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Archway gyratory changes turn residential roads into dangerous rat-runs

02 November, 2018

HGVs on residential roads ‘are harming our health and environment’

• COUNCILLOR Claudia Webbe is right when she says “a far more radical” safety strategy is needed and I applaud her for saying that she will “do everything possible to reduce deaths and serious incidents”, (Cyclist deaths: ‘radical’ pledge to close roads, October 5).

What are the facts? Pedestrian fatalities have increased from 2016 to 2017. Asthma deaths have risen 25 per cent in the last 10 years. This is linked to illegal levels of pollution. In London, 9,400 deaths a year are linked to pollution.

Transport for London’s Archway gyratory changes have caused havoc for neighbourhoods in Archway, Crouch End and Highgate as traffic has been taken off the A1, with the Archway Road count reducing from 30,139 per day in 2010 to 27,901 per day in 2014. In Shepherd’s Hill the count increased from 7,884 per day in 2012 to 9,443 per day in 2014.

It’s no use moving traffic off main roads and onto residential roads, only for them to become dangerous rat-runs. Residents do what they can through TfL’s Community Roadwatch with the traffic police.

The tragic death of cyclist Maria Bitner-Glindzicz was linked to notorious rat-runs used by taxis and other vehicles as a shortcut. What is needed is not only a borough-wide strategy but a strategy co-ordinated with neighbouring boroughs to make all streets Healthy Streets, Living Streets and Safe Streets.

Cordons to keep HGVs and through traffic off residential roads and away from schools need to be set up borough-wide in partnership with neighbouring boroughs. This is the only way to keep safe pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers, who are not immune from pollution.

The Safer Streets – Living Streets event tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am to 1pm has been organised to address community concerns about pollution and speeding vehicles and HGVs harming our health and our environment. Details at

Safe Streets – Living Streets


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