Corsa crashes at entry to Swinton Street this morning

This report is written subjectively, but I assure any reader that these are fully true and accurate accounts.

A small black car, that looked like a Vauxhall Corsa, sport tuned in its external appearance, has crashed at the entrance of Swinton Street early morning today. I saw the occupants who appeared to be under 25 awaiting their stationary car’s removal in a rescue truck this morning at 6.30 am (the car itself was in front of the news agent at the corner of Swinton Street, on the pedestrian walk).  The entire left front of the car including its left frontal wheel appeared to be damaged, consistent with an impact crash to the left.  I looked around if I could see a crashed lamp-post or any item that the car could have crashed into, but the only thing I could see was the slightly raised concreted track guidance on the left side of the entrance of Swinton Street. At the entrance of Swinton Street the road is widened with the mentioned track guidance, to allow cars more space to negotiate the sharp corner, difficult enough at current speeds of 30 miles an hour.  It is a presumption of mine, but the only way I can explain this car’s crash at this location and in the way I found it is that the driver of the crashed car sped its way down Pentonville Rise and then tried to corner at a speed that was too high for this manoeuvre into Swinton Street.  This would be consistent with at least one accident I observed at this corner.  I regret that I didn’t have my mobile phone with me to take a picture.  But I felt it would be important to capture this here, as it at least one other story of a typical incident within the gyratory system at Kings Cross, where large two to three-lane unidirectional roads are combined with excessive speed.  Whenever the lanes are more empty, such as at night, some car drivers take advantage of what must appear to them to be an urban motor-way that can take higher speeds (it may do technically, but not without endangering many local people).

Other recent incidents noted by me:

High speed was also observed by me this Tuesday around 9.20 am when I took my youngster to nursery (so at a time when little ones of our Kings Cross community hit the streets) and typically, I regret to say, a motor-bike rider sped up at tremendous speed in Acton Street.

I also observed twice within the last ten days a car and a motorbike (each time involving different vehicles) trying to race each other out at high speed at a time of relatively empty roads in the day-time on Pentonville Road (East-bound).

Finally it happened to me twice recently that cars ignored their red light at the pedestrian crossing at the entrance into Swinton Street.

Whilst my comments may be perceived to be subjective reports without additional concrete evidence, I invite anyone who reads this to add their recent observations into the comments. This I hope will at least serve as a reference point to any consultation on the impact and experience of other road users in the gyratory system (like to local residents and others who may just travel through the area on a regular basis). It is also worthwhile to contact your Kings Cross area councillor and TfL.

TfL has announced to review the gyratory system recently and speed tests were planned for this year on some of the roads, following residents complaints, including one made by myself.

About Daniel Zylbersztajn

Daniel Zylbersztajn, works as a journalist, mostly for German media, and as a Pilates Teacher. Born in Germany and raised in Germany, Holland and Israel, he is a long term resident of London Kings Cross, involved parent, local and social activist, and positive lifestyle advocate. He also held posts in research, and conflict work, a.o. for the Palestinian - Israeli peace village Wahat al Salam ~ Neve Shalom. He holds a BA in history and politics from SOAS and two Master degrees, in Urban Sociology (Goldsmiths) and Sports Coaching (Brunel) and tweets under @zylbersztajn
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6 Responses to Corsa crashes at entry to Swinton Street this morning

  1. David says:

    Basing something on a presumption when you didn’t actually see what happened can not provide a ‘fully true and accurate account’ of this morning’s accident. Your presumption is one of many possible causes of the accident. You may be right but you can not possibly know that based on your walking past after the event. Safety on the roads around King’s Cross is clearly a major issue for many people but in my view pointing accusatory fingers and passing them off as fact does not help resolve the problem.

    • Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

      David, it is a true a full accurate account of what I saw. I don’t think you are being fair at all, because where necessary I clearly stated what is my reconstruction vs. what I found. In fact the whole post starts very clearly and openly with the words this is subjective, and I was extremely careful in the way the words within are put. I did have a think about this before and after writing it. In my opinion we must insist on reporting such events as long as we make it clear what was actually found. It is fair to give an explanation to one’s best understanding as long as one states that this is what it is. I do so very very clearly. At no stage do I actually say I can 100 percent assure that the course of events was in the way I reconstructed it to my best knowledge. I used words like presumably and possibly, where they were needed. But not providing a good guess, would be just as untruthful, because I have seen this kind of accident before at the same corner. In stressing, what one saw and what is believed to be the best explanation in one’s opinion and experience of living in an area, as long as one says this is one’s best guess, at least we go somewhere towards cataloguing events in an area. If you only want the forensic reports by the police (and in in many cases events do not even reach the police), then you know where you can get these reports. So, a writer on a hyper local blog who clearly indicates judgement vs fact is certainly more truthful than some of our so called factual newspapers, where at times explanations and factual findings are being blurred. This was not done here at all, and I clearly stated what is what openly. Beyond that, I asked others to add their experiences. Verbal witness accounts put together by local people do give an indication of what an area is like, and explanatory guesses are valid as long as they are admitted as such. I did, so I actually don’t understand why you felt urged to comment on this occasion in the way you did.

  2. Tony Rees says:

    There can be no argument with Daniel’s observation that the King’s Cross gyratory system is used as a race track. We live in the one-way section at the south of Caledonian Road and high powered cars and motorcycles constantly use it as a drag strip. I contacted Islington Council some time ago and asked for a speed camera after a car ended up on the pavement outside Tescos having failed to make it round the corner into Balfe Street. I was told that Caledonian Road was a safe road and that there were no plans to add any speed cameras. Strange that speed cameras were installed further to the north were it is almost impossible to speed due to the road being two way, parked on both sides and extremely busy.

    • David says:

      I’m not disputing Daniel’s accounts of the events he actually witnessed. I have also witnessed people driving too fast around the King’s Cross area. What I do not think is useful is to make presumptions that this was the case in an accident that you haven’t actually seen based on those previous incidents. Who knows why the car crashed this morning? Only the people actually in the car and an actual witness to the accident can possibly know, not someone walking past later and assuming that the under 25 looking occupants (unsure of the relevance there either) must have crashed because they were speeding. Although Daniel is also correct that he doesn’t actually say 100% that this is the case it is seriously implied. Simply saying this is my view and it is based on my previous experience does not make it right in this case. My reason for commenting initally was that I thought Daniel had made a considerable leap from what he reported seeing to suggesting speeding was the probable cause and thought it worth commenting on. That’s all.

  3. Leah Dixon says:

    I regulary see cars and vans racing down Grays Inn road until they are forced to come to a stop at the lights. I do not have any high tech equipment or evidence to give details but as a motorist, pedestrian and cyclist myself I know what 30 mph looks like and that isnt it!! I have also witnessed, on numerous occasions motorists running lights at the main Kings Cross junction as they are truning red. I have also taught my daughter not to expect anyone to stop for her at the zebra crossings on grays inn road as motorists usually ignore them. I have asked for speed camers or bumps to slow motorists down on Grays Inn road but have been told (in other words) that there would need to be more casualties for this to be considered. I would rather pre-empt death on my doorstep then wait for it to happen.

  4. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    “It is a presumption of mine, but the only way I can explain this … is … ” Come on, David what else do you want?

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