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Group backing ‘people-friendly streets’ says 90% of survey respondents in favour of traffic-control measures

PUBLISHED: 14:58 04 August 2020

John Hartley delivering the survey leaflets through a letterbox. Picture: Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group

John Hartley delivering the survey leaflets through a letterbox. Picture: Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group

Barnsbury and St. Mary’s Neighbourhood Group

Islington Council’s traffic calming measures are supported by 90 per cent of respondents to a survey carried by a neighbourhood group.

John Hartley delivering the survey leaflets through a letterbox. Picture: Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group John Hartley delivering the survey leaflets through a letterbox. Picture: Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group

The council has so far introduced schemes in St Peter’s and Canonbury East, preventing through traffic on some streets using measures including bollards, banned turns and enforcement cameras, in a bid to make the borough’s streets safer and cleaner.

Many people are angry the council did not hold a consultation beforehand, and demonstrations have been held outside the town hall in Upper Street.

Protesters argue that the restrictions do not reduce traffic, but just move it to different areas, and that they prevent access for people who need their vehicles because of mobility reasons or work, and for emergency services.

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Barnsbury and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Group - which was set up to support the People Friendly Streets scheme - says it delivered more than 10,000 leaflets to homes in the area bordered by Caledonian Road, Holloway Road, Canonbury Road, Essex Road and Pentonville Road.

Out of the 353 people who responded, the group said nine out of 10 want the council to take action to reduce rat running - even though half of them use cars.

Of the people who use cars, 80% were in favour of the measures.

One of the distributors, John Hartley, 72, said: “I think the council has really taken the bull by the horns by introducing the low traffic neighbourhoods.

“I’m a firm believer we spend far too much time in cars, particularly travelling short distances, and a real bane is that Islington residents suffer from people who have no business in Islington just cutting through the residential streets to save 20 seconds on a journey. 
“I imagine if you asked them if they would be happy with traffic cutting through their streets they would probably say no. It would be a delight to live in quiet roads where people can walk and feel safe and we know there are a huge number of journeys made by car that could be walked or cycled, rather than have cars driving around polluting and causing road danger.”

Some 83% of respondents to the survey said the fear of speeding cars would deter them from encouraging their kids to walk and cycle locally.


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