Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell is to question the Mayor over the decision by Transport for London to reject plans for a pedestrian crossing for a Lambeth junction - notoriously dangerous for pedestrians.
Caroline, who sits on the London Assembly's transport committee, joined local resident Barbara Hartnell, whose neighbour was killed at St Leonard's junction, Streatham, and local campaigners to see for herself where in just three years 31 people have been injured, seven of them seriously, and one person has lost their life.
Campaigners heard this week that TfL has scrapped plans for a new crossing because it says it would slow down the flow of traffic.
"It was shocking to see this junction which is designed entirely for the benefit of motor vehicles while people have to take their chances looking for gaps in the traffic as there is no green man signal," said Caroline.
"It is not fair that Londoners have to take their life in their hands just to get across the road. I was saddened to hear Barbara speak of her neighbour who sadly lost their life at this junction.
"I am tabling a question to the Mayor asking him to assess this junction using a healthy street check score and revisit the decision to avoid installing a crossing in the light of the assessment."
Co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley, who lives locally, invited Caroline to Streatham after news broke on Wednesday that TfL has rejected proposals for a new pedestrian crossing at or near the junction, where the A23 Streatham High Road meets the A216 Mitcham Lane and A214 Tooting Bec Gardens.
At the request of councillors, including the Green Party's Scott Ainslie,plans for a new crossing were displayed for consultation in Streatham Library in November 2015.
Rejecting the plans, TfL team leader for traffic infrastructure Mark Griffiths wrote in an email to Streatham MP Chuka Umunna: "Traffic modelling unfortunately shows the proposals discussed at the exhibition are not currently viable, particularly in the weekday PM peak hour that was assessed. The proposals were likely to lead to increased congestion beyond an acceptable level based on the current level of traffic demand. This was a point that TfL made at the time of the exhibition. We need to mitigate for the delays for traffic, including buses, created by the potential introduction of any proposals, including the effects on pedestrians at adjacent crossings.
"In order to address this, we need to investigate a larger area of Streatham High Road and consider complementary measures so that the corridor can work reliably for all of its users.
"Our collision data over the last 10 years for this junction does not show a significant number of collisions compared to the London average. As such, we are looking at these wider measures, but this will involve a longer timescale than the programme communicated previously.
"Some proposals, which were not presented at the exhibition, have been designed to assist bus reliability. We intend to discuss these and other findings with Lambeth Council officers shortly to determine a way forward."
Lambeth Green Party's Chris Holt, an active member of the Safer A23 in Streatham Campaign, said: "For decades St Leonard's junction has been a blackspot for deaths and injuries. This decision shows where TfL's priorities lie; they believe traffic must be kept moving - even at the cost of people's lives and limbs. We need the new mayor to change TfL's priorities. Londoners have the right to be safe on their streets."Notes
1. Collision data extracts, attendant 2013, 2014, 2015 from https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/road-safety
2. Some 43,000 people live close to the road, which has become notorious for deaths and injuries. In the stretch between the South Circular and Streatham Common six people were killed and 35 seriously injured in five years (2010-2014): https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/accident_statistics_on_a23_in_st#incoming-695910
4. Nearly 1500 people have signed an online petition and another 600 a paper petition calling for a redesign of the road to minimise the danger and pollution affecting local people: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/make-the-a23-in-streatham-safer?source=facebook-share-button&time=1425833130
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