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 , | 12 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.

Posted in New | Leave a comment

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


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.’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in New | Leave a comment

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.


More as we hear it.


Posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc | Tagged | Leave a comment

CCTV video of attack on Alan Cartwright 7:35 Friday night – did you see anything, have you seen the stolen bikes ?

Police have released shocking CCTV footage of the attack on Alan Cartwright that led to his death.  Be warned that this CCTV from above the Cally Road shows three people attacking Alan and his friends.

I have thought about whether to post this dreadful video on this website – but I want to support the police in their appeal for witnesses and information, they have released this footage to serve that purpose.  The precise location of the attack was outside the grocery store and electrical shop on the Cally just South of the junction with Copenhagen Street.

Have you seen the stolen bikes, do you recognise the descriptions of the suspects, were you driving or walking past or were you on a bus on the Cally?  Contact the police on the details below – they will treat information sensitively and anonymously.

If you want to join up with others trying to combat Islington knife crime see the Facebook group Islington Unites.

The police say in their appeal:

Detectives investigating the murder of 15-year old Alan Cartwright in Islington, have released CCTV of the moment he was attacked.

The moving footage shows Alan, from Islington, and three friends riding their bikes north along Caledonian Road, near the junction of Copenhagen Street, N1 on Friday, 27 February at 19.34hrs.

Without warning two suspects [Suspects one and two] step off the pavement from the right-hand side, into the road in front of Alan and his friends.

‘Suspect one’ immediately stabs Alan in the chest, whilst ‘Suspect two’ lunges at one of Alan’s friends, knocking him off his bike.

At the same time, a third suspect [Suspect three] crossed the road from the left-hand side and grabbed another of Alan’s friends and pulled him off his bike.

‘Suspect one’ rode south down Caledonian Road with suspect three on the back of the stolen bicycle.

‘Suspect two’ also left the scene on the bike he had just robbed and headed south along Caledonian Road.

Alan managed to continue a short distance near to the junction with Twyford Street, N1 before he collapsed. Police and the London Ambulance Service were called to the location, where the teenager was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post-mortem examination on Monday, 2 March gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones, who leads the investigation for the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:

“The footage of the suspects attacking Alan and his friends is truly shocking. Alan stood no chance of defending himself against his attacker who casually stepped out in front of him and stabbed him in the chest.

“Identifying and arresting the suspects is our absolute priority. We are working tirelessly and the investigation is moving at a fast pace.

“It is obvious from the footage that Caledonian Road is busy with cars and pedestrians. We have already spoken to a number of witnesses who have provided helpful information to the investigation; however I would like to re-appeal to anyone who may know something about Alan’s murder and the robbery of the bikes.

“Where are the two bicycles that were taken? Someone may have noticed a new bike brought home or perhaps you have been offered a similar bike for sale? If so, I would urge you to contact the police.

“I would like to reassure anyone who is worried about contacting the police that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”

The bicycles stolen during the incident are described as:

A red “Specialized Hard Rock” mountain bike with disc brakes and black electrical tape on the frame. The second bike stolen is a black and red “Specialized Vita” pedal cycle with the word ‘Specialized’ in white, and a red stripe on the frame.

The three suspects are described as follows:

‘Suspect one’ is described as a male youth of slim build. He is believed to have been wearing a grey or dark coloured hooded top and dark bottom’s which could have had a keychain hanging from the rear pocket. He was wearing some sort of face covering but is thought to be white.

‘Suspect two’ is described as a male youth who was slim to medium build. He was wearing a black sleeveless jacket with a black hooded top underneath. He was wearing a shoulder bag across his body. He was also wearing a type of face covering but is thought to be black.

‘Suspect three’ is a male youth of medium build. He was wearing a thee-quarter length coat with a hood, which appeared to have some sort of trim around it. He is wearing a dark top with a multi-coloured motif on the chest. He is wearing lighter coloured bottoms and dark shoes. He is also covering his face. There is no information as to his ethnicity.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.

Posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Subscribe to tweets from Kings Cross general election candidates #ge2015

TwitterOne way to stay in touch with what the likely candidates for Holborn and St Pancras and Islington South and Finsbury are up to is to follow them on Twitter.  Twittelection has Twitter lists for each constituency Holborn and StP and Islington S.

I have set up a combined Kings Cross list so you can follow them all with one click.  Please drop me a line with any issues or suggestions.  I might extend the list in the future to include other local tweeters who speak for the parties (e.g. the local party branches).

There is a health warning though – some candidates barely use twitter others, shall we say, over use it.


Posted in Democracy and Elections | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fatal stabbing – appeal for witnesses – corner Copenhagen and Cally

alan cartwright

To update this post – the police have now named the victim as Alan Cartwright aged 15 – our deepest condolences go to his family, one cannot imagine what they must be feeling.  If you have any information that may be relevant please call the police incident room on 020 8345 3734.

The police say in their appeal:

A murder investigation has been launched after a male was stabbed in Islington.

Police were called at 19:36hrs on Friday, 27 February to reports of a male collapsed in Caledonian Road, near the junction with Twyford Street, N1.

Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and the male, aged 15, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Next of kin have been informed. Formal identification awaits.

A post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.

At this early stage it is believed the victim was cycling north on Caledonian Road with friends when they were attacked, near the junction of Copenhagen Street, by three males who were walking in the opposite direction.

The victim suffered a single stab wound during the attack and two other members of the group had their bikes stolen. The victim managed to cycle further up Caledonian Road before collapsing.

The suspects made off from the scene, continuing south down Caledonian Road.

No reports of any other injuries.

Officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command investigate and retain an open mind as to the motive for this time.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones leads the investigation. He said:

“Caledonian Road would have been very busy at the time of the incident and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack, or may have any information as to who is responsible, to come forward and speak to police.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or has information that could assist the investigation, is urged to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

No arrests, enquiries continue.

= Officers from Islington will be carrying out patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the local community. Anyone with concerns should speak to officers directly or contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

More over at the BBC who say:

‘A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death when three men attacked him while he was cycling with friends.

Police have begun a murder inquiry after the victim was attacked near Copenhagen Street in Islington, north London, at about 19:30 GMT on Friday’

Sky News are also covering it.

A local resident messaged us on Saturday to say:

>Local police from the Safer Neighbourhood Team have just contacted me with the sad news that there was a fatal stabbing at the corner of Copenhagen St and Caledonian Rd at 8pm last night.

They are reaching out to the local community to see if anyone has any information or saw anything that might be useful.

If you have anything you’d like to speak to them about or think you saw anything relevant, please give them a call on 020 7421 0328.

Posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, New | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Traffic backing up on Wharfdale Road and York Way – and news of a residents meeting

A local resident who lives with their family on Wharfdale Road has sent in these pictures of the traffic backed up at 1738, 0317 (in the morning) and 2040.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The resident says it’s like this ‘day and night’, ‘we have been getting headaches, coughing and my little boy’s asthma is getting worse’, (The council officer responsible for the traffic scheme) ‘Paul Taylor has agreed to a residents meeting, but so far the plan is to meet at the traffic light on Wharfdale Road on Wednesday,  March 4th at 7pm’

I shall see if I can get some confirmation of the meeting time etc and update here.  For some background on the Wharfdale 2-way see this blog post with a long comment thread including comments from Councillors Convery and Perry.

Posted in Transport | Tagged , , | 26 Comments