Putting the 'people' in People Friendly Streets

Research by Possible

John Hartley, Islington, full address supplied, writes:

Following the recent announcement that the first consultation on Islington’s People Friendly Streets implementation in St Peter’s has started (more information at LowTrafficIslington.org), it is worth pointing to some research done by Possible.

In July this year, volunteers for Possible knocked on doors in four cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and London – to listen to communities about their experience of nearby traffic filters. This is what they found:

They talked to 272 households in total and found that 84.9 per cent of people living on streets with traffic filters want to keep their filter, compared with just 8.1pc who want to remove it, and that people’s love for their filter grows over time.

For the full report, visit Possible here: bit.ly/3hNyXXo

Consultation Farce

Patricia Niclas, Islingtion, full address supplied, writes:

I write regarding Islington Councils consultation on the St Peter’s trial People Friendly Streets, there are many issues with the council’s methods and findings which can only be viewed as propaganda.

The council has held three very poorly publicised “consultation” events. At the first one no councillors officially turned up although one councillor passed by, and it was left to council officers to hold, the second Rowena Champion attended and was met with many agitated voices. At the time of writing, the third session is yet to happen, these sessions have not been satisfactorily advertised.

A leaflet which was supposedly delivered to residents informing about the consultation hasn’t been received by many residents, in fact a whole batch of leaflets was found dumped on a road near Essex Road, this has been raised with Rowena herself. This means that a whole week of consultation has been lost.

Islington Gazette: A map showing the changes to the St Peter's People-Friendly Streets neighbourhoodA map showing the changes to the St Peter's People-Friendly Streets neighbourhood (Image: Islington CouncilÂ)

There is a huge digital divide in Islington so how can residents who have no access to computers respond to the consultation?

I was advised that they can write in for a hard copy, residents shouldn’t have to seek this information themselves especially given that they may not even know it exists. Additionally anyone anywhere can currently respond to this survey online, it should open to local residents and those affected on the boundary roads only.

The leaflet, which I was handed at a session, contains a summary of key findings, which contained flawed data, ie it quotes 1pc negligible change in traffic on boundary roads. There is only one traffic counter on Essex Road at Islington Green before St Peter’s Street and before traffic adjoins at all other roads up to the complete length of the junction with New North Road. This traffic isn’t being counted only traffic joining Essex Road up until Islington Green is counted and no further, this is the main route for most residents now and yet it is not monitored. There is also only one traffic counter on City Road near Colebrooke Row and only one on New North Road near Linton Street, again any traffic joining these roads has not been measured. How can these statistics be used as realistic, factual or meaningful evidence that the scheme is a success?

It claims traffic in LTNs have fallen by 56pc…. Well it would fall if you’re displacing traffic!

There are no diffusion tubes on Essex Road to monitor pollution and only one on New North Road.

It claims that cycling has increased by 72pc. This includes Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats and courier companies. It doesn’t mean residents are cycling more.

How is traffic measured on boundary roads when it is at a standstill and is not passing over the counters? Does it falsely record no movement = no traffic?

In Islington we drive 20pc less than in London, the people cycling to work is double that of Greater London and only 16pc of car/motorbike journeys are made in Islington, this includes taxis, mini cabs and businesses. Islington has the lowest number of cars registered per 100 households in Greater London and 49pc active and sustainable travel participants. So why are residents being persecuted? We are not the issue!

The elderly, disabled and vulnerable aren’t being considered, the equality impact assessments stated that there are issues for those with protected characteristics but provided no solutions for those issues, why not?

The consultation is a farce, no evidence of leaflets delivered one week after consultation started. No notification unless you’re computer savvy. I spoke to one of the PFS team members at a consultation event who advised me they will be doing a door knocking exercise to ask residents to complete a paper survey, at the end of October, after the consultation closes. Says it all really.

Come on Islington Council, you can do better than this, you need to hold a public meeting about this divisive issue and let the residents decide! After all, you work for us!


Dr R, Islington, full name and address supplied, writes:

St Peter’s People Friendly Streets policy has been a huge success, it provides a snap shot of how we can change Islington for the better.

Some key statistics:

  • traffic down 56pc in the area, speeding down 78pc, cycling up 72pc
  • boundary roads traffic down 1pc (despite the continued road works and road closures all over Islington by the G network fibre changes)
  • no impact on emergency service response times

We might not all have a People Friendly Street programme yet but we know they are coming and we can now see proof that they are a huge success. Let’s make sure we support our neighbours to maintain theirs so that they can support the rest of the Borough in getting theirs. I encourage everyone who wants less traffic on our streets, better air quality and a healthier population to give the St Peter’s consultation your full support – I know I will.