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Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 12 September 2008

Lisa Pontecorvo
Road death sparks call for inquiry

Campaigner killed at junction with 15 accidents in three years

THE tragic death of one of Islington’s best-loved campaigners in a road accident in Holloway brought pleas this week for a major inquiry into traffic safety.

Lisa Pontecorvo, 64, was wheeling her bicycle across busy Holloway Road, at the junction with Fieldway Crescent, on Monday evening when she was dragged under a cement lorry. She died instantly.
Leading politicians of all parties, including Islington Council Lib Dem leader Councillor James Kempton and Labour MP Emily Thornberry, have paid tribute to her conservation work.
The accident prompted calls for Transport for London (TfL) to look at the “confusing” junction and the area’s “mish-mash” of traffic lights.
TfL confirmed there have been 15 road accidents at the spot in the past three years, at least one involving a cyclist.
Caledonian ward Labour councillor Rupert ?Perry, a friend of Ms Pontecorvo, is calling for the inquiry. He said: “Police will carry out their own investigation but we need a thorough inquiry by TfL and Islington Council. We owe that to Lisa, who was one of the safest road users I know.”
Monday’s accident was caught on CCTV cameras outside Mureli’s supermarket. Cihangir Eren, who has run the shop for 10 years, said: “Traffic on this side of the road was stopped. She started to cross the road but stopped between the lorry and a car. She was waiting for traffic on the other side to stop. The lights changed and the lorry started to move. My staff are still shaking. They said it’s hell around here.”
He added: “There’s always trouble with this road, especially the junction with two sets of traffic lights. One side of traffic stops and the other keeps moving. It makes people confused.”
Tim Barnes, assistant manager of Cycle Surgery, directly opposite the accident scene, said: “There needs to be another set of traffic lights. There are regular near-misses here.”
Jennette Arnold, chairwoman of London Ass­embly, has vowed to put concerns about the junction at the top of her list when she meets the transport commissioner.
A TfL spokeswoman said: “All the traffic signals respond to each other to optimise traffic flow. In the last year, we have not received any complaints about these signals.’’ In the 12 months to April, three cyclists were seriously injured in Holloway Road between Highbury Corner and Archway.
“A feasibility study is underway to introduce new road safety measures in the section of Holloway Road between Tollington Road and Seven Sisters Road,” the spokeswoman added. “Another safety study is being carried out for the section between Archway and St John’s Grove.”

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