Amwell people-friendly streets neighbourhood trial to continue
The people-friendly streets neighbourhood trial in Amwell, which has helped reduce traffic and increase cycling within the neighbourhood, will be extended following positive monitoring data and resident feedback.
By making it easier to walk, cycle and use buggies and wheelchairs, Islington’s people-friendly streets can help reduce dependence on motor vehicles for those that are able to use alternative modes of transport, making the borough’s streets more environmentally-friendly.
The Amwell neighbourhood was introduced as an 18-month trial in November 2020. To understand the impact of the neighbourhood on local people, the council held a public consultation between Wednesday, 15 December 2021 and Monday, 31 January 2022.
In the consultation, which 440 people took part in, 42% of respondents said it was easier to walk and cycle for short trips since the scheme’s introduction (17% disagreed). Meanwhile, 43% said that air was cleaner (10% disagreed), and 45% said it was easier to cross the street (17% disagreed). A total of 16% of respondents that have cars said they now walk or cycle for shorter trips instead of driving.
The council has carefully monitored the impact of the Amwell neighbourhood, and in December 2021 a report was published on the trial’s impact during its first 12 months. Comparing data from September 2020 with updated figures from October 2021, the report revealed that within the neighbourhood traffic dropped by 48% and the number of speeding vehicles fell by 70%. Cycling also increased by 65% within the neighbourhood, including a 196% rise on Margery Street (westbound).
Based on the positive monitoring data and the results of the consultation, the council is continuing the Amwell people-friendly streets neighbourhood trial.
To make it easier for disabled people to travel in the neighbourhood, the council will introduce an exemption for Blue Badge holders to pass through camera-enforced filters in Amwell. Blue Badge holders living in the Amwell neighbourhood will soon receive a letter with further information. The council is also changing one of the traffic filters, on the north side of Lloyd Square, to be camera-enforced, instead of bollard-enforced. This will help address the repeated unauthorised removal of the lockable bollard.
Continuing the Amwell people-friendly streets neighbourhood as a trial will give the council the opportunity to monitor the impact of the Blue Badge exemption and the change to the Lloyd Square north filter before taking a decision on making the scheme permanent.
Keith Townsend, Islington Council’s Corporate Director for Environment, said: “Islington’s people-friendly streets neighbourhoods are helping to create a more pleasant, environmentally-friendly borough for all.
“For too long, there’s been too much traffic in our borough, bringing air pollution and road danger. Our people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, including the Amwell scheme, are helping to address that by making it easier to walk, cycle, scoot and use buggies and wheelchairs.
“We’ve carefully monitored the impact of the Amwell people-friendly streets neighbourhood and have listened to resident feedback, which has informed our decision to continue the trial. By introducing a Blue Badge holder exemption in the neighbourhood, we can make it easier for disabled people to travel in Amwell, while ensuring that the scheme continues to deliver cleaner, greener, healthier streets.”
The Blue Badge holder exemption is expected be active from Thursday, 14 April 2022. The council will monitor its impact and, if necessary, make changes. The exemption means that Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood will be provided with a permit allowing a single vehicle to pass through camera-enforced filters in the Amwell neighbourhood. For more information on Blue Badge exemptions in people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, see the council's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
Notes to editors
The council announced last month that the Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood would remain permanently.
The St Peter’s, Canonbury East and Canonbury West people-friendly streets neighbourhood trials have been extended with changes, with a decision on whether they should remain permanently set to be made in due course.
A public consultation on the Highbury West and Highbury Fields people-friendly streets neighbourhood trials concluded last month, and a decision on the future of the neighbourhoods is yet to be made.
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