Why the Concern?

Over the past few months, all over London and other metropolitan areas in Britain, road closure schemes are being put in using stealth emergency orders - consultation starts AFTER they are in, and will last for a period of months or years.  If you use your vehicle to travel to work, to care for a loved one, to take your tools of your trade with you - THESE ROAD CLOSURES affect you! 

Make sure YOU stand up!  This is undemocratic, discriminatory and unacceptable!

We are not all 25-year-old cyclists. Our wonderful rich neighbourhood includes the elderly and the disabled, fellow residents who need cars to access doctors, hospitals, friends and shops just to live their lives.

Councils implementing these schemes have NOT allowed consultation but ploughed ahead regardless, ignoring the needs of the vulnerable.

What Schemes?

There are a number of overarching schemes that are being implemented that all result in local residential roads being closed.  These schemes are described as 'temporary' and have been rushed in under the cloud of Covid-19.  They are being implemented without appropriate consultation with residents of the local roads involved.  The  St Peter's and East Canonbury PFS / LTN in Islington are the first two that drew attention to this phenomenon as they are both local to Islington.  Recent follow-up schemes include Canonbury West,  Clarkenwell and Amwell Street.  

Local residents are up in arms and vigorously protesting. Closing off access to these areas will inevitably result in traffic being funneled into main roads that are already at capacity, leading to greater congestion, isolation for the vulnerable and a nightmare for their carers.

The closures are sneaked in using a variety of jargon : 

  • People Friendly Streets
  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Liveable Streets
  • School Streets

A Cleaner City For The Future?

The big question is 'whether it is possible to have a clean green London, given its historic place as the nation's capital and centre of commerce? Obviously it is a worthwhile ambition, but it needs to be implemented with due consultation, to ensure that all sections of the population have the chance to have their views taken into account. At the moment it seems that a vocal minority is driving ( or is it riding ? ) the changes ?

It definately will not work if performed piecemeal [borough by borough] and focused on the needs of one or two interest groups.

Our Vision For A Clean Borough? 

Our vision has been influenced by the pioneering opposition to road closures in Tower Hamlets.   It supports a future vision of cleaner cities and offers a different approach to implementation.   It is easily applicable to every central London Borough:

  1. Stop all road closure schemes immediately, until such time as the Council ( LBI ) has democratically engaged with the local community whose lives it is affecting so drastically and whom it has ignored so far
  2. Commence a far-reaching and transparent impact assessment designed to identify and quantify the impact of issues that adversely affect the less advantaged and privileged in our community.

  3. LBI to take a step back and analyse the potential for using non-physical barriers, e.g. camera technology to allow a more nuanced "experimental" period to produce more valuable data with which to formulate final recommendations.

  4. That both Local Businesses and Residents should not be impaired or disadvantaged by outside visitors being refused access in their chosen means of transport.
  5. Islington to become a clean, green, modern borough that works for all our neighbours, not just a favoured minority 

Some Considerations:

Planning to reduce pollution:

If a proper objective of a local authority is to reduce pollution in their borough, assuming that said pollution is too high, then there is an obviously need to have a plan to do that. 

Does LBI have the figures on the amount of pollution created by residents' cars ? ... of that how much is from petrol and how much from diesel cars ?

If they don't, why don't they ?

Pollution reduction approaches:

Reduction in pollution is a legitimate objective and there are many potential ways of achieving that. Eliminating car journeys deemed "unnecessary" by LBI is not a legitimate activity of a local authority if to do so is to make "necessary" journeys longer. 

This is potentially a zero-sum game re pollution but adverse in terms of its effect upon residents.

A massive switch away from diesel cars and to low-emission petrol cars, hybrids and electric vehicles is already taking place. The latter two have been hampered by lack of local authority investment in charging points.

Has this trend to lower-polluting vehicles been extrapolated and its effect upon future pollution levels taken into account ?

Collaborate not discriminate:

It may well appear that it is desirable or necessary to force drivers off the roads by deliberately making their lives difficult. This has the effect of disadvantaging the disadvantaged even further. 

It unfairly discriminates against those who cannot easily travel on foot or access public transport, mainly the elderly, the disabled and their carers. 

Road closures also have a potential totally catastrophic effect upon small local businesses, especially serious as unemployment inevitably rises as a result of the pandemic with visitors being refused access in their chosen means of transport.