[from Islington Gazette]
Crossing safety boost brings ‘closure’ for tragic tot’s mum
24 December 2008
|Durrah Adams (left) and Councillor Teresa Debono at the revised crossing at the junction of Blackstock Road and Monsell Road|
A GRIEVING mother says new safety measures at the junction where her three-year-old daughter was killed have finally given her “closure” – FIVE YEARS after the tragedy.
Zahra Adams was knocked down and killed in a collision with a lorry at the junction of Blackstock Road and Monsell Road, Finsbury Park, in April 2003.
Now mum Durrah, 50, a systems administrator of nearby Wilberforce Road, says Zahra’s death was not in vain after Islington Council installed advance bike stop boxes at the junction following her five-year safety campaign.
Mrs Adams said: “We’ve been pushing for these changes since 2003. It’s taken a long time. The traffic now has to stop further back and it just means there’s much more visibility for pedestrians. We’ve really been working hard and slowly a few things have happened over the years but now there’s an element of closure.
“We’ve got three schools in Blackstock Road – Ambler, Gillespie and St John’s and it’s a very busy crossing. If it is now safer for the whole community then something has been achieved from Zahra’s death.”
Councillor Teresa Debono (Highbury West), who has backed the campaign since it began, said: “Before, the stop line was so far in front that a large vehicle would cover the red light and this is what happened when this child died. It’s taken four years of arguing to get it done.
“I handed a petition into Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor and had meetings with the council, and every time I was told there was no money to commit to it. I thought I’d have to get a tin of paint and do it myself. We’ve had to struggle so much to get something so minor.”
Councillor Greg Foxsmith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “The tragic death of Zahra Adams will strike a chord with any parent – myself included. We’ve been working closely with Zahra’s mum and met with her to talk through the safety features of the junction. It’s along a cycle route and we recently provided cycle ‘stop boxes’. As with any road alterations, it involves a sometimes lengthy approval process.” Following the tragedy the Zahra Adams Award For Safer Walking in London was set up by pedestrian charity Living Streets and Transport for London. The £500 award is given each year to the London primary school that shows the best commitment to road safety.