The Independent London Newspaper
23rd April 2019

Action is need to prevent a fatality on the road outside the new primary school

    Published: 26 January, 2017

    • CAMDEN Council must take action before there is a child fatality. 

    Hawley primary has just moved to their new building on Hawley Road, a busy, fast three-lane road, where a zebra crossing has been installed opposite the entrance to the school. There have been a number of near misses with children as young as four on the crossing and one crash while children were about to cross the road. 

    Two things need to happen. First the crossing must become a controlled traffic light, with sensors, to identify, and fine, all vehicles that cross the red signal. Second the road should be reduced to two lanes by extending the pavement.

    Camden inspectors have assessed the problem but without any seeming urgency to resolve it.

    The cause of the problem is twofold: car drivers see a green light at the junction of Hawley Road and Kentish Town Road, they race to catch the green light, bypassing slowing or stationary traffic at the crossing; 

    Secondly if a large vehicle has stopped in the middle lane of the three-lane road, it obscures the crossing (and people on it) from vehicles behind who then regularly drive either side of the stationary vehicle. 

    Any parents and children on the crossing can not be seen by the cars going round the stationary vehicle, nor can the parents see a car that is about to pass.

    Camden Council must take urgent action within weeks to avoid a child fatality outside a newly-built school.



    Hawley school crossing

    The crossing itself is indeed a fatality waiting to happen. I myself alongside my 5 year old son were very very nearly knocked down by a van speeding ahead to try and catch the lights further ahead. I've also witnessed numerous times parents have had to literally grab there children as quickly as possible because vehicles and cyclists do not pay any attention to the zebra crossing. The situation of the school is terrible to begin on one of the busiest roads and that's without going into the pollution issues.
    When the school opened we thought there would be a safer entrance to the school than what there is now or at least railings along the pavements because there are children as young as 4 alongside younger siblings pouring in and out everyday with no safety what so ever. Camden council need to act more urgently before there are serious fatalities on their hands!

    Don't use this crossing

    This crossing is absolutely unnecessary given that there is a much safer one further up at the lights. Car drivers cannot see across the full width of the road and are obstructed by the building works on the road as they come around the corner. This crossing is a fatal accident waiting to happen, please don't use it.


    I have a child at the school and am fully aware of the crossings, but have to remind myself when driving there to carefully watch them. With three lanes, the bus stop, the traffic lights on the main junction and the bay for construction vehicles there are so many distractions and it is easy to only notice the crossing at the last second. I have also experienced it as a pedestrian and it is terrifying, you are totally unsure about whether vehicles will slow down and stop for you.

    Action needs to be urgently taken to make it safer.

    Crossing outside Hawley Primary School

    This crossing is very dangerous, exasperated by the current building works next to the new school. There are large trucks parked in the third lane, making pedestrians about to cross invisible to on coming traffic. Also, there is not a barrier to prevent young children from running or spilling straight out onto the road.
    When the new building was deemed ready for school children, these concerns were overlooked, the council remains alarmingly flat footed in its response to deal with a hazardous situation.
    Camden Council needs to address the issue immediately before there is a fatal accident.

    Extreme Caution Required.

    In these short months, I've also witnessed more infringements and experienced more near misses on this zebra crossing than any other. The problems seem to be particularly bad when one is crossing from the South of Hawley Road towards the North; vehicles in the nearest lanes will stop to let you cross, only for a car to then rush the third lane just as you are about to step into it. I have already had a very close call at 3:30pm accompanied by my 7year old. Close enough to know there would have been a fatality had I been pushing a pram or buggy.

    Loretta Takahashi NW1

    An accident waiting to happen!

    As a parent who uses that crossing every weekday I've seen first hand how cyclists, cars and vans take little heed of the crossing and race across it. It is simply an accident waiting to happen. Obstructed views caused by the pit lane usage from the building works next door to the school on the right, and from buses using the bus stop on the left hand side, are a danger for motorists as they don't see the crossing till too late as they race around the corner of Hawley Road. Something needs to be done asap.

    dangerous crossing

    Thanks Stephen for this much needed alert!
    This crossing is dangerous indeed. I witnessed several times cars not stopping and driving fast.

    Your 2 explanations for this are spot on.
    Drivers are focused on the traffic lights and are not even conscious there is a crossing there.

    Action is needed!

    Siting of Hawley School

    The school should never have been sited there. It's on an intersection with numerous bus routes and already has appalling air quality. Royal College Street/Kentish High Road is a designated HS2 transport route. What on earth were planners thinking of ? Same issue with the extension of Gospel Oak school onto a road with illegal air quality readings which weren't divulged to the parents in the rush to push this improvement through.

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