Stamford Hill junction needs ‘massive mirrors’ not redesign, says Cllr Steinberger

Cllr Simche Steinberger cannot ride a bike but is pictured with one in 2010 alongside Boris Johnson,

Cllr Simche Steinberger cannot ride a bike but is pictured with one in 2010 alongside Boris Johnson, councillors and Tory activists - Credit: Archant

A councillor who opposed safety improvements at Stamford Hill junction claims the proposals were a waste of money – and believes “massive mirrors” may be the answer.

TfL published a report this month revealing it had scrapped the redesign at the crossroads, partly because of the public response.

Springfield’s Cllr Simche Steinberger was said to have submitted 338 hand-written forms from people in Stamford Hill, all rejecting the scheme without reason.

Outraged cyclists questioned why anyone would not want safety improvements at the accident blackspot and slammed TfL for claiming the junction had become safer despite numerous crashes and one fatality this year.

Speaking to the Gazette, Cllr Steinberger said he only heard about the consultation days before it closed, and was in fact asked by TfL to gather responses.

He said: “This was not a campaign by Cllr Steinberger – if it was there would have been thousands of signatures. I did not hand in 338 forms as said in the report. It was maybe 120.”

Cllr Steinberger, who cannot ride a bike himself but wants to learn, said he was not against cyclists, but was opposed to wasting money.

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He said: “There is nothing there to improve anything for cyclists. The plans would just make traffic more clogged up. Taking away loading bays near the Post Office will only increase traffic flow and make cars go quicker. That is dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

“It’s a waste of public money, which TfL are very good at doing. What I’d like to see happen first would come from the cyclists. They need to stop jumping red lights and stop having so many fights in the road with motorists.

“Okay, lorries are very big and can’t see cyclists, so they should put massive mirrors high up on lampposts at all these junctions, which would be cheaper.”

Cllr Steinberger added that everyone in Stamford Hill he had spoken to was against the plans, and said a push to get people riding bikes would fall on deaf ears in the Jewish community.

“Whatever you do you are not going to change people’s patterns of life,” he said. “You have to take your boy to school, take your daughter to school, go to the synagogue and go to work. They are not going to play these games.

“People running families can’t start cycling. What are they going to do? Tie their child to the bike?”