Statement on people-friendly streets
Below is a statement from Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport:
“Islington’s people-friendly streets will help make it easier to walk, cycle, scoot and use buggies and wheelchairs, whilst making streets safer, more pleasant and better-suited for social distancing.
“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on us all, and life will not be the same once the crisis ends. The message from Government has been clear – that local authorities must act now in order to avoid a dangerous rise in motor vehicle traffic as we come out of lockdown, and to make space for walking, cycling and social distancing.
“Transport for London modelling shows that, without action to improve streets, traffic volumes in the capital will become even worse than before the lockdown began, leading to more polluted, dangerous and noisy roads.
“As the Government said earlier this week, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enable people to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine, in order to encourage healthy living, improve air quality, and boost safety.
“That is why we are acting now, urgently and effectively, to make streets more pleasant and enjoyable for our residents.
“As well as creating a greener transport environment, people-friendly streets also come with a vast range of health benefits – making streets safer for children to play in, better suited for exercise, and bringing cleaner air for those with breathing difficulties.
“The safety of our residents is an absolute priority, and that is why we have worked closely with emergency services before each people-friendly streets scheme is installed to make sure that they can continue to access every street. We continue to work with them to ensure that every crew is aware of the changes we are making.
“Local people know their streets better than anyone else, and we are listening closely to the views and suggestions they have given us via our Commonplace webpage. In addition, we will be consulting with local people 12 months into each people-friendly streets scheme to ask if they would like the measures to remain in place permanently.
“We are open to feedback, which is why we have invited the organisers of a planned protest outside Islington Town Hall today to have an open, constructive discussion with us regarding their concerns around people-friendly streets. We are disappointed they have not taken up this offer.
“The council remains open to feedback from local people, and we look forward to hearing our residents’ ideas on how we can continue to improve Islington’s transport network and create people-friendly streets for us all.”
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