• Sorry, a load of suggestions – I think it’s really good but could do with a polish!

    – I assume #1 is highest priority? Might seem obvious to most but using descriptive names “1 – highest priority” or similar might help people instantly engage with the content.
    – It might make sense to highlight the ones we consider easy wins. This runs the risk that the ones we haven’t classified as easy wins get ignored, but the reality is that they are probably looking at squeezed budgets and pragmatically it might be a good way to work with them. It also helps put the onus on them.
    – Where there’s an issue which could be dealt with at zero expenditure (enforcement of speed limits on problematic stretches etc.) these should also be highlighted separately.
    – Where there are items which are vague (like my suggestion that we really need some decent North South routes) I think these should be edited out or moved to the introduction/discussion section of the document. As I understand it this is a list of specific actions we’re calling for. I think this includes any suggestion with a question mark – either we should know what’s needed, or we should find out, or we should remove it!
    – Where two wards are listed for an item we want to make sure it turns up in both when the list is sorted. Currently it will appear next to the one listed first and not near the other ward. I suggest splitting them in to two identical items with a note on the description of each like “[caledonian section]”.

    Sorry this is being a bit picky, but the great thing is you’ve got a really good list together with loads of information and there’s a lot we can do with it. That said I don’t really understand local government so am prepared to accept if my suggestions aren’t all appropriate. Also I realise different people would edit it differently.

    I think a great way to use this list would be to encourage people to do an email campaign targeted on a ward level – all it needs is a proforma letter template which we paste in the relevant information for the 16 different wards. People can then personalise it as they see fit, similar to the safer lorries campaign. I’m not sure how hard this would be…


    • John A

      Fred, thanks from your feedback.

      On the key issue of funding, the Mayor has just announced a big and potentially funded cycling programme e.g. for Quietways so the funding situation is generally getting more promising, I think we’ll know more in the next few weeks. This is partly why we are meeting with officers.

      All the useful, easy wins should be priority 1 and 2. If we’ve buried an easy win, shout. I agree that we should put enforcement in a separate table.

      On the issue of north-south routes, I have deliberately left that high in the list to prompt discussion. My feeling is that we need to remove a lane from Seven Sisters Rd or Isledon Road and creating a Dutch quality segregated route that feeds into Penn Rd, and then into the Camden cycling route into Camden Town. That’s more SW-NE.

      We (and LCC) do want to engage with councillors more on ward issues, this is just a first step. Using the table link above, google will let us to search any column for, say, Highbury East so as not to miss anything that falls into two wards but we can probably add links to create tables for any of the 16 wards.

      • Hi John,

        Having the easy wins in the higher priorities makes sense.

        I agree that pragmatically linking in to Camden’s cycle network is a good move, but if anyone from the council reads this I hope that gets them thinking! Creating a Dutch style 2 way cycle lane to cut out the Sobel Centre gyratory (on either road or both!) would be good – Isledon Road is really terrible to cycle on.

        As mentioned above I think that a start would be stretches of route which really feel like bikes have been consistently designed for without gaps – the longer the better. Hopefully some of these will link up and it will start to become a network.

        I would rather a few good routes than a scatter-gun of measures, even if this means that they are not well spread out, because I think real routes will do more to get new people cycling.

        We almost need to highlight packages of several measures which would make a route really worthwhile, coupled with upgrading the links on to these routes to get the cyclists off the main roads – your map is pretty good for this already.


    • John A

      Answering your post elsewhere “Maybe I’m missing some existing routes, but if you live right near the
      North of the borough (Archway for instance) and want to get to Old
      Street, Farringdon or Kings Cross & back, I don’t feel there’s much
      of a route which joins up.” – you are not missing anything. The route might be Archway to Highbury Corner on CSH (not yet designed or built) then have a look at the Rotherfield Street route proposed by Matthew H. Another option is Horney Rd which is recommended cycle route but it’s stuffed full of parking. Please make suggestions.

      • Having stared at a map for a while, perhaps there could be a route to take people off the Caledonian Road at Roman Way, and connect up to the route on Thornhill Road. I know this route works OK ish going north, but connecting on to it heading south isn’t obvious/easy… I might try out those back streets next week.

        I can see Hornsey Road is a better option if you live on that side of Holloway Road. From the far side it’s a detour across the A1 just to end up back on the A1 a little down the road.

        I think a priority should be to make the cycle infrastructure feel more like routes. That might mean just making existing routes work or improving access to a quiet route, forming links or putting in new routes. I don’t think that the really patchy routes work for cyclists whether they are experienced or not. Inexperienced riders aren’t going to be tempted on to the roads by routes which are 75% absent, and experienced riders won’t make the detour to use them.

        At the same time for many journeys currently they are on main roads so trying to mitigate the worst points on main roads is also important (although I don’t think this will do much to get new cyclists). We should definitely try to get TFL to spend some money in the borough, there must be a budget for cycling…

        • Update: I tried the Roman Way route today, this is probably a good example of what not to do:

          – Decent cycle lane for 100m

          – A junction with MacKenzie Road which is confusing, ridiculous and in my experience pretty dangerous (see below)!

          – Nothing, nada, it’s just a road with speed bumps.

          The confusing & ridiculous thing about the junction is that the only way for cyclists to proceed is for them to become pedestrians, press the button and wait for the green man, except there’s no button or lights for the cycle lane, so actually they really do need to leave the cycle lane and use the pedestrian crossing (I am not kidding) – presumably dodging the people trying to cross the road when they cycle?

          The dangerous part is that if you stay on the road, which I often do when cycle lanes are ridiculous, there are no ‘no entry’ signs for continuing to the junction, and it’s only when you half way in to the junction you realise it’s lights controlled (because there are no traffic lights pointing in the direction of the cyclists) and you might die.

          There really should be some signs on that, because otherwise it looks a lot like a legal entry to the junction. I think whoever designed that junction has a lot of explaining to do – it manages to be both unsafe & inconvenient for cyclists, which is an achievement for a quiet junction on a back street! For me, this junction on it’s own would persuade me not to use this route.

          Apart from the junction, I tried to make this link through and it didn’t much, but possibly it could link through to Barnsbury Road or Amwell Street with a few cycle lanes etc. That route is already well used because it is consistent & links up, so helping more cyclists use it would be building on something tried and tested (coming from the west of Holloway Road I don’t know a good link on to this).

          Conclusion – this route is a great example of something I think we should avoid: bitty, leads cyclists in to a dangerous road design, does not provide a convenient route & doesn’t connect to anything.

          As it stands, the money spent on this 100m lane doesn’t seem like a good investment, however I do really like the idea of making one way road two ways for cyclists and these could have some easy wins (I’ve read this post about that http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/exempting-cyclists-from-traffic-orders-leadership-is-needed/).

          Possibly this route could be made to work, but there’s quite a lot wrong with it so there are probably easier wins…

          P.s. Sorry for all the posts, and the length, and the links (it’s not my blog, honest) – that’s enough for now!

          • The MacKenzie Road junction/cross-road dangerous for another reason: the directions for cars to turn right IN FRONT OF ONE ANOTHER into north & south sections of Roman way are potentially lethal in my view as this position blocks view of oncoming traffic – raised this years ago with Martin Holland when arrows first painted on to MacKenzie Road.

  • Steve Hounslow

    Re Highbury Corner, I agree that some markings leading up to the crossing to
    Highbury Place would be useful, as would some sort of cycle lane markings
    round those parts of the roundabout that don’t have a bus lane. Only
    re-engineering of the entire space will make it welcoming for cyclists
    though, so I think we should push for that to happen as quickly as possible
    (I will pursue a date for the consultation).

    Re the other items on the list of hazards in my ward, St Mary’s, I think a
    higher priority should be given to the proposal to add advance stop lines at
    the Upper Street/Islington Park St, Canonbury Lane junction. And I think
    the whole of the south side of Canonbury Square should be closed to
    through-motor traffic eg with bollards abutting Canonbury Road (this is a
    development of Ralph’s suggestion). I think most of the residents would buy
    into this as they would no longer be hemmed in by traffic and it would
    probably make their property even more valuable! You could either retain the
    parking spaces or better still do away with them altogether and open up the
    square as a larger public space (BTW I speak as a car owner who needs a
    little encouragement to get rid of it).

    Bearing in mind the council’s focus on Caledonian, Holloway and Finsbury
    Park wards , I think the junction of Hornsey Road and Seven Sisters Road
    should be a “Priority 1” . That’s because Sussex way is a fantastic way of
    avoiding Hornsey Lane and even has its own cycle pedestrian bridge over the
    railway line at its northern end.

    Elsewhere in Caledonian ward, lowering the kerb from Bridgeman Road onto
    Caledonian Road would be a good east west route through Barnsbury more

    • John A

      Steve, We pushed the Sussex Way issue and the ASL.

      I think what you say about Canonbury Square sounds good but think the benefit to cyclists is limited. The infrastructure may be cheap but there would have to be consultation. I would talk to your ward councillors as their support would be essential.

      I hope it can be included in icag tour on April 20th. All your 3 items now in the list.

      • Steve Hounslow

        Sure – maybe Canonbury Sq is more one for Living Streets – thanks for the contacts in email. Good to keep pushing on Sussex Way and the Canonbury Lane ASL

        • Hi Completely agree about coming off Hbury Corner and turning right up Highbury Place. Cars just don’t understand why you are placing yourself so far to the right. Anything to clarify the cyclists positioning to un-comprehending drivers would be a help.

          Re Canonbury Square. The south side of the square already has light traffic flow of vehicles and people on bikes/foot. I can’t see anyone having the political appetite to reduce it further as the benefits would not be transformatory enough. I think there are other battles to fight on crowded (walking/cycling) desire line routes where the benefits of better provision for people walking and cycling could be greater.

          • Steve Hounslow

            I see I have some convincing to do! I was actually envisaging, at its most ambitious, something I think would be transformative – opening up the south side of this beautiful but car-dominated square as a larger, car-free public space.

            I was very impressed by an article by Mike Cavenett in the April/May edition of London Cyclist (not available online as far as I can see) about “traffic evaporation”, a principle apparently now belatedly accepted by TfL whereby transferring road space away from private cars leads to falls in traffic (a good example was the dedicated Olympics lanes last year). You may already be aware of this but it was a revelation to me – especially as I own a car for historical reasons and am looking for a good reason to abandon it.

            It’s all very much in keeping with the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling which talks about “my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich”.

            Of course this idea would require the support of the square’s residents and I don’t actually know whether they would give it. They would surely welcome less traffic but would they accept a loss of parking spaces? And the cost of re-fashioning the square would be substantial for what is (as Caroline observes) a place with relatively low footfall. So I’m not sure I’ll have any luck getting this particular idea into the Ward Improvement Plan but I think the principle is sound.

          • Adrian Williams

            (Belated addition.)
            I can’t see the point of closing the south side of Canonbury Square. Both south sections of Canonbury Sq are one-way and allow drivers moving north on Canonbury Rd to turn left or right before the traffic lights at the north of the square. That reduces congestion at the lights and means fewer problems for any southbound cyclists wanting to turn left or right at the lights.
            Having said that, there isn’t much traffic in the south side of the square so that’s where the residents have their car parking and there isn’t much parking space nearby so they would object to losing it. Also any vehicles going into the southern sections to service the houses would not turn easily if closed off because the roads are narrow.

            I don’t see any changes proposed for the square in the current WIP for St Mary’s Ward but there is a section: “Accident reduction, road safety and environmental improvements for vulnerable road users (incl.pedestrians and cyclists)” Priority 2 so it won’t be done soon. No details.
            Further down the WIP list is a section on Canonbury Rd streeetscape improvements (priority 3) with the statement “Works were programmed to be completed Feb/Mar 2011 (£29.5k costs from ‘pothole’ fund).” I don’t have any confidence in LBI doing these jobs.

          • Recently saw car turn left into Highbury Place from Holloway Road!!!!!

  • John A

    Keith, Chris and I met with council officers this afternoon and we all thought it had been a pretty constructive meeting.

    Thanks to all those that submitted quick wins a few months ago and the
    more recent suggestions from Fred, Paul S, Matthew, Sharon, Janine,
    Olaf, Jono, Sharon, James G, David, Steve, Stephen T.

    We spent the bulk of the meeting going through about the first 30 or so of the suggestions. One of the officers had already been through the list was able to point to duplicates – which was pretty impressive.

    We agreed to categorise each item as permeability, ADSL,
    enforcement, cheap/quick win etc. They asked us to prioritise for
    example our ASL requests as (i think) they need signals timing changes
    and some involve TfL. For their part, they are going to come back and
    suggest which items might be funded from Ward Improvement Plans budgets (and need local councillor
    lobbying), the Local Implementation Plan budget from TfL or the larger new Mayor’s Cycling Vision budget.

    Briefly on specifics, we need to provide more detail about what’s wrong with Penton
    Street and Amwell Street (James). Officers seemed to be sympathetic to our view
    that Douglas Rd/Islay Walk should be reopened to cyclists but they
    actually said nothing.

    We had problems convincing them that Calshot Steet needed work as one of
    the officers cycles it regularly and said it was quiet. We didn’t discuss closing off one
    side of Canonbury Square, sorry not sure why it didn’t appear higher on
    the list but will fix this.

    Officers quite interested in Willowbridge Road, Rotherfield Street eventually to Old St and will discuss with Hackney.

    They said they have a cycle parking budget. We agreed to
    prioritize/itemise/separate out our parking needs. This seems to be an
    eternal problem as there is no single repository of all cycling requests
    either at LCC or ICAG or LBI.

    At the very start of the meeting, council officers briefly listed about 10
    different new routes that they were interested in but would provide more
    detail after subsequent meetings. They seem keen on Clerkenwell Road and
    Old Street as part of the Mayor’s zone 1 grid. The routes were mainly
    E-W and had been proposed after officers had met with Camden and Hackney
    counterparts; Andrew Gilligan is very keen on long, continuous, high
    quality routes. So are we!

    I also threw in creating a route from Camden Town, Penn Rd (that bit
    exists) to Finsbury Park along either Seven Sisters Rd or Isledon Rd,
    Dutch and segregated, and none of the officers fell of their chairs (they would have done a year ago). Fred, sorry we didn’t discuss other north-south routes. BTW Andrew
    Gilligan is talking about scrapping some CSHs because he thinks they
    will be too poor quality but we don’t know if that includes the
    Islington Upper St/Holloway Rd scheme.

    We’re expecting to meet again in a few weeks when the guidelines to bid
    for money from the Mayor’s Cycling Vision budget are more clear.


  • Attilathecyclist

    My views on –

    Amwell Street – problem is mainly with cars parking southbound after
    River Street on the downhill that force you out into the traffic. Also
    cycle lane is within car door width on northern section both sides of
    the road. Cars don’t respect the ASL at the bottom of the hill either.

    Thornhill Road / Barnsbury Road / Penton Street drag –

    Northbound – where BR meets Copenhagen St ASL is rarely observed.

    Southbound – Thornhill Primary causes lots of problems – car doors
    opening, cars pulling out of parking spaces without looking, Lofting
    Road junction always sees cars pulling out on cyclists. Whole of BR is a
    car door accident waiting to happen (cars try to bully you out of
    outside lane if you do try to take it). Tolpuddle Street junction needs
    a yellow box as cars are always blocking cyclists having found they
    have no space to enter Penton Street having turned left out of Tolpuddle
    St. Cycle lane after Chapel Market normally has a parked lorry or two
    in it. White Lion Street junction always has vehicles thinking its OK
    to cross Penton Street whilst cars are stationary southbound on Penton
    only to find they nearly take out half a dozen cyclists. Cycle lane
    south of White Lion often occupied by cars.

    ASL with Pentonville Road often not observed. Pedestrians a positive
    menace what with stepping out on cyclists almost everywhere along that

  • I would like to add another potential project to permeability, which would open up a convenient parallel route to going through Highbury Barn.

    The roadway between Panmure Close (which runs off Aubert Park nr junction with Avenell Road) and Leigh Rd (which runs around to Highbury Fields) is blocked by fire access gates, and made unnecessarily annoying on a bike because of pedestrian chicanes.

    This could be a quiet, safe (provided Panmure Cl was resurfaced!) and convenient alternative to Highbury Barn – there is a pedestrian route that runs across the path from one estate to another, but there are chicanes on both sides that could stay to ensure that bikes stay on the cut through.

    I wonder if these were installed because mopeds used to cut through this stretch of road, but my impression is that this is much less of an issue in the borough than it once was.

  • Brian Jones

    Make Northchurch Road permeable for cyclists only by placing bollards somewhere between Southgate and Essex Road.

    This would extend the filtered permeability that already exists along Northchurch on the De Beauvoir side of Southgate.

    Northcurch is not necessary as a cut though for cars as it duplicates the parallel routes that can be driven on Englefield and Haliford Street/Downham Road.

    • John A

      Brian, that’s a good idea. Is there much through traffic on this road at the moment? I think councillors would want to do a local consultation and we need to make our case.

      • Brian Jones

        Not a whole lot of traffic but I have been overtaken dangerously many times by cars rat-running up to Essex Road. It also seems to make sense to continue the line of filtered permeability that exists on the Hackney portion of Northchurch. The fact that there are parallel routes very nearby strengthens the case to make this road cycle permeable.

  • Brian Jones

    While on the subject of filtered permeability, Islington could be divided up into sectors like Groningen did back in the 70s. That city added filtered permeability so cycles could directly access all sectors but cars could not drive directly from one sector to another. This plan drastically reduced motor traffic and boosted cycling. See 2:15 in this video http://www.streetfilms.org/groningen-the-worlds-cycling-city/

  • Louw

    How can we add something to the wish list? My top of list priority is to reopen the New River route to cyclist. This is the ideal quiet way already in existence and ready to use, but for reasons unbeknown cyclists are banned from using it. Do we know why? If this route can be opened up again and some improvements made to Petherton Road we could have a quietway from Clissold Park to Angel that would be safe enough for children to use. This does not have to be instead of other proposals but along with. This could be a quick win. I would prioritise this as 1.