Islington Council announces fifth ‘people friendly streets’ neighbourhood in Amwell

Hundreds of people turned out for a protest against road closures in Hackney and Islington, marching

Hundreds of people turned out for a protest against road closures in Hackney and Islington, marching from Old Street to Islington Green. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

Islington Council has announced its fifth “people-friendly streets” neighbourhood will launch in the Amwell Street area in 10 days time.

Roads have already been blocked to through traffic to reduce rat running in St Peter’s, Canonbury East and Clerkenwell Green, and Canonbury West will soon follow suit. The measures are being implemented using new powers pushed through by the government in May to promote walking and cycling and to encourage social distancing throughout the coronavirus pandemic, while public transport capacity remains low.

Work to install four traffic filters in side streets in the Amwell neighbourhood will start on Monday October 5.

Bollards acting as traffic filters will be placed on the northern and southern sides of Lloyd Square, while traffic cameras will also filter traffic on the southern side, allowing access for emergency services.

Two further cameras will be placed in Great Percy Street and Margery Street.

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Five parking spaces will be suspended in Great Percy Street, and nine spaces in Lloyd Square.

No prior consultation is needed to implement the measures under the experimental traffic orders, but a consultation will be held in a year before a decision is made whether to make the changes permanent.

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The plans have proved controversial and hundreds of people took to the streets last weekend in the eighth demo since the first neighbourhood was introduced in St Peter’s in July.

Protesters complain the traffic filters, which the council claims will make the streets “safer, greener, and healthier” are causing gridlock, chaos, pollution and misery.

The council’s transport chief, Cllr Rowena Champion, said: “We’re creating people-friendly streets to make Islington a better borough for all, where residents can walk, cycle, cross roads and use buggies and wheelchairs safely and easily.

“Local people have long been calling for measures to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles, and create safer, greener, more welcoming neighbourhoods. This, coupled with the need to enable safe social distancing, is why we have been working at pace to deliver people-friendly streets all over Islington.

“Amwell will be our fifth people-friendly streets neighbourhood, and residents living there can look forward to calmer, friendlier and greener streets once the work is complete.”

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