Young and very, very stupid, Greenford Flyover

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I knew that I’d be mining a rich seam this morning when I went in search of reckless behaviour. For years I have watched pedestrians take risks by crossing the slip roads at Greenford Flyover instead of using the subways, from the passenger seat of a car as well as from the pavement. Even so I was not prepared for this: the sight of two teenage boys in school uniform, cycling to school across the north-west and south-west slip roads at the Flyover, then riding on the wrong side along Greenford Road.

Greenford Flyover and the roundabout beneath it carry thousands of vehicles every day, including many very large articulated trucks. One of them struck and killed a man on the south-east slip road seen on the right of this image.

It doesn’t surprise me that teenagers take such a casual attitude to their own safety at the Flyover when I see the poor example they are set by adults. I watched a number of children cross there this morning, including this mother and daughter who were followed by an older schoolboy across the north-east slip road, under the Flyover and across the south-east slip road at the place where a man was killed.

In 2009 there was a murder in one of the subways and many local residents said that they were too frightened to use them. They said that no one could see them once they were below ground level and that the environment was shabby. This led to the introduction of CCTV and improvements to the steps and lighting. So why do people still risk their lives and those of their children in this way? I think there are two reasons. Some believe it is quicker to dodge traffic than walk through the subways (it took me under two minutes), others have decided to perpetuate fears encouraged by those who have never walked through them. The irony is, of course, that if the subways were used by everyone and not just the adults and children I regularly see down there, those who want to cause harm would be put off and lurk elsewhere. The space under the Flyover is still far from perfect but these excuses are now inexcusable. Following the murder I attended a public meeting at which a woman declared quite proudly that she had told her son not to use the subways on his way to school, she expected him to run across the slip roads. I cannot express in words the contempt I feel for her and the people who risk the lives of the next generation in this way. What fools they are.

Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.

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This entry was published on June 25, 2012 at 11:33 am. It’s filed under People, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Young and very, very stupid, Greenford Flyover

  1. carole on said:

    utter madness! i have seen young schoolboys running between traffic and walking alongside the flyover on the Bridge Hotel flyover sidewall will you be at the next Greenford Green Ward Forum? it will be interesting to see if anything more has come of the plan to have a crossing under and around the flyover as proposed by Jason Stacey after the murder you spoke of.

    • I don’t see why local taxpayers should pander to the laziness of people who can’t be bothered to use the crossings that are already there. If I can spare the time to use the subways so can they. There is already another subway connecting the two sections of Oldfield Lane and a pedestrian walkway near the rail bridge. What makes anyone think they’ll use a different crossing? There are zebra crossings at a similar site in Chiswick which rely on sensible behaviour of drivers and pedestrians – that’s why they’re a deathtrap. There is absolutely no excuse for any mother to take a child across a road like that and the only way to stop it is to prosecute people who behave in this way. I’ve seen women take two or three children as well as pushchairs across there. What kind of a parent does that? In addition we will soon have a new school full of teenagers a few minutes walk away from the Flyover. I’m in favour of the new school but dread the impact of the presence of so many young and potentially reckless people at the Flyover, based on what I have seen.

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