Liverpool Road is going to become a people friendly street as part of the council low traffic neighbourhood plans, to address the issues of traffic residents are experiencing.
When the gyratory system on Highbury Corner was announced, local residents warned that it would push traffic onto surrounding residential streets. The increase in traffic has had a devastating effect for local residents. The volume of traffic on Liverpool Road has been very significant, resulting in a constant stream of cars, motorbikes and lorries using our residential road, avoiding the delays at Highbury Corner. A recent count showed there is 50% more traffic on Liverpool Road than on Upper Street, which is a main A road.
Natalie James lives in the borough and is one of the drivers who uses Liverpool Road as a shortcut to avoid Highbury Corner. She said she started using the street when works began on the new junction.
“When they finished the works I started going through Highbury Corner again, but the traffic lights change so quickly that when there’s traffic you can get stuck going around it more than once,” she told Sam Ferguson, Islington Tribune.
Tony Saggers, who lives in the street is very unhappy with the level of traffic. “Most people in the borough don’t own a car, but we have to now live with this traffic displacement outside our home”.
Lucy Facer has two young children and finds it difficult to cross Liverpool Road due to the speeding traffic and volume of cars, lorries and motorbikes using it to avoid Highbury Corner. Since the rise in traffic, her son has been diagnosed with asthma and is on medication twice a day.
The increase of traffic is having a significant impact on the health of families residing on Liverpool Road. Before the traffic increased, air pollution was already above the legal limit. Toxins created by traffic pollution have long-term health impacts on people of all ages but children are more vulnerable. By the age of ten their lungs will be 5-10% smaller.
Michael Michaelides and his family are residents in Liverpool Road, and has a daughter who attends St Mary Magdalene Academy in the same street.
“It’s been getting worse and worse as more people realise that you can avoid Highbury Corner by coming down Liverpool Road,” he told the Islington Tribune.
“The traffic levels here are now unbearable. The school is right there and you have obviously got children crossing roads, which can get dangerous. It’s a real problem.”
During the crisis, there was a significant drop in traffic and residents were able to use the street safely and have a conversation without having to shout. Now that the traffic is back we struggle to hear each other so people tend to avoid spending any time on the road.
Residents have created a new community garden planter on Liverpool Road. It has immediately become a hub, encouraging people to stop and talk.
‘We’ve met so many more of our neighbours since we’ve planted the community garden. They’ve come and planted strawberries, grasses and even a pumpkin, one lovely neighbor I've never met before even donated money to buy plants. It has immediately started to change the hostile environment that is created by a road dominated by traffic” said Lucy Facer.
Turning Liverpool Road into a people friendly street will improve the health of the 2500 residents who live on this residential road and improve the safety of the school children, pedestrians and cyclists who use the road.