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First wards to get rat run-busting road improvements revealed by the Town Hall

The roll out of the councils ambitious bid to cut rat-running on residential streets will start next month

12 June, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

THE council has pinpointed St Peter’s ward as the first in the borough to benefit from this year’s roll out of low traffic neighbourhoods.

Also known as ‘people-friendly streets’, the idea behind low traffic neighbourhoods is to ban through traffic and rat running through council maintained residential streets, while allowing people to carry on parking near their homes.

Council leader Richard Watts unveiled plans to cover “around a third of the borough” in low traffic neighbourhoods by the end of the year. He later said the roll out would take place in three waves, with at least two to be completed by January 2021 using “inexpensive methods” such as planters, bollards and no entry signs at the end of roads.

The plans come as local authorities across the capital take advantage of the low traffic during the coronavirus crisis to widen pavements and introduce more cycle lanes. Clean air campaigners in Islington have been displaying blue hearts in their windows to advocate for a permanent solution to the borough’s historic clean air problems – mainly caused by traffic.

Today, the Town Hall has revealed work will start in St Peter’s ward on July 3, and carry on until July 9. The changes will be placed under an 18-month experimental traffic order. A consultation will then take place in the summer of 2021 on whether the changes should be made permanent.

More people-friendly streets neighbourhoods are set to be introduced in the Canonbury, Highbury, Clerkenwell, Nags Head, and St Mary’s areas by the autumn.

The council hopes the changes will make it safer for people to walk, cycle, and use buggies and wheelchairs, whilst keeping access for emergency vehicles, trade vehicles, and local people who need cars.

Cllr Rowena Champion, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It’s vital we act to create people-friendly streets, where it is easier and safer to walk and cycle, and streets are better and more pleasant for all.

“With less traffic in recent weeks, people have been telling us they are enjoying their streets more. The work being done in St Peter’s will help local people to socially distance as they make essential trips, whilst also creating safer, cleaner and more pleasant streets.

“These plans are moving forward at pace, and we look forward to announcing details of more people-friendly streets neighbourhoods in the near-future.”

People living in St Peters Ward can expect a letter from the council in the near future.

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