Islington: Cycle track could be back if funding found

Islington Green Party wants a boost cycling. Picture: PA

Islington Council needs TfL funding to make the plans a reality - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Improvements to cycling between the Regent’s Canal and Highgate and along the historic Bunhill Row could be on track if Islington Council wins funding.

The authority also wants to perpetuate the temporary C38 South Cycleway from Pentonville Road to Holloway Road.

But the plan will require funding from Transport for London (TfL).
The Town Hall is looking at a bike route running parallel to Holloway Road. This would have links to Essex, Canonbury and Hornsey roads as part of an effort to link Regents Canal and Highgate.

It is also looking at a permanent route at the busy York Way in a joint scheme with Camden Council. This has already won £15,000 in TfL funding but will need more to design and make it.

Other transport schemes include £120,000 between 2022 and 2024 for the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) at Barnsbury and St Mary’s – for designing the scheme, monitoring it and consulting people about its future.

There are plans to bring in roadside restrictions to improve the reliability of the 271 bus route, which runs between South Grove and Finsbury Square.

The council also wants to look at a new bus on Rosebery Avenue, bus priority corridors for Canonbury Road and St Paul’s Road and crossings to improve bus reliability on New North Road.

These are on Islington’s wishlist for the next stage of greening up the borough.

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However, the executive member for the environment Rowena Champion said they could be affected by TfL’s funding crisis.

The transport body has been hard hit by Covid as lockdowns saw a dramatic drop in passenger numbers.

Half of TfL’s income comes from fares, and it also gets grant funding from the government.

It has negotiated a series of government bailouts but warned that cuts – including to Tube lines – could be on the way.

Cllr Champion told the executive that TfL “has taken the unusual step” of asking councils to prioritise their lists of transport projects because of its financial woes.

She said: “The government is playing political games both with the Mayor [of London] and TfL, simply in a way they are not doing elsewhere in the country.”