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Road death at Finsbury Park ‘blackspot’ after Mayor’s improvements delayed

Elderly man ‘sucked under’ HGV on road that neighbours say has been ‘haunted’ by collisions

27 September, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

The scene on Seven Sisters Road after Tuesday’s collision in which an elderly man was killed

CAMPAIGNERS have slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for backtracking on a promise to tackle a notorious stretch of road where a man was killed this week and another needed hospital treatment.

Two collisions in almost the exact same spot, a day apart in Seven Sisters Road, near the junction with Blackstock Road, have sparked outrage from people in Finsbury Park living nearby who say the blackspot is “haunted”.

Transport for London (TfL) had earmarked the road as a priority to be upgraded as part of the Mayor’s “future cycling routes” scheme.

The improvements were meant to be consulted on earlier this year, but it was postponed.

Cycling campaigner Jono Kenyon, who lives just off Seven Sisters Road, said: “It is ­genuinely devastating. We keep seeing violent public deaths in front of hundreds of people.”

He added: “There was meant to be a consultation in spring 2019 and we were anticipating work commencing before the end of this mayoralty, but that does not look like it is going to happen. Now it is a notorious blackspot.”

An elderly man died on Tuesday after being “sucked under” a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) as he tried to cross the road, witnesses said. It is understood he had just come back from holiday and was due to visit his grandson.

Blackstock Road butcher Hakim Amokrane rushed to the man’s aid.

“I held his hand and told him not to worry, the ambulance is coming,” Mr Amokrane said.

“It’s shocking. I have had to stay here to know it’s real. I cannot believe what I have seen.”

The day before, a helicopter was dispatched by the London Air Ambulance to the same area after a collision between a pedestrian and a car.

The man was in a stable condition in hospital on Wednesday.

The new incidents came yards from where a man died in July when his motorbike burst into flames after colliding with a car.

Flowers at the scene continue to be left there in his memory.

London Assembly Member Caroline Russell, who is also a Green councillor in Islington, said: “The Mayor has to get a grip of the Vision Zero targets. He’s nowhere near at the moment. TfL needs to be prioritising that junction.”

Vision Zero is Mr Khan’s target to reduce road deaths in London by 65 per cent by 2022.

Andrea Casalotti, who launched the London Vision Zero movement after his father was hit by a bus and killed, is calling for TfL to put a 20mph speed limit on Seven Sisters Road.

He said: “This saves lives, that is proven. I don’t know what speed the lorry was doing, but if it is 20 it slows down the overall traffic and makes the whole place safer.”

Stuart Reid, director of Vision Zero at TfL, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who died on Seven Sisters Road.

“We are committed to making changes in the Seven Sisters area to reduce risk to all road users.

“Our proposed cycleway between Tottenham Hale and Camden is one of the longest and most ambitious routes we are developing and this has presented challenges at some locations.

“This has meant we require further time for design work and traffic modelling to ensure the proposals are the best they can be for local communities and road users along the route.”

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