In response to the clamour from local residents for safer, greener, and more inviting streets, Islington Council has made a significant decision to make the low-traffic scheme permanent in the St Mary’s Church area. This move comes after residents reported numerous positive outcomes, such as improved aesthetics and reduced noise levels. The scheme, which was implemented as a trial, witnessed a substantial 41% decrease in traffic on roads within the area, and a 12% reduction on surrounding boundary roads between November 2021 and January 2023, as per independently collected and analysed monitoring data.
Residents Embrace the Positive Changes
Following the trial period, the council sought feedback from the community, receiving 301 responses during its consultation process. The majority of residents (42%) expressed satisfaction with the transformation, stating that the streets looked better than before. Additionally, 41% of respondents agreed that the low-traffic scheme successfully minimized traffic noise, contributing to a more peaceful neighbourhood. However, opinions were divided on the issue of nighttime safety, with more respondents expressing concerns than those who felt safer during the trial.
Promoting a Sustainable and Liveable Community
Cllr Rowena Champion, the council’s executive member for environment, air quality, and transport, expressed enthusiasm for the positive impact of the low-traffic scheme. She emphasized the council’s commitment to creating welcoming, safer, and greener streets in response to the desires of the local population. Through implementing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and planning for a network of Liveable Neighbourhoods, the council aims to provide residents with enhanced opportunities for walking, cycling, and wheeling. Moreover, the scheme’s exemption for Blue Badge holders makes it easier for those who rely on cars for transportation.
Expanding the Success to Other Areas
Inspired by the positive outcomes, Islington Council has made similar low-traffic schemes permanent in other areas as well. The LTNs in Canonbury West, Canonbury East, St Peter’s, and Clerkenwell Green have also received the green light for permanence, signifying the council’s commitment to prioritizing sustainable and liveable communities.
Future Plans for More Green Spaces
Despite the success of the St Mary’s Church LTN, the council remains ambitious in its efforts to further improve the area’s environmental footprint. Future plans aim to make the neighbourhood even greener and more appealing to all residents. With a continued focus on sustainability and community well-being, the council looks forward to implementing additional initiatives in the St Mary’s Church area.
Awaiting Final Decisions
As the council continues to address the aspirations of its residents, final decisions on the Amwell and Highbury low-traffic schemes are currently under consideration. The council is dedicated to assessing the impact and ensuring that any measures implemented align with the best interests of the community.
The permanent establishment of the low-traffic scheme in the St Mary’s Church area marks a significant step forward in creating a safer, greener, and more pleasant environment for local residents. With reduced traffic and noise levels, the neighbourhood has experienced a positive transformation, encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation such as walking and cycling. As Islington Council expands its efforts to other areas and considers future developments, the community eagerly anticipates the realization of its vision for a more vibrant, eco-friendly, and liveable city.