92% of people surveyed felt Drayton Park less safe

Press Release on behalf of Islington Cyclists Action Group and Islington Living Streets

21st June 2012  For immediate use

Jono points out some details...

People walking and cycling along Drayton Park were surveyed on Wednesday morning (20th June) by Cyclist and Pedestrian campaigners to find out what local residents make of the controversial new width restriction road layout on Drayton Park at the junction with Whistler St.

Cyclists stopping to help with our survey

178 people took part in the roadside survey.  Of those surveyed, 164 people ( 92%) felt the newly installed width restriction makes the road much less safe.  7 respondents(4%) said it was safer & 7 respondents (4%) felt it made no difference.

Of the 178 people who took part, 53 (30%) described themselves as drivers (as well as being pedestrians and/or cyclists).

The width restriction is unpopular because it forces drivers to swerve left and slow down to a crawling pace, before accelerating off while swerving to the right into the main traffic lane again.  These sideways movements by vehicles both on entry and exit from the restriction are unpredictable, risk pinching cyclists and make it hard for people to cross the road from Whistler St to the station.  We would prefer a solution that keeps vehicle movements to the centre of this exceptionally wide road, allocating more space for walking and cycling.  As the route is part of a Sustrans Connect 2 route connecting Finsbury Park with Highbury Fields, it is critical that the scheme is re-designed.

Jono Kenyon of Islington Cyclists’ Action Group who designed the survey said “Traffic is significant in Drayton Park in rush hour, with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers competing for space.  This morning we witnessed several lorries perform “u”- turns, adding significantly to the risks faced by people walking and cycling.  We also heard countless stories of scary near-misses.  This unpopular design must be amended.”

Chaos caused by truck making a U-turn

Caroline Russell of Islington Living Streets “People who walk, cycle and drive were unanimous in their dislike for the new road layout.  That so many paused on their journey to work to complete the survey is testimony to the strength of local feeling on this. Islington Cyclists and Living Streets met with the Council to explain our concerns shortly after the scheme was put in place.  The Council have committed to re-visit the plans, we hope they will listen to these residents and change the design.”

Caroline Russell canvasses a pedestrian.

Drayton Park is part of the Sustrans Connect2 route from Highbury Fields to Finsbury Park which aims to transform the experience of pedestrians and cyclists.

Jono Kenyon of Islington Cyclists’ Action Group also said ‘We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with Sustrans who have lots of expertise and we hope that the council will follow their lead and deliver tangible benefits to pedestrians and cyclists using the £600,000 from the national lottery”.


Caroline Russell, Living Streets   07876260491
Jono Kenyon, ICAG                    07976689979
John Ackers, ICAG (fallback)         02076907263


1. Glen Tweedie of Premier Plumbing (020 7226 2188) at shopping parade by the width restriction is happy to talk to the press.  He sees large lorries doing u turns on a regular basis and all his delivery lorries now come via Aubert Park and Highbury Hill increasing lorry movements in residential roads which undermines the objective of the lorry ban. His comments on ICAG website.

2. Raw and analysed survey results in google spreadsheet

3. Two shots to show what the layout looks like.

The width restriction; going away from Drayton Park station
Looking towards the station

For more information about the width restriction

May 7th: Drayton Park – the vanishing cycle bypasses.

This page includes links to subsequent articles in the local press and 30+ comments made by cyclists, pedestrians and others.



  1. Great work everyone! A re-design is urgently needed – let’s hope no collisions take place before it’s done!!


    1. Chris, thanks for going back to your house and printing more forms in the middle of the session. Perhaps I should have realised that we’d easily collect more than 33 responses by 8.15AM.  There is a positive side to this.  If we had had more forms, it would have taken even longer to key in the data!

  2. It’s great that ICAG have looked at this and are calling for it to be changed.  When I cycled through here this morning, a lorry that’s too wide for the restricted lane was going through the ‘buses only’ lane, so what’s the point?

  3. It was frightening to witness the dangerous situations arising within the 2hrs we were on site on 20 June (u turning lorries either side of the restriction, lorries through the bus lane, cyclists being squeezed etc). Qualitative info from many cyclists completing the poll ranged from ‘its bonkas’, ‘what have they done?!’ through to ‘I just nearly got taken down’, 
    Change is urgent. Well done ICAG and Living Streets for taking action. 

  4. Thank you to everyone that stopped and gave us some time, and well done ICAG and Living Streets for making waves about this scheme. This is how things get changed!

    I think it is really important to highlight the fact that a great deal of money has been spent here, and 92% of those asked said they felt it was now more dangerous. If an employer did that, they would be liable for prosecution. In fact in no other area of UK society do we accept people making the life more dangerous. I really hope the council take on board the criticism and make the necessary changes to the road.

  5. As if there were not problems enough for cyclists at this point, were vans & long cars parked beside the cafe & shops opposite the ARSENAL letters force cyclists into the main road at the bend & where motor traffic, after the congestion of Gillespie Road, speeds up for the fast run without impediment toward Holloway Road.

  6. Couldn’t agree more. This is a wide road and the centre should be where the lorries go. What do they MEAN buses only? Arsenal coaches?    Almost the first day the thing was in place a car only saw it at the last minute, crashed into the throating and then blocked westbound traffic for several hours. The car was a write-off I should think. 

    I can quite see why cyclists feel that yet more of their road space has been taken. When you think of all the consultation there was about the lights at the Drayton Park/Holloway Road junction, I am just amazed that this thing got built first and consultation is only happening now.

  7. I am a local cyclist, pedestrian and driver. From all 3 points of view this construction is crazy. Because the restriction is on a bend, it is clear from your film that drivers are concentrating on slowing down and getting through the restriction, and thus are distracted from the needs not only of cyclists but pedestrians as well. You can also see pdestrians coming from the station and crossing at the apex of the bend. If there was only one bus lane in the middle, there would still be room for both cars and cycle lanes, and maybe a pedestrian crossing to Islington Learning Disability Partnership as well. Very few coaches use Drayton Park on match days anyway.

  8. Just last night I saw a lorry picking up and taking away a car from this area. I wasn’t sure if it had crashed, or had just been parked stupidly. The police were there too, and there was a fairly big tailback

  9. Very glad to see that the parking opposite ARSENAL had been made parallel to the pavement. If Islington Cyclists are responsible for making this stretch safer, then many thanks

    1. Islington Cyclists was responsible. We’d been asking for changes for 7 years. But Sustrans deserve the credit for finally getting something done. However, I’m very aware that people picking up stuff from the plumbers have been adversely affected. It’s a pity that, previously, drivers in long vehicles just took the p*ss and parked right across the full width of the cycle lane.

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