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Editor’s comment: More column inches about 100m of road

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 December 2018

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: RAMZY ALWAKEEL

Cyclists on the 100-yard stretch of Balls Pond Road that connects the two segments of CS1. Picture: RAMZY ALWAKEEL

Archant

I’m led to believe our enquiries in August about what had happened to the CS1 link in Balls Pond Road (p9) ruffled a few feathers at City Hall – to the point that, days later, plans were announced to build it at last.

It’s hard to know what to make of Hackney’s complete PR blackout on the topic since then – the town hall didn’t even think to tell us that the consultation was open at last, and it had well over a week before we noticed.

Call me old fashioned but, since the point of a consultation is that people answer it, I reckon those people have to know about it first.

Four years and two sets of questionnaires might seem like an awful lot of effort to go to for 100 yards, but sorting out Balls Pond Road will do wonders for the existing hard border between Hackney and Islington – anyone who has ever tried to turn right out of Kingsbury Road or Culford Road will know how difficult and dangerous it is.

I can’t believe there have only been seven injuries sustained on that stretch of road in recent years – I feel like I’m taking my life in my hands every time I do it. And I’m a (relatively) fit, (relatively) young, (relatively) confident cyclist – imagine how people feel who aren’t all those things. If you think the road’s fine as it is, ask yourself whether you’d let a child cycle on it between all those cars and lorries and scooters and buses.

So please respond to the questionnaire. And if you’re not in favour of the plans – some will have valid reasons not to be – please suggest how they could be made better. Doing nothing isn’t an option, and not just because of road safety. Like it or lump it, we need more people to cycle and fewer people to use motor transport, or Hackney’s kids will all suffocate in our poison, which is ultimately far more inconvenient than a built-out kerb.

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