A long road! Christine’s zebra crossing comes after 14 years
76-year-old’s joy as safety campaign that started in 2003 finally pays off
31 March, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
Campaigners on the new Leigh Road zebra crossing with councillors Caroline Russell, Claudia Webbe, Aysegul Erdogan and Andy Hull. The new bus stand can be seen on the right of the picture
A ROAD safety campaigner has spoken of her delight at the unveiling of a zebra crossing she has campaigned for since 2003.
Highbury resident Christine Mabey launched a campaign to have the crossing installed at Leigh Road, which connects Highbury Hill with Highbury Grove, opposite Highbury Christ Church, 14 years ago.
On Monday, 76-year-old Ms Mabey was joined by councillors, residents and campaigners as the crossing was unveiled following the completion of road improvement works funded by Transport for London (TfL).
She said: “I’m just so happy that it’s here. I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime but here I am.”
Christine Mabey (centre) first called for a zebra crossing in 2003
The new crossing has been installed to further improve safety for those walking to and from Highbury Fields, the church and its nursery, the shops and businesses of Highbury Barn and Highbury Fields School.
Ms Mabey added: “We had a big campaign in 2003. We didn’t get anywhere with [council] officers but we consulted residents here and 75 per cent said they didn’t feel safe, that we needed a zebra crossing and we knew then there was massive support. Later I suggested to Living Streets [charity] and Highbury Fields School to keep petitioning the council, and thousands of signatures were gathered over the years.”
Ms Mabey started the campaign as a member of the Pedestrians’ Association, the precursor to Living Streets, a charity that promotes everyday walking.
Caroline Russell, Green councillor for Highbury East ward, who has also been involved in the campaign since 2003, said the fact the crossing was finally there was “totally wonderful”.
The road safety improvements also include a remodelled bus stand in Highbury Hill to protect pedestrians at the busy junction with turning buses.
The pavement has been built out and the traffic island removed so buses can more easily and safely turn without mounting the kerb.
The bus stand was causing concern as some buses were over-running the pavement while turning in from Leigh Road, and it was becoming heavily used as more services were terminating there.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s transport and environment chief, said: “I am pleased to see the work has paid off. The improvements to the bus stand and the new zebra crossing now make this complicated area more pedestrian-friendly, safer and more enjoyable