Soul star Jazzie B at launch of new walking and cycling route in Islington

Jazzie B unveils bench

Jazzie B unveils bench - Credit: Archant

Soul star Jazzie B joined the celebrations at the opening of Islington’s new walking and cycling route last week.

Gillespie Park Mural - picture by Tony Gay

Gillespie Park Mural - picture by Tony Gay - Credit: Archant

The two mile Connect2 Route, which runs from Highbury Fields to Finsbury Park is funded by travel charity Sustrans, and is delivered by Islington Council and Transport for London.

A portrait bench with life size silhouettes of three notable people voted by locals was uncovered as part of the project – winners include Jazzie B, Suffragette Edith Garrud and health pioneer Florence Keen.

Jazzie B, who grew up in Hornsey and went to school in Holloway, unveiled the new bench at Finsbury Park Bus Station.

He said: “It’s a fantastic project and it’s emotional to be honoured by the community I grew up in.

“Back in the day my first musical experience happened across the road, where Harvey’s record shop used to be, my hairdresser’s is over there and I was born at the end of Stroud Green Road.”

“It’s just great to be here and I used to cycle round here too, so a really great to be supporting a local cycling scheme.”

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Children from Gillespie and Drayton Park Primary School in Arvon Road, Highbury, also unveiled a mural for the route which they designed with artist Sophie Rigg in Gillespie Park.

Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Catherine West, said that the new walking and cycling route would make it easier for residents to travel across the borough.

“It brings together three of the most popular local open spaces – Highbury Fields, Gillespie Park and Finsbury Park – for our community,” she added.

The new route is part of the Sustrans’ nationwide Connect2 Project encouraging people to travel in a more environmental friendly way.

Bryan Lockwood, Sustrans’ area manager in north London, said: “This new link will make a real difference by making it more convenient for residents to get around Islington.”

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