Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Well not quite because this morning an impatient driver insisted on passing me within one foot of one of the traffic islands – I skidded to a halt and her wing mirror clipped my handbars. A truly terrifying experience further enhanced by the mouthful of abuse I received for my inconvenience. Unfortunately I tried to get the registration plate but couldn't remember it by the time I got to work but it was a brown Nissan Micra (or something similar) so cyclists be aware.

Haringey Council know that Wightman is a lethal road for cyclists. They have just spent £200,000 on a traffic review to tell them what residents have been telling them for the last 10 years.  Wightman Road is too fast, has too much traffic, is too polluted and the traffic islands are so unbelievably lethal that it is only a matter of time before we have a cyclist fatality.

What is Haringey Council going to do to address this?  Pretty much nothing. This council takes its electorate for granted – however badly it fails its residents it banks on being returned to power. This is bad for democracy, bad for local residents and bad for Harringay ward. The utter contempt they have shown residents over this traffic survey is proof of this.

I don't want to wait another year, two years for something to be done to make Wightman Road safe. It needs to be made safe now – before we have a real tragedy.

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I have seen two very near misses (one almost head on collision today when a driver passed another close to a traffic island, and two months ago a car exiting out of Warham almost got wiped out by an Audi doing well over the speed limit). I do not feel safe walking along the road for this reason.
Totally agree.

I was just thinking that it felt cars were being more considerate, but that same day, a lady who couldnt be bothered to wait, overtook me only to turn immediate left across me down the ladder road, cutting me up- heyho

Not surprised to hear about this - it's an awful shame you didn't get the registration - I've given up cycling on Wightman Road and use Green Lanes instead - bad as it is, at least the traffic is slightly slower, though I've had some near misses from some troglodyte motorists driving aggressively fast and coming way too close on that dangerous stretch between Turnpike Lane and West Green Road.

I was on my bike on Wightman Rd this morning. A white van tried to overtake me at speed at one of the pinch points. I had to swerve off the road to avoid serious injury. Fortunately the curb was lowered at this point and there was nothing blocking my way out of trouble. 

I caught him up and took a picture  - at which he pulled up, got out demanding to know why I took his picture - he nearly killed me I pointed out. He then tried to blame me - 'I didn't touch you' (No, because I had to swerve off the road) - you should wear bright clothing (You didn't see me??!)

He ended up saying - we could sort it out  in court - I agreed. At which point he apologized profusely and shook my hand. He obviously knew dam well what he had done.

So, maybe one driver has learnt something - you cannot overtake cyclists at the pinch points ~(especially in a van - there is no way enough room).

However, the failure to do something about Wightman Road is an absolute disgrace. I cycle quite a lot and I cannot think of another road that puts me in such danger. 

Someone is going to get killed. Its a disgrace.

The road code says that you "should" wear hi-vis. I won't wear anything special for cycling but I have a pretty hi-vis bike.

David, you are right - it is an absolute disgrace. Haringey Council know the issues, they know how dangerous the traffic islands are to cyclists yet still nothing has been done. The GL Traffic survey come up with very little in the way of addressing the issues with this lethal road set up on Wightman.

Every morning and every evening I try and find a different strategy to keep safe while cycling through those islands. Every time I run the gauntlet of aggressive drivers angry that I am taking up to much of "their" road space.

Will it take a death before the council act?

I think this is a problem which is national rather than local. I recently use the excellent cycle lane on Green Lanes Enfield and was shouted at by three different drivers that I should use the cycle lane(this at a point where it was unfinished) but sadly this has come about partly as a result of cyclist deaths, where cyclists have been blamed ie, don't pass on the inside/wear high viz etc . There seems to be the view of many drivers that cyclists should be exemplary road users or they only have themselves to blame. Successive governments have woefully failed to address the issue, and, Karen, please don't think you can wriggle out of this by blaming Haringey, as they are just as under funded as any other Council. Remember the Coalition? We need a national cycle strategy which can start to turn the tide on the dangers of cycling and the issue of air quality which can only seriously be addressed by a policy which gets people out of their cars and onto public transport and bikes.

I am sorry Philip but I cannot agree with you (I am no apologist for coalition or Tory politics) - but Haringey are culpable here.  They appear to have spent a lot of money on a survey that was cynically designed to obscure the issues and provide an obstacle to action on Wightman Rd. They know full well there is a major problem and have done nothing for years. 

Just on the hi- viz issue - I was wearing a light blue neon-ish bag on my back. It was daylight. The driver was clutching at straws because he knew he could be in trouble as he realised I had his number - and he nearly killed me.

The argument that ALL cyclists need to be PERFECT is pernicious and wrong. Loads of examples that I could go into which some in those example groups would no doubt see as trolling.

Philip, I don't think that anyone would disagree that the council is under pressure financially (I'm not going to get into a ping pong argument over the coalition govt). The fact remains that Haringey are well aware of the dangerous set up of the road but they continue to fail to do anything about it. They managed to find £100,000 plus to do the Green Lanes Traffic Survey – *money well spent * on telling them what residents have been telling them for years and consultants who have come up with very little to address the biggest issues.

The fact remains that Wightman Road is so dangerous to cyclists in particular that the council should be taking immediate action to remedy the most treacherous aspects (ie. remove the lethal traffic islands).

We may not agree on things politically but surely we can agree that cyclists shouldn't have to risk their life every time they use Wightman Road.

They've allocated a few million to defend their HDV.... hilarious.

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