CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Amwell Street racetrack will post threat to shops

20 July, 2018

• THE Amwell Society is grateful to Councillor Claudia Webbe for resisting Cycle Islington’s undemocratic attempt to force through the Quietway 10 proposals without proper consultation.

If implemented unchanged, these proposals risk turning Amwell Street into a racetrack, damaging the livelihood of shopkeepers and making navigation intolerable for residents, particularly elderly residents and the taxis and emergency service vehicles that support them.

Like all responsible Londoners, the Amwell Society welcomes the growth in cycling, with the attendant benefits to the environment and public health. Many of our members and a majority of our committee are regular cyclists.

Unfortunately, a significant minority of cyclists treat the steep incline of Amwell Street as an invitation to travel at breakneck speed, ignoring traffic lights, speed limits and zebra crossings, and putting pedestrians, including schoolchildren, at considerable risk.

Since its initial construction almost 200 years ago, Amwell Street has been the main thoroughfare linking Barnsbury to Clerken­well. It is akin to a village high street, and is certainly not a “rat-run” used by irresponsible motorists.

We will strongly oppose any measures that put the viability of the 23 retail outlets clustered along the central portion of the street at risk.

By all means let us look at the options for accommodating growing numbers of cyclists, especially those less at ease with the cut-and-thrust of London traffic.

However, cyclists are not the only stakeholders in our public realm; other road users, and those who live and work in the area, are entitled to have their needs factored in.

And finally let us find a way to curb the aggression of those cyclists that view cycling as a martial art – be it more innovative speed-calming measures, self-funded cycle wardens, more active policing or whatever.

The Amwell Society looks forward to playing a constructive role in the promised Quietway 10 consultation.

PAUL THORNTON
Chair, Amwell Society

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