Unfortunately there has been a collision where a cyclist injured a pedestrian on Selbourne road junction with Hoe Street in Walthamstow E17 London. This was reason enough for one of the more active campaigners in the borough to state how he has always said the junction was unsafe and his email to councillors, council officers and the press implies we, the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign had been complacent about this and that we are somehow ‘in bed’ with the council.
Clearly I could not leave those public accusations unanswered and replied emailing the following (names removed):
Firstly I would wish Ms Bateson a good recovery despite the gloomy prospects given by the hospital. I am very worried that she got struck there with or without the lights working, as anybody should be able to easily stop in such a situation. However, my knowledge of the incident only comes [from] the newspaper article.
It is particularly shocking that the perpetrator fled the scene and I do hope that he or she can be caught. Only last month have I raised Waltham Forest’s hit and run problem with the Transport Liaison Consultative Group where I highlighted that especially pedestrians and, although not in this case, cyclists are at the receiving end of this menace and Waltham Forest has one of the worst hit and run rates in London.
With regards to the junction design I have directed your concerns to the council as soon as I received them some time ago. I have also used the junction to see for myself and must say that with the lights working I had no problem, but I know other people found it poorly designed. What did occasionally happen was that people crossed at the pedestrian lights when they were red and the cycle light was green. This does not surprise me at all as the pedestrian green phase is ridiculously short particularly at peak times. This has sometimes caused conflict for me, but never to an extent where a personal injury accident could have resulted.
During the road works at this junction the cycle lights were simply covered and so were the pedestrian lights in fact. I reported this dangerous problem to the Council and was informed that it is a TfL matter. I had to assume that the Council would inform TfL, but did so myself as well, as I thought it was an urgent problem.
I don’t recall noticing any changes following my complaint. True, since the lights for most of the junction have been reinstated the cycle lights remained covered and I have no idea why. Maybe the Council or TfL can explain.
I will ignore your underhand comments directed at the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign. Our members and activists do a sterling job with limited resources and can in no way be made responsible for the safety of any junction. All our dealings with the council and indeed anybody else are completely transparent and public and to suggest that there is some sort of backscratching going on is frankly ludicrous. Just what benefit you think WFCC would get out of such a deal I have no idea.
I am very sorry you decided not to extend your membership and hope you reconsider soon, so you can benefit from the many things the LCC has to offer and (…) be part of London becoming the model cycling city of Europe. I hope you will continue alerting the Council and us to any cycle related problems though.
The follow on story published in the Waltham Forest Guardian is based on this email and you are welcome to make up your own mind whether the author represented my views correctly.