Graphic - People-Friendly Streets, Better places for everyone - with image of a woman and two children walking

Cleaner, greener, healthier streets for Highbury as people-friendly streets neighbourhood continues

Local people will continue to benefit from cleaner, greener, healthier streets, with the Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhood set to remain in place.

To make it easier for residents with disabilities to travel, the two people-friendly streets neighbourhoods – Highbury West and Highbury Fields – will merge into a single neighbourhood, known as the Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhood trial. Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood with an exemption permit will be able to travel through people-friendly streets traffic filters across Highbury. Highbury Blue Badge holders with the exemption will soon receive a letter containing further details.

People-friendly streets neighbourhoods have been introduced in Islington to cut traffic, reduce air pollution, and make it easier to walk, cycle, scoot and use buggies and wheelchairs, as the council moves ahead with tackling the climate emergency.

In January 2021, the council introduced the Highbury West and Highbury Fields people-friendly streets neighbourhoods as 18-month trials. Since then, monitoring data and resident feedback reflects the neighbourhoods achieving their key goals.

The decision to continue people-friendly streets measures in Highbury follows positive monitoring data and resident feedback on the previous Highbury West and Highbury Fields neighbourhoods. Monitoring data shows that, between November 2020 and December 2021, traffic fell within the neighbourhoods by 72% - including a 95% fall on Benwell Road – while speeding on local roads dropped by 83%.

During a public consultation that was held between 7 February and 14 March 2022, local people had their say on people-friendly streets in Highbury. The consultation received 1,973 responses regarding Highbury West and 1,938 responses regarding Highbury Fields, revealing: 

  • 38% of respondents to the Highbury West consultation said that streets looked nicer since the introduction of the trial (23% disagreed), while 34% of respondents to the Highbury Fields consultation also agreed (25% disagreed) 
  • 34% of respondents to the Highbury West consultation felt they walked or cycled more to local businesses (10% disagreed), while 30% of respondents to the Highbury Fields consultation agreed (14% disagreed) 
  • 42% of respondents to the Highbury West consultation said they felt there was less traffic on their street (25% felt there was more traffic on their street), while 31% of respondents to the Highbury Fields consultation said there was less traffic on their street (29% felt there was more) 

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Transport, said: “We know that urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency, and helping local people get around in a cleaner, greener, healthier way is crucial to creating a brighter future.

“The monitoring and data feedback on our people-friendly streets neighbourhood trials so far reflects their positive impact in creating more pleasant streets, where it’s easier to walk, cycle and use buggies and wheelchairs, and where the toxic effects of air pollution are lowered.

“We’re delighted to see the positive impacts that people-friendly streets have brought to Highbury.”

In light of feedback, the council is also making two further changes to the new Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhood. The council is removing three parking spaces at the Fieldway Crescent-Highbury Crescent junction, to improve sight lines for people walking or cycling in Highbury Fields, and to make large vehicle turns safer.

The council will monitor the impact of these changes before taking a final decision on making the Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhood permanent.

You can read more on our website about people-friendly streets in Highbury.

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Access Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000