Mayor Boris Johnson has refused to extend the pedestrian crossing time on the Marylebone Road, ignoring a petition signed by 318 people.
Murad Qureshi AM, who lives locally, presented the petition to the Mayor in July asking for more time at the crossing, which is near to several local primary schools. It was signed by many parents who are worried that their children do not have enough time to cross the road safely in one green man phase and have to wait on the over-crowded central islands for a second phase, breathing in pollution from the passing traffic.
Murad Qureshi said: "Yet again, the Mayor is pandering to the car and disregarding the people. The current phasing of the crossing lights on Marylebone Road is putting children’s safety at risk on their way to and from school each day."
Murad added: "The current crossing arrangement is also compromising the health of pedestrians who have to stand in the middle of a busy road, breathing in pollution from the traffic thundering past. We know London’s air quality is unacceptable and we know that children’s lungs are more vulnerable to the effects of pollution. In parts of London nearly one in five children currently have asthma. We should be keeping children away from main roads where possible, not making them stand in the middle of them every day."
Ms Hobley, who is a parent at the school, said: "It really doesn’t seem right that so many people are stressed and endangered on a daily basis for the sake of literally a few seconds longer crossing times. It really shows the true priorities of TFL and makes a mockery of any green initiatives or encouraging parents to walk their children to school. Which is more important – the lives of children or a tiny delay for the traffic? There will be a child killed or badly injured on that crossing before too long – it’s that dangerous."
Murad said: "We’re only asking for a couple of extra seconds of green man time, but the Mayor has written to me to say he won’t change the timing because it would have a detrimental effect on the flow of traffic in the area, but what about the children’s safety and the detrimental effect on people’s health?"
- Murad Qureshi AM is the Labour Group environment spokesperson on the London Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee.
- Murad Qureshi submitted the petition to the Mayor on 22nd July:
"We the undersigned ask that the two pedestrian crossings on Marylebone Road near Enford Street are timed so that able-bodied adults and children can cross from north to south without having to wait for a full cycle of lights in the central island. The central islands become crowded and children travelling to the nearby schools are pushed close to the traffic. The timings require a very short extension of the pedestrian green light. As they are timed at present, parents and children are forced to run into the road in the pause between green and red, and run serious risks which could easily be eliminated with very little effect on traffic flow. We ask that TFL and the Council protect this vulnerable group from the serious health and safety threats posed by rush hour traffic on the Marylebone Road."
- The Mayor’s written response is attached below.