Moreland Street – once blighted by traffic and high speeds – has been rebalanced in favour of children and local people, with wider footways, traffic calming to cut vehicle speeds, brightly painted areas and new plants and seating.
The safer, more comfortable space has a child-friendly theme and was developed closely with Moreland Primary School, local residents and local councillors to help encourage people to walk and cycle and to tackle poor air quality.
For Clean Air Day today, Moreland Street was closed altogether to traffic as the street was officially launched.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Air quality is a huge issue for Islington’s residents, and is literally a life or death issue for many people in our borough and across London.
“We’re committed to bold action to create a healthier, greener Islington to encourage people to walk and cycle, and to help tackle poor air quality. By taking targeted action on pollution around our schools, Islington is delivering real change to tackle the toxic air our children breathe.
“Our Moreland Street scheme has transformed and rebalanced a busy inner-city road in favour of children and the local community, with traffic calming, better footways, bright colours and seating.
“On Clean Air Day we celebrate this scheme and commit to more pioneering work to improve Islington’s air quality, for the benefit of us all.”
Ann Dwulit, Executive Headteacher of Moreland Primary School, said: “Improvements to Moreland Street have only been in place for a short while but we have seen and felt a difference already.
“Traffic has definitely slowed down and there seems to be less traffic. There is a calm and a sense of order on the street with families and the community talking advantage of the lovely seating. The children had the opportunity to be actively part of the consultation and understand why improving air quality and safety are so important. It was delight when they saw the finished product. One child took a deep breath and said: ‘Smells cleaner already!’
“Moreland Street has been transformed and our community are very grateful to Cllr Webbe and the Council for making this possible. "
David Harrison, of Islington Living Streets, said: "The pressing challenges of air quality, the climate emergency, obesity, social justice and road traffic danger require a fundamental reallocation of road space from motor vehicles to pedestrians and other forms of active travel. So we very much welcome Islington's Moreland Street scheme which should make walking and especially the walk to school a much more enjoyable experience.
"We also strongly support the Council's commitment to bold action and look forward to the creation of a network of low pollution walking routes which will transform the whole borough."
Islington’s celebration of Clean Air Day also includes:
- Hargrave Park Primary has an after-school Play Street near the school so children can play on a street free of traffic and pollution. This is part of a week of activities at the school to promote more active travel, such as walking and cycling, and knowledge of pollution
- Islington has signed up to the Clean Van Commitment, organised by the organisation Global Action Plan. This is a public commitment for the council to move to zero tailpipe emission vans by 2028