Great Britain

Islington’s new ‘people-friendly’ neighbourhoods receive backlash from community

New bollards blocking through-traffic in the St Peter's people-friendly neighbourhood.

New bollards blocking through-traffic in the St Peter's people-friendly neighbourhood.

Archant

Islington residents have blasted the borough’s new people-friendly neighbourhoods as unnecessary and “ludicrous”.

New bollards blocking through-traffic in the St Peter's people-friendly neighbourhood.New bollards blocking through-traffic in the St Peter's people-friendly neighbourhood.

The council has already implemented its first low-traffic neighbourhood in St Peter’s ward, with Prebend Street, Danbury Street, Colebrooke Row, and Wharf Road affected.

It has announced a second neighbourhood in Canonbury East scheduled for the end of July.

Measures such as blocking through-traffic are designed to create greener and safer roads as the lockdown eases and have been put in place under 18-month Experimental Traffic Orders.

Islington Council said emergency vehicles are exempt from the closures.

Residents affected will be consulted on the plans in 2021, after they have been in place for a year.

READ MORE: Islington’s first low-traffic neighbourhood will be in St Peter’s wardREAD MORE: Islington reveals second ‘people-friendly’ neighbourhoodHowever, teaching assistant Sarah Cleary said the extended journey makes caring for her grandmother in her lunchbreak logistically impossible and is worried about getting to work on time in September.

She said: “It’s extremely stressful, as our family now have to look at who will look after nan.

You may also want to watch:

“It’s frustrating because we don’t feel like we are a part of the borough, we have not been spoken to. I grew up in Islington, I know a lot of people and a lot of them are outraged. It was done so slyly so we couldn’t have a say.

“I get some of it, I think blocking off four streets at the same time was ludicrous.”

A petition urging Islington Council to reverse the plans has reached nearly 4,000 signatures at tinyurl.com/y8m6mwe8Abiodun Oladipo, a resident of Wharf Road, said: “They said it’s because of social distancing but where we are it is a very quiet road, so there’s no point in blocking off the road.”

Another resident on the stretch, who would like to remain anonymous, agreed: “If it was a market I would understand but social distancing has never been an issue here.

“I feel like it has caused bigger problems. Lots of cars drive down here, come up against the blocks, realise they can’t go through and have to turn around - and I am talking big vans.”

She said it will cause more pollution by forcing traffic to idle on congested roads.

However, Islington Council says people-friendly streets will reduce traffic overall, including on main roads, as people decide not to drive.

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We have been listening to local people’s concerns on Islington’s streets.

“It is vital that we act now to create people-friendly streets, in order to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle, and use wheelchairs, buggies and scooters as alternatives to using public transport, for people to socially distance and to avoid a spike in motor vehicle use as we come out of lockdown.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Football news:

Keylor Navas may miss the match against Leipzig due to a hip injury
Chelsea plans to buy rice. West ham demand more than 80 million pounds for the prop
Dybala intends to stay in Juve, despite real's Interest. The player wants 15 million euros a year, Torino offer 10
🌪 In 2008, Leipzig did not exist yet, and now it is in the semi-finals of the Champions League. It took real 54 years to do this
Nagelsmann reached the semi-finals of the Champions League at the age of 33. He will play against Tuchel, who advised him to become a coach
Olmo from Leipzig missed out on Barcelona – because of two Koreans and Bartomeu's politics. Tried to return, but Dani refused for Nagelsmann
Saul: RB Leipzig was better than Atletico the entire match