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Zebra crossing plea from Upper Holloway school in ‘rat-run’ road

Headteacher says volume of traffic has increased since Archway gyratory redesign

30 March, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Deputy headteacher Nick Turpin with, from left, pupils Neo, 11, Luca, 9, and Leila, 8, standing where they want the crossing

DOZENS of parents are backing a school’s petition demanding a new zebra crossing on a “rat-run” road.

Brian Welsh, headteacher at St John’s Church of England School, said cars speed along Pemberton Gardens, Upper Holloway, despite the 20mph speed restriction.

And since the Archway gyratory redesign last year, he believes more car users are using the road, and St John’s Grove, to cut through between Junction Road and Holloway Road.

The school has now launched a campaign to get a zebra crossing outside its gates as well as more highly visible speed signs and larger speed bumps.

Mr Welsh told the Tribune: “We broached it probably a couple of years ago and then when there were plans for the new gyratory system. Surveys were done by the council but it was said we did not meet the requirement for a crossing because the volume of traffic wasn’t high enough.

“We got back in touch after the work was done because we noticed there seemed to be more cars and they were going faster.” He added: “Our view was, and still is, it’s not about volume of traffic, but that far too many cars come along at such a speed, it’s an issue.”

On Sunday evening, a 10-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being hit by a car near the school. The boy, who is not a pupil at the school, escaped without life-changing injuries. Police are compiling a report into the crash and it is not yet confirmed whether speed was a factor.

Pemberton Gardens resident Vincenza Darton, 38, said: “It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt on these two roads here.”

The Town Hall said it is installing new 20mph speed limits in Pemberton Gardens next month.

A council spokeswoman said: “We were very concerned to hear of this road accident, and our thoughts are with this child and his family. We understand the incident is under investigation by police.

“In response to requests from residents, the council is installing two vehicle-activated signs on Pemberton Gardens next month, to remind motorists that the road has a 20mph limit.

“The police enforces speed limits, and we will also ask them to carry out some more speed enforcement in Pemberton Gardens.”

Nigel Hardy, from Transport for London, said: “We wish the boy concerned a speedy recovery. Road safety is our top priority and we are continuing to monitor how the Archway scheme is performing.

“We will be carrying out further surveys of the surrounding roads in the coming months and will continue to work closely with Islington Council to consider any further changes that may be required.”


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