traffic engineering with projects that make physical improvements to our roads. These have recently included enhancements at: Goswell Road / Old Street; Brecknock Road / York Way; Mildmay Park; Caledonian Road (between Roman Way and Camden Road); Hornsey Road / Bavaria Road; Jackson Road / Lowman Road; Monsell Road; Hornsey Road; Archway Close; Caledonian Road / Copenhagen Street; Blackstock Road; Junction Road / Cathcart Hill; Old Street / Mallow Street; Clerkenwell Road / Britton Street; Liverpool Road; Essex Road; Tollington Park and Brewery Road. In the Bunhill area, for example, we have enhanced cycling facilities on Bunhill Row and supported EC1 NDC public space projects in Malta Street, Mitchell Street, Compton Street and Cyrus Street. We and our partners have also increased the number of bike stands and the amount of cycle parking in the borough, for instance on Gillespie Road and at Highbury Corner.

Islington’s Labour council also funds a series of initiatives to provide cycle training and make cyclists aware of road dangers. Every Islington primary school can take up free Bikeability cycle training and we also deliver Bikeability in half the borough’s secondary schools. On the first Sunday of Bike Week – that is 15 June 2014 – we will hold our highly successful Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling, in partnership with Haringey and Hackney councils. The Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling has been shortlisted twice in the National Transport Awards this year in the ‘Achievements in Cycling’ and the ‘Transport Partnership of the Year’ categories.

In January 2014, Transport for London informed the council of their commitment to deliver major improvements at key gyratories in Islington at Archway, Highbury Corner, King’s Cross, the Nag’s Head and Old Street. The council is working with Transport for London to ensure that these projects deliver very significant improvements for all road users, including cyclists, and also transform the environment in these areas for the better. Although these projects may take some time to complete, it is encouraging that this much-needed and long-awaited work is now moving forwards.

The coucil has also been investigating new cycle routes and route improvements across Islington. As you will appreciate, the council is under severe financial pressure, with the Tory-led government cutting our budget by a third over the past four years and with the worst ever cuts to local government still continuing, so available funding is being stretched to meet our existing essential obligations. However, early in 2013, City Hall announced that £913m is to be made available to improve cycling in London. Part of this funding is being offered to councils to fund the delivery of new cycle routes, so Islington Council has submitted a bid to Transport for London for an ambitious programme of new routes, as part of the development of a Cycling Grid for central London, a Cycle-to-School pilot project for Tufnell Park and the Quietways programme to provide better cycling links across Islington. We continue to lobby Transport for London and the Mayor of London to provide the funding to help us deliver these improvements, and we expect an announcement from Transport for London in May 2014 informing us which routes are being funded (with an announcement of the Cycle-to-School pilot project expected later now, in July). Any support you can express for the council’s proposals to the Mayor of London or Transport for London directly would help support our bid.

If funding is forthcoming, we will develop designs to create high quality routes. These could include segregation and other safety features. However, careful consideration will need to be given to any significant traffic displacement onto nearby residential roads. It is therefore crucial that all schemes that propose improvements are subject to extensive public consultation to allow local residents the opportunity to influence the types of improvements that are delivered, and to build support for any changes to local roads that impact on the local community.

Islington Labour will take onboard the suggestions you have made and we will look to act on them where we can. We would appreciate it if you could update the LCC website accordingly to reflect our support for cycling in the borough.

Islington Labour councillors, including myself, speak and meet regularly with John Ackers and other members of Islington Cyclists Action Group and with Tom Bogdanowicz and others from the London Cycling Campaign. We want to continue to work closely with you as we work together to make Islington as safe and welcoming for cyclists and pedestrians as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Andy Hull on behalf of Islington Labour’s council candidates 2014

Labour’s responses to each ward ask, updated on 6th May 2014 (google spreadsheet)

Labour’s responses to each ward ask with 2017 status updates added in an additional column

Councillor Paul Convery marks himself as “non-compliant” on the Caledonian Ward ask

The candidates for in Islington Liberal Democrat ward are responding to individual voters. 

Islington Liberal Democrats

LibDem John Gilbert writes to Alison Dines: 

Thank you for your recent email about the ‘Safe Space for Cycling’ campaign.

As a long-standing member of the London Cycling Campaign and a regular cyclist myself, I am writing on behalf of all three Liberal Democrat candidates in Highbury East ward – Terry Stacy, Julie Horten and myself, John Gilbert – to confirm our support for London Cycling Campaign’s proposal to provide protected cycling space at Highbury roundabout.  We have also let the London Cycling Campaign know that we back their proposals.

We know from personal experience that the current dangerous situation for cyclists at the roundabout needs to end.  Liberal Democrats in Highbury have been calling for improvements here for some time now.  When we ran the Council until 2010, we specifically set aside £1million to help remove the gyratory system at Highbury Corner and improve public access to Highbury & Islington station.  This included a new public square in front of the station, access to the green area at the centre of the roundabout, as well as cycle lanes separate from the rest of the traffic.  It is good news that the Mayor of London has finally agreed to progress this scheme in conjunction with works for the new Cycle Super Highway along Holloway Road.

We have also been involved in other campaigns to make cycling easier and safer in Highbury, such as:

  • new, secure bike parking facilities at Highbury Corner, Taverner and Peckett Squares
  • safer cycle paths in Drayton Park
  • improvements to the dangerous junction for cyclists and pedestrians at Holloway Road/Fieldway Crescent/Madras Place, on which we worked with community groups.
  • calling on the Council and Police to enforce the borough-wide 20mph speed limit
  • making the Council fill in potholes throughout the area, including our recent successes on Sotheby Road, Highbury Grange and Highbury New Park

While there has been a welcome rise in the number of cyclists in Islington and London generally, there is so much more that the Council could do though to make cycling more attractive and safer for Highbury residents.

In our manifesto for the elections on May 22nd, one of Islington Liberal Democrats’ key commitments is to extend the London Cycle Hire scheme across Islington.  This would encourage more residents to start cycling, improve health and fitness and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

We are also calling for the Council to use more of the money it makes from traffic fines and parking tickets on safer cycle facilities around the borough, such as improved junctions and segregated cycle paths.  There is, of course, a need to work closely with Transport for London on the roads they manage, but the Council could also be doing much more itself.  It was wrong of Labour councillors to axe the funding to make key junctions safer in their first budget after they took control in Islington in 2010.

I hope this answer is helpful.  Please let me know if you would like any further information.

With all best wishes

John Gilbert

Islington Green Party

Islington Green Party is responding centrally to individual voters. 

21 Apr 2014

Thank you for contacting us about the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for Space for Cycling.

As you will have seen from the LCC map, Islington Green Party is already supporting all 16 ward asks for Islington. Candidates standing for Islington Greens have a consistent track record on active cycle campaigning, including improving the Madras Place crossing, the Londoners on Bikes Mayoral Election campaign 2012 and supporting LCC campaign rides and Roadpeace vigils across London.  We care about cycling as much as you do.

The Green Party has a comprehensive range of policies supporting active travel and prioritising the movement of people on bikes and on foot over that of vehicles.  We see safer streets for cycling as part of the solution to reducing road danger, air pollution and carbon emissions and making our city more liveable.

Just today, Green MEP Jean Lambert has voted to introduce EU measures which will make cyclists more visible to lorry drivers. The Parliament also voted to postpone measures which would give the go-ahead to the cross-border movement of huge mega-trucks. Greens have been fighting hard to ensure that such measures were rejected, which would have put the HGV lobby before the interests of wider road-users.

Over fourteen years on the London Assembly, Jenny Jones AM has championed the cycling cause and demonstrated the commitment of Green politicians to meeting the needs of vulnerable road users.

Islington Green Party Councillor Katie Dawson (Highbury West 2006 – 2010) introduced the 20mph limit on all our residential roads.  Islington Greens campaigned and successfully made the case for 20mph limits on our main roads on the basis that the majority of serious collisions happen on main roads. We are now pressing TfL to bring 20mph limits to the Mayor’s roads.

Highbury East candidate Caroline Russell raised the issue of Lorry danger reduction in the Council chamber and we were very pleased that the Labour-led council took action to ensure all HGV drivers working on contracts in the borough undertake training.

Since the last election,  Labour has introduced over 800 additional parking bays across the borough, despite car ownership levels going down year on year.  The latest census shows only 35% of Islington residents have access to a car or van and the council’s policies should reflect that. Labour just don’t get that encouraging car use is the wrong solution for transport in islington.

Any elected Islington Greens will work with local residents and Islington Cyclists’ Action Group to help make our streets more  people-friendly, less vehicle-dominated, and great places to walk and cycle.

We care about cycling as much as you do. VOTE GREEN in Islington on 22nd May.

Best wishes

The Islington Green Party Team

PS Please check out our website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @islingtongreens @greenhighbury and @greenfinsbury, sign up for updates and if you can make a donation please do.  As a small but growing party we are dependent on multiple small donations from people like you.

Space for Cycling 2014 Campaign

At 4.00pm, 15.04.2014, 11431 messages had been sent London-wide and 13% of candidates are supporting us.

Thank-you Islington Greens!

If you’ve accessed the Space for Cycling website and already sent emails to the people shown in your ward, thank-you very, very much.   All of Islington’s Green candidates have signed up.

We have not been able to supply LCC with many email addresses for people standing for election for the Local Elections in Islington.  [There has been the same trouble with other inner London boroughs – we’re not alone!] So some of the wards will give few if any addresses apart from LCC Islington.  Please bear with us while we try to find out addresses for more candidates in Islington. We will be able to ask LCC to update the website as we go.  This type of campaigning (ward by ward) has not been done before – certainly in the UK, so LCC needs a little time to  correct teething problems. 

On 22nd May, London will be electing its local councillors.

Through the Space for Cycling Campaign, the London Cycling Campaign and all the local groups are going to make sure cycling is top of the agenda for every candidate at the election.

What’s the plan?

As Islington residents, we have worked out what key aspects of our wards could be improved to make it attractive for anyone to cycle. To make it simpler, we’ve got 6 “asks” to choose from.

  1. Protected space on main roads
  2. No through-motor-traffic zones
  3. 20mph speed limits
  4. Safer cycle routes to schools
  5. Liveable high streets
  6. More parkland routes

Now we have an ask for each ward, we will get every candidate to commit to carrying out our demand if elected.

What are the asks?


Provide protected space on York Way

Enable cyclists to cross Essex Road from Canonbury Street to Rotherfield Street

Convert Clerkenwell Road into the Clerkenwell Boulevard

Highbury East
Improve Highbury Park for cyclists

Protected cycling on Hillmarton, Caledonian and Parkhurst Roads

St Mary’s
Improve Canonbury Road for cyclists


Finsbury Park
Help cyclists get to Nag’s Head safely


Highbury West
Segregated cycle provision, road narrowing and lower traffic levels on Drayton Park

Develop a safe route to Mount Carmel School

Junction & St George’s
Develop a safe network of routes between local schools – see Tufnell Park Cycles to School


No through motorised traffic along Collier, Donegal and White Lion Streets

No through motorised traffic on Bath Street

Make King Henry’s Walk free from motor traffic

St Peter’s
Key streets to be filtered

Prevent ‘ratrunning’ between Hornsey Road and Stroud Green Road

For more information see our google.doc

We’ve made a map based on fantastic responses from Islington residents to the Space for Cycling Survey (best seen in “full screen”).  Is something glaringly obvious that should be included? Comment at the bottom of this page.

(special shout out to Alex Ingram and Hammersmith and Fulham crew for helping me with this.

After 12th Feb, we submitted our asks to LCC and now we’re asking cyclists [and friends!] to contact the individual candidates by all means available – email, Facebook, Twitter and even Royal Mail!

3. This is when the fun and games will really begin – we want to make some serious noise in Islington about Space for Cycling, and to do this we need as many people on board as possible to help, whether this is through organising events, contacting candidates, or getting friends and neighbours to support the campaign.

Any ideas are welcome, we’re thinking something on this scale would be good.

Mass cycling demo for Go Dutch

Mass cycling demo for Go Dutch 


More info please…

You can find out more about the London wide campaign on the dedicated #space4cycling website

For a quick summary of key issues identified so far for each ward, read on…

In December, LCC processed a survey of the 40,000 people on their contacts list. The results for Islington are below arranged by ward. They show the numbers of hits (of cycle facilities wanting improvement). Numbers of people voting from outside the borough are shown in brackets. Schemes that rely on action from Transport for London are written in blue. For brevity some sites have been amalgamated. Thanks to all involved for producing the data and to Lydia for her preliminary work. The numbers are indicative only; extracting these results was not an exact science.

Barnsbury 8 [5] Angel Crossroads

Bunhill 7 [12] Old St Roundabout, Bunhill Road 3

Caledonian 1 [1] Pentonville Road

Canonbury 1 Essex Road

Clerkenwell 1 [8] Clerkenwell Road

Finsbury Park 9 [7] Nag’s Head Gyratory

Highbury East 0 [3] Green Lanes

Highbury West 2 Drayton Park

Hillrise 1 Hornsey Rise

Holloway 17[15] Holloway Road *

Junction 13[12] Archway Gyratory, TPC2S 1

Mildmay 0 [10] Balls Pond Road/Dalston Junc

St George’s 4 Camden Road

St Mary’s 10[4] Highbury and Islington Corner, 4[5] Essex Road

St Peter’s 4 [2] New North Road, 1[3] The canal

Tollington 3 Hornsey Road

Kings Cross 6 [8]

* includes junction Camden Road and Tollington Road

TPC2S stands for Tufnell Park Cycles to School

Support Space for Cycling
Map of Islington Ward boundaries at 300 dpi

Islington’s bit of the Central London Grid

Islington section of the Central London Grid
Islington section of the Central London Grid

Here’s What Tfl and Islington Council have proposed

As part of the Mayor’s Cycling Vision, Islington Council has proposed the following quietways which will form part of the Central London Grid.

Routes proposed LBI for feasibility and design studies

Route 1 – Clerkenwell Road – Old Street Roundabout

Wards – Bunhill, Clerkenwell

Measures to be considered include: cycle lane segregation, alterations to bus lanes and stops along the wider sections of the route and an assessment of signalised junctions for cycle facility improvements.

Route 2 – Penton Street, Amwell Street, Rosoman Street, Skinner Street, Percival Street, Lever Street, Bath Street, Bunhill Row, Chiswell Street, Finsbury Square

Wards – Bunhill, Clerkenwell, Barnsbury

Measures may include: traffic signals alterations, traffic management improvements and cycle facility upgrades.

Route 3 – Lloyd Baker Street (& Wharton St), River St, Myddleton Sq, Chadwell St, Owen St, Colebrook Row, Gerrad Rd Burgh St, Arlington Avenue

Wards – Clerkenwell, Bunhill, St Peter’s

Measures may include: surface repairs, provision of cycle contraflow lanes and traffic management improvements.

Route 4 – Vincent Tce, Graham St, Central St, Golden Lane, Banner St, Featherstone St, Leonard St

Wards – St Peter’s, Bunhill

Measures may include: traffic management measures and the provision of improved cycle facilities.

Route 5 – St John Street

Wards – Clerkenwell, Bunhill

Measures may include: surface repairs and the provision of cycle lanes. The scheme includes a review and assessment of signalised junctions along the route.

Route 6 – Ray St, Farringdon Lane, Turnmill St, Cowcross Street

Wards – Clerkenwell

This route links to TfL’s proposed north / south cycle superhighway. Measures may include: the provision of traffic signal improvements, contraflow cycle lane provision and road safety improvements along the route.

Route 7 – Wharfedale Rd, Killick St, Collier St, Donegal St

Wards – Caledonian, Barnsbury

Measures may include: a road closure, cycle permeability, segregated cycle lanes and TfL signal upgrades.


Here’s what we have said to TfL (Feb 14th 2014)

We have set up a google spreadsheet [Tom’s Grid thoughts] with our thoughts about each of the routes in the grid. In addition there are recommended interventions plus some additional routes. It’s not easy to view so we’d be happy to provide it in a different format. Our views about the Islington section of the Central London grid are slow evolving and we expect to update this speadsheet over the next few weeks.

We also have a [this] web page where we expect to collect more comments over the next few weeks.

Cycling on the vast majority of the streets is very unpleasant and scary. While it might not be all that dangerous statistically speaking on all roads, many people are put off because of cars and vans parking in the path of cyclists, people unexpectedly opening doors, people in cars going too fast down side streets to avoid main roads, and the general speed, noise, and pollution that roads with lots of traffic have.

We like bold interventions such as filtered permeability which can be very cost effective, or alternatively light (Royal College Street style) segregation that enables people of all ages and abilities to get on to a bike.  We do not like the small incremental changes often favoured by Islington Council.

We like the concept of the Clerkenwell Boulevard advocated by Andrea Casalotti. We recognise that this is a large scheme with significant challenges but there are enormous rewards especially for the many Hackney Cyclists that cycle from Old Street Roundabout into Central London.

Related links

Here is a google map with the routes overlaid. Purple is what LBI proposed to us, Orange is what Tom thinks we should add, light blue is key routes connecting into Islington.

London Cycling Campaign’s response to Central London Grid Feb 14th 2014

Our response to the 2013 Cally Plan

Islington Cyclists’ Action Group submission to the Consultation on the “Cally Plan, Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) August 2013

We welcome efforts by Islington Council and the Caledonian Ward Partnership to improve the Cally. In particular we welcome the stated goal of making walking and cycling in the area easier. We think that making cycling safer and more convenient should be prioritised in the plan, especially supporting cycling among people who tend to be less confident about cycling including: families, young people and older people.

This goal should be prioritised because it is the best way to bring shoppers from other neighbourhoods into Caledonian Rd. It would also significantly improve the lives of residents by promoting cycling as a viable way of shopping, commuting to work and of children getting to and from school thus reducing congestion and promoting public health.

Thanks to traffic calming measures which already exist in Barnsbury and, to a lesser extent, in the Bemerton Estate there are great opportunities for linking together safe cycle routes. However, there is an urgent need to provide safe crossing points for less confident cyclists across Caledonian Rd, York Way and Copenhagen Street.

In this consultation response we first consider Opportunities and Challenges for the Cally and highlight the need to improve access for less confident cyclists. We go on to give specific recommendations for the plan which are:

  1. Provide safe crossing points across Caledonian Road for cyclists
  2. Provide a cycle route along Bingfield Park southern edge
  3. Improve cycle permeability along Tilloch Street, Bridgeman Rd and Richmond Ave
  4. Improve the junction of Copenhagen St and Caledonian Rd for pedestrians and cyclists
  5. Provide crossing points on York Way for cyclists
  6. Provide direct access from York Way to Outram Place for pedestrians
  7. Provide a cycle crossing across Copenhagen St for primary schools and children’s centre
  8. Encourage housing associations to provide more access for cyclists
  9. Increase cycle parking throughout the area
  10. Ensure cycle training is available for less confident cyclists
  11. Block off the traffic cut-through along Bemerton St, Twyford St and Bingfield St

We end the document by urging more enforcement against antisocial cyclists along pavements but point out that blocking off Tilloch St to cycling is no solution.

About us:
Islingon Cyclists’ Action Group (ICAG) is a volunteer run group of local residents who work to improve facilities for cyclists and encourage more people to take up cycling. ICAG was formed in 1976. Find out more: Coordinator contact: alison.dines at

Opportunities and Challenges for the Cally
We broadly agree with the Opportunities and Challenges outlined in section 1.3 of the document. However, the following opportunities should also be mentioned in the document

  • Promoting cycling in the Cally could bring significant numbers of customers to local businesses especially as it is a thoroughfare for cycling commuters and many young families live within close cycling distance.
  • Improving walking and cycling routes could significantly reduce congestion from local motorists
  • There is a lot of potential to link safe cycling routes across the major road barriers if safe crossing points are provided for cyclists especially across Caledonian Rd and York Way

The following challenges should also be mentioned:

  • Caledonian Road itself is still a major barrier for less confident cyclists who are unwilling to make right turns or cross Caledonian Rd without dismounting.
  • Other barriers to cycling and walking include York Way, Copenhagen St, Regents Canal and the railway line.
  • Several roads are used as “cut-throughs” for cars, taxis and HGVs especially Bemerton Street, Twyford Street and Bingfield Street which makes them unsafe for local residents and cyclists.

Prioritise improving access for less confident cyclists:

Cycling improvements in London often tend to be aimed at trying to calm the traffic along major arterial roads by encouraging cycling commuters to use these routes and mix together with vehicular traffic. While this is a valid strategy to make the roads safer for pedestrians and more confident cyclists we believe more needs to be done to promote cycling among less confident cyclists. These are people who might be willing to go shopping by bike in their local neighbourhood or take young children to school or nursery by bike if roads were improved and would include young people who are still learning about road safety and older people who might use cycling as a way of staying active. We believe the Cally Plan could make progress in improving cycling among the above groups if roads were made safer through the following measures:

Specific Recommendations:

Cycle Routes and Bicycle Permeability:

In the long term the best way of encouraging less confident cyclists would be to provide separated cycle lanes along the entire length of Caledonian Rd. This could be most easily achieved along the stretch between the Canal and the railway bridge because of its superior width. However, in the shorter term the following measures should be taken:

  1. Need for crossing points across Caledonian Road

We welcome the plans to institute an east-west cycle route across Bemerton estate. However, for this to be effective adequate crossing points for less confident cyclists must be provided across Caledonian Road. We recommend that these could be provided to link Lyon Street with Huntingdon Street, Bridgeman Road with Tilloch Street and Richmond Avenue with either Bingfield Street or Richmond Avenue. These could be provided in the form of pelican style traffic lights with “green cycle” symbols that link up with separated cycle lanes that would allow less confident cyclists to reach side roads without having to cycle on Caledonian Road. Alternatively, “Give way to cyclist” signs, road markings and raised crossing points could be instated to provide a kind of cyclist equivalent of a zebra crossing.

  1. West/East Cycle Route

We welcome plans for an east west cycle path through the Bemerton Estate. This should be of a high quality and well lit. The route provided for cyclists should be free from pot holes, road defects and should allow cyclists to avoid speed bumps.

In addition to the proposed cycle route around the north side of Bingfield Park there should also be a cycle route around the south of Bingfield Park either by providing a direct link between Bingfield Street and Randell’s Road or by providing a cycle route within the park along its southern edge. This would have the advantage of linking the new Kings Cross railway lands development with the heart of Caledonian Road, improving the likelihood that cycling commuters, families and young people from other areas will start to see the shopping street in Caledonian Road as a destination, rather than just an area to pass through.

  1. Cycle permeability for the side roads around Caledonian Road

We welcome plans to pedestrianize the area of Carnoustie Drive between Tilloch Street and Freeling Street and the plan to provide a cycle lane through this pedestrianized area. However, we would strongly urge that a cycle lane should also be provided through Tilloch Street and Bridgeman Road to provide a way for less confident cyclists to cross Caledonian Rd to the facilities of Bridgeman Road including the park, library and the cycling route up to Upper Street. The crossing between Tilloch Street and Bridgeman Road is the obvious point for less confident cyclists to cross Caledonian Road without having to cycle along Caledonian Road and should therefore be opened for them.

Further cycle permeability could be provided by making Richmond Ave two-way to cyclists, while remaining one way for cars.

The improvements should also include creating cycle access from Caledonian Road onto Huntingdon St. We understand that the dropped curb was removed at this junction to prevent access by mopeds. This problem should instead be resolved by installing enforcement cameras to stop mopeds using cycle accesses.

  1. Improve junction between Copenhagen St and Caledonian Rd for pedestrians and cyclists

This junction could be much improved for cyclists and pedestrians by:

  • increasing the timings to allow pedestrians more time to cross the road
  • having a separate green light for cyclists so that they can start before the cars.


  1. Improve Copenhagen Street

On the consultation it is indicated that Copenhagen Street is intended to provide a safe cycle path from Caledonian Way to York Way. However, the width restrictions combined with speed humps on Caledonian Road do not provide a safe environment for cyclists because cars and taxis especially often try to cut in front of cyclists ahead of the width restrictions. We suggest that parking should be reduced so that a separate, segregated cycle lane could be provided in a westerly direction provided by armadillos similar to the Camden Royal Camden scheme. The existing width restrictions should be retained in the easterly direction with a separate cycle lane provided in the lead up to the junction with Caledonian Road in an easterly direction.


  1. Provide crossing points on York Way for pedestrians and cyclists

Due to the weight of traffic and the importance of the Railway Lands development behind Kings Cross there is a desperate need for safe crossing points across York Way. These should include:

  • A combined pedestrian and cycle crossing point from Randell’s Road to Beaconsfield Street.
  • An improved junction between Copenhagen Street, York Way and Copenhagen Street including a cycle lane along the south side of Copenhagen Street approaching the junction, and timed traffic lights to allow cyclists to set off before cars.


  1. Improve Pedestrian Permeability from Bemerton Estate to York Way

There is a lack of pedestrian permeability between the Bemerton Estate and the new development to the West of York Way. This could easily be provided by making a gap in the barrier between York Way and the car park behind the maisonettes on the west side of Outram Place which would make a pedestrian route that linked up with an existing zebra crossing on York Way.

Team Cally should lobby to improve York Way for cyclists and pedestrians, especially by providing separated cycle lanes in both directions


  1. Provide a crossing point for cyclists across Copenhagen St

Young families could be encouraged to bring their children to school by bicycle by providing a safe cycle crossing next to the zebra crossing on Copenhagen Street from Bemerton Street to Treaty Street where two primary Schools are located (Blessed Sacrament School and Copenhagen St School)


  1. Encourage housing associations to provide more access for cyclists through their estates:

In particular this could help improve cycle routes for less confident cyclists:

  • Around the back of the Cally Pool by providing a route along Stanmore St and through the Harry Weston Housing Cooperative car park.
  • From Twyford Street to Copenhagen St behind the Cooperative Petrol Station and Orkney House
  • Along Bryan St on the east side of Caledonian Rd between Copenhagen St and Carnegie St.

Housing associations should also be encouraged to provide more secure and dry cycle parking for residents.


  1. Improved Cycle parking throughout the area
    We welcome the plans to increase bicycle parking along Caledonian road. Cycle parking could also be installed to prevent parking on pavements instead of bollards. The advantage of using cycle parking for this purpose is that they would provide a dual function.


  1. Ensure cycle training is available for parents, young people and older people

Islington’s cycle training should be advertised and targeted at youth centres, in schools and at children centres in the neighbourhood. Parents should be given advice on safe methods to bring their child to school and nursery. Cycling training and free bike mechanics could also be provided at the Cally Festival to engage young people with this issue. By increasing confidence of families and young people on residential roads we would create a critical mass of cyclists who would encourage motorists to use these roads more carefully.


  1. Stop taxis and other traffic using Bemerton St, Twyford St and Bingfield St as a cut through

At the moment it is unsafe for families and young people to cycle along Bemerton St, Twyford St and Bingfield St because these routes are routinely used as a cut through for taxis and other traffic avoiding the junction between Caledonian Road and Copenhagen Street. This could easily be solved by blocking off Bemerton Street just south of the junction with Twyford Street, providing an access only for cyclists. At the same time Bingfield Street should be made one way in a westerly direction on the west side of Bemerton Street and one way in an easterly direction on east side of Bemerton St. (See map below) Both streets should remain two-way for cyclists.


Bemerton Street
Bemerton Street



Antisocial cycling”

We are aware of the recent problem of a small minority of people cycling dangerously along the pavements of Caledonian Rd. Enforcement action should be taken to stop this behaviour – which could take the form of patrols by Community Police Officers at problem times. At the same time safe alternative routes must be provided for young people especially as cycling along the road itself may seem very intimidating for many young people, especially if they have not had cycle safety training.

This issue seems to have been confounded with another recent phenomenon of young people “gathering on bikes” on Tilloch St which seems to have come up in your consultation with local businesses (mentioned on page 3 of the Consultation Statement). We would point out that “gathering on bikes” is not in itself antisocial behaviour. If there are other related instances of antisocial behaviour these need to be better explained.

Putting barriers across Tilloch Street to prevent cycling is a misguided policy as it will not prevent people cycling on pavements in any other area of Caledonian Rd. Also it will remove the most obvious point for less confident cyclists to cross Caledonian Rd.


Related reading

Adopted Cally Plan 2014

Caledonian Ward Improvement Plan