Letters: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods - more points of view

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields

People Friendly Streets in Highbury Fields - Credit: Chris Kenyon

Don't complain, start a campaign

Andrew Willett, Islington, full address supplied, writes:

Pro-traffic campaigners say LTNs are unfair to people living on main roads. 

If those LTN opponents really care, why not campaign for their roads to be used for through traffic to show their concern is genuine? 

Could it be that, like everyone else, they don’t actually want high volumes of traffic where they live and that their real concern is the loss of convenience of being able to drive down everyone else’s streets?

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The downside of LTN schemes

Katharina Herrmann, Blackstock Road, Islington, writes:

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I have, with great interest, read the letters and comments about the benefits of LTNs in Islington. I am sure it is lovely for some people to have gone from some to no more traffic on their doorstep, and to let their children play and cycle in the street.

Unfortunately, my child and I live in Blackstock road, a street that now takes practically all the remaining and redirected traffic, and this impacts my family enormously. There appears to be no interest in or action for residents in my situation - I have been told by pro-LTN campaigner that these problems are simply not true, are made up by drivers, that traffic will “evaporate”, that I just have to run my own anti-drivers campaign as I live on an A road and what do I expect.

This is a callous and dismissive attitude. I am living the downside of the LTN dream, so does every else living in my street. Hackney Council blocked all residential roads on the Brownswood side for through traffic many years ago, and now Islington has followed suit on the other side. Traffic now has no choice but to follow Brownswood/Mountgrove, ending in Blackstock. Unfortunately, I live between these three. Blackstock Road was gridlocked pretty much all day Monday to Friday, and often on weekends too, from the moment the scheme started. This was entirely predictable and shows very bad planning. I do not have a car and walk and cycle everywhere with my son, but any concern I raised gets shouted down by LTN supporters claiming that only the car lobby has a problem with the new scheme. This is not true.

Please reconsider this scheme, until a sensible solution for extreme traffic in roads like mine can be found. It is grossly unfair that some people have to put up with so much traffic as a result of these measures that make moderately busy streets essentially car free, but mine health hazard to live on. I have a child too. He breathes the downside of LTN every day.

Traffic is down to poor planning

Passengers wear protective masks on buses in London, bus passengers in London will not have to pay t

Bad planning is causing delays in buses according to reader Mr J E Kirby - Credit: PA Images

Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington, writes:

I am writing in reply to R Walford of Islington whose letter in the June 3 edition of the Islington Gazette (Journey times are often exaggerated).

I would like to possibly put him a little more correct. I accept that the recent water main burst in Holloway Road caused delays of some 45 minutes in the Highbury Corner area.

Twice in one week on a Tuesday and the Thursday, I changed to a no 30 bus outside of St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Road, to go to Highbury Corner.

On both occasions the bus had to let people off halfway along St Paul’s Road, as I walked up and past Highbury Grove, I saw another two no 30 buses stuck in traffic along Highbury Grove, traffic was stacked up as far as you could see.

As to exaggerated times, I have caught a no 30 bus at approximately 3.30pm in the afternoon at the last bus stop in Upper Street, and it took between eight and nine minutes to get to the first stop in St Paul’s Road. Cause - traffic lights as you go round onto the roundabout, traffic lights as you turn left at the junction with Canonbury Road, traffic lights at the junction with St Paul’s Road to turn into St Paul’s Road.

Often you get people who can’t clear the junction and just sit there, especially at the junctions with Canonbury Road and also at the junction with St Paul’s and Canonbury Roads, here you get traffic going across to Holloway Road not being able to clear the junction thus blocking traffic turning into St Paul’s Road.

Often road works seem to cause delays. A good example of this is Blackstock Road/Highbury Grove. I noticed (June 5), it is being dug up yet again to put in data transmission cables. It seems to me that barely a fortnight goes by without somebody having to dig up the road somewhere along this length, naturally putting in stop-go lights as half the road is cordoned off.

Another thing I find annoying is when traffic is stopped outside the Marie Curie shop at Highbury Corner where I volunteer, is that you get constant jams in either direction all afternoon and all you hear is the blasting of horns.

I was always of the understanding that the first rule of traffic management is to keep a smooth flow of traffic, but it appears that this no longer holds true. It appears that both Islington Council and TfL have made a colossal blunder by taking out the arm of the roundabout where you could go clockwise round the roundabout and get into Holloway Road. I accept that the railway bridge there needed replacing due to its age.

I can also remember that when the roundabout was built in the late 1950s early 60s, there was not as much traffic as there is today. The problem is to my mind that the people who dream up these schemes don’t think it out properly and don’t have to live with it. 

Another example is that there are cycle lanes in both directions around the three remaining sides but what happens is that you get cyclists and scooters going across the crossing outside the station in both directions and along the pavement to and from Upper Street. This is by the way a contravention of the Highway Code. 

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