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Dangerous crossings in Hampstead and Highgate

PUBLISHED: 14:50 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010

Josie Hinton THIRTY pedestrian crossings at some of the busiest junctions around Hampstead and Highgate – including two notorious accident blackspots – do not give people enough time to cross. Junctions in Hampstead, Belsize Park, Camden Town and Primros

Josie Hinton

THIRTY pedestrian crossings at some of the busiest junctions around Hampstead and Highgate - including two notorious accident blackspots - do not give people enough time to cross.

Junctions in Hampstead, Belsize Park, Camden Town and Primrose Hill are in breach of government guidelines on the time given to pedestrians to cross, say figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request.

The crossings - which include two well-known danger spots in Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage - are too quick in showing the amber light to traffic after the green man disappears for walkers.

They include the junction of Adelaide Road and King Henry's Road, where a cyclist was knocked off his bike after being hit by a delivery lorry in January, and the junction of England's Lane and Haverstock Hill, where a woman cyclist collided with a dustbin lorry last year.

The figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly, scrutinised all Transport for London crossings and the poor results in Camden have angered local campaigners.

Aileen Hammond, of the Belsize Residents' Association, has campaigned for years on road safety. She said: "If you are crossing England's Lane, the problem is that the traffic coming around the corner from Haverstock Hill is often still moving when the green man disappears and the pedestrian light turns back to red again.

"It's potentially dangerous, particularly if someone is partially sighted because you don't have the proper amount of time to get across. Sometimes it's less dangerous to cross when the traffic is in full flow because at least then cars are only moving in one direction."

Camden Town resident Nay Phillips, 27, of Arlington Road, said: "As a young, fit person, it's hard enough to cross most roads where I live before the amber light starts flashing and engines are revved to get you to hurry up.

"Heaven knows how an older person or others who have difficulty walking manage it. We're all doing our bit to be green and walk rather than drive these days - TFL should be encouraging this and look into this dangerous situation for pedestrians as a matter of priority."

Safety rules were changed for crossings in 2005 giving pedestrians more time to cut down on the number of accidents. But four years later, TfL has failed to introduce the new timings to one in five crossings in the capital.

A spokeswoman said that all of Camden's crossings would be changed in the next three years but those which had not been upgraded were still safe to cross.

She added: "The vast majority - 90 per cent - of pedestrian crossings already meet the very latest guidelines and we are working hard to upgrade the remaining sites.


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