Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Resist this dangerous ploy - people before cars!



Away from the publicity about his bicycle scheme, Boris Johnson has been pursuing his agenda of prioritising the motor car.  Not content with reversing attempts to restrict pollution by heavy trucks and cars, he has now published a lost of 145 crossings that he feels should be considered for removal.  Some of these are owned by local councils and some by Transport for London. In addition he is seeking to introduce a quicker crossing period at some sites and a countdown feature that would indicate seconds left to cross - presumably to make the pedestrians run for the last few feet. The message is clear: pedestrians are to be put firmly in their place and only allowed to delay motorists for a minimum amount of time. Living Streets has a petition against the introduction of countdown crossings in London.

Of course this will impact, as the image illustrates, on the very young, the elderly and those with disabilities. Think of the parent pushing a buggy, perhaps accompanied by a couple of under 5s trying to cross the road as the countdown increases in urgency.  As a former teacher, I know the difficulties and dangers of crossing London roads with a crocodile of children - especially when the group is split by rapid light changes.

If you add to this the decision by some local councils, with the loss of government subsidy, to do away with speed cameras, we are facing the prospect, after years of decline of an increase in the number of pedestrians killed and injured on the road.

Earlier this week Brent Green Party demonstrated at the Quainton Street. Braemar Avenue crossing on Neasden Lane  pointing out the dangers. MORE HERE  Pupils from two schools, Wykeham and St Margaret Clitherow, use these crossings which are close to bus stops.

Transport for London is consulting with local councils about the removal of crossing.  I hope Brent Council, whose crossings have often been funded by Transport for London itself as a safety measure, will resist any removals.

The Brent crossings on the list for possible removal are:


Willesden Lane - The Avenue - Cavendish Road
Brondesbury Park / Sidmouth Road
Brondesbury Park / The Avenue
Fleet water Business Centre (formerly Brentwater Estate)
Northbound
Brondesbury Park by Christchurch Avenue
Coles Green Road / Crest Road / Oxgate Lane
Neasden Lane/Quainton Street/Braemar Avenue

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