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TfL warned 3 years ago that Kings Cross junction was potentially fatal

October 19, 2011

The accident scene photographed by local resident Daniel Zylbersztajn who gave a witness statement

Cally Councillors have supported calls for corporate manslaughter charges to be brought against Transport for London (TfL) after a young woman was killed whilst cycling through the Kings Cross gyratory.

TfL was warned in a 2008 Street Safety audit that “casualties were inevitable” at the junction of Grays Inn Rd/York Way and Pentonville Rd. The audit report, which was commissioned by TfL, called for significant safety improvements.

Despite this TfL has still not begun work to re-engineer the junction to reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The volume of pedestrians – particularly at the south end of York Way – has increased very sharply in the last two to three years.

The tragic death of Min Joo Lee, a 24 year old fashion design student at the newly opened University of the Arts, was a shocking casualty that has highlighted the exceptionally dangerous highway environment around Kings Cross.

Local councillor, Paul Convery, who is also Islington’s Executive Member responsible for transport, has condemned TfL’s sluggish attitude to remodelling the road system around Kings Cross.

He says “we have called repeatedly for the removal of the two gyratory systems at Kings Cross and urged TfL to speed-up junction improvements designed to give pedestrians greater safety at the intersections.

“The entire Kings Cross road system is the legacy of a time when decision-takers thought it was simply a drive-through-and-forget place. Well it isn’t anymore. Many thousands of people live here. Hundreds of growing businesses are located here. It’s becoming a whole new entertainment district with scores of pubs, clubs and restaurants. And it now has the largest single public transport interchange in Europe.

“TfL is under a Tory Mayor’s control and – despite his cycle-clowning persona – he has pursued a brutal pro-traffic agenda. The alternative is clear. People must take priority. Vehicle traffic has to be slowed-down; pavements should be widened; crossing times extended; cycle safety zones created.

“We believe TfL has to wake-up: Kings Cross roads are a death trap. TfL was warned of the dangers 3 years ago and has done almost nothing in response. That’s why we support police enquiries to test whether TfL is guilty of corporate manslaughter.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    October 19, 2011 10:34 pm

    Great post, very timely. I live on Caledonian Road, cycle whenever I can and try to avoid major roads. However the layout of one way streets arround Kings Cross means I cannot reasonably avoid having to sometimes navigate my way through the worst bits of this horrendous gyratory. York Way, Wharfdale Rd. & Caledonian Rd. need converting to 2way or provided with real separated cycle lanes.

  2. sixtus beckmesser permalink
    March 11, 2012 11:02 pm

    not helped by the complete failure of Islington and Camden Councils to work together to channel us around this system. I have lived off the Cally road for 18 years and seen various cycle routes mooted and even advertised, but they all go pear-shaped. There is no way round for me, at the moment, until Goods WAy is re-opened in both directions. Why on earth wasn’t this made a 2-way cycle only route? This would no doubt have saved lives like this poor student.


  1. Road safety – Political reaction | Kings Cross Environment

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