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Mayor must make Camden Road safer, say cyclists and politicians

New cycle route linking Camden with Tottenham will need to improve accident black spot

30 January, 2018 — By William McLennan

Protesters blocked the road following a cycle death in August

The Mayor of London has been told that a new cycle route must tackle the dangers of Camden Road.

Sadiq Khan announced today (Tuesday) that an eight-kilometre route will connect Camden with Tottenham, as he aims to get hundreds of thousands more people travelling by bike and on foot.

The exact route is still being designed, but cycling groups and politicians said it must address safety concerns on Camden Road – a popular route for cyclists that has been the scene of several fatalities and serious accidents in recent years.

John Chamberlain, of Camden Cyclists, said: “Camden Road has got a terrible history. If, as part of this new route, Camden Road was to be made safer then we would absolutely support it.”

Ardian Zagani was killed in Camden Road in August

An inquest later this month will examine the death of Ardian Zagani, who was killed in Camden Road as he cycled to work in August. Flowers still mark the spot that the 36-year-old, known as Sam, was knocked from his bike near the junction of Hilldrop Crescent.

Protesters closed the road during a vigil, organised by Stop Killing Cyclists, to the “exceptional young man”, who had worked for 15 years as a bouncer at Camden venues, demanding that action be taken to make the road safer. The road is controlled by Transport for London.

The Green party’s Sian Berry, a London Assembly member and councillor in Highgate, said that any new route must “absolutely” address Camden Road, adding: “It’s a horrendous road to cycle or even walk along at the moment.”

She said there was “plenty of space to take from traffic and give to bikes” along the road.

Cllr Adam Harrison, the cabinet member for environment, said that planners must make Camden Road a priority, adding: “There is evident public concern about safety on Camden Road and so we will be looking to make sure that that is addressed.”

Justin McKie, chair of the Regent’s Park Cyclists said the new route was “very welcome news, particularly where they manage to physically segregate the cycle lanes”.

But he questioned whether it would be properly implemented, in light of recent revelations about the CS11 route, which had originally planned to close four entrances to Regents Park, but was drastically watered down after opposition from Westminster Council.

He said: “It’s one thing to make grand plans – but as we have seen with CS11 – actually seeing these plans being turned into reality seems to take more political will than Sadiq Khan appears to have.”

The Camden-to-Tottenham route was one of six announced by the Mayor on Tuesday, which are expected to cost a total of £142million.

Mr Khan said: “Working closely with the boroughs, we’re providing new routes in both inner and outer London, including in areas that haven’t previously seen serious investment in cycling infrastructure.

“Encouraging more Londoners to cycle as part of their everyday routine is vital – providing huge benefits to people’s health, cutting congestion and air pollution for every Londoner, and improving quality of life in local neighbourhoods.”

He aims to make sure 80 per cent of journeys are carried out by foot, bike or public transport by 2041.

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