Cyclists call for safer route in two years, ‘not in 2023’
Campaigners' fears over timetable for dedicated cycle path connecting Camden with Tottenham
16 February, 2018 — By William McLennan
Cyclists protest following the death of Ardian Zagani
A NEW cycle route which campaigners hope will tackle the dangers of Camden Road may not be completed until 2023, it has been claimed.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week announced the construction of a dedicated cycle path connecting Camden with Tottenham, but fears have been raised that it may be kicked into the long grass following mayoral elections in 2020.
The exact route, which will be designed in collaboration with Islington Council and community groups, has not yet been determined, but cyclists and politicians have said that it must improve safety in Camden Road, which has a history of serious accidents.
Ardian Zagani, 36, was killed as he cycled to work in August. An inquest into his death was adjourned at St Pancras Coroner’s Court this week.
Cycling campaigner John Chamberlain said a delivery date of 2023 is “not nearly ambitious enough”, adding: “If the mayor is serious, we think that this could be done in two years, by end 2020 for example.”
Caroline Russell, a Green Party London Assembly member and Islington councillor, said the long timescale raised potential for complications. “This mayoral term finishes in two years’ time,” she said. “If it gets shunted forward into the future there might even be a different mayor. There might be a new business plan, new priorities. What people want to know is that there is real commitment.”
Responding to her question at a City Hall transport committee meeting on Thursday, Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling chief, said: “We are totally committed to this. We are investing record amounts of money. We have got a healthy pipeline of work coming forward. That money will be spent and we will see the changes in cycling across London as a result.”
Keith Prince, Conservative chairman of the committee, said it was “disappointing that the six new routes announced by the Mayor are unlikely to be built under this mayoralty” and were unlikely to be delivered until 2023.
Questioned on the completion dates, Mr Norman said: “I can’t give you a set date, because we haven’t decided exactly where they’re going to be, or exactly what design those will be and what investment is required.
“What we’ve announced is the design stage is starting and we are looking to deliver them in the next five years. I hope some of them will be delivered sooner rather than later, but we have to work in partnership to do this.”