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Low Traffic Neighbourhoods/People Friendly Streets - Presentation

Minutes:

Martin Cooijmans, Head of Strategic Projects and Transport Planning and Interim Head of Traffic was present, together with Ayanda Collins, Traffic and Parking Programme Manager, and outlined the report

 

During discussion the following main points were made –

 

·         Context – transport challenges – climate emergency, traffic casualties, inactivity obesity crisis, air pollution

·         Data – walking and cycling improves physical and mental health, reduces air pollution and less traffic on residential streets

·         Impact of COVID – public transport running at one fifth of normal capacity, many journeys will be made by other means, nearly 70% of residents do not have access to a private vehicle, modelling shows that without action there will be significantly more motorised traffic than before the pandemic

·         Strategic context – Corporate strategy, Draft Transport strategy, Draft Zero Carbon strategy, Budget commitment

·         People Friendly streets – aim to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, for people to be healthier, to allow social distancing and to help people enjoy their area. Early engagement launched in May

·         People Friendly streets – low traffic neighbourhoods – a third to be delivered by the end of 2020, to date implemented in St.Peters and Canonbury East

·         People Friendly streets – cycleways – permanent lanes under construction Highbury Fields to Finsbury Park and Balls Pond Road section of superhighway 1, and pop up cycle lanes under construction in York Way and Pentonville Road to Holloway Road

·         People Friendly streets is a cross- Council programme

·         Key lessons – Emergency services understanding requirements, correspondence – sufficient staff resource available, nimble response -making amendments where needed, communication getting the message right, and understanding proposals – good graphics and explanation of local access

·         Next steps – Delivering more people-friendly streets schemes and cycleways, listening to residents feedback, making adjustments where needed. Monitoring impact of changes and public consultation after 12 months and decision after 18 months

·         School streets – All primary schools not on main roads to be School Streets by end of 2020 – timed restrictions with camera enforcement. 13 historic school streets which were pre-COVID, 16 delivered over the Summer, and 10 more to be delivered by end of year

·         In response to a question it was stated that consideration was being given as to how improvements can be made to air quality on main roads. In relation to school streets the programme had been carried out very quickly, and there were problems with the installation of cameras at some school sites, however these installations would be carried out as soon as possible, and appropriate signage displayed Enforcement officers were at schools where cameras were not yet working

·         In response to a question as to the ramps for disabled access at Highbury Barn, it was stated that as these were not fixed ramps, and that  officers would regularly check that the ramps had not been moved

·         Reference was made to the changes at Mayton Street, and that this could impact on Grafton school, and that traffic could increase by the school. It was stated that this was being looked at in order to ensure that this was not the case

·         Discussion took place as to the need to ensure that communications to residents about the low traffic neighbourhoods needed to be improved, and it was stated that work was taking place, and that in future better information would be provided on schemes, especially in relation to communication with emergency services.  In addition, more improvements for disabled residents were planned, such as ramps and dropped kerbs

·         A Member stated that it was important to work closely with the Mayor of London on People Friendly Streets, and there was a need to ensure that cycleways had appropriate crossing points, especially in Holloway Road. It was stated that discussions are taking place with the Mayor in this regard

·         A Member expressed the view that this was an ambitious project, and that whilst there was vociferous opposition to some of the proposals, this was an extremely important scheme to shift traffic from residential streets onto main roads. However, there was a need to engage Google and Ways to ensure that satellite navigation systems were kept up to date on the changes made. It was stated that TfL had links to the apps suppliers, and that work is taking place to inform them of changes. School streets however is a more complicated situation, however work is taking place with TfL on this

·         Members stressed the importance of People Friendly Streets in order to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions and safety for residents. Members stated that it is hoped that as many residents as possible would respond positively to the proposals during consultation exercises. Members were informed that as many methods of enabling residents to respond would be put in place

 

 

The Chair thanked Martin Cooijmans and Ayanda Collins for their presentation

 

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