Back in 2017, and following concerns about the safety of cyclists crossing Pentonville Road from Penton Street, we held a Make the Lane with the team at Action Travel Now.
There was a report in the local papers but nothing much really happened. We were told yes, it’s narrow. Yes, there is a lot of traffic there. It’s difficult. (It always is ‘difficult’.) The painted bike lane appears to be a parking magnet for cars, vans and motor bikes, pushing cyclists further out into an already narrow shared space.
In July 2023 – that’s SIX years later – a local cyclist came to one of our meetings extremely upset that her daughter had been shunted out of the way while riding her bike, by a left-turning van at that very same junction. While thankfully the youngster wasn’t injured physically, her confidence took a big knock and as she uses this junction as part of her cycle to school, it wasn’t a great experience for her. To make matters worse, this is the very same junction where a close friend of her mother’s lost her life 30 years ago.
Her mother got a rather ‘vanilla’ reply to her complaint to TfL suggesting that she report the incident to the Met and saying …. “I am pleased to say the London Borough (LB) of Islington is one of the leading boroughs for developing safer streets for people walking and cycling. I know the borough has made some improvements to the Penton Street/Pentonville Road junction as part of the Cycleway 38 (South) and, together with Transport for London (TfL), there are aspirations to make further improvements to the Penton Street/Claremont Square junction through TfL’s Cycleway Network Development Programme. …….We will continue our work with LB Islington to look at the Penton Street/Claremont Square junction for potential development as part of next year’s programme.
And there was yet another report in the local press.
The CI infrastructure team talk to the council officers on a regular basis about our concerns but improvements to make cycling safer take a long, long time, don’t they.