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

Local people invited to have their say on Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhoods

Islington Council is today inviting local people to have their say on the Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, which monitoring data shows has helped deliver cleaner, greener, healthier streets.   

People-friendly streets are 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.   

The Highbury West and Highbury Fields people-friendly streets neighbourhoods were introduced in January 2021 as 18-month trials, to help create streets that are better suited to walking, cycling, and using buggies or wheelchairs, while improving air quality.   

So that local people can have their say on whether the two Highbury trials should be made permanent, changed, or removed, the council has today launched a public consultation. This will remain open until Monday, 14 March 2022, and further information can be found on the council’s website.   

The council is supporting local people to take part in the consultation by releasing monitoring data on the impact of the Highbury neighbourhoods. Comparing data from November 2020, before the scheme was introduced, with new data from December 2021, the report reveals that traffic fell within the neighbourhoods by 72%, while rates of speeding fell by 83% in the neighbourhoods.   

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Ensuring that Islington is a cleaner, greener, healthier place, where all can travel safely and where the toxic effects of air pollution are reduced, is a leading priority for the council.   

“Our people-friendly streets neighbourhoods are a key part of this vision, bringing more welcoming streets that everyone can enjoy. Our monitoring across all seven trial neighbourhoods has been really positive, and the Highbury neighbourhoods are no different – with data showing a fall in traffic and quieter, more pleasant streets.   

“Local people know their streets better than anyone, and we’re really keen to hear more about their experiences of using the Highbury people-friendly streets neighbourhoods.”  

The monitoring report, which has been published in full on the Highbury people-friendly streets webpage, also reveals:   

  • Traffic on Benwell Road, a local road, has decreased from 11,774 vehicles per day to 587 vehicles per day, a 95% fall.  
  • On Horsell Road, the number of cycling trips rose from 548 per day to 819 per day, an increase of 49%.   
  • Overall, the changes in levels of nitrogen dioxide reflect those in the borough more widely.   
  • Cycling has increased on some of the internal roads, where monitored. Cycling on the segregated route at Drayton Park was not monitored.
  • The introduction of the neighbourhoods made no significant impact on crime and anti-social behaviour. The average London Fire Brigade attendance times for first and second appliances remains within target times. 
  • On most boundary roads, traffic volumes have decreased. However, there was a 58% rise on Blackstock Road (North) and a 15% increase on St Paul’s Road. The council will continue to monitor this and, if necessary, will make changes to mitigate it.   

The council is listening carefully to feedback from local people, which is why, in December 2021, a blue badge exemption was introduced to the Highbury neighbourhoods. This has meant that Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhoods have been offered an exemption for a single motor vehicle to travel through local camera-enforced filters. 

To make it easier to travel across the borough, the council is also in the process of introducing people-friendly pavements. These make streets more accessible through improvements such as footway repaving, foliage maintenance, additional dropped kerbs, tactile paving, and street clutter removal.  

Notes to editors

On boundary roads, traffic volumes changed on: Hornsey Road (South) (-28%), Highbury Grove (North) (-18%), Seven Sisters Road (-18%), Holloway Road (0%), Blackstock Road (South) (+3%), St. Paul’s Road (West) (+15%) and Blackstock Road (North) (+58%).  

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