Positive impact of St Peter’s people-friendly streets neighbourhood revealed
Islington Council has today (Wednesday, 22 December) published a report showing feedback on the St Peter’s people-friendly streets neighbourhood which, alongside recent monitoring data, reflects the scheme’s positive impact.
The council has closely studied monitoring data and has listened carefully to feedback – including from disabled people and groups representing disabled people – and will now introduce an exemption scheme for Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood.
St Peter’s was the first of seven people-friendly streets neighbourhoods to be brought in so far as 18-month trials to help create better streets for local people, where it’s easier to walk, cycle and use buggies and wheelchairs.
In a recent public consultation on the impact of the neighbourhood, participants said they felt air was cleaner (48% agreed; 18% disagreed) and that they felt safer using streets during the day (46% agreed; 25% disagreed).
A total of 46% said it has been easier to walk and cycle for short trips (19% disagreed), while more than a quarter of those surveyed that have cars said they walk or cycle for shorter journeys instead of driving.
To help people take part in the consultation, the council released monitoring data on its impact. Comparing data from June 2020 – a month before the trial’s introduction – with data from June 2021, the report revealed that traffic had fallen by 56% within the neighbourhood. Also, within the neighbourhood the number of speeding vehicles fell by 78% and rates of cycling rose by 72%. Both the consultation report and monitoring report can be found on the St Peter's people-friendly streets webpage.
To make it easier for disabled people to travel, the council will now introduce an exemption for Blue Badge holders in the neighbourhood. The new exemption policy will be introduced in January 2022. All current traffic filters will remain in place, but some changes will be made to the neighbourhood to allow for the exemption scheme to be introduced. Residents in St Peter’s will soon receive further information on the policy and timescales for its introduction.
After the exemption scheme has been introduced, the council will monitor its impact and people's feedback, before taking a decision on making the neighbourhood permanent.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Islington’s streets belong to local people, and we’ve introduced people-friendly streets neighbourhoods to help create the cleaner, greener, and healthier borough they’ve long been calling for.
“We’re delighted to hear about the benefits that the St Peter’s scheme has brought to people in the neighbourhood, and are extremely grateful to those that took part in the consultation.
“By introducing an exemption scheme for Blue Badge holders, we will make it easier for disabled people to travel in the neighbourhood while ensuring it continues to deliver cleaner, greener, healthier streets.”
The Blue Badge holder policy will mean that Blue Badge holders that live in the neighbourhood will be able to apply for a permit allowing a single motor vehicle registered to their address to travel through traffic filters in the St Peter’s neighbourhood. Further information can be found on the council’s website.
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