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Online consultation in wake of leader’s low-traffic neighbourhood pledge

The council wants residents to help them make streets more 'people-friendly'

01 June, 2020 — By by Sam Ferguson

AN online consultation has been launched “to make Islington’s streets more people-friendly” in the wake of last week’s pledge by Town Hall leader Richard Watts to cover a third of the borough in low-traffic neighbourhoods by 2021.

Low-traffic neighbourhoods allow residents to park cars on their own streets but aim to cut out rat running by banning through traffic from the residential roads.

Similar schemes were announced for Mildmay and Caledonian wards as part of a £1million investment in February this year. The money for that came from a £10million Public Works Loan Board. Another low traffic neighbourhood in Clerkenwell could be created with TfL money.

But a massive roll-out of such neighbourhoods in the wake of the coronavirus crisis was revealed by council leader Richard Watts last week, with up to a third of the borough earmarked for change.

No details are forthcoming about the cost of the plans, or the location of the neighbourhoods, but the Town Hall has said it hopes to keep costs down by using relatively inexpensive measures such as bollards and banned turns.

Now, the council is consulting with residents through an online tool called Commonplace.

Transport and environment chief Rowena Champion said: “We are working to create people-friendly streets, where it is easier and safer to walk and cycle, and streets are better and more pleasant for all.

“We are asking local people, who know their own streets and neighbourhoods, to help create better, people-friendly streets.

Nothing will ever be quite the same after the coronavirus crisis. We are acting now to make sure streets are people-friendly – without action, our streets will become unsafe, unhealthy, and worse than even before the crisis began.

We have seen how the reduction in motor vehicle use in recent weeks has created greener, less polluted and more pleasant streets. It’s vital we build people-friendly streets for all.”

In recent weeks the council has started widening pavements on Liverpool Road, Essex Road and on Stroud Green Road, and says it is supporting changes on TfL roads.

Campaign group Islington Clean Air Parents have been calling for change as the coronavirus crisis brought Islington’s air pollution problem back into the limelight.

The group is encouraging people to decorate blue hearts and display them in their windows.

You can have your say by visiting the Commonplace page here.

The Town Hall has set a target of becoming a net-zero carbon borough by 2030.

An online consultation is also taking place on its Vision2030 plan, which has replaced a series of workshops and public meetings cancelled since the coronavirus outbreak.

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