The independent London newspaper

Questions for the council leader on ‘people-friendly’ streets

07 August, 2020

Campaigners protesting at the Town Hall over ‘people-friendly streets’ road closure plans

Edited extract of letter sent to Islington Council leader Richard Watts

• I AM writing to you in relation to the road closures that are affecting Islington under the people-friendly streets (Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods) project.

The closure of roads will cause more crime, stabbings, muggings, thefts, phone snatching, postcode wars, violence, drug deals, and more deaths.

I would like to understand how the decisions were made and how this is going to make it safer for residents, the elderly, disabled, parents and our children.

The global pandemic has had a detrimental effect on our children and we are seeing and more suffering with mental health issues, stress and anxiety.

I suggest that you go into schools and ask the children how all of this makes them feel.

Closing roads and making vehicles use main roads will close down small businesses due to no access to the place of work and no parking. So unemployment will rise.

Traffic will be corralled into the main roads, which will cause pollution to rise in those areas. So how will it be healthier?

There will be missed appointments costing taxpayers money – people late for work and children late for school.

It is going to be extremely difficult for emergency services, taking longer routes in life-and-death circumstances.

Also having to remove bollards which takes approximately eight minutes. Eight minutes that could save a life.

I believe the council consulted the emergency services, but did they consult those on the front line to ask how this will work for them? A police car will not be able to chase a bike if the roads are closed.

This shows no thought for the disabled, elderly, or people suffering with mental health issues in our community.

Some people are not able to walk or cycle. Some have equipment to carry. Some cannot sit on public transport due to panic attacks, anxiety and stress.

Some do not own their own vehicles so need to use cabs. Some wheelchairs and equipment can only fit in black cabs (my mother’s).

It is making it hard for cabbies to earn a living after all the hard work they have put in to do “the knowledge”.

Some people need collecting from and to their front doors. The same goes for people with shopping or children or deliveries.

I feel we have not been consulted at all on the road changes. It’s unfair to assume that everyone will go onto a website to give their opinion.

As you can clearly see from the peaceful demonstrations, as a community we are standing together and we would like our voices to be heard. We are all going to suffer due to these ludicrous road closures.

The only people who are going to benefit are cyclists. Those same cyclists have already benefited hugely from taxpayers’ money for creating cycle lanes.

And the minority ruin it for the rest:

• they cycle through red traffic lights;

• they cause more accidents than vehicles;

• they nearly drive into you on zebra crossings because they don’t stop.

Stand at Highbury Corner one morning and watch where so much hard-earned cash was used for a cycle lane which is now a joke.

You will witness cyclists riding along the pedestrian walkway! And what used to be a lovely walk down the canal has turned into a rally.

They ring their bells so close it makes you jump. It is dangerous and you can fall in the water. Like any other vehicle on the road bicycles should have number plates and be charged road tax.

Reconsider the road closures and give us back our streets.

Address supplied


Share this story

Post a comment