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Clean local journeys = lower pollution

Walking and cycling for local journeys means lower pollution, shorter local journey times and a heavier wallet. Tash shares her experiences.
Clean local journeys = lower pollution

Islington's Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have made it so much nicer and safer to cycle around locally. While they have not been appreciated by all, I urge people to give them a chance, and wanted to share some of my own experiences of cycling around London: I don't own a car myself, and tend to cycle everywhere. For many journeys this is actually quicker than taking public transport or driving. I moved from Southwark to Islington last year, and arrived at my new place by bike several minutes before the removal van arrived, even though we left at the same time. Not owning a car means I save hundreds of pounds a year because it's free for me to get around, and I genuinely enjoy my journeys more. I often discover new and interesting places in Islington and other parts of London by bike.

I understand the implementation of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods has felt sudden for those who now have to add a few extra minutes to their journeys. However, there is a cost to the convenience of cars, so allowing traffic to continue increasing is not an option. Pollution in London can be deadly, with traffic being a major contributing factor. In 2013, nine year old Ella Kissi-Debrah became the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. Choosing to drive where we have the choice to walk/cycle instead is bad for our health. The national physical inactivity epidemic is responsible for one in six deaths and costs the country an estimated £7.4 billion a year (source: Public Health England). LTNs are part of the solution for tackling these issues (more information at LowTrafficIslington.org). They are a positive and welcome change in the borough, and have made Islington a nicer place to live, as well as improving local journeys.