Thinking back to a letter published last year, Simon reviews the positive effects of the Council's actions against climate change, and urges continued action.
The People Friendly Streets monitoring reports from Canonbury West and Highbury, St Peter's, Amwell and Canonbury East are establishing a clear pattern. The data shows an overall reduction in traffic volumes, pollution down, no increase in crime, no impact on emergency services and an increase in cycling. The People Friendly Streets programme is clearly working and so it's great to hear that at a recent Executive meeting, the council decided to expand the programme starting with St Mary's Church before the end of the year.
As Greta Thunberg recently said of our global politicians in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow, we’ve had enough of the "blah, blah, blah", now is the time for action and concrete plans. It's therefore refreshing to see Islington councillors finally confronting our toxic car culture by making our streets safer to walk and cycle for those who can, enabling residents to reduce their carbon emissions and other pollutants. It was wonderful to hear a friend last week tell me about people he knows who are now cycling for the first time because of the People Friendly Streets programme. This is an anecdote, but supports the data published by the council.
Hearing that Islington is the 6th most affected borough in London affected by climate change, theres an even greater responsibility on our borough to act and to act fast. I look forward to see the details of the new People Friendly Streets plans.