The Islington Gazette reports that work to remove the intimidating 1960s roundabout and create wider pavements for pedestrians, a new public space and segregated cycle lanes will begin w/c 25 June.
by David Harrison, Islington Living Streets and vice-chair of London Living Streets
London’s pavements have long been an obstacle course. It is hard to walk more than a few feet without encountering a post or box or something larger.
Some street furniture is, of course, useful: lampposts and benches spring to mind. Some is useful but poorly sited: we need bus stops, but not where their footprint dominates the pavement.
Utilities take up a fair amount of space. Phone boxes have been increasingly installed as advertising sites under permitted development rights – which Ministers have failed to scrap despite pleas from councils. Things might get worse. The press has reported that the Secretary of State for Transport wants utilities to dig up pavements, not streets, so as not to slow down motorists.
Indeed, most of the clutter on streets is associated with the motor car. Long ago it was decided not only that cars would dominate the carriageway and own the kerbside for parking, but that pedestrians would have to suffer all the paraphernalia thought necessary for driving: giant road signs, the endless posts which record parking restrictions, and the machines for paying for parking.
Recently a new and even larger impediment has been appearing all over London. Electric vehicle (EV) charging points (point is definitely a misnomer) are making life even more difficult for pedestrians, especially wheelchair users and wheelers of buggies.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has called for evidence on ways to make cycling and walking safer. London Living Streets welcomes the review and strongly supports the Government’s ambition to increase cycling and walking.
Our response, accessed here, provides a range of recommendations. We will cover some of these in a series of blogs, starting with a summary here.
More than half of council leaders in London pledged to create a high-quality “Liveable Neighbourhood” in the run-up to the local elections on 3rd May.
Members and supporters from London Cycling Campaign, London Living Streets and Living Streets asked main party leaders in all London boroughs to support a Liveable London.
If you work, live, visit or pass through the City of London you have until Tuesday 3rd April to fill in the City Streets Survey. Remember to be bold in asking for a major reallocation of road space to pedestrians and cyclists, and closing many roads to through-traffic. Continue reading “City of London streets: what do you think?”