Neighbours form group to lobby for Tollington LTN

Tollington Park in Finsbury Park. Picture: Google Maps

Tollington Park in Finsbury Park. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A group of Tollington residents have come together to lobby for a controversial low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) in their area.

They are calling for Tollington Park to be closed to through-traffic as part of Islington Council’s new LTNs, dubbed People Friendly Streets.

The first People Friendly Streets scheme was introduced in St Peter’s in early July, with the aim of making streets less polluted for pedestrians and cyclists and to aid social distancing.

However, the divisive schemes have sparked ongoing large-scale protests over a lack of prior consultation, access issues and the knock-on impact on congestion. 

READ MORE: Islington Council announces two more ‘people-friendly streets’ neighbourhoods in Highbury

READ MORE: Upper Street blocked off by protesters against traffic measures

The Tollington Park community group began as a Whatsapp group of 27 locals and was created for residents to stay connected during the first lockdown. 

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The issue was initially raised when national travel restrictions saw lighter traffic from March and from there, nine people formed a Tollington Park Traffic subgroup to specifically lobby for the LTN incentive.

A member of the resident group has asked to remain anonymous after claiming they have received threatening and aggressive attacks by anti-LTN protestors.

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They said: “Our road is residential and narrow, with parked cars on both sides. It has a nursery, a primary school and a secondary school on it, plus several churches that provide creches.

“But it has a huge amount of traffic thundering down it.

“It also has a lot of property [...] that's crumbling due to the vibrations from all the heavy traffic. It could be an ideal route for a cycle quietway, but at the moment it's far too intimidating to cycle down.”

The group has met with local councillors and traffic engineers and said it has received a positive reception at Islington Council.

A council spokesperson said LTNs are “to ensure through-traffic uses the most appropriate roads and discourage/prevent it using residential roads while maintaining local access. 

“This can be done with low-cost measures such as planters as well as pavement build-outs.” 

Islington Council is currently considering its People Friendly Streets scheme area by area, but the community group is worried the council may “run out of momentum and political capital” before it reaches Tollington.

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