Letters on People Friendly Streets

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields - Credit: Chris Kenyon

Use sensible planning to alleviate adverse impacts

Adam Hardy, Islington, full address supplied, writes: 

My son and my partner both suffer from asthma, which is seriously exacerbated if not caused by traffic pollution where we live in Islington, go to school and work.

So do many of the other children from my son’s nursery on Tollington Park and his current Haringey school, Stroud Green Primary. Air pollution is a scourge that is damaging adults and children across London and every other major city where there is too much traffic.

Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), also known as People Friendly Streets, have done much to improve pollution levels in the majority of cases.

David Harrison's wife walking in St Peter's Street, Islington

A peaceful walk in St Peter's ward - Credit: David Harrison


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It’s true that LTNs on their own are not a complete solution and that there are people who are adversely impacted by them. This is a reason to carry on with sensible planning to alleviate the adverse impacts. It’s certainly not a reason to roll back the changes and go on like before with the overall higher levels of pollution and suffering, and its impact on people’s lives and its burden on the NHS.

For more information go to LowTrafficIslington.org. I’m looking forward to seeing proposals for an LTN in my Finsbury Park, Islington ward and to making constructive comments to the council where necessary. I’d also love to see reduced traffic on the big roads like Seven Sisters which are beyond the council’s remit.

The Covid-19 lockdowns were in one respect a total eye-opener: traffic on the main roads dwindled away. That it could be like that was amazing. There is too much traffic in London, too many cars chugging out toxic fumes that are damaging our children. We need to do more, to stop fretting about the short term impacts as the traffic adjusts, and to take real, integrated action to prevent any actual disadvantage to people caused by the traffic displacements.

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A map showing the changes to the St Peter's people-friendly streets neighbourhood made by Islington

A map showing the changes to the St Peter's people-friendly streets neighbourhood made by Islington Council - Credit: Islington Council 

John A Hartley, Islington, full address supplied, writes: 

People Friendly Streets are loved by those who live in them.  

On Sunday, the penultimate day of the St Peter’s People Friendly Street consultation period, I spent a couple of hours chatting to passers by about the area and how they feel about the scheme. I spoke to about 100 people and only three said they didn’t like it. All the rest thought it was a great scheme and said they wouldn’t want to lose it.

This more than backs up the research done (more scientifically) recently by Possible which showed that 84.9 per cent of people who live in LTNs want to keep them. Despite the loud protestations by a minority who feel their lives have been inconvenienced by not being able to drive whatever route they want, it is clear that the majority has a strong desire to continue benefiting from the safer, quieter, cleaner, friendlier environment.

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