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Cyclists in Clerkenwell ‘are lambs led to slaughter’

Year-old route to be redesigned after warnings that it’s ‘dangerous’

10 May, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Prebend Street route: ‘Nuts to call it a Quietway’

THE Town Hall has pledged to redesign a cycle route just a year after it was launched after residents said travelling down the road was like being “a lamb being led to slaughter”.

People living in Prebend Street, Clerkenwell, say they have had enough of the council’s ­poorly-designed cycle route in the south of the borough, which they say puts cyclists and pedestrians in danger.

The Town Hall received £2million from Transport for London to improve cycling infrastructure in 2014, with £160,000 going on Quietway 2, which is meant to offer cyclists a non-congested route through Angel to east London.

Journalist Alex Morton, 33, who lives off Prebend Street and commutes by bike, said: “It’s very dangerous. It’s not designed for cycling. You’ve increased bikes going down the road and then they get hit. There are two schools on the street and I’m worried about the students.

“Ironically, it’s not a quiet way and everyone seems to drive up there because on Google Maps it’s suggested as more of a direct route than using Essex Road. It’s always full of cars or speeding motorbikes and there is no cycle lane.”

He added: “Once you join the road as a cyclist you’re a lamb being led to slaughter.” He said he had recently helped a cyclist who was hit near his home. “It was so horrible to see,” he said.

Mr Morton has asked dozens of neighbours what they think should happen to the route, with many agreeing that it’s “too dangerous”.

He said they had come up with a solution that involves extending the green space in front of St James’s Church to ease traffic coming into Prebend Street.

Joe Radmore, who lives off Prebend Street, said it was “nuts” that the road was called a “Quietway”.

“I have a couple of small kids and that street is precarious,” he said. “There are so many polluting cars with motorbikes hammering down it late at night. The council need to agree to block off that stretch of road to cars.”

Chris Kenyon, from campaign group Cycle Islington, told the group’s annual meeting on Wednesday that the route was “totally unaccept­able” for a child to use.

“There hasn’t been a reduction in traffic. I spoke to a 10-year-old child who was shouted at by a man for cycling on the pavement, but what is she supposed to do to make her journey to school?”

He said the council had agreed to a consultation on filtering the number of cars entering Prebend Street.

Quietway 2, stretching from Walthamstow to Bloomsbury, was fully launched last year, but the Islington section was opened in 2015.

A Town Hall spokesman said: “Islington is committed to monitor and review the implementation and impact of all its road transformation and cycle improvement routes.

“Following a review of the route, the council believes further improvements are required to improve safety, reduce traffic and encourage more people to cycle.”

He added: “Will Norman, the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, has agreed to fund investigation into measures to further reduce traffic in this area.

“The council is committed to engage in conversations with the community to work together to develop further improvements to the route.”

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