Report reveals positive impact of Canonbury East people-friendly streets neighbourhood
The council has closely studied monitoring data and listened carefully to feedback on the Canonbury East people-friendly streets neighbourhood, and will now introduce an exemption scheme for Blue Badge holders living in the neighbourhood.
Canonbury East is the second of seven people-friendly streets neighbourhoods to be brought in 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 (45% agreed; 22% disagreed), and 47% said it was easier to cross the streets (24% disagreed).
A total of 45% said it has been easier to walk and cycle for short trips (24% 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 the impact of the trial. Comparing data from July 2020 – a month before the trial’s introduction – with data from July 2021, the report revealed that traffic had fallen by 80% within the neighbourhood. Also, within the neighbourhood the number of speeding vehicles fell by 89% and rates of cycling rose by 48%. Both the consultation report and monitoring report can be found on the Canonbury East people-friendly streets webpage.
In response to feedback from the consultation, which was held in November 2021, the council will make changes to traffic filters at Elmore Street and Halliford Street, and introduce an additional filter at Ecclesbourne Road. These changes will improve business access to the area.
To make it easier for disabled people to travel, the council will introduce an exemption for Blue Badge holders in the neighbourhood. The new exemption policy will be introduced in February 2022 and some changes will be made to the neighbourhood to allow for the exemption scheme to be introduced. Residents in Canonbury East 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: “We’ve introduced people-friendly streets neighbourhoods to help create the cleaner, greener, and healthier borough that local people have long been calling for.
“We’re very pleased to hear about the benefits that the Canonbury East scheme has brought to people in the neighbourhood, and are grateful to people who took part in the consultation.
“We will introduce an exemption scheme for Blue Badge holders to 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 some traffic filters in the Canonbury East neighbourhood. Further information can be found on the council’s website.
The consultation also asked for feedback on how the council can improve the neighbourhood. Over two fifths (44%) of people rated improvements to pavements as a high priority, followed by planting greenery (38%). The council will be installing planters in and around the traffic filters and will begin delivering the new people-friendly pavements programme later in the year, which will make the borough’s streets more accessible.