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Stop Highgate's 'joyriders' paradise

PUBLISHED: 11:01 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:37 07 September 2010

The scene of the crash

The scene of the crash

Tan Parsons RESIDENTS in Highgate are demanding measures to slow traffic in a stretch of road described as a joyriders paradise following a crash. In the early hours of Saturday morning a white delivery van ploughed across Highgate Hill at the junction

Tan Parsons

RESIDENTS in Highgate are demanding measures to slow traffic in a stretch of road described as a "joyriders' paradise" following a crash.

In the early hours of Saturday morning a white delivery van ploughed across Highgate Hill at the junction with Hornsey Lane and wiped out a set of traffic lights - not far from two schools and the pedestrian entrance to Waterlow Park.

Now campaigners are calling for measures such as a mandatory speed limit of 20mph, a new parking scheme or the resurfacing of the road to slow traffic down before someone is hurt.

Simon Briscoe, of Highgate Hill, said: "This is a stretch of road where vehicles go fast. This is incompatible with there being - within about 400m - Channing School, St Joseph's School, the church, the park, a pub and the Ghanaian consulate.

"In other words there are plenty of pedestrians around, many of whom are young or old, and often unfamiliar with the dangers around this junction.

"Surely it is time that the council did something to slow traffic. At the moment it is a joyriders' paradise.

"This stretch of road falls in three boroughs making it nigh on impossible to get any one set of police or council officials to take it seriously."

The site of the crash at the weekend falls under Islington Council's jurisdiction, but over the last year there have been several accidents along the entire stretch of the road.

Mr Briscoe added: "It would not be tricky to do something - a bit of resurfacing is an easy option if speed bumps are too much of a leap. This could provide more grip and lines of different surface types would perhaps give drivers a greater sense of their speed.

"Or perhaps a 20mph zone with rigorous enforcement by cameras. Or even enforcement of the 30mph limit."

He also suggested creating chevron parking on the hill so that the road is narrower and would seem to drivers like less of a speed track.

The Highgate Society's vice-chairwoman Liz Morris agreed that the speed limit should be lowered and said that this should be applied up the hill into the heart of Highgate Village.

She said: "In my opinion the high street must be a 20mph limit too.

"I walk up and down it with small children.

"There are many places were the pavements are very narrow and you feel extremely vulnerable being so close to traffic moving at 30mph.

"It would just take a moment of inattention for a vehicle to mount a pavement or miss a pedestrian running across a road."

Green Party councillor for Highgate Maya de Souza, who has been campaigning for a blanket 20mph speed limit across Camden, promised to take the issue up with Camden Council officers and see if extra monitoring could be arranged for Highgate Hill.

She said: "I agree that it would be nicer and safer if these risks were minimised."

Cllr Brian Haley, cabinet member for environment, said: "We have invested heavily in road safety, which is one of our priorities.

"As always, we will consider very carefully the police report to see if safety measures are needed at this location.


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