People-friendly streets improvements to bring cleaner, greener, healthier streets to Islington
Islington Council is today (Wednesday, 6 October) reaffirming its commitment to creating cleaner, greener, healthier streets, and is set to make it easier for Blue Badge holders to travel in the borough.
As part of ongoing efforts to transform Islington’s transport system to help tackle the climate emergency, improve air quality and reduce road danger, the council has so far introduced seven people-friendly streets neighbourhoods as 18-month trials.
Monitoring reports from the St Peter’s, Clerkenwell Green, Canonbury East, Canonbury West and Amwell neighbourhoods reveal the positive impact of the schemes in reducing traffic and speeding in each neighbourhood, creating streets that all can enjoy.
Throughout the people-friendly streets trials, the council has been committed to listening to local views and feedback, and making improvements to ensure the schemes work for everyone.
Following valuable feedback from local people and disability groups, the council can today announce plans to introduce “people-friendly pavements”. These will make the borough’s streets more accessible for all – especially disabled people – through improvements such as footway repaving, foliage maintenance, additional dropped kerbs, tactile paving, and street clutter removal.
To help make Islington more equal, proposals outlined today include offering an exemption for a single motor vehicle to travel through local camera-enforced traffic filters for Islington’s Blue Badge holders who live in a people-friendly streets neighbourhood, including those who live on the boundary roads surrounding a neighbourhood.
For Blue Badge holders with specific needs, there will also be a separate way to apply to travel through other filters outside their neighbourhood, through an exceptional circumstance dispensation. Details around the application processes and exact criteria will follow in due course.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re transforming Islington’s transport system to create a cleaner, greener, healthier borough, where all can live healthy, independent lives.
“By making our streets more people-friendly, we can make it easier to walk, cycle, and use buggies and wheelchairs, addressing the toxic impact of air pollution in the process. The positive monitoring data that we have seen so far reflects the impact of people-friendly streets in reducing traffic and creating more welcoming, greener streets.
“We’re working hard to make Islington a more equal place, and are listening carefully to feedback from local people. That is why we are making changes to our people-friendly streets neighbourhoods to make it easier for disabled people to travel, whilst ensuring the schemes continue to deliver cleaner, greener, healthier streets.”
As part of the council’s commitment to creating more welcoming streets for all, a further people-friendly streets neighbourhood is being proposed in St Mary’s Church before the end of the year. The introduction of people-friendly pavements, Blue Badge holder exemptions, and the people-friendly streets neighbourhood in St Mary’s Church will be voted on by the council’s Executive on Thursday, 14 October. Further information can be found on the council's website.
If approved by the executive, the exemption for resident Blue Badge holders will apply to all new people-friendly streets neighbourhoods as they are introduced, including St Mary’s Church. Existing people-friendly streets neighbourhoods could have the exemption applied if they are in their first 12 months of operation, or if and when a decision is taken to make them permanent.
The policy would exempt Blue Badge holders from camera-enforced traffic filters in their home people-friendly streets neighbourhood, for a vehicle registered to their address. The details of the exemptions will be considered on a scheme-by-scheme basis. Details and instructions for applying will be announced in detail in due course.
Notes to editors
A public consultation on the St Peter’s neighbourhood is open until Monday, 11 October, and consultations on the six other neighbourhoods that the council has introduced will begin in due course.