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Cyclists outraged as TfL scraps safety improvements at deadly Stamford Hill junction

PUBLISHED: 16:59 09 August 2016 | UPDATED: 19:49 09 August 2016

The junction of Clapton Common and Stamford Hill has been compared to 'Wacky Races'. (Picture: Ken Mears).

The junction of Clapton Common and Stamford Hill has been compared to 'Wacky Races'. (Picture: Ken Mears).

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Transport bosses have performed a dramatic U-turn and scrapped a multi-million pound redesign of the deadly Stamford Hill junction – saying it’s safe enough as it is.

"If accident rates have declined, this is in my view not anything to do with the junction becoming safer but more down to cyclists like me avoiding a junction that in rush hour is like something out of Wacky Races"

Kevin O’Sullivan, cycling lawyer

Cycling campaigners have been left fuming by TfL’s report, which was published in response to its own three-month consultation earlier this year.

The decision was based partly on a reduction in collisions in the 12 months leading up to February 29. But just four days after that a man was hit by a bus and killed – the first of three serious crashes in as many weeks before the consultation closed.

In addition to those stats, TfL was handed 338 hand-written responses from Springfield’s Cllr Simche Steinberger on behalf of the Stamford Hill community, which unanimously opposed the plans but failed to outline the reason why.

Cyclists argued the planned work did not go far enough to protect them or pedestrians and an independent survey found it failed basic safety checks. But they now face the prospect of no improvements whatsoever.

The front page of the Gazette on March 24, following three weeks of crashes before the consultation endedThe front page of the Gazette on March 24, following three weeks of crashes before the consultation ended

Jono Kenyon, coordinator of Hackney Cycling Campaign, told the Gazette: “TfL is effectively saying it is business as usual at a horrendous collision site.

“For TfL to state safety has improved when we have continued to see several serious collisions including fatal ones is very disappointing.”

Stoke Newington’s Kevin O’Sullivan is the founder of the UK’s first cycling law firm, Cycle Legal and like many others avoids the junction “like the plague” having had two near misses.

He said: “If TfL are genuine about making the junction safer, they should listen to the advice of the cycling organisations that took the trouble to respond to the consultation.

“If accident rates have declined, this is in my view not anything to do with the junction becoming safer but more down to cyclists like me voting with our wheels and completely avoiding a junction that in rush hour is like something out of Wacky Races.”

The town hall has also revealed its disappointment with the decision. A spokesman said: “We would like to work with TfL to develop alternative proposals, as something does need to be done to make Stamford Hill junction safer.”

TfL said there were four minor injuries following crashes in the 12 months and 15 in three years, with just one serious accident.

Nigel Hardy, head of road space management sponsorship, said TfL would continue to monitor the junction but was going ahead with safety improvements elsewhere on the A10.

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