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This double-think on ‘safety’ won’t wash

24 September, 2020

• CAMDEN’S essential-but-temporary, Covid-19-protection-induced, bicycle-emergency, road plans for Haverstock Hill were highlighted in your September 17 issue, (Warning that elderly will face steep hill if bike lane takes parking bays).

Prince of Wales Road has had its pedestrian islands removed without even mentioning removal in the documentation, so congratulations to Camden for indicating that islands will be going all up Haverstock Hill.

Some will be replaced by zebra crossings, I’m sure you will be pleased to hear (more than can be said for PoW Road). But in other cases “the removal of this island will provide a safer environment for pedestrians, encouraging people to cross in a single stage rather than waiting in the middle of the road”.

A fine piece of unworthy Orwellian double-think, as is the use of a genuine health emergency to push through schemes which are not properly open for public debate.

Quite simply, removing pedestrian islands means it is not so easy for walkers – particularly the young, the old, the disabled – to cross a busy road. And, of course, the added kerbs to protect new cycle lanes also make crossing more difficult.

Whatever the overall merits of the Haverstock Hill proposals, the very least that should be done is to retain pedestrian islands and add more zebra crossings.

And I hope that if the expensive “temporary” scheme is implemented, rather more cyclists will be using the lanes than appears to be the case in Prince of Wales Road.

Healey Street, NW1 


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