Work to improve notorious Pembury Circus and other junctions won’t start until 2020, says Hackney Council

Police at the scene of the crash in Amhurst Road. Picture: Sam Gelder

Police at the scene of the crash in Amhurst Road. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

Work is not scheduled to start on improving three lethal junctions – including the notorious Pembury Circus – until next year, it has been confirmed.

Police at the scene of the crash in Amhurst Road. Picture: Sam Gelder

Police at the scene of the crash in Amhurst Road. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council was given £10million in November 2017 under Sadiq Khan’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme to make areas greener, healthier and more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan is to reduce traffic in the town centre by bringing in two-way cycle lanes in Mare Street, ban traffic at the south end of Amhurst Road and improve the Mare Street junctions with Graham Road and Morning Lane.

Most significantly, however, are plans to redevelop the junction where Amhurst Road, Pembury Road and Dalston Lane all criss-cross.

Not only has there been 60 crashes there in the last 10 years, it is one of the most polluted spots in the country, with an annual mean of nitrogen dioxide levels in ug/m3 of 63. The legal limit is 40.

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But almost 18 months on not a lot has happened, and people who have to tackle the junction regularly are wondering why.

Naomi Robinson lives on the junction and often has to cross it with her two-year-old. She told the Gazette she had called the council once a month since news of the funding for an update, but hasn’t heard of any progress.

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“Accidents are not a rare thing,” she told the Gazette. “They’ve been given a huge amount of funding and it should be quite clear what they are doing with it in their planning. There have been several bad accidents since it was announced.

“The crossing is pretty horrific too. When you live here you have to cross it four or five times a day sometimes. You see a lot of people with kids struggling across.

“The junction is manic, polluted and extremely dangerous. The junction is surrounded by residential buildings, schools and nurseries. With the knowledge that air pollution has a seriously detrimental on children the lack of urgency in redesigning the junction and reducing the traffic is shocking.”

The latest crash near the junction saw a car smash into a number of other vehicles at 9.50pm on Thursday last week. No one was injured and a man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

A town hall spokesperson did not say why work had yet to start, but said: “In early summer, we’ll be asking local people and businesses in Hackney Central what they think about transport and public spaces in the area to make sure this fantastic opportunity to improve Hackney Central incorporates as many views as possible.

“Once we have results, we’ll be consulting on detailed plans in the autumn. Subject to this, we expect work to start in early 2020.”

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