The early hours of this morning saw yet another car crashing into the Highgate Hill traffic lights. When will the authorities do something to make this road – and other Highgate accident hot spots – safer? 

This is the scene that greeted us this morning:

Screen shot 2016-05-02 at 21.23.49

Screen shot 2016-05-02 at 21.23.22

I say “yet another”. The last at exactly this spot was as recently as December. That one was reported in the Ham&High. There was another one, also last December, a couple of hundred metres downhill when a car hit the Popes Eye Steak House. That Ham&High article noted two other crashes on the Hill.

There seems to be a pattern. This was yet another night time crash. And a car going up hill and straight into the traffic lights. It’s obviously a dangerous stretch of road – people in the cars must be getting hurt and if it carries on a pedestrian will too. Then it takes ages – often months to get the repair made fully good, with traffic snarled up for some days with temporary lights.

Surely it makes sense to look at the lay out of the junction. Screen shot 2016-05-02 at 22.27.03The two lanes on Highgate Hill up to the junction become one lane after the junction without warning. There’s no excuse for bad driving, drunk driving or speeding but the junction makes itself vulnerable. After the last incident the authorities never replaced the lit arrowed bollard (like the one in the image). Perhaps a granite protection bollard is needed too. It would save money in the (not very) long run and must improve safety to do something.

The Forum has a keen interest in road safety. There is some background on the issue of traffic in Highgate in a blog on the Forum site written in March. It started: “Road safety is important. There is a need to make street life safer and feel safer.”

Here are the images from last December courtesy of the Ham&High:

Screen shot 2016-05-02 at 21.30.42

Screen shot 2016-05-02 at 21.30.06

Added 6 May:

Delighted to see the article picked up by the Ham&High, helping to raise the profile of this issue.

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 14.50.00

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2 Responses to Highgate Hill crash spot

  1. Adam Steiner says:

    The traffic island has acted exactly as it is supposed to, bringing the car to a halt before it could reach the area where a pedestrians might be standing. Whoever was driving the golf was obviously driving dangerously, people love to but on what possible basis can it be argued that the road design is inherently unsafe?

    • Simon Briscoe says:

      Well, using a traffic light (which can be dangerous when being hit and is costly to replace) is not the ideal traffic calming system! A concrete bollard in front of the lights would be a minimum – it would save public money at least. A more positive approach would be to reinstate the lit plastic bollard which was not replaced a couple of crashes ago. The “road design is inherently unsafe” as when you approach from the south, the road is two lanes, north of the junction it is one lane. With no signs to indicate that and worn out road markings it is no surprise that more such accidents seem to happen there than elsewhere ……. I agree some people will just have accidents come what may but more could be done.

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