We think it's brilliant that the Council have implemented People Friendly Streets in St Peter's, Canonbury and Highbury. The residents there are now benefiting from quiet, safe streets in which they and their children can breathe clean air and walk or wheel in safety. We in Barnsbury are still waiting our turn. Does anyone seriously doubt that there is far too much traffic on the residential side streets of Barnsbury? To prove our need for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood we have started counting traffic.
First we investigated Liverpool Road. Results: there were more than three times as many cars, vans, etc. on residential Liverpool Road as there were on the main road, the A1, Upper Street.
And last Friday we counted at three locations simultaneously: a section of Offord Road, the Offord Road roundabout and, for comparison, at nearby Caledonian Road. Results (excluding buses and motorbikes): Offord Road carries three quarters of the traffic on the Caledonian Road, and the roundabout is taking 111% of the traffic on the Caledonian Road.
This shocking evidence shows that the amount of traffic on Offord Road, a residential street, is comparable with that on a major thoroughfare like the Caledonian Road.
Excess car journeys cause pollution and safety issues wherever they take place. We want the Council to take steps to address the traffic crisis on Offord Road as part of a larger plan across the borough to persuade people away from short and unnecessary car journeys, and towards safer, cleaner streets that all our communities can enjoy.
We're planning more traffic counting expeditions in the coming days, and we're in communication with Islington Tribune to get our voices heard - click here for Helen Chapman's piece on the Offord Road traffic count.
In response to our specific queries, the Council responded as follows:
The council has already installed seven people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, in St Peter’s, Canonbury East, Canonbury West, Clerkenwell Green, Amwell, Highbury West and Highbury Fields (a map of the changes can be found here).
The council is looking forward to introducing further neighbourhoods soon. The council is currently working on the possibility of introducing a low traffic neighbourhood in Barnsbury. These plans are not finalised, and there is currently no timetable for their implementation. Due to the road network the area is large and complex, and we look forward to engaging with local people and groups in Barnsbury to understand the impact of any changes on them.
The Council has indicated that the next two LTNs will be St Mary's Church (the triangle bounded by Upper Street, Essex Road, Canonbury Road) and west of the Caledonian Road, but the Barnsbury LTN never gets a mention now. We were looking forward to the Barnsbury LTN by March 2021, then Summer 2021, and now all the Council ever says about Barnsbury is how difficult it is. Our strong opinion is that the Barnsbury engagement and implementation needs to be accelerated.
It's time for the Council to firmly schedule People Friendly Streets in Barnsbury & St Mary's. We want them in before Christmas! At last count, our group is a voice for over four hundred households in this part of Islington - we need to make sure that the Council listens to our aspirations for our local community.
Please put the message out on Twitter, NextDoor, facebook. Email your local councillors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Say NO to limbo, say YES to reimagining our streets!