Our group, #lowtrafficislington believes that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) bring to our streets improvements that are beneficial to all, including people with disabilities. On our website Carly, Steven and Alex have already reported how less traffic will make their lives much easier. But we know that disability can take many forms and that it is easy for able-bodied people not to understand the individual problems that can occur. It is not for our group, or for any group, whether pro or anti-LTNs, to speak on behalf of people with disabilities. Low Traffic Islington wanted to make sure that the Council are taking the impact of LTNs on disabled people seriously. So, at the recent full council meeting, we asked a question about this.
The response from Cllr Champion referred to Resident Impact Assessments (RIAs). One of these has been carried out for each of Islington's People Friendly Streets Schemes, all available on-line (see links below). We had a good look at one. Fifteen pages long, it is very thorough and looks at each scheme in depth: it examines the impact of the scheme on people with protected characteristics, for example: age, disabilities, race, socio-economic status, etc. The report identifies the advantages and disadvantages brought by LTNs and examines whether people with protected characteristics are disproportionately affected by any of these. The RIA that we looked at reports that the project team is already engaging with disabled groups in the area and that a Disability Focus Group is planned for June 2021.
LTNs that don't work for people with disabilities don't work for any of us. By asking the question, we have flagged up with the Council that this topic is important to us. The RIAs and the on-going engagement demonstrate that the Council are also taking this seriously.