North Circular pedestrian crossing slammed as ‘dangerous’

Campaigners want TfL to extend the time pedestrians are given to cross the busy dual carriageway, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The 'dangerous' crossing in Bowes (credit Enfield Lib Dems)
The ‘dangerous’ crossing in Bowes (credit Enfield Lib Dems)

A pelican crossing on the North Circular in Enfield that is regularly used by schoolchildren has been blasted as “dangerous”.

Campaigners for the Liberal Democrat Party complain that the crossing, which is near the junction with Warwick Road in Bowes, only allows nine seconds for people to cross over the westbound carriageway before the signal turns to red.

They say this makes it impossible to cross the North Circular in one go, meaning pedestrians are forced to wait on a narrow central island between four lanes of fast-moving traffic before crossing to the south side of the road.

Parents who use the crossing when taking their children to Bowes Primary School have told the Lib Dems it poses a “severe safety risk”.

Local parent Steven Adderley said he was “astonished” that anyone at either Transport for London (TfL) or Enfield Council would think nine seconds was an appropriate crossing time.

He added: “The island in the middle of four busy traffic lanes is extremely narrow and, given how fidgety some children can be, this is a clear safety risk for those attending Bowes.”

In April, TfL told Steven it had altered the timing of the traffic signals “for the school run only”. In an email, it added: “It seems that 22 seconds is the standard phase that’s used during school time hours. This will at times be slightly extended due to the level of demand. At other times, such as during the night, the phasing would be a lot shorter.”

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But Steven and the Lib Dems have since checked the crossing several times, and they claim it still allows only nine seconds to cross the westbound carriageway.

Lauren Fulbright, the Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Enfield Southgate, said the crossing was clearly dangerous and her party would raise the issue at the London Assembly.

She added: “It is unbelievable that TfL, who are responsible for the North Circular and the traffic lights, and Enfield Council, who are responsible for the local traffic schemes, are unable to co-ordinate with each other and take some simple steps to improve the safety of children going to and from school.

“We are disappointed that despite claiming to have increased the time available to cross, this appears not to have been carried out, and feel that this improved time should be provided throughout the day, not just at school times.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “Reducing danger on roads across the capital is a vital part of our ‘vision zero’ commitment to eliminate death and serious injury. We are looking into potential changes to the setup of the two crossings and will discuss any changes to this junction with Enfield Council.”

Enfield Council was approached for comment.

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