Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood to be made permanent
The Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood, which has brought cleaner, greener, healthier streets, is set to be made permanent after monitoring data and feedback from local people revealed its positive impact.
To make it easier for disabled people to travel, the council will introduce an exemption policy for Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood to travel through camera-enforced traffic filters in the neighbourhood.
Making the neighbourhood permanent will help achieve the council’s wider ambition of redesigning Clerkenwell Green to create an improved public space, as consulted on in 2017.
As part of its people-friendly pavements programme, the council also plans to introduce accessibility improvements in the neighbourhood, so that it’s easier for everyone to walk, cycle, and wheel.
The Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood was introduced in September 2020 as an 18-month trial, as part of the council’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency and, where possible, to enable local people to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of taking more journeys on foot, bike, or wheel.
So that local people could have their say on the future of the neighbourhood, the council ran a public consultation between November 2021 and December 2021. A total of 49% of the respondents to the consultation said they felt it was easier to make trips by walking and cycling (19% disagreed), 49% said that air was cleaner (19% disagreed), and 23% of participants who have a car said they now walk and cycle for shorter trips instead of driving (20% of those with a car said they walk and cycle less for shorter trips instead of driving).
To help local people take part in the consultation, the council published monitoring data on the trial’s impact. The data showed that, between August 2020 and September 2021, traffic fell within the neighbourhood by 11%, while cycling increased at the Clerkenwell Green south site by 135% (from 152 trips per day to 357). Meanwhile, cycling increased overall by 100% on roads within the neighbourhood.
This monitoring data and the feedback from the public consultation have informed the council’s decision to make the existing trial permanent.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Our people-friendly streets are helping to make Islington a cleaner, greener, and healthier place, and are part of our ambitions to ensure that all can travel safely and easily.
“We’re delighted to see the positive impact that the Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood has brought and, having reviewed the monitoring data and listened carefully to the feedback local people have given us, we’re making the neighbourhood permanent.
“To make it easier for disabled people to travel in the neighbourhood, we’re also introducing a Blue Badge exemption and people-friendly pavements. This will help make the neighbourhood more accessible for all, while continuing to deliver quieter and more pleasant streets.”
The introduction of the exemption policy will allow Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood to apply for a single motor vehicle to travel through local camera-enforced traffic filters in the neighbourhood. The council is also developing an exceptional circumstances dispensation for those who do not meet the criteria for the Blue Badge exemption, and further information will follow in the coming weeks.
Minor works will need to take place in the neighbourhood to allow for the introduction of the Blue Badge exemptions. This work will start on Thursday, 17 March, and is expected to be completed by Friday, 18 March.
To make it easier for everyone to travel in the neighbourhood, the council will be bringing its people-friendly pavements programme to Clerkenwell Green. This will involve accessibility improvements at the pedestrian and cycle-only section of Sans Walk, while the council will investigate opportunities for greening by installing planters at the Clerkenwell Green bollard filter.
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