Islington South and Finsbury hustings 13 April 2015 – live tweets #islsfhust #ge2015

islington south and finsbury hustingsIf you couldn’t make the Islington South and Finsbury hustings this evening at Sadlers Wells here are my tweets of what went on.  Like all ‘live tweeting’ it should be treated as impressionistic, rather than deadly accurate – I am not a court stenographer – any issues please raise them with me in the comments.  Thanks to chairman of the Islington Society, David Gibson for chairing and to the Gazette and Sadlers Wells for hosting.  Tweets below are in reverse chronological order – ie last first

The candidates are:

Jay Kirton ​Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
Charlie Kiss​ ​Green Party
Mark Lim​ ​The Conservative Party Candidate
​Pete Muswell ​UK Independence Party (UKIP)
​Terry Stacy ​Liberal Democrats
​Emily Thornberry ​Labour Party

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Hustings – Sadlers Wells Theatre Monday 13 April 1900

Sadlers Wells Theatre and Islington Gazette are holding a husting event on the evening of 13 April at seven o’clock where the candidates for Islington South and Finsbury will answer questions from local people. For more details click here.  It’s well worth going along to a husting if you want to see the candidates answer questions in the flesh – they are miles better than the downright weird TV events, much more human and accessible.  It’s worth keeping an eye on the embryonic site ‘MeetYourNextMP’ which attempts to list husting events across the country.

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Candidates for 2015 General Election in Kings Cross – ‘Islington South and Finsbury’ and ‘Holborn and St Pancras’

ballotboxThe official lists of candidates for the two parliamentary wards that cover Kings Cross have been published.

In Islington South and Finsbury you can choose between:

​Jay Kirton ​Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
Charlie Kiss​ ​Green Party
Mark Lim​ ​The Conservative Party Candidate
​Pete Muswell ​UK Independence Party (UKIP)
​Terry Stacy ​Liberal Democrats
​Emily Thornberry ​Labour Party

Islington Council has a handy page on the mechanics of it all.

and in Holborn and St Pancras:

Natalie Bennett Green Party
Will Blair The Conservative Party Candidate
Jill Eileen Fraser Liberal Democrats
Shane O’Donnell Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol Abdul
David O’Sullivan For socialism. Against austerity and war
Maxine Spencer Holborn and St Pancras Constituency UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Keir Starmer Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party

Camden Council has a handy page covering all the mechanics of voting – poll cards, registration etc –

It isn’t too late to register to vote from your home address – you can do so online up until Monday 20th April.

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Kings Cross to be terminus for Google Space elevator

kings cross space elevatorGoogle X-Labs are planning to to base the earth port of their new space elevator at their abandoned office site in Kings Cross.  A nano-carbon fibre line will run from behind the station to a counterweight in geo-stationary orbit 144,000 km away.  A ‘climber’ shuttle will run up and down the line to take loads cheaply into space.

Google are thought to have been inspired by the epic 1969 Daily Mail picture of a Harrier Jump jets racing from only 100 metres away from their office site to St Pancras to Paris.

The space elevator is now possible thanks to the release of previously secret technologies, based on the early work of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Yuri N. Artsutanov from the Soviet-era space program.  Google’s new business partner is Kazakhstan KX Investment Group Ltd  the people behind the Soviet Space program who will put the counter weight into orbit and designed the Kings Cross maglev.

A Google spokesman said – ‘Kings Cross is just too two dimensional – you just need to think transport in the third dimension or even the fourth’.  Asked about the Soviet link Google said ‘We are channeling Werner Von Braun here’

Camden Council said: ‘Kings Cross’s fine budget hotels and hostels have been harbouring alien life forms for years, this will make it much easier for them to get home.’

Islington Council said: ‘Google can do anything they like as long as it doesn’t affect the Kings Cross gyratory.’

A TfL spokesman said: ‘You are just winding me up about the Emirates Cable car – I told you we stopped answering questions about that.  For Oyster card users space is in Zone 6 or buy a ticket to Amersham.’

A film location scout said: ‘With the Crick germ research lab, a space elevator, an art college and the Eurostar, Kings Cross is the perfect location for a zombie movie.’

Image: “Space elevator structural diagram–corrected for scale+CM+etc–regenerated as SVG” by Skyway at en.wikipedia / User:Booyabazooka – This is an improved diagram of a Space Elevator.It is a modification of File:Space_elevator_structural_diagram–corrected_for_scale+CM+etc–regenerated_as_SVG.svg This file obsoletes both that file and File:Space elevator structural diagram.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Space_elevator_structural_diagram–corrected_for_scale%2BCM%2Betc–regenerated_as_SVG.svg#/media/File:Space_elevator_structural_diagram–corrected_for_scale%2BCM%2Betc–regenerated_as_SVG.svg – as amended to show Kings Cross, incorrectly.

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Wharfdale Road traffic – signal changes and statement from Councillor Convery

Traffic from lights 2040

Traffic from lights 2040

Local ward Cllr Paul Convery and the Islington officer in charge of the Caledonian Road scheme Paul Taylor met with residents on Wharfdale Road last Wednesday evening.  A resident’s read out of the meeting is in the comments.  Thanks to resident pressure, the light phasing is being changed iteratively over the next few weeks with a SCOOT system that adjusts itself to manage queues and pollution monitors being installed.  I am sure local people will let us know in the comments how well this is working.

Paul Convery wrote to residents as below:

Thank you everyone who came out to the street on the evening of last Wednesday. I am writing to confirm what we discussed and to let you know what will be the next steps.

I fully recognise that the traffic queuing at the new lights on both Wharfdale Road and Caledonian Road (north of Killick Street) is causing serious noise and exhaust problems to nearby residents.

As I explained on Wednesday evening, the intention of this changed road layout is to (a) create a safe cycle route from Wharfdale Road into Killick Street (south) and towards Pentonville Road; (b) improve the pedestrian environment around the Killick Street junction; (c) introduce a calming effect on the southern section of Caledonian Road by reintroducing 2 way working; and to regulate the congestion and queuing that had affected the lower parts of Caledonian Road.

There has been strong public support for an ambitious plan to completely remove the gyratory system around Kings Cross and to return conventional two-way traffic in most of the roads. We hope to change the balance between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists so that pedestrians become the main users of the area around what is now Europe’s largest public transport interchange and it’s important that we reconfigure the highway so that it is less engineered for the benefit of vehicles. There is a very realistic prospect that Transport for London, which is responsible for most of the major roads in the gyratory, will soon come forward with options to make this happen. However, we need to maintain pressure on them.

The reintroduction of 2 way traffic in the Caledonian Road is meant to be a first step in that plan.

However, by introducing a lights controlled junction at Killick Street this has resulted in queueing and stationary traffic. As I said on Wednesday evening, the lights were installed “out of the box” with quite crude fixed timings for the red/green phases. An additional piece of electronics was installed to the system on Friday (known as “SCOOT”) which adjusts the red/green phases according to the levels of traffic on the each of the roads. Initially the system had given longer green phases to Caledonian Road traffic which resulted in queues on Wharfdale. The SCOOT system will adjust the red/green phases on a second-by-second basis depending on traffic volumes on each of the roads. For example, if the carriageway sensors indicate heavy traffic flow on Wharfdale Road, the signals will provide a long green phase to Wharfdale Road and allow that traffic to move. We propose a couple of weeks to for the SCOOT system to bed in and we will undertake queue length surveys after the schools Easter break to make sure the system is modelling the traffic flows correctly.

Also discussed at the meeting were several further issues which we will be responding to by:
introducing new parking restrictions on the northbound lane to ensure it is clear of any parking, to reduce risks of vehicles pulling into the southbound lane and I expect this will be implemented on 16th March;
checking that the audible pedestrian crossing warning is switched off between 22:00 – 07:00. This is the standard hours applied to all audible indicators and we have asked the TfL commissioning engineer to confirm this is operating correctly;
recognising the air pollution problems, we intend to arrange air monitoring equipment to be installed and I hope this might be extended to other parts of the Wharfdale/York Way/Cally Road gyratory

I really do understand how much this change has caused distress to people living alongside the new lights and I am very sorry that we were unable to implement a better phasing of the lights from the very start. I accept that significant adjustments will need to be made to the phasing and we are going to do that. However, it will be several weeks before the system is fully responding in the flexible way that the SCOOT system is designed to do.

Finally, I promise you that we are going to urgently raise with Camden Council the wider traffic problems in the neighbourhood caused by the KX development. Camden is just as concerned as Islington about the need to push on faster with plans to remove the gyratories around Kings Cross and I have asked the Leader of the Council if we can get TfL to speed-up the feasibility exercises they have begun.

I hope this answer goes some way to assuring you that we will do our best to address the problems caused by heavy traffic movements at the Killick/Wharfdale junction and make changes that will improve conditions for you and your neighbours.

Paul Convery

Labour Councillor for Caledonian Ward,
LB Islington
Executive Member for Community Safety
(Policing, crime, licensing and public protection)
Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD

Posted in Road Safety in Kings Cross | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Candle-lit vigil for Alan Cartwright 7-8pm Friday outside Cally Pool

All welcome. Bring a candle. Event page on Facebook, over 400 expected.

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Is this your stolen bike at Islington police station?

Was your bike nicked in Islington somewhere? Is this your stolen bike? Islington Police have released pictures of ten stolen bikes in the slideshow below.  They say:

‘If you believe this bicycle belongs to you, please contact Exhibits Store Manager Alex Thomas, Islington Police Station, on 0207 263 0336, quoting the reference number in the picture or

NI-recycle@met.pnn.police.uk.

Or if you have any information relating to the theft of this or any other bicycle please contact Crimestoppers anonymously [freephone] on 0800 555 111, or call our non-emergency number 101, quoting the cycle identity number above.’

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Police make three arrests re murder of Alan Cartwright

The Met Police has announced via Twitter today that it has made three arrests a 17 year old boy, a 21 year old man and and 18 year old man. 

The BBC say:

‘A boy, 17, and a 21-year-old man were arrested by police in Camden. Earlier a man, 18, was arrested after going to a police station. All three remain in custody.’

So it appears that someone handed themselves in.

ttps://twitter.com/metpoliceuk/status/573007781344776192

More as we hear it.

 

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