20mph set for Islington’s busiest roads after years of campaigning

Islington green party members campaigning for 20mph on Holloway Road

Islington green party members campaigning for 20mph on Holloway Road - Credit: Archant

One of the busiest stretches of road in the borough is set to become a 20mph zone as part of a TfL scheme to reduce traffic deaths in the capital.

Cllr Claudia Webbe

Cllr Claudia Webbe - Credit: Archant

Islington Council voted to make the 25 main roads under its control subject to 20mph limits in October 2012 becoming the first London council to do so.

But main roads such as Holloway Road and Upper Street, which form part of the A1 and are controlled by TfL, remained untouched.

However, this is set to change with TfL announcing plans to convert about 50km of its road network to 20mph, in an effort to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in road deaths by 2020.

Campaigners from Islington Green party have been calling for Mayor to impose the lower limit on his roads for more than five years and Islington Labour have directly lobbied Mr Johnson to make the change.

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Cllr Claudia Webbe, the council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “This is great news for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

“It’s been hard work, there’s been a long campaign with TfL and the Mayor of London and we look forward to working with TfL on the details of Holloway Road and Upper Street.

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“At first TfL had not considered us as part of the trials of the new 20mph scheme but we suggested it to them and we’re pleased they changed their mind.”

The first road to see the pilot of the scheme will be Commercial Street in Tower Hamlets, but Upper Street and Holloway Road could be next if it’s a success.

The move to 20mph was first proposed by then Green Party Councillor Katie Dawson in 2009, but has been taken on by Islington Labour since they returned to power in 2010.

Cllr Caroline Russell, Islington Council’s Green Party opposition member, said: “I’m delighted that TfL have at last heard what campaigners have been saying for years.

“The best way to make our streets safer and more people-friendly is to slow down the traffic. This would make Holloway Rd and Upper St better places for the many people who live work and shop there and will hopefully save further families from the trauma of sudden road death or serious injury.

“The speed at which people drive between traffic lights has no bearing on overall journey time as the number of cars that can pass through the signals when they are green will not change.

“This news is fantastic for local residents, students and workers and will mean people passing through in cars can look forward to a more mellow journey.”

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