Islington Council create new improved death trap

Islington Council have radically altered what was previously, a 'safe' section of road close to Drayton Park station, and have created a potential death trap. It's a long wide road round the back of The Arsenal, with a shallow sweeping bend by the station. All was well before on the bend – traffic moved freely and cyclists had there own generous lanes with curbs to shelter in. Now the Council have placed a bus only red zone in the middle of the road where the motorists went previously on the bend, forcing them to use the cycle lanes on either side. The new red zone only occurs on the bend and at no other point along the road. There's no bus route along here, accept for the occasional coach once in a blue moon may be visiting Arsenal – most fans get there by tube or train anyway. What happens now: the unnecessary red zone forces cars, vans and trucks fearful of a ticket by CCTV to swerve violently out into the cycle lanes whilst occupied by cyclists. I've been forced onto the curb off the cycle lane, I've seen other cyclists suffer similarly, and last week I saw a small hatchback impale itself and dangle on a bollard marking the entrance to one of the cycle lanes. Local Police don't understand the logic of this new road layout and are waiting for the inevitable to happen. Well done Islington and TFL.
Is there anyone else out there aware of this new crazy road layout?


Read about it here

Thanks very much anoopshah – the link helps enormously. I've witnessed some of the incidents, particularly the 'dangling car' episode. I'm frequently forced to swerve as motorists race to use the new shared cycle lanes ahead of cyclists – this can not be a safe or improved sheme. What gets me, reading the communications around the scheme in the link, is the obvious logic bypass the councilors have suffered. The section of road being discussed was way safer before any of the scheme was introduced.

  • By Austen at 8:31pm 7 June 2012

I've just sent a FoI request to Islington to try and find out more about who is responsible for this daft outcome and how much it has cost.

  • By Normsy at 9:10am 8 June 2012


Thank you for writing about this, as have been meaning to write since Wednesday when I nearly got knocked off my bike by a builders truck as it swerved to avoid the bus lane. Whilst the truck driver should have waited for me to go through, there is nothing warning of the change of road layout ahead. It's the most ridiculous bit of road design I've ever seen. What's the point of it and how on earth did they approve it? And how much did they spend to put in a bus lane that's the length of a bus! It's mind boggling and really dangerous. They need to sort this junction out as soon as, as it's a death trap! Thanks again for highlighting. I shall be writing to Islington and TFL too.


Hopefully, you've visited the link to Islington Cyclists' Action Group posted by Anoopshah, Normsy – clearly we're not alone on this issue.

I commute this road twice daily on my route across the City. It's a death trap. I've have had to bang on car windows as motorists swerve at me and drive through those narrow lanes at the same time as if I'm not there on my bike. The people responsible for implementing this bonkers scheme clearly had a logic bypass done at the same time.

That section of road was far safer before the new layout happened – certainly, it was better when we had use of exclusive cycle lanes. Before, there was plenty of room for everyone, even the HGVs, and it all flowed. Now Islington Council have built a death trap that creates jams, chaos and danger for all.

There's no logic in an empty red zone in the middle of a road buses never use, forcing the flow of cars, vans, trucks into the same space cyclists use and therefore into direct conflict. It's criminal that so much public money has been spent on such an ill-conceived and unnecessary scheme (mind you, we do excel at that sort of thing in the UK).

The safest option at the moment is to leave the motorists busily jamming their way through the narrow lanes and whizz past them in the middle of the generous traffic-free red zone. Well done Islington Council – genius at work.

Press release 92% of people surveyed felt Drayton Park less safe on ICAG website

  • By Jon at 8:53am 23 June 2012

Islington Tribune's coverage here.

This post was edited by Jon at 8:57am 23 June 2012.

  • By Austen at 1:11pm 4 July 2012

Update re my FoI request re Drayton Park cycle route

From: Pearton, Brad
Islington Borough Council

4 July 2012

Dear Sir / Madam


Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 12 June 2012 with regards to Drayton Park cycle route.


You have request the following information:


o Who designed the original Drayton Park width restrictions used in the
original consultation process earlier this year?


This was designed by our Traffic & Engineering Service, Public Realm,
Islington Council.


o How much did the design work cost


The cost of the design work was approx £5000.


o Who designed the revised the Drayton Park width restrictions used by
the contractors in its implementation


This was designed by our Traffic & Engineering Service, Public Realm,
Islington Council.


o How much did the revised design work cost


This figure was incorporated as part of above as alternative preliminary
design developed simultaneously.


o Who requested / authorised the revised design


The revised design was brought forward to resolve issues highlighted
during the consultation process. The final design is authorised via a
Delegated Decision which is signed off by the Director of Public Realm.


o What account was taken of TfL's London Cycling Design Standards in the
revised design


LCDS with particular regard to pinchpoints were considered during the
design process.


If you have a complaint about the handling of this information request,
please contact: Information Complaints, Corporate Resources, Room G17,
Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD.  



Brad Pearton

Technical Officer

Parking & Business Service

Environment and Regeneration

Islington Council

222 Upper Street

London N1 1XR


  • By Lowlife at 8:46am 14 August 2012

It looks to me like they're remodelling it. Work started last night and by this morning (14 August) the traffic islands and the red and green tarmac had been removed. Hopefully they will put the width restriction for cars in the middle of the road and the unused bus lane, plus cycle lane, at the side.

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