Please prevent the rat run through Dagmar Terrace
Dear Rowena Champion
We are a group of Islington residents living in Dagmar Terrace and Cross St. and as you are planning a scheme to make the borough more sympathetic to pedestrians and bikers, and to focus on traffic calming and pollution, it seems the appropriate moment to let you know the very strongly held views about the need for two vital ways of making our streets safer, less polluted and less dangerous. Let us explain.
Dagmar Terrace is, at present a narrow two-way road which is used as a rat run by cars going from Cross St. and turning into it to avoid the traffic lights on Essex Rd. The traffic frequently drives at dangerous speed, going directly past the Little Angel Theatre, a hugely popular local amenity attracting many children who are at very real risk when they cross from St Mary’s Gardens directly onto the street from the park. It should also be noted that the danger is much increased by the fact that there is a blind bend in Dagmar Terrace and the entrance to the park is on this bend.
The pictures we have illustrate a lamppost knocked down by a speeding driver - if the lamppost had been a person we would have been looking at a death.
Residents have to put up with incidents of road rage on the terrace when school minibuses dropping off children for the theatre, and drivers delivering to Dagmar Terrace come up against commuters taking the short cut from Essex Road. Besides the food delivery scooters who take the pavement to skirt around the squabbling drivers.
These are conditions which cause a high level of noise, are unnerving and bolster up pollution in our home streets. Already we are seeing the build up again after the wonderful clear air which was a bonus of lock down. It seems ironic that our part of Islington is the only area in the borough that has not been given traffic calming measures.
So the proposal we have, which would be of minimal cost, and should solve the problem very simply, is to put a no right turn sign at the entrance from Cross St. into Dagmar Terrace and the other end a no left turn sign for cars coming along Essex Rd. Residents needing to park could do so but Dagmar Terrace would not then operate as a rat-run. A measure that would reduce risk to the many children who use the area including the park.
The other substantial part of the problem is the way Cross St. with many children coming from local schools and play groups also sees speeding drivers and large, polluting pile ups of traffic, often throbbing to get going when they have been stopped at the Essex Rd lights. So the suggestion for calming from Cross St residents is to have a dog leg system at the entrance into Cross St. from Upper St. and another at the entrance from Essex Rd. which would force traffic to calm.
We will of course add these suggestions to your consultative document, but it seems important to lay it out separately too as for reasons explained, it seems a particularly imperative case needing attention.