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Hi all. I am new to this forum and after a quick search have not found any threads on the dangerous situation created by u-turning taxis/minicabs/Ubers on Fann Street. (I saw one on the dangers of crossing Goswell Road, which is an important but slightly different issue.) Does someone know the history of efforts to install a zebra crossing from the north to south side of Fann Street, between the Shakespeare and Blake Tower? I paste below my recent correspondence with the City on this. I was really surprised to be told that there was no residents' support for such a crossing when last it was discussed. 

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On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:41 AM, Lee Bailey wrote:
Dear Albert,

Thank you for your reply. Can you please tell me where the signage prohibiting U-turns is? I can only see signs indicating that Fann Street is a dead-end. I am frankly surprised to hear that U-turning is prohibited and that this prohibition is enforced, because in the average 90 seconds a day I spend around this junction, I observe 3-4 vehicles executing turns. That leads me to believe that this dangerous pattern repeats itself hundreds of times a day.

When you say that no resident supported the proposal, can you explain how that process works? I would certainly support such a proposal. Where was it publicized?

Also, what is a pedestrian refuge facility and how would such a thing on the west side of Goswell Road protect pedestrians crossing through U-turning vehicles at Fann Street, which is on the east side of the road?

Thank you for your patience and explanations. 

Lee Bailey

On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM, Transportation, City <citytransportation@cityoflondon.gov.uk> wrote:
Dear Mr Bailey,

Thank you for contacting the City of London regarding crossing conditions on Goswell Road.


I would like to confirm that vehicles are prohibited from U-turning on Goswell Road by the junction of Fann Street and there is appropriate signage to communicate this restriction to drivers. Our mobile CCTV enforcement team do regularly enforce this location.

In 2015, improving pedestrian crossing facilities on Goswell Road was investigated and a crossing facility was proposed immediately north of Fann Street. However, this was not supported by a local resident and therefore the scheme was not progressed. Following this we introduced a pedestrian refuge facility outside No.25 Goswell Road by the newsagent.

I hope the above information is useful.

Many thanks

Albert
City Transportation



From: Lee Bailey
Sent: 10 October 2017 17:40
To: Streets Queue
Subject: Re: Dangerous crossing: Fann Street and Goswell Road

Hello,

I never received a reply to this inquiry. I was just nearly smashed by a black cab executing a high speed U-turn, and so was reminded of my attempt to reach you. Please advise.

Many thanks,

Lee Bailey


On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:28 PM, Lee Bailey wrote:
As a resident of the Golden Lane Estate, I would like to make a complaint about the use of the junction at Fann Street and Goswell Road by cabbies, mini-cab drivers and Uber drivers as a U-turn facility. This makes crossing Fann Street very dangerous-- half the time you expect a car to move on through, it cuts toward you in an about-face. Has there ever been a proposal to put a zebra crossing there?

Many thanks,

Lee Bailey

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The City could make a fortune off of fines... But I wonder if the turns shown in the videos are technically illegal since they're being made in Fann Street and not actually in Goswell Road...

U Turns in Fann Street are perfectly legal. It is that no U turn sign in Aldersgate Street that is causing all the trouble. It would arguably be safer to let traffic U turn in Aldersgate Street where there is good visibility and a fairly wide road, but I have a question - why is there so much traffic that needs to make a U turn? Where exactly are they being forced into going North up Aldersgate Street? If you come out of Beech Street Tunnel you can turn left or right and likewise from Long Lane (if it ever reopens). I really don't get what they are doing going North up Aldersgate in the first place?

A lot of black cabs use it, they sometimes are doing the u-turns while still on Aldersgate street, dipping in and out of Fann street without actually completely leaving Aldersgate street, probably cruising for fares in the city, made a dry run so turn around and cruise back into the city, more chance of good fares in the square mile.

Yes, I was about to make both of these points. It's definitely true that most of the turns aren't executed entirely within Fann Street which theoretically would make them subject to fines.

nathan said:

A lot of black cabs use it, they sometimes are doing the u-turns while still on Aldersgate street, dipping in and out of Fann street without actually completely leaving Aldersgate street, probably cruising for fares in the city, made a dry run so turn around and cruise back into the city, more chance of good fares in the square mile.

Just a quick note to say thanks to Lee for pursuing this. It is certainly a dangerous junction due to the sheer volume of vehicles turning. We often see near misses here including one involving a van and wheelchair user two weeks ago. 

Then it sounds like it might be cabs making the trip up from the Museum of London roundabout past Barbican station cruising for fares and then turning round if they don't find any. There are just so unbelievably many! Perhaps we could talk to one of the London Taxi newspapers?

No problem-- although I think the more people who contact those listed in my email thread, the better-- so they get a sense that it's not just one crazy resident (i.e., me!).

Steve Smith said:

Just a quick note to say thanks to Lee for pursuing this. It is certainly a dangerous junction due to the sheer volume of vehicles turning. We often see near misses here including one involving a van and wheelchair user two weeks ago. 

It's not only the cabbies, someone a few years ago on here ran a campaign to have a zebra crossing on the road, I think the best that happened was the traffic islands close to the parade of shops, which I have witnessed cars crashing into and driving over, so if you are standing on these attempting to cross the road you are going to have a terrible day.

Definitely not just cabbies-- vans and minicabs/Ubers as well. Thought the cabbies tend to go the fastest due to their tight turning radius (i.e., no three-point turns like the one in the video where the older woman is almost hit).

nathan said:

It's not only the cabbies, someone a few years ago on here ran a campaign to have a zebra crossing on the road, I think the best that happened was the traffic islands close to the parade of shops, which I have witnessed cars crashing into and driving over, so if you are standing on these attempting to cross the road you are going to have a terrible day.

I don't know if this discussion is still alive, but I have been collecting data on the U-turns (illegal) at Fann Street, and what I call 'Half U-turns' (technically legal), which are vehicles travelling north on Aldersgate/Goswell Road, turning right into Fann Street and using the Barbican car-park ramp to do a three-point turn, then re-emerging at the junction of Fann Street. It is a nerdy excuse for a crafty pint in the Shakespeare. I have only just started this project (strict half-hour shifts), but when I have more data, I will present it to our Alderman and Common Councillors for comment. If you have any input on health and safety, please email me at goldenlanegazette@gmail.com. I would also like to know if anyone has information as to income generated by fines for contraventions, and how it is spent. 

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